Ice and Water

December 1, 2020

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One of the advantages of visiting waterfalls in December is that we can often see water in a couple of different forms. This picture of ice and water was taken a few years back at Dry Falls in the Cullasaja Gorge of North Carolina.

Unaka Mountain Waterfall

November 17, 2020

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Late autumn can be a great time to go searching for waterfalls — the weather is usually mild and there are fewer people on the roads and trails than is the case during spring and summer.

Several years ago we explored the Unaka Mountain area near Erwin, Tennessee, on Thanksgiving weekend. Being on the mountain was certainly much more enjoyable than facing Black Friday crowds at the stores and malls. We drove along some Forest Service roads and did some hiking. This pretty little waterfall is one of the sights we enjoyed.

Autumn Leaves

November 3, 2020

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We’ve had our first freeze warning of the season, but before Old Man Winter comes for a prolonged visit I thought I would get in at least one more autumn photo. The vacant lot adjacent to our house has some sumac bushes along the road, and I got this picture of the leaves a few years ago. I think the color of the leaves is beautiful and speaks of the glory of autumn here on the Plateau.

Autumn in the Mountains

October 20, 2020

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One of the nice things about living in eastern Tennessee is that autumn in the mountains can be spectacular. There’s no guarantee of course — Mother Nature is going to do what she wants when she wants to do it. There have been years when the autumn colors are muted and quite frankly, drab. But there are other years during which the colors on the mountains take your breath away.

My Beautiful Bride and I try to go on a ‘leaf-hunting’ trip every year. We usually make a loop — going through the Smokies over Newfound Gap, and coming the other way over the Cherohala Parkway.

The picture above was taken along the Cherohala Parkway connecting North Carolina and Tennessee several years ago. We hope we are as fortunate this year.

Blackwater Falls

September 29, 2020

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Betsy and I celebrated by birthday earlier this year before the pandemic and the lockdowns came along and closed everything down. We went to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia for a short getaway with the possibility of getting in some hiking.

Blackwater Falls is a pretty waterfall that gets its name from the amber tint of the water going over the falls. The tint comes from the tannic acid of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles.

This picture was taken at an overlook across the river from the main Blackwater Falls overlook near the base of the falls.

A Mountaintop Sunset

September 1, 2020

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One of the joys for Betsy and I when we visit Mt. Nebo State Park in Arkansas is the sunsets we can enjoy from ‘our’ cabin when we visit in February or March. All the pictures in this post were taken on February 12, 2013.

Regardless of what we do during the day, we try to get back to the cabin before sunset. Sometimes, as in the picture above, the late afternoon gives a hint of the glorious sunset to come.

As the sun drops lower, a look to the south across the valley shows the reds, oranges and pinks of the clouds above.

For a moment the sun seems to pause just as it touches the mountains to the west and baths everything in a golden glow.

Then the sun is gone, but it leaves a reminder of the beauty of God’s creation in the sky.

Unexpected Vistors

August 11, 2020

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I was working on our container roses along the driveway last year (2019) when I suddenly noticed I was not alone — I had a ‘helper’. We usually don’t like deer to be among our flowers, but this little fellow was so cute that I didn’t mind his presence.

He (or she) was obviously very young; somewhat unsteady on his feet, but he did manage to get around without too much trouble.

My young visitor went into the grass near our bench and checked up on an even smaller young one. It was a younger brother or sister.

By this time I had gotten Betsy out into the yard with me. There is a vacant lot next to our lot, and we thought perhaps Momma Deer was in there, but we couldn’t see her. While I was looking for Momma, the littlest deer seemed to be asking Betsy if she was his Mommy.

We decided that the only way Momma Deer was going to come and reclaim her little ones would be if we weren’t around, so we went into the house. Later we checked and there were no little ones around.

Throughout the rest of Spring and early Summer we would occasionally see a female deer with two fawns on the golf course behind our house. We like the think that those were ‘our’ little ones just checking up on us.

A Hike Along Daddys Creek

March 3, 2020

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In early November, during a visit from Betsy’s son Mark, we went on a hike with Mark and Robin along Daddys Creek here in the Glade. The trail is one of several in our area, and this trail descends into a gulch and follows the creek bed for some distance. The total distance of the hike on this trail is just under two miles.

We didn’t have much autumn color in our area this past year, but there were still some evidences of color along the creek.

Daddys Creek is shallow, but fairly wide. The water is crystal clear and we could easily see the rocks on the bottom.

In areas where the gulch widen we were treated to beautiful reflections in the quiet waters of the stream. All in all it was a beautiful hike which we hope to do again in other seasons of the year.

Down Memory Lane: Pedestal Rocks

February 11, 2020

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When Betsy and I would visit Mt. Nebo in Arkansas, one of our favorite places to visit and hike was the Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area off of Scenic Route 7 north of Mt. Nebo.

Pedestal Rocks features “mushroom’ shaped columns sculptured by wind and weather. The “pedestals” are both fascinating and beautiful.

Pedestal Rocks is a great place to hike on a beautiful winter day.

In addition to unique shapes, many of the pedestals have lichen growing along one or more sides. Some of the colors are varied, vivid and beautiful.

Gatlinburg Skybridge

November 12, 2019

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This past September Betsy and I, along with Betsy’s son Mark and his girlfriend Robin, visited the Gatlinburg Skybridge for he first time. The Skybridge, which opened earlier in the year, is the longest (680 feet) pedestrian suspension bridge in North America.

The Skybridge is located at the top of the Skylift in Gatlinburg. Robin and Mark rode up the mountain in the chair in front of us.

The Skybridge is even more impressive when viewed from the top of the mountain.

There were quite a few people on the Skybridge, but we were still able to enjoy the views of the Smokies above Gatlinburg.

We never get tired of seeing the Smoky Mountains.