Archive for March, 2010

Watery Wednesday #81: Hurricane Falls

March 31, 2010

Hurricane Falls, Tallulah Gorge State Park, Georgia. October 14, 2009.

This is my post for Watery Wednesday.  To see more of our beautiful watery world, or to join and post your own pictures to share, click HERE.

Hurricane Falls is one of five major waterfalls in Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia.  This is one of our favorite places to visit and hike.  The picture above was taken in October, 2009.  We hiked to be base of Hurricane Falls, but this picture was taken from from the South Rim of the canyon.

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My World: Sempervivum

March 30, 2010

Sempervivum in our yard, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. March 28, 2010.

This is my post for the My World meme.  It is hosted by Klaus, Ivar, Sandy, Wren, and Fishing Guy.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

We’re still waiting for Spring to come to the Plateau and stay.  We didn’t have any rain on Monday, but it was still cold and dreary.  We almost have a daffodil in bloom — I think it’s just waiting for some sunshine and warmer weather.

I did notice that our hens and chicks (sempervivum) are coming back to life.  We have several different varieties of sempervivum scattered around the yard and they have different shapes and colors.  The semp pictured above is near our small rose bed, and I like the red tips on this particular hen.

What a Difference a Date Makes

March 29, 2010

The beautiful preacher in the picture above was the Associate Minister at my parent’s church near Nashville, Tennessee, in 2001.  I had started a new job with a company in Nashville in November, 2000.  The preacher started her new job in December.

Early in 2001 The Preacher started a Bible Study that my parents wanted to attend.  Since Dad didn’t like to drive after dark, I told them I would attend with them so they could go with me.  Everything went just fine for the first few weeks, but then my job started taking me out of town during the week.  I missed several sessions of the Bible Study, although I did exchange e-mails with The Preacher in an attempt to keep up.

When my job allowed me to stay in town again, I offered to take The Preacher out to dinner so she could catch me up on some of the things I missed.  The Iris Cafe had a pretty good reputation, so one evening, March 29, 2001, I picked up The Preacher and took her to dinner at the Iris Cafe.  The dinner was delicious, the conversation was delightful — and the Bible Study never came up.

As we were leaving The Preacher said we should do this again some time.  She doesn’t like for me to tell this, but the next two times I asked her out she said ‘No’!  Fortunately I inherited some Irish persistence from both my parents and asked her out for a third time.  I must have worn down her resistance, because she said ‘Yes’ that third time.

The Preacher is now my Beautiful Bride.  The Iris Cafe is no longer in existence, but we reminisce every time we go past where is was.

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I’m very grateful for that wonderful dinner date nine years ago today.

Scenic Sunday #89: Cades Cove

March 28, 2010

Fields in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee.

This is my post for the Scenic Sunday meme, which shares beautiful scenes from around the world.  To see more Scenic Sunday posts, or to join and show your own pictures, click HERE.

Cades Cove is probably the most visited part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The Cades Cove Loop road is a wonderful way to see lush fields, old homesteads and  plentiful wildlife.  BUT NOTE:  THE CADES COVE ROAD IS NOW BEING RESURFACED AND IS CLOSED UNTIL MAY 21, 2010.

The Cove has been preserved by the park to look much the way it looked in the 1800s.  It was once a small mountain community with settlers mainly from Virginia, North Carolina and upper east Tennessee.  Today Cades Cove contains original pioneer homesteads, barns, businesses, pastures and farmland.

When driving the loop most of the settlers’ homes and homesites are on the outside of the road, while there are acres of grass and wildflower fields on the inside.  Those fields were once used for growing wheat, corn and cattle.

If you are on a tight schedule or are in a hurry, stay away from Cades Cove.  If you would like to step back into time, Cades Cove would be a wonderful place to visit.

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Today I’m thankful for all the people and organizations that preserve the past for us to enjoy and learn from today.

Spring, Wherefore Art Thou?

March 27, 2010

More of our roses from 2009.

We had three days of beautiful weather earlier in the week, but the last two days have been cold and rainy.  I’ve  started a couple of projects out in the yard, but I haven’t been able to make much progress.  And if this cold weather continues I’m going to need to split more wood and carry it to the garage so my Beautiful Bride will be comfortable in the evenings.

Our crocus have bloomed and are just about completely gone.  Nothing else has begun to bloom.  I will say that the grass is greening up very nicely, so I guess I will have to think about checking out the mower one of these days.

I’ve started to partially uncover the roses.  Most of them are showing signs of new growth and need to be cut back.  I won’t completely uncover the roses until I’m fairly confident that freezing temperatures are behind us.

So while I’m waiting for  Spring to get serious about coming and staying here on the Plateau, I’ll try to stay warm by remembering what the roses looked like last year.

Skywatch Friday: Approaching Storm

March 26, 2010

Storm Clouds Approaching Bali. June, 1987

This is my post for Skywatch Friday, a meme for sharing views of the sky from all over the world.  To see more, or to join and share your own photos of the sky, click HERE.

I went to my archives to get this picture for my Skywatch post.  In 1987, on my way to China for the first time, I was able to spend a few days in Bali.  Our group stayed at a place on the beach and we were able to enjoy the sky, sand and sea.  Late one afternoon I was on the beach just before a storm came in.  I like the light breaking through the clouds and the ridges in the sand.

Down Memory Lane: Dunlap, Tennessee

March 25, 2010

Waterfalls near Dunlap, Tennessee. April 21, 2009.

Betsy and I often go looking for a particular waterfall.  In those  cases we know the name and location of a waterfall and it is just a matter of driving or hiking (or both).  We follow directions in a book, from an online site or the GPS unit to our destination.  That’s been the way we’ve found the majority of the waterfalls we’ve visited.

But every once in a while we stumble on a waterfall unexpectedly.  This serendipity makes the experience seem even more delightful than it would otherwise be.

Last year on our way back from Texas we planned to stop by Fall Creek Falls State Park here in Tennessee.  We would be going there on April 21, the anniversary of our date (and first kiss) at Fall Creek Falls.

We have been to Fall Creek Falls many times, but had never travelled there from the south.  We were near Dunlap, Tennessee,  heading up the Plateau when, as we were rounding a curve, we saw a waterfall just off the road.  It didn’t have a lot of water going over the fall, but it was very tall.  Naturally we had to stop and get some pictures.  We later learned that this was Possum Falls.

What made this experience even more interesting is that we saw three more waterfalls within the next two miles.  We had no idea they were there before we stumbled onto them.  If we had been driving any faster, we probably would have missed them all.

To see these pictures and others, click HERE.

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Today I’m grateful for unexpected pleasures of God’s creation.

Watery Wednesday # 80: Byrd Creek Dam

March 24, 2010

Byrd Creek Dam, Cumberland Mountain State Park, Crossville, Tennessee. March 23, 2010.

This is my post for Watery Wednesday.  To see more of our beautiful watery world, or to join and post your own pictures to share, click HERE.

The structure in the photo is Byrd Creek Dam in Cumberland Mountain State Park near Crossville, Tennessee.  The dam was built by the CCC in the 1930s and is the largest masonry structure built by them.  The dam includes a bridge supported by the seven arches above the dam proper.

Betsy and I went to Cumberland State Park to have dinner at restaurant, but it was closed for dinner.  They’re still on their winter schedule until April 1.  We celebrated our monthaversary at another restaurant in town.

We had a beautiful day on the Plateau and we made the most of it by working in the yard.

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Today I’m thankful for the beauty of blue skies.

My World: Signs of Spring

March 23, 2010

Pickwick Crocus, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. March 19, 2010.

This is my post for the My World meme.  It is hosted by Klaus, Ivar, Sandy, Wren, and Fishing Guy.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

We had some light snow yesterday (Monday).  It didn’t stick on the ground, but there was a light covering on the roof and deck in the early morning.

In spite of this, we are seeing some signs of Spring here on the Plateau.  The grass is beginning to green up and we have crocus in bloom.  Hyacinths, daffodils and tulips are pushing through the ground, but we’ll have to wait to see any of these in bloom.

In the meantime we’ll just enjoy these cheery blossoms for as long as we can.

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Today I’m very thankful that my Beautiful Bride married me 105 months ago today.

Down Memory Lane: Our Texas Visit

March 22, 2010

Scenes from our trip to Texas. April, 2009.

In April, 2009, Betsy and I went to Texas to visit our family down there.  We went down there to see our granddaughters play softball.  Both are outstanding athletes and they had games scheduled through the weekend.

Unfortunately, the weather  had other ideas.  Very severe thunderstorms moved through the area (with a couple of tornadoes for good measure) and caused wide-spread flooding.  All the games were canceled.

Instead of seeing games the day after the storms, Betsy’s son took us around to see some of the damage around them caused by Hurricane Ike six months previous.  The amount of damage still visible was really amazing.

We did see signs of progress and normalcy both on the Texas mainland and on Galveston Island.  On the western end of the island we found a beach that looked like it did before the hurricane struck.

We didn’t get to see the girls play softball, but we did  have an enjoyable time with our family on our Texas visit.

To see these pictures and others, click HERE.

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I’m grateful that our family got through the hurricane unhurt and with no damage to their home.