Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to JULY!!!! Our Lilies are blooming now... So gorgeous!!! Here is one of my many favorites! Meet DIZZY.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Autumn Ohio Trip 10/12

This is my 8th and FINAL post from our trip to Ohio from October 15-18, 2012 with great friends NEAL and Patti Treadway.  In order to see any of the other posts  from this trip  (mostly from Hocking Hills State Park near Logan, Ohio), please click HERE.

This post will include our trip to Lake Logan on Oct. 17 (after we left Hocking Hills) and then it will also include our trip from Ohio back to Tennessee on Oct. 18th.  Hope you enjoy the photos.  Be sure to click on them to see enlargements.

The picture above shows the Mute Swans at Lake Logan.   We talked to a man who lives near there, and he told us that these Mute Swans have been at that lake for several years. Aren't they pretty?

Here's a collage of the Swans and Ducks.  We sat on the bank and watched them for a long time.

Here is a photo of the beautiful lake and the Fall Colors all around us.

Ohio had the most beautiful Fall Colors last year of most anywhere we went.  We just happened to be there during the perfect week... Aren't these gorgeous photos?

Here is another photo showing the swans and some of the ducks...

Here is a collage showing the ducks along the bank of the lake.  There were quite a few of them--trying to find some shade where they could rest.

The next morning,  the Treadways headed back to their home in Indiana and we headed toward Tennessee.   We took the 'backroads' home ---and when we do that,  we always find something interesting to see!!!!   Above is a photo showing one of the roads we traveled on... Do you enjoy traveling the backroads like we do?

Guess what we found along the backroads?????  A COVERED BRIDGE!!!!!   This is the Cox Covered Bridge (built in 1884).  This beauty is in Vinton County,  Ohio.  Do you enjoy seeing covered bridges?   When I spotted this little bridge,  we immediately turned around so that we could get some photos.

All along the way,  we enjoyed the views all around us.   I'm not sure what river this was but it might be the Little Raccoon River...  Pretty though, isn't it?

After we got into Tennessee,  the GPS took us through the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area on a gravel road.   The Fall Colors along that route were AWESOME.

Here's a photo showing some of the beautiful Fall colors all around us.  Guess this proves that the Fall Colors in TENNESSEE (where we were now) were just as pretty as those in Ohio... We had a gorgeous drive home that day!

Finally,  here's another collage showing more of the Autumn Colors as we headed home that day.   All in all,  we had a marvelous trip.   Just being with good friends made it even more special.   I hope we have more trips with Neal and Patti... The four of us enjoy being together and we have so much in common.

Today is a special day for George and me.  We had our first date in 2001.... Think we'll celebrate today!!!!  YEAH!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and a Blessed Easter!   If you missed my Photo Blog post this past Wednesday,  be sure and click HERE


Monday, March 25, 2013

Early Spring Blooms in our Yard

NOTE:  Be sure to check out my new Photo Blog on Wednesday.  Click HERE

WELL--We certainly haven't had much Spring this year so far.   We did NOT have a severe winter this year though, and had very little snow.  But it has been a wet, rainy winter.  Because it never did get very cold or stay cold for awhile,  and because of the rains,  the forecasters are warning us that this summer will be one filled with lots of BUGS.    I've got one word to say about that:  YUK.

Because of the mild winter,  we thought that we were going to have an early spring.  However,  March has remained quite cool overall even though we did have a few warmer days.  Because the temperature has fluctuated so much this month,  our spring flowers have struggled.

We do have a few things blooming so far in our yard so I thought I'd show them to you today.  Above is one of our sweet little PANSIES.   As I've mentioned before,  we plant our Pansies in late Fall  to give us a little color through the drab winter.  Since this winter has been mild,  the Pansies have done quite well... Once it gets a little warmer,  they will all perk up and bloom like crazy.  Pansies are such nice little flowers to have in the yard.

Be sure to click on all photos for enlargements.

Our DAFFODILS are just getting started.  We have a variety of different ones which I will continue to show as they bloom.

The PERIWINKLE (our ground cover) is just getting started.   We have it in many places around our yard --and we love the little blue flowers in the Spring.

Our HYACINTHS are blooming ---but this weather (going back and forth from warm to cold) is not good for them.  SO--none of them are are pretty as they should be, but this little guy is trying to show off.

The CROCUS plants  are always one of the first little flowers to bloom in the Spring.  I love these little guys!!!

Here is another HYACINTH blossom.  I like the little individual blooms ---and I also like the two-tone color.

This little CROCUS plant was given to us by George's Daddy when we first moved here.  I love the deep purple color.

Here's one more HYACINTH blossom.  I like this 'hot' pink color also.   We have some purple Hyacinths --but they haven't bloomed much yet.   I hope I can get a picture of them soon.

Finally,  here is a collage of four more of our DAFFODIL varieties... You can notice how different some of them are from others.   I guess, of all of the early spring bloomers,  DAFFODILS are my favorites,  especially since we have so many different varieties.

If you want to see more pictures of the different varieties of Daffodils in our yard from previous years,  click HERE.   They are pictured individually --and their NAMES are included.  Check it out if you have time.  There are two blog posts (one following the other) showing them.

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the few EARLY Spring flowers in our yard... I was shocked recently when I looked back at pictures of our yard at this time last year... Holy Cow---everything was green and everything was blooming...  This year,  because of the colder March,  things are very very late... SO----I'm sure I will be posting much more in the upcoming weeks of all of our beauties...  At least,  I HOPE I will.

Hope you have a wonderful day.   NOTE:  I wrote this blog post several days ago.  Since I wrote it,  more winter weather is coming to our area.  We got more snow last night, and more is coming  today and tomorrow, and it is windy and very very COLD.   Can you believe it?  That's why more of our flowers haven't bloomed yet... Someone said that we might just go from winter to summer this year.  I hope not since Spring is one of my favorite seasons.

Added:  10 a.m. today (3/25/13).... See what we have now???? GADS...
 This is that same pretty Daffodil listed above near the top...... Poor thing!!!

The Hyacinths do NOT like this at all... Neither do I.. Where is Spring?

The Daffodils are all PRAYING for Spring!!!! ha

Friday, March 22, 2013

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

This is my absolute favorite area of the Yellowstone National Park.   Granted,  I loved all of the other areas,  but since I love waterfalls and canyons,  this was my favorite.  We spent an entire day in this area (September 20, 2012) ---and I'm sure I have a zillion photos... I don't know how many posts it will take for me to get through this 2nd day at Yellowstone --but today's post only includes a small portion.

We started at Lookout Point (on the NORTH RIM) ---and then hiked down to my favorite view point,  RED ROCK POINT.   From both lookouts, you can get a terrific view of LOWER FALLS.   I included a great picture of the canyon on my new PHOTO BLOG (click HERE to visit or re-visit that photo).

If you have never been to Yellowstone,  you need to know that there is a North Rim and a South Rim.  We did them both --starting at the North Rim...  There are three waterfalls in that area, and we saw all three of them.  For more information about the Canyon Area at Yellowstone,  click HERE.  If you want to see a small map of where we were, click HERE.

The picture above shows a picture of the sun early in the morning as we drove from our motel in West Yellowstone  to the canyon area.   I love seeing the steam rising from the water.

The picture above shows George and me at Lookout Point --with a view of Lower Falls in the distance.  It was fairly cool that morning --but warmed up as the day went on.  Be sure to click on the photos to see them larger.

Beautiful Lower Falls of Yellowstone;    This marvelous waterfall is 308 feet high.  We had hoped to see a rainbow at the bottom of the falls --but the lighting wasn't quite right.  We did however,  see a rainbow along the rocks when we were on the Uncle Tom's trail on the south rim (which I will share with you in another blog post).  This picture was taken from the RED ROCK POINT area.

Here is a collage showing the STEEP trail down to RED ROCK POINT.  This is a hard trail (although not as hard as Uncle Tom's) ---but it is definitely worth the hike down in order to get a better view of the canyon and Lower Falls.

While we were hiking back UP the steep trail of Red Rock Point,  I spotted a pretty little bird along the trail.  This is a Clark's Nutcracker.... Thanks to friend, CHRIS, for helping me identify this little bird...

Here's George as we hiked the RED ROCK POINT trail.

And here I am ---along the same trail... Going down was a piece of cake --but climbing back up wasn't!!!!! ha

Here's a collage of the canyon taken along our way that day.  In the bottom picture on the right,  you can see up the hill toward the next area we visited, GRANDVIEW.   The canyon photos from Grandview and from Inspiration Point are AWESOME--but that will be another post.

Here is another picture of George and me.  This one was taken at the RED ROCK POINT Overlook.  You can compare it with the picture of us above taken at Lookout Point.  See how far down we hiked?????  Gorgeous view here though!!!

Finally,  I'll close with a collage of Lower Falls.  The top photo on the right shows another overlook (Brink of Lower Falls).  We opted not to take that hike since it is hard to get good photos of a waterfall when looking from the top down...   I love the bottom left photo since it shows the distance and also shows more of the canyon in that area.

Hope you are enjoying my Yellowstone photos.  They are a little detailed --but if you ever go there,  you'll have to take this info as your 'travel guide'....

Have a wonderful weekend, and stay WARM wherever you are.  Spring has come 'officially' --but Ole Man Winter is hanging on BIGTIME in our area... It's been so COLD here... Geesshhhhhh!!!!