Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month is a beautiful CROCUS in our Yard. When the Crocus and Daffodils bloom --that means that SPRING 'may' be on the way!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kayaking in Winter


While we were at Little River Canyon near Fort Payne, AL on Valentine's Day (see the previous 3 posts), we were amazed that there were people kayaking on such a frigid winter day. I can only imagine how cold that water was!!!!

See the picture above... Can you see the kayakers???? We took the pictures from an overlook -- far away from them.... NOW---look at the pictures below!!!





Now--can you see them better????? These 300mm lenses are WONDERFUL.




There is one kayaker in the lead---and three following.




Here are the 3 kayakers who were following the leader. Wonder if they knew we were WAY up there taking their picture????? ha



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By the time you read this post, we'll be on the road to ARKANSAS. If you have followed my blog for awhile, you will know that George and I love to go to Mt. Nebo, Arkansas. In fact, this will be our sixth trip. We have a favorite cabin (pictured above) that we rent ---which is on the edge at the top of the mountain. This time of year, we can see the sunset from our back porch. This is like our 2nd home--since we keep going back, and love it so much!!!





Here's one of the gorgeous Mt. Nebo sunsets we hope to see again this week... Mt. Nebo has a Sunrise Point and a Sunset Point. We also hope to see deer and other wildlife. We will do some hiking and see some waterfalls. AND--I'm even taking some bird seed to feed the Arkansas birds!!!!

I'll have the laptop with me ---but we don't know if we'll have internet service on that mountain. SO---we'll probably be back to blogging on March 1st. Our neighbors are house-sitting for us and feeding my backyard birds here.

Have a wonderful week.
Hugs,

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Waterfalls in Little River Canyon, AL


In the previous two blogs (click HERE and HERE), I showed you pictures from our Valentine's Day visit to Little River Canyon near Fort Payne, Alabama. Today I will show you the four waterfalls in the canyon. The largest and 'main' waterfall is LITTLE RIVER FALLS. For waterfall lovers, this one is definitely one of the BEST. Above is a picture of George and me taken at the brink of Little River Falls.. Below are more of all four of the waterfalls in the canyon.





Is this not a gorgeous waterfall?? Can you see George standing out there near the edge?????





Now-- George took a picture of me near the edge...Wonder why he kept asking me to "BACK UP"???????? ha ha






We went to another overlook on the other side ---and took pictures of Little River Falls from a distance. The 300mm lens worked well here.






This small waterfall (at a distance, across the canyon from where we were ) is HAWKS GLIDE FALLS. No--we didn't see any hawks, but we did see a little water in this seasonal waterfall. My picture shows the lower part of the waterfall--since it traveled all of the way down the canyon wall.





This was a new waterfall for us this trip. Since it doesn't have a name (that we can find), we have named it VALENTINE FALLS since we were there on Valentine's Day. It is a pretty little cascade that curves around and flows down over rock steps. I enjoyed seeing the moss-colored rocks.





This is another seasonal waterfall called GRACES HIGH FALLS. It was across the canyon from our overlook --but was larger and easier to photograph than Hawks Glide Falls. You can see all of the ice around the base of the waterfall.





Here's a close-up picture of Graces High Falls. This 'high' waterfall plunges past river-carved sandstone. Some rocks and fossils exposed here are more than 300 million years old. WOW!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Hugs,

Friday, February 19, 2010

More from Little River Canyon


When I showed all of the canyon pictures in yesterday's blog (click HERE), I didn't tell you that we were taking pictures from 600 feet UP ---from one of the many overlooks along the canyon road. Canyon Rim Drive follows the west rim of Little River Canyon for 11 scenic miles and eight overlooks. We took in all 8 of the overlooks ---and that's where we used our new zoom lenses to get some great winter canyon pictures. Today, I'll share a few more pictures from the canyon, including some canyon birds. Hope you enjoy them! Above is another group of icicles on the rocks. Below are more pictures taken on Sunday, February 14!




This is a picture of one of the overlooks ---which I took from the overlook pictured below.






Here's the other overlook ---taken from the overlook pictured in the previous picture.





I saw pictures of these white birds from a distance.





I have read that the white birds may be White Pigeons. They seemed to live in the rocks along the cliffs.





There were LOTS and LOTS of these Black Vultures----and they kept circling around --but I had a hard time getting better and closer pictures of them.





I worked on these last two pictures by cropping them and enlarging them---but they still didn't come out too well. These birds are quite large and there were many of them in the canyon.





Here's the best one I could get ---but the picture still doesn't show very much --other than a silhouette. I was hoping to see an Eagle (since they are in that area)--but I didn't see one this time. Maybe we'll go back soon!!!


Tomorrow I'll show you the waterfalls in Little River Canyon.

Hope you had a good Thursday. We had SUNSHINE --for the first time since January 31. Yeah-Rah!!!!

Hugs,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Little River Canyon, AL


As you probably know (if you have followed my blog for awhile), George and I LOVE going to canyons... The small canyon near us is Fall Creek Falls, where I got my first kiss!!!! There are 6 waterfalls at Fall Creek Falls which we love, but the canyon itself is very beautiful. Another canyon we love is near Clayton, GA. That one is Tallulah Gorge and it also has several waterfalls.

This third one pictured above (the one we visited on Valentine's Day) is Little River Canyon, near Fort Payne, Alabama. The waterfalls always draw us to these canyons --but the canyons themselves are totally awesome. And with these new cameras (and those long lenses), George and I loved the canyon visit.

Little River flows through rugged, beautiful, forested landscapes into the 12-mile-long and 600-foot-deep Little River Canyon. Hope you enjoy a few pictures of the canyon itself today showing the river, the rock formations, and icicles. There will be many more pictures to come (birds in the canyon, kayakers, beautiful boulders, and of course---waterfalls).















We managed to get out yesterday --so we drove to Hendersonville to check on George's parents. Once we got off of the Cumberland Plateau, there was very little snow. And in Hendersonville, there was none. George's parents are doing fine---but like so many folks this time of year, they are ready for warmer weather. When we got back home last night, it started snowing AGAIN here. I wanted snow this winter---so I definitely GOT it!!!! ha

Hugs,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Birdies ask: "Is it Snowing AGAIN?"


We got about 2 more inches of snow since returning home from our trip on Monday afternoon. That makes our total here about 8 inches ---which is ALOT of snow for us.. Remember--I just recently said that WE don't get much snow here... (Guess I shouldn't have said that, huh???? ha ha)

Anyhow--the birds have been flocking to the feeders. I have had to refill them ALOT since getting home. I'm not sure how many birds we have had but I'll bet we've had about 100 different birds total (with at least 50 of them being Goldfinches)... The birds really EAT in this kind of weather. I'm glad I am here to help!!!!

Here are some pictures of the birds in the snow and of the snow itself. The bird pictures were taken yesterday and the snow pictures were taken on Monday. Above is a male Cardinal sitting on one of my plant hangers---waiting on a turn at the feeders. I have some cute close-ups of him, but wanted to show you the snow today. Below are more.




See that sweet little Chickadee sitting up in a tree---also waiting for a turn at the feeders??






This picture made me laugh... Poor little Carolina Wren (who looked like Santa Claus, with bushy white eyebrows and a white beard) was sitting on his perch... Do you know what that perch is?????? Look at it again. It's a Rhododendron Bud.... Isn't this a cute picture????






George took this great picture of our pink Dogwood tree filled with snow. Can you see the dogwood buds????





I took this picture along the front of the house --toward our Confederate Jasmine bush.





This final picture is neat to me because the snow has formed lots of FINGERS and HANDS on the evergreen tree... Can you see them????

Hope the worst of WINTER is almost over for all of us!!!!!

Hugs,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Wonderful Weekend


As you probably know (if you have read previous posts), George surprised me by taking me to Desoto State Park near Mentone, AL to celebrate Valentine's Day this past weekend. We have been there before --but have never stayed in their lodge. We had a cute little room -with our own balcony and little stream and cascades right behind the room. We had a delicious Rib Eye Steak dinner on Valentine's evening. AND--while we were there, we visited the Little River Canyon nearby and took in several nearby waterfalls. It was a fabulous couple of days!!!!

We both enjoyed using our new cameras (George has a new Canon Rebel T1i and I have a Canon Rebel Xsi) --and as you can imagine, we took a million pictures (well--not quite!!! ha)... Here are a few --with many more to come!!!! The picture above is one of our favorite waterfalls (Little River Falls). Below are more!!!





Here's a picture of Desoto Falls --showing the icicles along the side. We have showed you pictures of both of these waterfalls before, but there was MUCH more water coming over the falls this time. It was awesome!






Here's the happy couple standing by the fireplace before enjoying a delicious dinner on Valentine's evening at the state park restaurant.





I took this picture of George at the dinner table on Valentine's evening. At that point, we were enjoying some salad from the salad bar. Dinner was delicious --and the atmosphere was super!





We didn't have much snow (just a dusting) in Alabama---but look what we found when we got home! We have about 5 inches of just the type of snow I love (the kind that clings to everything). I was so excited --and had to get outside when we got home, so that I could take even more pictures. It is SO pretty---so I'm a happy camper today just enjoying it!! George doesn't like it for some reason --but he's the one who has to shovel the driveway!!!!! Oh Well!!!! ha






I love to see the snow clinging to all of the evergreens. (You can tell that by looking at my header picture.)






My sweet little backyard birds are THRILLED that I am home. I had to refill the feeders when we got home. Don't you love this little female Cardinal at the house feeder?? Look at the snow on top!!!!!! Mercy Me!

I hope all of you had a fabulous weekend. I will try to catch up with your blogs this week (I hope).

Hugs,

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentines Weekend


My Sweetheart is taking me on a 'surprise' trip in order to celebrate Valentine's Day. I have no idea where we are going but a little birdie told me that there would be some waterfalls involved. Now--we are both hoping for good weather (which looks very 'iffy' for us this weekend).

SO---since I don't know if we will have internet service, this will be my last post until Tuesday (the 16th). I wanted to share a couple of things for you today since this is a special weekend. First, here is a RECIPE just for you!!


LIFE'S RECIPE

1 cup of kind deeds
1 cup of forgiveness
1 cup of good thoughts
2 cups of sacrifice for others
2 cups of consideration for others

Mix above ingredients thoroughly and add tears of joy and sorrows and sympathy for others. Flavor with little shifts of love. Fold in four cups of HUGS and LOVE to lighten the ingredients, pouring all of this into your daily life. Bake well with human kindness. Serve with a SMILE.

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WHAT IS A HUG?
by Yvonne Lowther

A hug is something special
A hug can give such joy
A hug can bring a little smile
To every girl and boy

A hug can say a thousand words
Without a single spoken one
A hug can put things right again
When everything seems wrong

A hug can be a lovely thing
It doesn't have to contain a touch
A hug can be on paper
The word 'hug' just means so much

So I'm sending YOU a special hug
Not physical, it's true
But this hug is sent to let you know
I think the world of you

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I hope all of you have a wonderful Valentine's Weekend...

Be sure to watch the OLYMPICS. The Opening Ceremony was fabulous!!!

Loads and Loads of Love and Hugs,


(ALL PHOTOS/GRAPHICS IN THIS POST CAME FROM THE INTERNET.)