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!

Sunrise, Sunset

March 7, 2017

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Mt. Nebo State Park in Arkansas in one of the favorite places Betsy and I visits.  We go there every year, usually in mid-to-late February or early March.

We have several reasons for going to Mt. Nebo that time of the year.  One reason is that our favorite cabin is usually available.  There are very few people around, so we feel as if we have the mountain top to ourselves.  Finally, that is a great time of the year to view both sunrises and sunsets.   The picture above is the view from Sunrise Point just before the sun poked above the horizon.

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We have to get up early to get to Sunrise Point before dawn starts to break, but although it is sometimes hard to leave a nice bed, the view is worth it — even while the world is still sleeping.

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We have a perfect view of sunsets from the back of our cabin, as the photo above shows.  This was taken on a perfectly clear day just as the sun slipped below the mountains to the west.

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Clear days can give amazing sunsets, but an overcast day has it’s own special beauty.  This picture was taken on an afternoon when we didn’t see much of the sun,  but there was no doubt that the heavens were declaring the glory of God.

Is it any wonder that this is a very special place to us?

Flowing Water in the Smokies

February 7, 2017

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Both Betsy and I have mentioned the extreme drought we had in this part of Tennessee during the latter part of 2016.  We haven’t completely recovered in spite of rains over the past few weeks, but the situation has certainly improved.

We weren’t sure what to expect when we visited the Smokies in mid-January of this year.  But we were happy to see water flowing in Middle Prong Little River in the Tremont area of the park, as can be seen in the photo above.  That’s Lower Spruce Flat Falls in the background.

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We could even enjoy flowing water from the balcony of our room at Rocky Waters Inn in Gatlinburg.

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The next day we went to the Greenbrier section of the park and hiked along Middle Prong Little Pigeon River.  It, too, was beautiful.

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Although we very much enjoy hiking, sometimes we just have to sit and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.

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.

I Think Betsy Is House-Hunting

December 13, 2016

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Betsy and I traveled to Florida to celebrate Thanksgiving with my son Robert and his family.  Afterward we came home by way of our favorite beach in North Carolina.  As we usually do, we traveled by back roads and found interesting places to visit whenever possible along the way.

I didn’t get suspicious at first — after all, this was our normal routine.  But then I realized that Betsy was having me take her picture in front of some of the homes we saw along the way.

The first house she seemed interested in was the Biltmore house near Asheville, North Carolina, as you can see in the photo above.
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We’ve been there many times, but this time Betsy commented on just how huge the house seemed to be.  I’m inclined to agree with her.

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We stopped by the Hampton Plantation State Park near Georgetown, South Carolina, where Betsy sat on the front steps of the Rutledge Mansion, named after the last owner of the house.

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Although the house is very nice, it is somewhat in ‘the middle of nowhere’. which I think is a disadvantage as far as my Beautiful Bride is concerned.

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I think Betsy found her ‘dream house’ when we visited the McLeod Plantation on James Island, Charleston, South Carolina.  She had her picture taken on the back porch of the house ….

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… as well as on the steps of the front of the house.

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I wonder if I need to think about moving?

Autumn Iris

November 8, 2016

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Betsy and I are fortunate to be able to enjoy iris at various locations in our yard.  I like iris not only because they are beautiful but also because they require relatively little care (unlike our roses!).

When Betsy and I started getting serious about our yard, we discovered that there were such things as reblooming iris.  Most of the iris we have are rebloomers, so we can enjoy the blossoms twice a year.  It’s rather like doubling our pleasure.

The iris in the header is Cantina.  This beauty has been in our yard for several years, and I always marvel at the color.

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Clarence is another iris that we’ve enjoyed over the years.  It is in the flower bed near the road, so we share it with people passing by.

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One of our newer iris is Lemon Duet.  This is actually the first time it has bloomed for us in October, but we’re very glad it did.

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My Friend Jonathan has been a good friend and has put on a spring and autumn show ever since he joined our yard.

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Double Your Fun is a newer iris for us as well.  The drought kept it from developing normally, but the colors are still gorgeous, so I could leave it out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our autumn iris blossoms as much as we do.

A Different 9/11 Video

October 11, 2016

I’ve always had a problem with the second day of our honeymoon cruise.  Don’t get me wrong — my Bride was as sweet and beautiful as ever, and the weather was absolutely perfect.  We were visiting the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin, which is part Dutch and part French.  The island seemed like a tropical paradise, and the people were very friendly and helpful.

So what was the problem?  The date — September 11, 2001.  We knew very little about what was happening in New York until later in the day.

I guess I’ve always felt a little guilty about enjoying such a beautiful setting on such a tragic day.  I wasn’t sure if I should post my pictures and make this video, but finally decided that since the pictures showed our experiences that day I would go ahead and post them.  The music used in the slideshow is “The World Turned Upside Down,” which somehow seems appropriate for that day.

If you would like to see these and other images taken during our visit to St. Maarten, along with a caption for each image, click HERE.

A Visit to Cades Cove

September 20, 2016

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In mid-August Betsy and I took a day to visit with our friends Judy and Charlie at their campsite in the Cades Cove Campground.  We always enjoy a visit to Cades Cove (or any other part of the Smokies as far as that is concerned!).

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Camping at Cades Cove is an annual event for Judy and Charlie, and we try to visit with them each year.  They are experienced campers and always make us feel welcome when we visit with them.

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After our visit, Betsy and I drove to the beginning of the Cades Cove Loop Road.  We didn’t have enough time to drive through the cove, but we could stop and get some pictures.

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My Beautiful Bride is always happy whenever we are in the Smokies.

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As we were heading home we stopped at the Townsend Visitor Center for one last look at our beautiful Tennessee sky and Mountains.