'scene' along the way, adventure, chickens, courage, exploring new places, friends, fun, history, just imagine, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, pigs, road trip, travel

Oconoluftee Visitor Center…

This feature photo needs a title. How about “The Little Outhouse in the Smokies?” We were still on our first full day of our trip, and we had heard that this visitor center had a great farm display, as well as occasional visits from elk. We thought we could plan our trip, acquire some maps, and, hopefully, see some elk. We didn’t see them that day, but stay tuned because we did eventually see them. I look at these scenes and think of how hard life must have been in those days…

Here you have the farm house, amazingly devoid of tourists. Like us! LOL.
The house again. It was explained that the owner split the logs and used the halves on opposing walls. A skilled technique.
Further signage pointed out that pigs were essential on a farm in those days. They had large litters of piglets and they provided sustenance.
This rooster really did seem to be ruling the roost, but he did tolerate all the visitors well.
I liked this view of the barn from the walking path better than any of the other photos of it that I took.
Here we have the barn and some of the equipment that might have been used. The fencing surrounded the corn crop, another essential to the quality of life in those days.
More farm buildings, those are corn cribs in the back.
Flowers along the river.

Another objective of the trip was to practice using filters to improve your landscape photos as well as to photograph falling waters and make the water appear more silky. I was new to long exposure photography, but I did manage to get a couple of pictures. I had to toss most of the ones I attempted to take. It seemed that every bend in the road revealed a scene that made you want to stop the car and take pictures. And we were still on our first day in the park.

It will take a lot more practice to figure out this technique.
There were rocky little waterfalls in every stream along the roadside. Many opportunities to take even more pictures.
'scene' along the way, adventure, bucket list, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Arriving in the Smokies…

Finally it was time to depart on our long awaited trip to the Great Smokey Mountains Nation Park. The 10+ hour drive culminated in a last 20-mile stretch of relentless hairpin turns. According to the sign we saw later there were 10-20 turns per mile! I will admit that I was less than gracious about finding myself to be in the drivers seat on that last stretch of the drive. And it didn’t help to see that the long awaited fall foliage wasn’t quite what we had hoped. Upon arriving at the cabin we found that the TV didn’t work, and that there wasn’t any wifi either, but we were too tired to worry about it, at the start at least.

The next morning we set out a little later than we had planned, but rested and fortified with coffee, and then stopped along the river not far from the cabin to take the picture of the row of teepees across the way. It felt like fall, we wore jackets that morning, but didn’t need them again the rest of the week. It smelled like fall, too. There was a crispness to the air, and the carpet of leaves on the ground was beautiful. We drove through tunnels of gold and orange leaves. On second thought the foliage was beautiful, and we hoped that it would develop some more as the days passed.

Hillsides were mostly green, but the leaves on the ground were so pretty.
We seemed to be driving along side a river everywhere we went.
I was excited to see the sunlight lighting up the leaves on this tree. So excited that I managed to not notice that my finger was in front of the lens. I cropped it out, mostly…
If the string of fish that this guy had was any indication then the fishing was good.
I’m glad I took this picture because there wasn’t a lot of red in the foliage.
More leaves in the sun
Geese in perfect v formations were heading south.

The owner of the cabin brought us a new TV and hooked it up, but, sorry to say, wifi was coming, just not yet. The local weather forecaster was assuring people that the fall color was late due to the unseasonably warm weather, but that it would be coming. It may not have been the ultimate in fall color, but we were quite pleased with what we saw on only our first morning in Bryson City and Cherokee, NC.

'scene' along the way, exploring new places, family, foggy sky, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip

In the Smokies…

We are enjoying lovely weather in the Smokies, but not having WiFi has prevented me from working on my pictures and sharing them. It hasn’t prevented me from taking tons of pictures however, so I will have lots to keep me busy when we get home. The fall foliage we hoped for isn’t at it’s peak, but it smells like fall, and there are enough beautiful trees to make me happy. And we still have a few days.

a second look, adventure, birds, bucket list, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, sunrise, sunset, travel

A clean slate…

One day ends…

Another day begins…

A clean slate…

The usual morning crew, plus one…

This hawk has been sitting on various lamp posts and sounding off when I’ve been walking in this neighborhood. Finally I was able to get a picture, though not such a great one with the phone. I love the phone but there are limits to the pictures you can get with it.

This Great Blue Egret finally emerged from the shadows and posed for me.

And when you are reading this we will already be heading out on our next adventure. I’m listening to torrential rain as I’m writing this, and hoping for better weather in the morning. What will the day bring I wonder?

'scene' along the way, a second look, Amazing artwork, birds, fantasy images, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Ibis, kids, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise

Be creative…

There was a new message waiting for me at the park this morning. I heartily agree with the message, and even the spelling was creative. I could have called this post ‘the blue hour’, or even simply, Happy Halloween, but my little creative friend won my heart today.

Yesterday I saw the family putting this display up, and when we came home last night I didn’t think a photo would work in the dark. But this morning I realized that the iPhone would work well enough, so I walked up the street to check it out.
I loved the horse best…
I guess this is why they call it the blue hour.
Still water makes for great reflections.
The few clouds that were there certainly got pretty. And the birds were arriving as I was heading back.
All in all another pretty morning.
'scene' along the way, a second look, Amazing artwork, birds, exploring new places, friends, fun, Ibis, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise

Right under my nose…

In exploring this new-to-me neighborhood I had spotted this park a while ago. I immediately imagined positioning myself on the far side of the park trying to shoot the sunset. And I tried to do that exactly once, but it would only work if I walked onto people’s property, and I’m still a bit chicken to do that. And when I thought about sunrises I’d been on the lookout for places I could drive to in less than 45 minutes that would include a good view to the east. But on Sunday morning I decided that I needed to take a walk, and much to my surprise look what I found.

A view to the east! And judging by the clouds it would be a good sunrise. I continued my walk for a bit and then circled back.
It was going to be a good morning.
I had noticed the paved area before, but it took walking onto it for the sake of the view for me to see the permanent hop-scotch all ready for the neighborhood kids to enjoy. Apparently they still play.
And some charming artwork also. My kids, plus lots of neighbor kids also, once drew on the sidewalk with some kind of pods that had fallen off of the tree up the street. It turned out that they were walnut pods, and the resulting artwork wasn’t easily washed away. And I had a fuss-budget neighbor. Need I say more?
As I watched the colors come up I began to notice the birds flying in.
They were ibis, and they marched up the embankment towards me.
They didn’t seem to mind me and my iPhone taking their picture.
The colors were fading, it was time to head back.

I have admitted that I have sunrise/sunset envy, but it seems I may just need to open my eyes and look around a bit more, and appreciate what’s right under my nose.