Archive for December, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

December 23, 2011

Our Christmas Tree, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. December 25, 2009.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

Betsy and I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year.  We hope that Santa is good to you, and all of your memories are happy ones.  We’ll see you in 2012.

Advertisements

Watery Wednesday: Little River at the ‘Y’

December 21, 2011

The Townsend 'Y'. Image from Google Earth.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

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.

When Betsy and I go to the Smokies, we usually enter the park from Townsend, Tennessee.  Shortly after entering the park, we get to the ‘Y’.  As you can see from the photo above, there are a couple of reasons why the ‘Y’ is called the ‘Y’.  The road into the park splits at this point, with one branch going to Cades Cove and the other going to Gatlinburg.  This is also where the West Prong of the Little River joins the Little River.

The ‘Y’ is a popular spot and is usually very crowded.  But earlier this month the parking lot was practically deserted, so we decided to stop and check out the rapids.

Little River, Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee. December 11, 2011. (Photo by Betsy)

One of the first things we noticed was how clear the water was.  Betsy did a great job of capturing the clarity of the river at this point.

Tree in the middle of Little River, Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee. December 11, 2011.

I was attracted by the rapids and the unusual tree growing in the middle of the stream.

Little River at the 'Y', Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. December 11, 2011.

It was a real treat to have this beautiful, peaceful scene to ourselves.  The Smokies are a fantastic place to visit any time of the year.

Our World: Christmas Lights

December 20, 2011

Pigeon Forge Holiday Inn, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. December 11, 2011.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.)
This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

Earlier this month Betsy and I went to the Smokies and, after enjoying a day in the mountains, we met our friends Judy and Charlie for dinner and then a tour of the Christmas lights in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

Some of the lights were very straightforward and welcoming, letting us know exactly where we were.

The Old Mill in Lights, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. December 11, 2011.

We spotted an old watermill up on a mountainside.  There were even trees and a stream in lights.

Hickory Dickery Dock, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. December 11, 2011.

Other displays were more fanciful.  We spotted mice running down a clock,

The Cow Jumped Over the Moon, PIgeon Forge, Tennessee.  December 11, 2011.

The Cow Jumped Over the Moon, PIgeon Forge, Tennessee. December 11, 2011.

and a cow jumping over the moon.

Christmas Tree, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. December 11, 2011.

But in many ways the prettiest lights were on a traditional Christmas tree.

Scenic Sunday: Cades Cove

December 18, 2011

Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. December 11, 2011.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

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.

One of the most popular sections of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee is Cades Cove.  Cades Cove is a valley surrounded by mountains which contains white tail deer, wild turkeys, coyotes and black bears.  To travel the loop road through the cove is somewhat like traveling back in time.

Settlers first came to Cades Cove from Virginia in 1819.  By the 1850’s the population of Cades Cove was 685 people in 137 households, but by 1860 the population had dropped to 269 people.

Cades Cove is the largest open air museum in the entire Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  The cove today looks much like it did in the 1800’s and has original pioneer homesteads, barns, businesses, pasture and farmland.

Cades Cove is interesting and beautiful any time of the year.  The picture above was taken on a visit we made last week.

SkyWatch Friday: Morning in the Mountains

December 16, 2011

Early morning view from Hemlock Springs Overlook, Skyline Drive, Virginia. November 23, 2011.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

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.

There are advantages to driving in the mountains early on a foggy, misty mountains.  We left Skyland Resort on such a morning to make our way home on our Thanksgiving trip.  We had to drive north along Skyline Drive to get to an exit from the Shenandoah National Forest.

We came upon this scene at the Hemlock Springs Overlook.  The fog had lifted in our immediate vicinity, but much of the valley below was still cloud-covered.  A few peaks were just beginning to show themselves above the clouds.

Early morning view from Hemlock Springs Overlook, Skyline Drive, Virginia. November 23, 2011.

I liked this picture so much that I wanted to see what it looked like as a black and white photo.  I like this version just as much and decided to share it with you as well.

Watery Wednesday: Wintry Waterfall

December 14, 2011

Dry Falls, Highlands, North Carolina. December 12, 2009.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

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.

Betsy and I usually visit waterfalls in warm weather, but there are advantages to visiting a waterfall in cold weather.  In addition to flowing water, it is often possible to see ice and icicles, which give additional elements to enjoy.

This picture of Dry Falls was taken in December, 2009.  Dry Falls, near Highlands, North Carolina, can be seen from an observation deck fairly near the road.  In warm weather it is possible to walk behind the waterfall, but the path was closed because of ice when we took this this picture.

Our World: Where in the World has George Been?

December 13, 2011

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.)

This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

Isn’t modern technology wonderful?  I’m trying to get my photos organized and published, and one of the programs I use is iPhoto.  iPhoto has a ‘Places’ feature that identifies the location of a photograph.  Now that I have a GPS tracker the process is automatic, although I have to enter the location manually on older photos.

Over the weekend I noticed that I currently have 119 places identified in my photos.  The red pins on the world map above give a general view of where I’ve taken pictures.  The dots on the far right are on Beijing, People’s Republic of China, and the island of Bali.  I visited those places more than 20 years ago.

The red dot in the Caribbean is San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Betsy and I boarded a cruise ship on our honeymoon.

Most of the dots are in the U. S., of course, and by zooming in to the area around Fairfield Glade, I can see that there are many places in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina that we’ve visited.

I have no idea how many places I will eventually get identified, but I find the whole process very interesting.

Scenic Sunday: Headforemost Mountain

December 11, 2011

The view from Headforemost Mountain overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia. November 21, 2001.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

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.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, we spent the night at Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway while on our Thanksgiving Trip.  Since we wanted to drive the Parkway and then Skyline Drive, we got an early start from the lodge.  We were driving north, which meant we were gaining altitude as we left Peaks of Otter.  We encountered patches of fog/mist as we drove along.

When we arrived at the Headforemost Mountain overlook, we were treated to the scene above.  Actually I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a mountain floating above the clouds as we drove by, and I had to back up to get back to the overlook.

A closer view Headforemost Mountain, Virginia. November 21, 2011.

We spent several minutes just enjoying the view.  My telephoto lens gave us an almost surreal scene across the valley.

SkyWatch Friday: Glade Sunset

December 9, 2011

Sunset on the Druid Hills Golf Course, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. November 23, 2011.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

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.

Betsy and I were treated to this wonderful sunset on the afternoon we got back from our Thanksgiving trip.  We stopped by the 12th tee of the Druid Hills golf course to enjoy the view and to get these photos.

Sunset on the Druid Hills Golf Course, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. November 23, 2011.

Sunsets are often spectacular here on the Plateau, and this time of year the sun lines up very well the fairway on that hole.

Sunset on the Druid Hills Golf Course, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. November 23, 2011.

On this day the color of the sky was gorgeous, even after the sun dropped below the horizon.

Betsy Was Delighted

December 8, 2011

Our front yard, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. December 7, 2011.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

If you know anything at all about Betsy, you know how much she loves snow.  It snowed here in the Glade yesterday, and Betsy was in a very happy mood.  She didn’t go out and build a snowman (we didn’t get that much snow), but she did get out to enjoy it.

The wreath on our back deck, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. December 7, 2011.

We had a wet snow that clung to just about everything.  It was what Betsy calls a perfect snow.

Trees in our yard, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. December 7, 2011.

It came down pretty heavy for a while and coated  the bare branches of the trees in our yard in a layer of white.

Snow-covered holly bush in front of our house, Fairlfied Glade, Tennessee. December 7, 2011.

We still have a few more days before Christmas, and we may not have a white Christmas, but the berries on the holly in front of our house looked very festive under all the snow.

I will admit that it was a pretty snow, and I’m glad Betsy’s happy.  Now that she’s had her snow, I’m ready for Spring.