Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to JUNE!!!! Enjoy a group of one of my favorite Day Lilies in our yard. Meet "INDIAN GIVER".

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Greenbriar in the Smokies

When I surprised George with his birthday trip to the Serenity Falls Cabin in Cosby, TN in March, we spent part of a day at one of our favorite places in the Smokies, the Greenbriar area. We drive on a gravel road way back into the mountains ---following beside the Little Pigeon River.

After alot of rain, this river can be a 'wild and raging river'... There aren't any waterfalls per say ---but there are some beautiful cascades all along our way. Today, I will share some of our pictures in the Greenbriar area, using our new cameras!! Above is one of the beautiful cascades. Below are more!

Seems like we took a million pictures of EACH and EVERY cascade along our way!!!!! ha ha

Here is a picture of the Greenbriar area. I'm glad that they have pull-off areas along the way for people like us to get some pictures. In Summer, the locals use this area for swimming and kayaking. There is a picnic area not far from here also.

Here's another picture of the powerful water flowing over the rocks. Aren't the colors gorgeous?

George is standing on the bridge which leads to the Ramsey Cascades Hiking Trail (which is an 8 mile round-trip hike). Several creeks join up with the Little Pigeon River along our way. This is such a gorgeous area.

Finally, here is one more picture of the Little Pigeon River as it rushes over all of the rocks. I hope you have enjoyed these pictures---and IF you ever get to the Smokies, be sure and visit the Greenbriar area.


We have some more color in our yard FINALLY this Spring. If you remember from last year, I talked about our favorite ground cover --which we have in several places throughout our yard. That ground cover is PERIWINKLE, and we love it. The tiny blue/purple flowers are beginning to bloom now and are just so pretty.

Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Arkansas Birds

When we were on our trip in February to Arkansas, we stopped at the Visitor Center at Mt. Magazine. They have a birding area behind their facility ---and we stood inside looking out of the window and taking pictures. Here are some of them for you to enjoy today. The picture above is the very familiar female Cardinal. Below are more.

I love seeing the Juncos. We have so few of them in our area of Tennessee. (Or at least, there have never been many of them in my yard.)

See that bird above the Goldfinch????? That is a Purple Finch (the FIRST one I have ever seen and photographed)... I got so excited seeing this finch! We have House Finches (not too many) and lots of Goldfinches at home---but I've never seen a Purple Finch. They are gorgeous!

I love this photograph. Here's two Goldfinches and two Purple Finches. I love the Goldfinch in flight --since I seldom get a photo of them in flight. That is the female Purple Finch on the bottom right. It was fun watching the male above her, giving her some seed----flirting I'm sure!!!!!

The Purple Finches (like our Cardinals here) cannot hide in winter!!!!!

Here's a picture of two male Purple Finches and a male Goldfinch. Wouldn't it be neat to see this picture in spring --when the Goldfinch was a bright yellow???? Wow!

Here is another good picture of the Purple Finch and a White-breasted Nuthatch. There was a huge feeding station in the back of the visitor center--and inside, they had books of all kinds telling about all of the birds. There were lots of windows and even binoculars for people to use. This was a 'Bird Learning Center'!

I love this photo of the male Purple Finch. I can certainly see a huge difference in him from one of our male House Finches.

Hope you enjoyed my pictures of the Birds in Arkansas.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Parkway

George and I have taken many great trips since we got married in 2001. But one that stands out in my mind was our June anniversary trip in 2007. We headed to Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown---but saw many things along the way both coming and going. Today, I'm going to share with you the waterfalls we saw on or near the Blue Ridge Parkway. We saw five waterfalls on our way to Williamsburg, and then 5 more on our way home.

Here is one picture of each waterfall beginning with one of my favorites, ROARING FORK FALLS above. This 100-foot cascade is in Yancy County and is off of mile marker 344.1 (North Carolina 80). It's about a .7 of a mile hike (easy). Below are others which we saw on that trip in 2007.

This is LOWER CREEK FALLS at Chestnut Mtn, NC. I rested on rocks above this waterfall while George hiked around getting more pictures.

This is UPPER CREEK FALLS. Both of these waterfalls are off of Mile marker 312.1 (North Carolina 181) and are not far from Linville Falls (which we saw in 2004).

This was one of my favorite places to stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is a nice hiking trail there and this waterfall, called the CASCADES ON THE PARKWAY, was beautiful. This was at mile marker 272.

Look at this!!!!! Wasn't it nice of them to name a waterfall AFTER me???? Even though they spelled my name wrong, I was excited. ha ha .... This stop was mile marker 267.9. I didn't show you the waterfall because it was hidden WAY up in the mountain. We need to go back in WINTER --and maybe we can see it and get a picture (with our zoom lenses).

Coming home from Williamsburg, we stopped several places including Charlottesville. Then, we got on the parkway and saw five more waterfalls --shown below!!!

This is WHITE ROCK FALLS, at mile marker 19.9 near Tye River Gap, VA. The two-mile hike wasn't easy and as you can see, there wasn't much water coming over the falls. This would be a pretty area to return to during the rainy season.

GLENN FALLS was a 'surprise' waterfall for us (one that was not listed in our waterfall info). We got off of Virginia State Road 56 and were driving down the mountain toward Vesuvius, VA to find a place to have some lunch. This beautiful waterfall is on private property --but when we saw it, we just HAD to stop and take some pictures.

This is WIGWAM FALLS, found at mile marker 34.4 in Virginia. This waterfall is located right off of the parkway--but again, there was very little water. This was a pretty area, and we saw a reconstructed narrow-gauge logging track near here.

This little beauty is STATONS CREEK FALLS, off of mile marker 45.6 in Virginia. The top part of the falls was all that we could see. Our waterfall books said that there are 2-3 more levels below. But--what we saw was pretty, don't you think?

The last waterfall we saw on that trip was PANTHER FALLS, off of mile marker 45.6 in Virginia, not far from Buena Vista. I am standing at the top of Panther Falls. I think I'm telling George that it's time to head on home!!!!!! It was a great trip--but a long one!

We saw one other waterfall (not near the parkway) during that trip (one near Crewe, VA--west of Richmond). SO---after getting home, we were thrilled that we had seen ELEVEN new waterfalls that week. Even if you are not a 'waterfall lover' like we are, you have to enjoy some of the ones I have featured here. What is your favorite????

On another note, CONGRATS to my UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE VOLS--who came within ONE point of making the Final Four in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I'm sorry they lost --but I'm very proud of them. NOW---I am definitely hollering for BUTLER to win it all!!!!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

More from Charleston

Here is another set of pictures from our visit to Charleston. If you missed either of the other two posts, you can look at my sidebar on the right and scroll down to LABELS. Click on CHARLESTON. Above is a picture of the church which George and I attended while there, St. Michael's Episcopal Church. That church has a fabulous set of bells (men pull the ropes), and it was great standing outside and listening to the church bells chime --as the music bounced off of all of the surrounding buildings. AWESOME!!!!!

I showed a picture two days ago of the "Two Meeting Street Inn" (a hotel now) on the Battery. Here is one of the Tiffany windows in this inn... Gorgeous, isn't it?

Many of the beautiful homes in and around Charleston have beautifully manicured gardens like this.

We walked on brick streets and cobblestone streets. AND --we visited Catfish Row... Remember "Porgy and Bess"???? Catfish Row is where "Porgy and Bess" took place.

Since most of the homes in the historic area around Charleston are million dollar homes, you can only imagine all of the fancy and very expensive cars we saw in the driveways!!!!

Fancy iron gates were abundant around the Battery area of Charleston. I could do an entire post showing all of the beautiful gates and fences and balconies.

This is the "City Market"---where everything in the world (almost) is sold . These are some of the Sweet-grass baskets made in the area.

And I saved the best for last!!!!! Many of you have asked if we saw the famous Rainbow Row in Charleston... The answer is YES.... For those of you who haven't heard of Rainbow Row, it is a row of houses (mid-1700 homes) which are now all different colors. In my picture, you can only see about four of them--but there are quite a few more along this street, all in different pastel colors. THIS is a must see for anyone visiting Charleston.

Hope you have enjoyed my three posts from Charleston.

Have a blessed Palm Sunday!!!!! Hosanna!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

More Tidbits from Charleston

After showing you the beautiful homes in Charleston (YESTERDAY'S POST), I wanted to share more from Charleston, SC with you today. We were there in June of '08 and the Crepe Myrtles were in bloom and gorgeous. You can see some in the top photo. People tell me that Spring is the best time to go because of the Azaleas which are in bloom then. More photos are below.

See the fern growing on this Live Oak tree? It is called Resurrection Fern... Interesting, huh?

For all of you gardeners out there, how do you like this landscaping???? Note the ivy (or ground cover) even on the steps!!!!! Wooooooo!

Looks like this house is going through some renovation. BUT--that's not why I included it. I wanted to show you the DOOR. I didn't know this, but many Charleston homes have a 'false' door---which only leads onto the porch area , and not into the home itself.

What material is this house made from???? Stone???? Well---NO. People who build (or renovate) homes in Charleston 'try' to keep these homes in the Charleston historic style. This home is 'really' WOOD... But, it is made to look like stone. Interesting, huh????

When George and I visit places, we try to find out everything we can about the area. This little tidbit is interesting I think. After the huge earthquake in 1886, the older homes in Charleston got 'earthquake rods' --which helped straighten the walls of the houses. See the rod running across this home? Did you know this? I didn't before that trip.

This picture is a tad blurry ---but I wanted you to see the turnbuckle where the rods can be adjusted to reenforce homes that were damaged or cracked by the earthquake.

Finally, here is a picture taken from the Battery of Fort Sumpter. We didn't get out to Fort Sumpter while we were there --but George has been there. Neal and family visited there recently.

Charleston is really a gorgeous, old southern city. Visit it if you get a chance--and while you are there, ask questions and learn about the things you see. I personally spent WAY too many years ignoring so much around me...

P.S. I found a new gadget on Blogger yesterday which I hadn't noticed before. It's a "Search" gadget. I put it on my sidebar, and asked it to search my blog only. SO--if you are looking for all of my posts on something specific (such as Tallulah Gorge or Bluebirds), you can type that into the search box, and they will come up for you. I have been yearning for some kind of index (other than the labels), or a table of contents. This is at least a start!!!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Gorgeous Charleston Homes

When friend NEAL and his family visited the Charleston area recently, it reminded me that we were there in June of 2008 (for our anniversary) --and that I haven't posted very many pictures from that area yet. SO --today I will share with you some of the gorgeous homes we saw in the Battery area on our visit to Charleston, SC.

In the picture above, I was interested in seeing what I called the "Widow's Walk" at the top of this house. The term "Widow's Walk" began years ago --when women would stand there watching for their men to come home from sea. I found out that this room is now used for ventilation (free air conditioning since heat rises).

This beauty on the Battery is known now as "Two Meeting Street Inn". Wealthy merchant George Williams purchased this house for his daughter, Martha, and her new husband, Jeweler Waring Carrington, after their marriage in l890. The Spell family bought the house in 1946--and still runs this beautiful B&B.

After buying his daughter her home, Daddy (George Williams) bought this 'tiny' house down the street... ha.... It is known as the Calhoun Mansion, and has 35 rooms and 23 fireplaces.... Wooooooooo!!!

Here is one of my favorite homes in Charleston. I think the gorgeous porches attract me to it.

We took a tour on one of their mule-drawn carriages --and enjoyed it very much (since we learned so much from the tour guide). The guide told us that we could rent the entire 2nd floor of this house ---for only $4000 a month!!!! AND that was in 2008.... Wonder what it rents for now?????? Want it?

This beautiful home is located in a perfect location--near the 'point' of the Battery. If you have not been to Charleston, you may not know that the Battery is the area (park) at the end of Charleston peninsula that used to serve as defensive batteries to protect the city if Fort Sumpter fell.

I have many more pictures to share from Charleston and that trip we took in 2008, so watch for future posts. If you ever get to Charleston, be sure and visit the Battery!!!

Have a great Friday.