Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina’

Poinsettias

December 29, 2020

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The poinsettia has long been associated with Christmas — we have a red poinsettia like the one above on a coffee table in our living room.

I think I knew there were many varieties of poinsettias, but I didn’t realize that there were so many different colors until Betsy and I visited the Conservatory at Biltmore when we were there for the Christmas at Biltmore event. There were plants of different colors, such as this yellow-green poinsettia which was one of the first we saw as we entered the Conservatory. There were poinsettias of different hues and shades through out the building.

But I think I was most impressed with the multi-colored poinsettias that we saw. This red and white beauty was definitely eye-catching.

Some plants were more subdued than others, but still very pretty. I did like this point and white poinsettia very much.

It would be hard for me to pick a favorite, although these yellow and red plants that we saw near the end of our visit to the Conservatory definitely caught my eye.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Morning in the Mountains

January 30, 2018

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Betsy and I traveled to the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina in October to enjoy the autumn colors. We found colorful trees, although there was not as much as we had hoped there would be. Mother Nature, however, more than made up for any lack of color on the trees by providing gorgeous color in the morning skies.

We got up at dawn each day to enjoy the show. The morning started with a single star shining down as the horizon turned a brilliant orange and red.

As the light increased we could see fog in the valleys below and mountain tops in the distance peeking through the fog.

The eastern sky slowly filled with yellow, orange, and gold colors, silhouetting some trees along the ridge line.

Yes, we definitely found some gorgeous colors in the mountains of North Carolina!

Mornings at the Beach

January 10, 2017

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Betsy and I really enjoy our visits to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.  For the past few years we’ve been going in both May and early December.  (We can’t stay away from that delicious Calabash seafood for too long!)

Although the weather is usually warmer in May, we enjoy our December visits because we get a good view of the sunrise from the balcony of our room at the Islander Inn, as you can see from the photo above.

So, although we are on vacation, both Betsy and I make an attempt to get up each morning at sunrise.

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On some mornings there is a thick bank of clouds on the horizon,

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although patches of blue were often soon seen in other parts of the sky.

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Some mornings all we could do was stand in awe at the beauty of God’s creation.

Another Experiment

July 5, 2016

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I’ve been experimenting again.  I’ve used Photoshop to horizontally stitch together pictures to make panoramas, but I had never tried to stitch pictures vertically.

When Betsy and I visited Dry Falls on our way home from our anniversary celebration, I captured three pictures of different parts of the the waterfall which I later stitched together to get the image above.  I think the result gives a good view of Dry Falls.

Down Memory Lane: Pisgah Forest (July, 2009)

May 21, 2016

2009  -- Pisgah Forest

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In July, 2009, Betsy and I met my son Robert and his family in the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, North Carolina.  We did some hiking in the Pink Beds and had a wonderful picnic lunch.

After lunch the young people (my son inclued) decided that they would like to check out Sliding Rock, a popular summer destination in the western North Carolina mountains.  As the name implies, Sliding Rock is a water slide down a smooth rock face.  Betsy and I volunteered to be the official photographers, so we had to miss out on the fun.

In the collage above, Sliding Rock is shown at the top left.  Robert, Sean and Zack are waiting their turn to slide down the rock (Sean looks a little unsure about what he’s gotten himself into).  The top right shows Robert and Sean going down the slide.

The bottom left photo was taken on the Blue Ridge Parkway later in the day, while another picture of Robert and Sean is on the bottom right.

To see larger versions of these pictures and others, click HERE.