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.

The Waterfalls of Fall Creek Falls

October 1, 2019

Cane Creek Falls, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. April 21, 2013.

If you have kept up with Betsy and me for any length of time, you know that Fall Creek Falls State Park here in Tennessee is a special place for us. It was the place for our first ‘big’ date, our first kiss, and the beginnings of our fascination with waterfalls.

I know I have posted pictures of the individual waterfalls in the park, but I don’t think I’ve done a single post that shows all the waterfalls The pictures in this post were taken over several years — we’ve visited Fall Creek Falls at least once a year since 2001. I’m showing the waterfalls in the order we usually visit them while at the park.

The waterfall above is Cane Creek Falls. The overlook for this waterfall is the first we come to after entering the park.

Rockhouse Falls, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. April 22, 2019

Rockhouse Falls shares the same basin with Cane Creek Falls. Rockhouse Falls is much taller, but it is on a smaller creek and has a lower flow of water.

Cane Creek Cascades, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. April 21, 2013.

Cane Creek Cascade is a short distance upstream from Cane Creek Falls. In many ways the cascade is more impressive than the falls since it’s possible to get closer to it. Cane Creek Cascade is a great place to sit, relax and enjoy the beauty and the sound of water.

TributaryFalls, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. April 21, 2018.

We discovered this little waterfall last year when the park was undergoing some renovations and a new, temporary, trail to Cane Creek Cascade was cut through the woods. I have not been able to find an official name for this waterfall nor have I found the name of the little creek that feeds it. So we refer to it as Tributary Falls.

George Hole Falls, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. April 21, 2013.

I’ll admit that we’re cheating a little here. George Hole Falls is created by a small dam on Cane Creek. But we always visit this waterfall because George Hole is the site of our first kiss. We always try each year to recreate that kiss as well!

Fall Creek Falls, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. September 6, 2015.

The park gets its name from Fall Creek Falls, which is the biggest waterfall in the park. This picture was taken from the overlook, and although we have hiked to the base of the falls, the hike back up seems to get a little longer and a little steeper each year. So we are mostly content to admire the waterfall from the overlook.

Coon Creek Falls, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. April 21, 2013

Coon Creek Falls is a smaller waterfall on a stream that shares the same basin as Fall Creek Falls. Both waterfalls can be seen from the same overlook.

Piney Falls, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. April 21, 2011.

The last waterfall we see on our visits to the park is Piney Falls. We have to admire this waterfall from an overlook some distance away, as it would involve a hike and overnight campouts to reach the falls. So we make do with telephoto lenses for our cameras and the view from the overlook.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick tour of Fall Creek Falls State Park. If you have the opportunity to visit the park in person, we’re sure you will enjoy it.

Biltmore’s Walled Garden

August 27, 2019

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My Beautiful Bride and I have season passes to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, and we try to visit the estate several times a year. Although we have gone into the house several times, we usually go to visit the conservatory and the gardens.

The Walled Garden is the centerpiece of the gardens at Biltmore. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, as were all the gardens at Biltmore. Frederick Law Olmsted is often considered America’s foremost landscape architect.

The Walled Garden is usually the second area we visit (after the Conservatory) on each trip to Biltmore. This post show a typical Spring visit to the Walled Garden. All these photos were taken in April, 2013.

The Walled Garden features a seasonal rotation of blossoms. A long arbor covered with grape vines runs down the center of the garden.

Openings in the arbor provide a pretty frame for the tulips.

Over 50,000 tulips (and 14,000) daffodils are planted in the garden each Spring, making a beautiful display.

I was fortunate to find another type of beauty in a different section of the garden.

To see these and other images from our visit, click HERE.

Cane Creek

July 16, 2019

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Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee contains many beautiful places, but My Beautiful Bride and I think Cane Creek, especially near the cascade and the waterfall, has to rank as one of our favorites.

The picture above shows can creek above the cascade.

The creek thunders over Cane Creek Cascade. We enjoy sitting near the base and enjoying the sight and sound of water.

The creek is not very deep below the cascade, but it is still beautiful.

Soon the creek reaches the brim of Cane Creek Falls and disappears from sight.

It’s hard to get a good vantage point from which to see Cane Creek Falls, but I did manage to get a faint rainbow from the viewpoint.