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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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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