At the B&B I stayed at on Tuesday night, the owner told me to be sure I kept a lookout for wild yellow and orange azalea. Ordinary garden azalea, she assured me, was mostly pinkish and white, so the orange variety was an unusual sight and it had just started to bloom.

Now, I wouldn’t know an azalea if I ran over one. I only hear about them once a year, when CBS sportscasters inform me in hushed tones that Augusta National is truly a special place in April when the azaleas and the dogwood are blooming.

Whatever. Around here it’s all over the place. And as I was hiking down the trail to the Cascades, a National Park Service sign told me that I was standing right beside a flame azalea bush. So naturally I took a picture.

May 8, 2019 — Cascades Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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