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.

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Arches National Park

October 31, 2017

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One of the places we visited on our trip west earlier this year was Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. It’s a very beautiful — and very popular.

On the day before we planned to visit Arches we passed the entrance and noticed that the park was closed from 7pm to 7am and that there was a huge line of cars waiting to get into the park.

We knew that we would have to get to Arches very early the next morning, which we managed to do. We then learned that the closures were a result of roadwork being done in the park, and that there was a delay in getting all the equipment off the roads this particular morning. So we sat in the parking lot of the Visitor Center for what seemed to be the longest time.

Finally we were able to get into the park. Our first stop was Double Arch, which we only saw at a distance when we were there several years ago. This time we were among the first to get to the arch so were were able to hike to it while the morning light was still good, as you can see in the picture above.

We then hiked in the Windows portion of the park. I got this picture of the North and South Windows from nearby Turret Arch.

We then drove to the Wolfe Ranch section of the park to visit Delicate Arch. There were such long lines waiting to hike to the arch that we chose to content ourselves with seeing it from the viewing area. We did hike to the upper viewing area, which got us closer to the arch itself, which is where I got this photo.

We saw many more things at Arches National Park, but they will have to wait for another post.

The Solar Eclipse

October 3, 2017

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Betsy and I had ringside seats for the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Crossville was in the zone of totality, and it was a very big deal as you can see from the t-shirt My Beautiful Bride is wearing.

Clouds were forecast for the afternoon of the big event, but they fortunately stayed away enough for us to enjoy the show. It was quite an experience to see the moon start to block out the sun.

In some ways I wish I had better camera equipment, but I was delighted to get the pictures that I did get.

It was truly amazing to see the sun becoming a smaller and smaller sliver of light.

Then the sun was completely covered. It became night as solar lights came on and birds stopped their singing. I was able to capture the sun’s corona shining around the moon.

As the sun began to emerge from behind the moon I was able to capture a ‘diamond ring’. That was really a special moment for me.

As the moon continued to move away, a sliver of sun appeared in the sky.

As the moon moved even more, the sun became a crescent.

Our world got lighter as more of the sun became visible. Soon the magical once-in-a-lifetime event was over.

Saint Patrick Rose

August 22, 2017

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One of the newer roses that Betsy and I have in our garden is Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick is a hybrid tea rose that does very well in hot weather, which we’ve had plenty of over the past two years.

When Saint Patrick buds, the yellow buds are tinged with green (some people say chartreuse) — see the photo above, and the hotter the weather the more green there is along the edges.

But as the flower opens the green starts to fade away, and the yellow becomes more pronounced. This picture was taken the day after the one above.

By the third day there is very little green left, and the blossom is a beautiful yellow or gold. The blossoms are quite large and last for quite some time.

Saint Patrick is a rose we very much enjoy, especially during the heat of the summer.

Consider the lilies

July 25, 2017

 

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I’m not sure day lilies are the biblical lilies of the field, but they certainly are beautiful and worthy of consideration. We have several varieties in our yard, most of them rebloomers that we can enjoy twice a year. Day lilies are way to grow and don’t require much maintenance, which is a nice bonus.

Carolyn Criswell (the photo above) is a bright, beautiful day lily that always looks cheerful.

I dearly love Betsy, but I must admit that I enjoy seeing Lady Lucille whenever she puts in an appearance in our yard.

I seriously doubt that Christmas Wishes would bloom in our yard in December, but it certainly looks festive this time of the year.

Pure and Simple may not be ‘fancy’, but it is definitely pretty. The large blossoms of this day lily are always a welcome sight.

I almost feel that I cheated when I got this picture of our Bright Sunset day lily. I actually took this photo in the morning light. I’m not aware of a ‘Bright Sunrise’ day lily.

We have other beautiful day lilies in our yard, but I hope you enjoyed this sample. It’s been a beautiful Spring in the Glade.

When in the course of human events . . .

July 4, 2017

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I’m old enough to remember when the Fourth of July was more than just a weekend holiday, as wonderful as that can be. Way back then, the Fourth was a time of patriotic music (when is the last time you heard a John Philip Sousa march?), and stories of the founding of this nation.

So, in the spirit of the Fourth of July from yesteryear, I thought I would share some pictures taken at Colonial Williamsburg several years ago. We weren’t there on the Fourth of July, but it was still possible to catch the spirit of the ‘Revolutionary City’.

We’ve always enjoyed the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps, as seen in the photo above.

One evening we were able to see a muster of the colonial militia. They certainly didn’t march with the ‘spit and polish’ of British regulars.

Even their firing line left something to be desired.

But I would hate to be in front of them when they fired.

The ‘colonists’ even had a cannon they were able to fire.

 

Hiking the Rim Trail

June 13, 2017

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Betsy and I visit Mt. Nebo State Park in Arkansas early each year.  We have many reasons for continuing to go there:  a beautiful little cabin that we get each year, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, a peaceful and quiet atmosphere in which we can relax and enjoy each other’s company, and beautiful views.

Another thing we do its hike along the Rim Trail, which circles the mountain top just below the rim.  We don’t always hike all the way around the mountain, but we do cover most parts of the trail while we’re at Mt. Nebo.

There is access to the Rim Trail near our cabin, and the views beckons us each morning, as can be seen in the picture above.


On a clear day we can see Mt. Magazine in the distance, another favorite place we like to visit.


When we hike from the cabin toward Sunset Point we pass this gnarled old tree standing guard along the trail.


With all the beautiful views along the Rim Trail there are times when we just have to stop and soak them all in.

 

Iris in our Yard

May 23, 2017

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I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Betsy and I love flowers and we enjoy having them in our yard.  But what type of flower works best for us?  Betsy loves tulips, but so do the chipmunks that live around us.  Roses are beautiful, but they take a lot of work.  We both like lilies, but so do chipmunks and deer.  As you can see, finding the perfect flower to grow here in the is not easy.

We have had success with iris however, and this year they have been putting on quite a show.  The iris above is Eugenia King.


Bountiful Harvest is one of Betsy’s favorite irises.  She really likes the colors of this one.


Cantina is one of my favorites.  I love the purple color with the steaks of blue in the falls.


Eggnog has a vibrant color, but I almost always get thirsty when I see this iris.


I really think Goodnight Kiss is a beautiful iris, but I really like the goodnight kisses of my Beautiful Bride much better.

A Visit to Antigua

April 18, 2017

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Antigua was another stop on the cruise Betsy and I took back in 2001 to celebrate our honeymoon.  Antigua impressed both of us as very beautiful — we especially liked the views of the coast that we had from Shirley Height, a part of the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park that we visited.

Click on the image above to see a slide show of the images that I took during our visit to Antigua.  If you would like to see these and other images, along with the captions for each, click HERE.

Cumberland Falls

March 28, 2017

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Betsy and I made a trip to Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky to celebrate my birthday this year.  We’ve been there before, and Cumberland Falls is sometimes referred to as the ‘Niagara of the South’, so we were looking forward to our visit.  A nice bonus was that there was to be a full moon on the night of my birthday, so we hoped we could see a moonbow.  Cumberland Falls is the only place in the western hemisphere where a moonbow can be seen.

We got to the park in the afternoon, and found that there was plenty of water in the river flowing over the falls and throwing up a mist, as you can see in the picture above.  The only problem was that to get a photo of that mist, we had to shoot into the sun.


We also found that the overlook nearest the falls was closed for repairs, so we had to walk downstream to get a picture of the falls.  Even though we were further away, we still had a nice view of the falls.


It was hazy when we returned to the falls after dark, and a ranger said we probably wouldn’t be able to see anything of a moonbow.  But since it was a nice night, we walked to the falls anyway.  The falls looked nice in the moonlight, so I did some experimenting with night-time time-exposure photography.

Although we didn’t see any signs of the moonbow, I took some long-exposure photos of where we thought the moonbow should be.  I couldn’t see anything in the camera, but when I uploaded the photos to my computer, I was delighted to see a moonbow as pretty as can be.
All in all I had a great birthday!