A (Late) Homage to Spring

May 21, 2019

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I realize that I’m a little late in paying homage to the beauty of Spring around our house since the Cumberland Plateau is now experiencing summer-like temperatures. But Spring is a beautiful season and we love seeing the yard come alive with color.

Crocus are the first Spring blossoms to make an appearance. Since crocus are also a favorite menu item for the critters around here we don’t have many left, but the ones we do have are always welcome.

Daffodils come next, and since the critters don’t like them very much we have quite a few different varieties showing off in our flower beds.

The white Mount Hood daffodil is a favorite, and is always beautiful.

We’re never quite sure what to expect with tulips. Every critter in the area seems to love to snack on them. But we have had several flowers bloom, some with unusual shapes but beautiful colors.

Others have a more traditional shape, but are just as beautiful.

Sometimes the interior of a tulip blossom is as pretty as the exterior.

A Visit with Great-Granddaughter

April 30, 2019

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Betsy doesn’t get to see her great-granddaughter very often, so it’s a treat when we can visit with Vivi, a 15-month-old bundle of energy.

On this occasion Betsy gave Vivi a book, in which she quickly got interested.

Sometimes Vivi can be lost in thought, . . .

. . . but most of the time she is on the run.

Look out world, here she comes!

Down Memory Lane: Dublin

April 9, 2019

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In May of 2002 I was working as a systems analyst at a plant fairly close to our home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The plant was run by an Irish company, and I was sent by my boss to work on a software project at company headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.

Although my trip was definitely a business trip, I was put up at a very nice hotel on the outskirts of Dublin, as you can see from the photo above.

The hotel was far enough out of the city that I could get some nice views of the beautiful Irish countryside.

One evening after work an Irish colleague took me to dinner at an Irish pub and then on a quick tour of Dublin. One of the places we saw was Dublin Castle. We were able to get into the courtyard of the castle for a quick look-around. Bedford Hall (above) in the castle caught my attention.

After we left the courtyard we walked around the exterior of the castle for a few minutes.

Later, on a Dublin street, I saw this statue of Molly Malone. Of course, that reminded me of the song, which ran through my head for the rest of the night!

You can see additional pictures of my Dublin visit by clicking HERE.

Spring, Wherefore Art Thou?

March 19, 2019

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I admit it: I’m tired of the cold, I’m tired of gray skies and I’m tired of rain. I want to see blue skies and some color in the ground. I want to see scenes like these.

I wish I could say these beauties were from our yard, but they’re not. One thing My Beautiful Bride and I try to do each Spring is get to Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, to enjoy the spring flowers in the Walled Garden.  These pictures are from a visit we made a couple of years ago.

 

 

I love the way they plant their flowers — everything looks just right when they are all in bloom.

And as pretty as the blossoms are up close, the entire garden is a thing of beauty when seen at a distance from an overlook on the grounds.

All I can say is . . . COME ON SPRING!!!

Shooting in the Dark

February 19, 2019

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I realize that the holiday season is long gone, but I was so happy with these photos that I just had to share them with you.

Betsy and I went to the Candlelight Christmas event at Biltmore last December. We didn’t take our big cameras, but I used my iPhone to take pictures as we approached and then toured the house. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the outdoor night photos, but I think they came out pretty well. The picture above is of the big lighted tree on the lawn in from of the Biltmore house.

We were early for our entrance to the house, so when we got off the bus from the parking area we walked away from the house so we could see both the tree and the house. The lights gave a nice, warm glow to the scene.

There was some snow on the ground, but there had been a couple of days of warm weather so there was not much left. We walked on the lawn to get closer to the tree, but were happy to get back to the walkway as we got closer to the house.

We got a good look at the front of the house as we approached the line to get in. Our candlelight visit to Biltmore had gotten off to a very good start.

Wyoming Morning

January 29, 2019

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Betsy and I had a long day of driving when we started home from our western trip, so we left Jackson, Wyoming, while it was still dark. Getting up that early is not much fun, but on this day it paid off beautifully.

The sun started to rise about the time we reached the Hoback Canyon. Although we couldn’t see the sun, the clouds in the sky above us turned a brilliant crimson. When we rounded a curve we could see the sky reflected in the Hoback River (above) so of course we had to stop.

We really had problems deciding which was the most amazing — the reflection in the water or the sky above.

The sky remained gorgeous even as the canyon widened. It was an amazing morning and left us with unforgettable memories of Wyoming.

Sempervivum

January 8, 2019

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My mother had sempervivum in her flower garden when I was growing up. Of course, back then I didn’t know they were sempervivum — she always called them ‘Hens and Chickens’ since the mature plant was surrounded by smaller, younger plants.

My Beautiful Bride and I discovered sempervivum when we moved to the Glade and had many rocky spots where nothing but weeds seemed to thrive. Sempervivum thrived there as well, and so we planted some around your yard.

Sempervivum get their name — ‘always alive’ — because they survive all seasons. Even when everything else in our yard has turned brown in winter, the sempervivum are still colorful.

We’ve been surprised at the wide variety of shapes and colors in the sempervivum. That makes it hard to pick a favorite.

Rise and Shine

September 25, 2018

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I imagine that most ‘normal’ people use a vacation as an opportunity to sleep in and take things easy. Fortunately (or unfortunately) My Beautiful Bride and I are not ‘normal’. We often get up earlier than we normally would just to enjoy the sunrise.

That was certainly the case when we visited the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina in August. We couldn’t see the sun from the balcony of our room, but the sky was still beautiful at sunrise. The picture above was taken the first morning we were there.

The fog in the valleys looked like a blanket spread around the mountains below us.

Looking to the west also gave us a peaceful, serene view of the world from the mountains.

The sunrise on our last morning at Pisgah Inn gave us a lot of incentive to come back.

A Special Place on a Special Day

August 28, 2018

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As many of you know, Fall Creek Falls State Park is a special place for Betsy and me. We had our first ‘real’ date there on April 21, 2001, It was there that we began our waterfall ‘collection’ and, more importantly, it was there that I got my first kiss from the wonderful woman I was with. For these reasons we go back every year on April 21 to celebrate.

Things were a little different this year. The park is undergoing some major renovations and health problems kept us from doing the hike we normally do when visiting the park, We were, however, able to visit Cane Creek Cascade. The picture above was taken near the top of the cascade.

Because of the work being done, a new trail was created from the parking area to the swinging bridge above the cascade. We were treated to a new (for us) waterfall along this trail. It wasn’t very big, but we were still delighted to be able to add it to our collection.

The trail followed Cane Creek for a short distance, and we were able to enjoy the beauty of the flowing water.

Passing under the swinging bridge, we can to a place where we could watch the sparkling water tumble down to the pool below.

But I still think the loveliest sight in Fall Creek Falls is my Beautiful Bride.

The Yellow Day Lilies of Tennessee

July 31, 2018

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The other day I was working in the yard when ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’ came on my iPod. Now I don’t know much about yellow roses in Texas, but I have some experience with yellow day lilies in Tennessee, so I thought I would share a few of them with you.

The beauty above is Buttered Popcorn. It is one deepest, richest yellow I’ve seen on any plant. One of the nice things about Buttered Popcorn is that it re-blooms throughout the season.

Carolyn Criswell is a bright yellow day lily that we’ve enjoyed for enjoyed for several years. It is not a re-bloomer.

Lemon Vista is a pale yellow day lily. It is also a re-bloomer.

I may be cheating just a little with Star Struck since it has some orange in its blossoms. Star Struck has one of the largest blossoms on our day lilies, and it, too, is re-bloomer.

Savannah Debutante has beautiful double blossoms. This is a relatively new addition to our yard.

We have some other day lilies with other shades of yellow in them. Perhaps, if ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’ comes up on my iPod again, I will share some of these with you.