Archive for October, 2010

Skywatch Friday: The Sequatchie Valley

October 29, 2010

The Cumberland Plateau enshrouded in clouds and the Sequatchie Valley. October 25, 2010.

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.

When Betsy and I went to Georgia this past Monday, we came off the Cumberland Plateau, drove through part of the Sequatichie Valley, and then drove over Signal Mountain to Chattanooga.  As we drove up the mountain I couldn’t resist the temptation to stop at an overlook and snap these pictures.

It was raining when we left home, although the weather started to clear as we drove along.  When we got to the overlook there was some blue in the sky, although the Plateau was still covered by clouds.

The clouds had lifted enough that we had a wonderful view of the valley.

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Cataloochee Valley Elk

October 28, 2010

A bull elk in Cataloochee Valley, North Carolina. October 20, 2010.

One of the high points of our visit to North Carolina was getting to see the elk in the Cataloochee Valley.  We got up early on a foggy Wednesday morning and drove to Cataloochee.

Elk once roamed the southern Appalachian Mountains, but they were eliminated from the region by over-hunting and loss of habitat.  The last elk in North Carolina was believed to have been killed in the late 1700s.

In February, 2001, there was an experimental release of 25 elk into the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  In 2002, another 27 elk were introduced.

We first saw elk in a field along Ranger Station Road, the main road leading into the valley.  There were twenty of so elk in a field bordering the road.  The bull elk in the picture above was apparently the dominate male, and his bugling call could be clearly heard.
Elk grazing in a field in Cataloochee Valley.  October 20, 2010.
The herd we saw consisted mostly of females and young elk, although there were one or two other males in the herd as well.

A bull elk relaxing in a field in Cataloochee Valley, North Carolina. October 20, 2010.

We then drove over to see the Palmer House on National Park Road.  As we pulled into the parking area, we saw two more bull elk in a field across the road.  The bull in the picture above was one of those bulls.

Thankful for Blogging Friends

October 27, 2010

Mildred, John and Harriet on the porch of their home. October 25, 2010.

Betsy and I were fortunate to be able to enjoy an early Thanksgiving this past Monday.  We had planned to meet blog friend Mildred and her husband, John, at their home in northern Georgia.  What we didn’t know was that Mildred had a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch planned for us.  The lunch was delicious and was topped off with a new treat for me — pumpkin ice cream on pumpkin coffee cake.

One reason we went down to visit them was that John has been having some health problems and we have been thinking and praying for the two of them.

The picture above shows Mildred and John with Harriet, the third member of their family.

This scarecrow welcomed us to Mildred and John's home.

Mildred is very creative and talented (in addition to being a great cook) and had this welcome set up for us on their screened-in porch.

Betsy and Harriet. October 25, 2010.

We had a wonderful visit with Mildred and John.  And, as you can see, Betsy found a new best friend while we were there.

Both Betsy and I are very thankful for blogger friends.

My World: Autumn in the Smokies

October 26, 2010

Chimney Tops overlook, Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. October 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.

Last Tuesday Betsy and I drove Newfound Gap Road through the Smokies and part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.  We were on our way to Maggie Valley, North Carolina, but we took advantage of every opportunity to stop and enjoy the colors.

We had an absolutely gorgeous day, with bright sunshine and blue skies.  The colors may not have been at their peak, but they were close to it.  The picture above was taken at the Chimney Top overlook in Tennessee.

Webb Overlook, Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina. October 19, 2010.

As we headed down the mountain in North Carolina after passing Newfound Gap, we stopped at the Webb Overlook, where the trees were mostly yellow and orange.

Balsam Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina. October 19, 2010.

Later in the afternoon we left the Blue Ridge Parkway to drive to Balsam Mountain, where we took a short hike to an overlook.  We found these beautiful colors along the trail.

Meeting New Old Friends

October 25, 2010

Patti and Neal at Cataloochee Valley, North Carolina. October 20, 2010.

Both Betsy and I have been following Neal’s blog (and he’s been following ours) for nearly two years.  Neal is a retired systems analyst living in Indiana, although he was born in eastern Tennessee.  Neal is a wonderful photographer and features his photos on his blog.  Neal is also my hero — he’s not afraid to tell Betsy exactly what he thinks!

When Neal found out that Betsy and I were going to Maggie Valley to see the autumn colors, he decided that he and Patti would like to do that as well.  The four of us met up Tuesday evening and had a delightful dinner.  It was as if we had known each other for years.

On Wednesday the four of us visited the Cataloochee Valley to see the elk which had been reintroduced there.  We then drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mount Pisgah, stopping at just about every overlook to take in the colors.  I won’t frighten you by telling you how many pictures Betsy and I took over the three days.

Betsy, Patti and Neal at the highest point of the Blue Ridge Parkway. October 20, 2010.

Thursday we drove across the Cherohala Skyway from North Carolina to Tennessee, again enjoying the autumn color.  After visiting Bald River Falls near Tellico Plains, Tennessee, Betsy and I headed home while Neal and Patti headed toward a visit with Neal’s brother.

Patti and Neal taking pictures at Santeelah Overlook, Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina. October 21, 2010.

We enjoyed our time with Patti and Neal, even if this is the view of them we often saw!

My World: Is Dry

October 19, 2010

Cane Creek below Cane Creek Falls, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. October 17, 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.

Sunday Betsy and I went to Fall Creek Falls State Park to have lunch with two of Betsy’s cousins who are here visiting friends.  We had a wonderful (and delicious) meal at the lodge and enjoyed lots of laughs and conversation.

Of course, Betsy and I couldn’t go to Fall Creek Falls without checking in to see the waterfalls.  We were shocked to see how little water there was.  There was no discernible water going over Cane Creek Falls, and the creek bed below the falls was essentially dry, as you can see from the picture above (those are shadows of trees across the creek bed).

Cane Creek Cascade, Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee. October 17, 2010.

Cane Creek Cascade, which is further upstream, brought even a greater shock.  This is all the water I could see flowing over the ledge.  The picture below shows Cane Creek Cascade as it looked when we were there in April.

Cane Creek Cascade, Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee. April 21, 2010.

We could really use some rain here on the Plateau.  If you have any rain to spare, please send it our way.

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Betsy and I are taking a blog break for a few days.  I’ll visit when I can, but probably won’t post for several days.

Lake Glastowbury

October 18, 2010

Lake Glastowbury, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. October 14, 2010.

Last Thursday Betsy and I drove to the Foothills Parkway on the edge of the Smokies looking for autumn color.  But we found some pretty autumn color even before leaving the Glade.

We decided to take the back way from home to avoid some of the traffic and crossed the dam forming Lake Glastowbury, which is about two miles from our house.

Lake Glastowbury is one of eleven man-made lakes in Fairfield Glade.  While Glastowbury is not the largest, it is a pretty lake.  Most of the homes along the lake are on wooded lots, so it’s easy to imagine being out in the country.

The view as we crossed the dam was so pretty that we took advantage of a pullout and stopped to get some pictures.

Autumn colors on Lake Glastowbury, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. October 14, 2010.

It’s really nice to have such wonderful autumn color in our ‘hometown’.

 

Skywatch Friday: Autumn Sky, Autumn Color

October 15, 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.

Although we had some clouds and a few drops of rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday, most of the week has given us more brilliant blue skies.  We are also getting some autumn color, so I thought I would share a couple of sky views from our yard with some trees showing their colors.

 

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Yesterday Betsy and I drove along the Foothills Parkway between Knoxville and  the Smokies.  It was a beautiful, clear day, and we took many pictures, as you can imagine.  We’ll be sharing some of those with you in the days ahead.

Down Memory Lane: Tallulah Gorge

October 14, 2010

One of our favorite places to visit is Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia.  It’s a spectacular river gorge with five major waterfalls.  A dam just above the gorge controls the flow of water throughout much of the year, but the river and waterfalls are still beautiful.

There are trails along both the north and south rim of the gorge.  The Interpretive Center is on the north side of the gorge, but in our opinion the best views of the falls are on the south side.

Most of the waterfalls can only be viewed from the rim trails, but one, Hurricane Falls, can be seen from near the base, if you’re brave enough to tackle 600 steps down into the gorge (and 600 back up).

These pictures were taken during our first visit to Tallulah Gorge in June, 2009.  At that time we weren’t aware of the South Rim Trail, but we did hike the North Rim and take those steps down into the gorge and back up.

To see these pictures and others, click HERE.

Watery Wednesday # 107: Letchworth State Park

October 13, 2010

Middle Falls, Letchworth State Park, New York. August 31, 2002.

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.

Letchworth State Park in New York is sometimes referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East”  The Genesee River flows through a gorge and over three waterfalls between cliffs as high as 600 feet in some places.

The waterfall pictured above is Middle Falls.  It is in the middle both in terms of height and in terms of distance down the river.