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.

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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.

Desoto Falls

May 1, 2018

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Betsy and I have been to Desoto State Park in Alabama several times. It’s a wonderful park with waterfalls, hiking trails and a beautiful mountain setting. One of the main attractions of the park is Desoto Falls. All of these pictures are from a visit we made to the falls in 2013. This was part of a birthday surprise that Betsy had arranged for me.

There is a dam just above Desoto Falls which forms Desoto State Park Lake. Although the dam is not part of the waterfall, it too, is a beautiful sight.

The official viewing area for Desoto Falls offers only a side view of the waterfall. It’s a nice view, but Betsy and I had seen pictures of the waterfall from a different vantage point and we wanted to find it.

After talking to one of the park rangers we were told that it was possible to bushwhack to a view of the falls by following a primitive trail almost two miles from the official viewing area. We found the trailhead without too much difficulty and hiked back toward the waterfall.

After a while we were rewarded with this view of Desoto Falls. We weren’t as close we were at the official viewing area, but we both liked the view we were able to enjoy.

In some ways we hope that the primitive trail is not upgraded — we can keep this beautiful spot as our very own secret.

Arkansas Sunsets

April 3, 2018

Betsy and I have been fortunate to be able to visit Mount Nebo State Park in Arkansas in late winter or early spring for the past ten years or so. We like many things about Mount Nebo — the hiking, for example — but what keeps us going back in ‘our’ cabin. We have stayed in the same cabin each time we’ve gone.

It’s perfect for relaxing, enjoying the scenery, and enjoying a nice fire in the fireplace in the evening. But it’s main attraction, at least at the time of year we visit, is the gorgeous sunsets we can enjoy from the back porch.

The slideshow above is made up of photos taken one evening during our visit in 2008. They can’t compare to seeing the sunsets in person, but I think they do a reasonably good job of showing the beauty we enjoy.

If you would like to see these photos and others as well as the captions for these photos click HERE.

Monument Valley

February 27, 2018

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A highpoint of our trip out west in 2017 was our visit to Monument Valley. We had never seen this beautiful place before (except in movies) and we were amazed by the beauty of the place. It took the picture above of the two of us at a pullover along Valley Drive. That’s West Mitten Butte to the left of us with East Mitten in the far background. A part of Merrick Butte is on the right of the photo.

Although we drove a short distance along Valley Drive, most of our time at Monument Valley was taken up by the Monument Valley Backcountry Sunset Tour. We signed up for a public tour, but since Betsy and I were the only people registered for that particular tour we ended up with a private tour led by a wonderful Navajo guide, Hope. She took us off the beaten path and provided us with much fascinating information.

The picture above shows Totem Pole, the tall spire on the right. The rock formation on the left is Yet Bi Chei, (Navajo spiritual gods).

The last stop on our tour was the North Window overlook, which provided a panoramic view of the valley and the buttes scattered across it. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we visit this beautiful area again in the future.

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!

Bald River Falls

January 16, 2018

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In October of this past year Betsy and I headed to North Carolina in search of some autumn colors. Along the way we decided to stop by Bald River Falls near Tellico Plains, Tennessee. This is a beautiful waterfall we have visited several times, and we’ve never tired of seeing it.

The curtain of water falling over the rocks made beautiful patterns along the face of the falls.

Betsy added to the beauty of the falls by standing on the bridge over Bald River with the falls and vibrant autumn colors in the background.

The Tellico River was also a gorgeous sight as it flowed past its conjunction with Bald River.

Bryce Canyon National Park

December 19, 2017

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Utah is a beautiful state containing many state and national parks with gorgeous scenery. On our western trip in September of this year Betsy and I visited 13 state and national parks or monuments in Utah, and we enjoyed our visit to each and every one.

With so much spectacular scenery, it’s hard to pick a favorite Utah spot to visit, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Bryce Canyon. We visited Bryce several years ago, and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. The hoodoos are spectacular in both form and color as the picture above, taken at Sunrise Point, shows.

We hiked from Sunrise to Sunset Point, enjoying the views of the canyon as we walked. I must admit that we didn’t set any speed records on that hike, since we stopped so often to take pictures.

A special treat for me was being able to hike the Navajo Loop down into the canyon from Sunset Point. It was fantastic to be able to look up at the hoodoos against that gorgeous blue sky.

I have many more photos from Bryce, but they will be the subject of a later post. i

Canyonlands National Park

November 21, 2017

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Betsy and I visited Canyonlands National Park for the first time on our recent trip west. We actually visited two sections of the park, but the Island in the Sky section was definitely our favorite. All of these pictures are from Island in the Sky.

I’m not sure what we expected to find at Canyonlands, but the stark beauty was absolutely fascinating. The picture above was taken at the Green River Overlook, and although you can’t see the Green River, you can see the canyons that it has carved over the ages.

This picture was taken near the White Rim Overlook. If you look closely you can make out the Colorado River way below and far away.

There are other sights to enjoy in the park, one of which is Mesa Arch. We didn’t get there early enough to see the sun rise through the arch, but it was a beautiful sight nonetheless. The arch can be reached after a relatively easy hike from the trailhead.

If you ever get a chance to visit Canyonlands, we hope you will do so.