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.

Iris on Parade

July 3, 2018

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We had very strange weather here on the Cumberland Plateau in late winter and early spring. February was unusually warm, while April was much colder than normal. As a result we were kept wondering about how well our plants and flowers would do, But once we got into May the irises started putting on a show. The iris above is Mother Earth. I really like these colors.

Cable car is another iris we’ve enjoyed for several years. I like the unusual colors of this iris.

Eugenia King is a relatively new iris in our yard. But she still puts on a nice display.

I had to include My Beautiful Bride’s favorite iris, although I think she likes it as much for the name as anything else. This is Tennessee Vol, and is a must-have iris for any die-hard University of Tennessee fan.

A Walk Along the River

June 12, 2018

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Desoto State Park in Alabama is one of our favorite places to visit, and we’ve been there several times. The photos in this post were taken during a birthday trip Betsy arranged for me in March, 2013.

We originally went to Desoto State Park for the waterfalls — there are five in the park — but on this visit we hiked a trail along the West Fork Little River within the park. Since it was very early Spring, there weren’t many people around and we had the trail to ourselves.

There were parts of the river that had rapids (as can be seen in the first photo), but along other parts the river was calm and serene.

As we hiked, the channel got smaller and the water got more shallow.

But all-in-all it was a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday with My Beautiful Bride.

Tip-Toe Through the Daffodils

May 22, 2018

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I know the song title is “Tip-Toe Through the Tulips”, but we have many more daffodils than tulips since the critters around here like to munch on our tulip bulbs.

We got most of our daffodils through collections, so we don’t know the names of them,

but we do enjoy the variety of colors and shapes.

Some of the daffodils have trumpets with different colors.

We got these daffodils from my dad when we first moved to the Glade. i don’t know the proper name for these, but we call them Dad Adams daffodils.