Archive for May, 2012

Hiking in the Rain

May 30, 2012

Little River near Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. May 22, 2012.

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

We had to take our car into Knoxville for servicing in late May, so we made an early morning appointment so we would have most of the day for a visit to the Smokies.  We decided to hike to the Little River Trail from the Elkmont Campground.  The trail follows the river and leads to Husky Branch Falls.

The day started well, and we enjoyed the drive to Elkmont as we always do.  We often left the trail to get pictures of the river, which was beautiful (above).

George in the rain on our hike along Little River. May 22, 2012.  (Photo by Betsy)

And then the rains came.  Fortunately we had rain jackets with us.  The jackets helped us, and our cameras, keep dry.  We kept going, even though it was raining hard at times.

Husky Branch Falls, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. May 22, 2012.

The rain started to let up when we got to Husky Branch Falls, so we were able to enjoy this pretty waterfall.

Betsy taking pictures along Little River in the Smokies. May 22, 2012.

It was still raining as we headed back to the car.  At times it was only drizzling, so we continued to shoot the river as we walked back.

Our hike that day was about 4.3 miles, and it was raining for only four of those miles!  But it was a great day.

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I Promised Her a Rose Garden

May 25, 2012

Alec’s Red rose, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 14, 2012.

(This picture can be enlarged by clicking on it.  Clicking a second time will make it full-sized.)

My Beautiful Bride and I make a perfect couple — she enjoys roses and I enjoy growing them.  Once our roses start blooming I can usually bring a rose into the house every day.

Our roses bloomed several weeks early this year and then came through several cold nights without damage.  The roses pictured above is Alec’s Red, one of our container roses.

Apricot Nectar rose, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 16, 2012.

We’ve had Apricot Nectar for several years now, and we always enjoy its soft pastel color.

Ingrid Bergman rose, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 15, 2012.

Ingrid Bergman was a beautiful actress, and the rose named in her honor is just as beautiful.

Paradise Rose, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 16, 2012.

Paradise is one of our oldest roses, but it continues to  produce beautiful mauve blossoms.

Rose Rio Samba, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 17, 2012.

Rio Samba does not grow very tall, but it’s blossoms are bright and colorful.

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I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Betsy and I will be celebrating Memorial Day and will not be posting on Monday.  We’ll be back on Wednesday.

Fast Forwarding Through Spring (4)

May 23, 2012

Cable Car iris, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 20, 2012.

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

All of our iris have now bloomed, so this will be the last post about these beauties in our yard.  You can catch the earlier post HERE, HERE and HERE.

I love the color of Cable Car (above).  Cable Car is in a couple of our flower beds, including one along the border of our big rose bed.

Summer Olympics iris, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 15, 2012.

Summer Olympics is in a bed that gets more shade than some of the others.  This year’s blossom seems to be more gorgeous than usual, which is appropriate since the Olympics will be held this summer.

Orange Harvest iris, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 21, 2012.

Orange Harvest blooms along the front of  the house, greeting people who pass by.

Stellar Lights iris, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 16, 2012.

Stellar Lights is one of the oldest of our irises.  But it is also one of  the most vibrant blossom we have.

Tennessee Vol iris, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 21, 2012. (Photo by Betsy)

Finally we have Betsy’s favorite — Tennessee Vol.  I think she would like anything with that name, but this iris is beautiful.  It’s only appropriate that I use a photo that Betsy has taken.

The Beauty of the Earth

May 21, 2012

The flowerbed near the road in front of our house. May 19, 2012.

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

One of our newer flower beds is in front of the house near the road.  Betsy and I wanted color in the bed throughout the growing season, so we planted tulips, iris, roses, lilies and day lilies in the bed.

This year we’re getting a lot of color, often at the same time.  In the picture above you can see two varieties of lilies in bloom, and two varieties of roses.  What’s more amazing, if you look carefully you can see a purple iris that decided to bloom again of Friday.

I guess we’re going to have to stay home for a while so we can enjoy all this beauty around us.

SkyWatch Friday: Ocean Isle Sky

May 18, 2012

The beach and sky at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May 10, 2012.

(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.

When we are at the beach Betsy and I enjoy the sand and the water — and the sky.  Sometimes the blue of the ocean comes close to matching the blue of the sky.  The white of the breakers in the ocean and the clouds in the sky only serve to emphasize the blue.

Reflections in the sand at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May 10, 2012.

On this particular day the sky and the clouds were reflected in the wet sand left by the falling tide.

Clouds over the dunes at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May 8, 2012.

We also enjoyed watching the clouds appear over the dunes on a lazy afternoon.

 

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I’m sorry for being behind in visiting your blogs, but Betsy and I went to visit Dad yesterday.  He was better than we’ve seen him in several weeks.  He still has trouble completing his thoughts at times, but he was walking better yesterday than he has in quite some time.  He enjoys being outside, so the nice weather is a blessing.  Dad will be 100 in August.

An Almost-Super Moon

May 16, 2012

Moon off Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May 6, 2012.

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

Betsy and I were in Simpsonville, South Carolina, on the Saturday night of the super moon.  Unfortunately there were heavy clouds and storms in Simpsonville that night, so we missed the super moon.

Fortunately Sunday night, at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, was beautiful and clear.  The not-quite-so-super moon put in an appearance over the ocean almost opposite our room.  I was able to get this picture from the balcony of our room.

Moonlight on the ocean off Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May 6, 2012.

We watched the moon rise in the sky and lay a silver stream of light on the surface of the water.

Moon rise at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May 6, 2012.

The sight was so incredibly beautiful that we both felt it made up for missing the super moon the night before.

Our World: Ocean Isle Beach

May 14, 2012

Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May 7, 2012.

(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.

Betsy and I returned home on Saturday from a week at the beach.  We went to one of our favorite places, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.

One advantage of going in early May is that we often have the beach almost to ourselves, so we can lose ourselves in the beauty  of this wonderful spot.

The pier at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May 8, 2012.

The weather was just about perfect.  We had some rain early one evening, but other than that we had blue skies and sunshine.  But even so, the ocean was never the same on any two days.  It seems to constantly change, but be constantly beautiful at the same time.

Dunes along the shore of Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May 10, 2012.

Even glimpses of the water and beach through the dune grass was fascinating.

Satellite image of Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. Image taken from Google Maps.

We stayed at the Islander Inn, which is right on the beach as can be seen from this satellite image from Google Maps.  All in all it was a wonderful vacation.

Fast Forwarding Through Spring (3)

May 4, 2012

Cantina Iris, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 15, 2012.

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

I’ve already shared two posts of our irises this Spring — you can see them HERE and HERE.

We’ve been very pleased with our irises this year.  We have many more blossoms than we did last year, and we’re enjoying them every day.  They make some of the hard work in the yard worth while.

Cantina has one of the more unusual blossoms among our iris.  At first glance it looks purple, but closer inspection shows orange, blue and white in the petals as well.  Cantina is in our front flower bed.

Halloween Halo iris, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 15, 2012.

Another iris in our front flower bed is Halloween Halo.  I guess it gets its name from the yellow trim around the falls and the orange beard.  It may not be as showy as some of our other iris, but I like it.

Hemstitched Iris, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 8, 2012.

Hemstitched is a pretty blue-and-white iris (even the beard is blue)in our side flower bed.  We’ve had this iris for several years.

Waltz Across Texas iris, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. April 11, 2012.

This yellow-and-white iris, Waltz Across Texas, should be one of Betsy’s favorites since she spent several years in Texas.  This iris has waltzed across several of our flower beds.

Waterfall on Little Fall Branch

May 2, 2012

Waterfall on Little Fall Branch, Harmon Den, North Carolina. April 3, 2012.

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

Betsy and I like to break up trips, whenever possible, by working in a hike, preferably to a waterfall.  We went to Asheville, North Carolina, in early April and decided to visit Waterfall on Little Branch along the way.

We had planned to visit that waterfall on our way home from Asheville back in January, but a rockslide in the mountains blocked our access to that area.  The interstate has since been reopened, so we decided to try again.  We took the interstate to an exit just over the North Carolina line, where we accessed a Forest Service road into the Harmon Den Wilderness Area.  The gravel road followed a creek for about three miles before turning off.

We found the trailhead and hiked for about half a mile until we came to the beautiful waterfall above.  We stayed for some time to enjoy the waterfall, but then we had to hike back to the car to continue our journey.

But what a great way to break up a trip.