Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month is a picture of one of my favorite birds, the Eastern Bluebird. He looks cold, doesn't he????? Welcome to January!!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Biltmore in July

Life has really hit me in the face lately... SO much is going on ---and there's never enough hours in the day to get everything done.  I often wonder how I made it when I was working fulltime.......?????   The good news is that life is GOOD --even though I'm busy!!!!  Many wonderful things are happening--so I can't complain!

On July 30,  2012,   George and I made another summer trip to Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina...    We went specifically to see the SUNFLOWERS --which we did see (and I featured them on my blog header all during August).    What I never did do is share what else we did and saw on that day while we were there...

As I say everytime I do a Biltmore post,  there are new and different things to see there EVERY month..  On this particular trip,  we enjoyed the sunflowers,  the walled garden,  the Italian garden,  and we did something we had never done before.  We hiked to the Diana statue ---above the main entrance to the Biltmore House.. What a fabulous place for photos...   I'm surprised we hadn't been up there before.   There's just so much to see and do at Biltmore.

Here are some of the photos we took that day.  Be sure to click on them for enlargements.  The picture above was taken near the Diana statue --above the main house at Biltmore.  Isn't that a great view?




Here is a picture of the house taken as we were hiking up toward the Diana Statue...  I love  being able to take out the people from my pictures now... ZAP them gone!!!!!! ha.... Guess I should have zapped the busses also... Oh Well...  Isn't this a wonderful photo--with the clouds like they are in the sky????




The Italian Gardens are especially beautiful during the summer months... Here is a beautiful picture of one of the many waterlilies there.  (I could do an entire post just on all of the waterlilies. )




We ALWAYS enjoy walking around in the Walled Garden... They plant different flowers during each season... This time,  we were happy to see some of the MUMS in bloom --which people enjoy seeing during the Fall.




The Hibiscus blooms always amaze me when I go to Biltmore.   This is one of my favorites ---and YES,  it is HUGE.




Of course,  we always have to walk through the sections containing all of the beautiful ROSES... George took this photo of me under one of the rose arbors...  (It was another HOT day---so I was wearing my camera vest and carrying my headband and towel... Not very attractive for a photo though... ha)




After leaving the Walled Garden,  we drove down to another favorite place of ours,  the Lagoon... This is a photo of the back of the Biltmore House --from the lagoon.




And of course,  we had to get the tripod out and get a picture of the two of us at the Lagoon.  I love seeing the Canada Geese in the lagoon also when we go there... Such a beautiful place!!!!




And finally,  we drove to see the SUNFLOWERS.....  My future daughter-in-law LOVES sunflowers---so I sent her some pictures showing the sunflowers at Biltmore.  There were fields and fields and rows and rows of them there!!!!  GORGEOUS!




Here's one more picture of the two of us taken near some of the sunflowers...  All in all,  we had a fabulous day at Biltmore.  We never tire of going to that beautiful place!

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Please pay attention to this note since I don't want you to worry about us.  We are taking a long blog break (like some of my friends have done) ---and maybe we can catch up on life a little while we are 'off'....   Even though we won't be blogging at all until October 1st,  we may be doing a few things on Facebook.   SO---if you are on Facebook,  you might want to keep up with us.   I hope and pray that each of you have a great September.  We certainly plan to!!!!!  We'll see you on  OCTOBER 1st.
Hugs to all,  and have a tremendous month!!!
Betsy

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

There's a Hint of Fall in the Smokies

On Monday (8/27/12),  we had to go that direction to run some errands,   SO we headed to the gorgeous SMOKY MOUNTAINS for a day of hiking and photography... We visited Tremont and Cades Cove.   Surprisingly (since it was the end of August I guess),  most of the tourists had left the area... We love having visitors to the Smokies --but we also love to  have it to ourselves (if you know what I mean).

One thing I noticed about this particular trip there were the hints of Fall all around us....It's still late summer (and our temperatures remind us of that) ---but I did want to share some of the early signs of Fall which I saw...  As we drove and drove higher and higher into the mountains at Tremont,  I noticed several trees beginning to show off their colors... I'll share a few of them with you today.



There was quite a bit of yellow ---and we even noticed a yellow tint to things when we got into Cades Cove.  This yellow was found in the mountains in the Tremont area.




And I love these little yellow wildflowers... They are everywhere in the Cades Cove area.  Aren't they pretty?




One other wildflower blooming in Cades Cove is the purple one shown here.  These may be Thistles (same color)---but I'm not sure.  Maybe one of you wildflower experts know... Whatever they are,  they are pretty.




I love the REDS of autumn ---so just 'had' to get a close-up of this one for you... Oh --how I love Autumn ---and all of the beautiful colors.   AND--as I've said before,  I not only enjoy seeing the colors of autumn,  but I also love to 'smell' autumn in the air....




Here is a gorgeous photo taken in Cades Cove. There is not nearly as much color here as in Tremont --but the elevation is lower.  I love this picture of the cove with those gorgeous Smoky Mountains in the background... Don't you think that Fall is on the way when you see a picture like this?  I love the 'yellow tint'....





This one is  from the Tremont area --beginning to show its Fall colors...  I was really surprised to see as much Fall color as I did since we were still in August...  We don't have any color much here at home yet,  but the dogwoods are beginning to show their Fall colors.




Finally,  this one is not really a Fall picture (could be any time of the year I suppose)---but I love it ... SO --I just had to show it to you all who love barns and fences like I do.... This was taken at Cades Cove.   (Well--there is some yellow in one of the trees --so I guess it can be a Fall photo.... ha)

Hope you enjoyed seeing a hint of Fall today.... Wish now that the temperatures would cooperate ---and that it would get cooler!!!!    There's nothing like a cool, crispy morning to make the Autumn colors pop....

Hope you had a great weekend.   We certainly did.   I enjoyed going to the Bridal Brunch for Dawn,   and George enjoyed his time together with Jeff.   They had lunch out together --and Jeff took George to visit an old Civil War railroad tunnel.... George loved that!!!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Hugs,
Betsy