Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month was taken in December of 2018 in the Antler Hill Village area of Biltmore on our visit to see and enjoy "Christmas at Biltmore".

Friday, May 31, 2013

Tallulah Gorge, Georgia

On May 4,  on our way to Ocean Isle Beach,  North Carolina,   we stopped to do some hiking at Tallulah Gorge near Clayton, GA.   We wanted to check out their beautiful waterfalls (so--what else is new????)   and hike to the bottom of the gorge and back up!!!!  If you want to see a gorgeous video from Tallulah Gorge,  click HERE.

This gorge is known as one of the largest canyons in the Eastern US.  It is 2 miles long,  1.2 mile between the two sides,  and 1000 feet deep.  The Tallulah River --which formed the canyon and passes through it,  drops 500 feet in less than a mile --making for some spectacular waterfalls/cascades.

To get to the bottom of the canyon,  we hiked down almost 550 steps ---and then of course,  had those 550 steps BACK UP....  The going down was easy as you can imagine.  About 80 feet from the bottom of the canyon,  we crossed a suspension bridge before going on down to the bottom.

Today,  I'll share some photos with you from that hike.  Besides the hike down and back up,  we also checked out ALL of the overlooks on both sides of the canyon... The picture above was taken of us on the south side (after we had been down and back in the gorge).  Obviously,  we were RESTING... ha ha ...   It was a drizzly day---but luckily,  we didn't have too much rain.   I don't mind getting wet---but have to protect our cameras!!!




Here is a view looking down into the canyon from the north side --before we started down!!




This is a picture of some of the steps going down into that deep canyon.




And,  here is another one ---looking down-down-down.




Here is a picture taken from the south side of the canyon ---AFTER we climbed down and back up.  This shows the suspension bridge we crossed.  There are people on that bridge.  See them?????  (We are 80 feet above the canyon floor while on that bridge.)




AND---to prove that we made it down there to the suspension bridge,  George took this picture of me ON the bridge. I'm glad my jacket was plenty big --since I had all of my camera 'stuff' under there ---keeping it dry!!!!!




BUT---we have farther to go down in order to get to the bottom of the canyon.  We went down more steps ---and finally,  we could see the BOTTOM.




George took this AWESOME photo of the water at the bottom of the canyon.  He was able to use his tripod and get some excellent photos of the waterfalls and the water/canyon.  I'll share the waterfall photos plus more photos from the overlooks in another post. 




Here is a photo taken from the bottom,  looking BACK up at the rock cliffs (which are on both sides of the canyon).   Amazing gorge,  isn't it????




Here is a photo of George doing his 'thing' with the tripod!!!!  WOW--the pictures he can get with the proper filters, plus using a tripod!   I love watching him at work!




While he had the tripod out,  George got this picture of us at the bottom.  That is Hurricane Falls,  one of the SIX main waterfalls at Tallulah Gorge.  Hurricane Falls is 96 feet. 

Hope you enjoyed seeing some photos from Tallulah Gorge taken on May 4, 2013.  When our day was complete at the gorge,  we had put about 4 miles on our pedometers.. Great exercise!!!!

Hope you have a wonderful day --and be sure and get out in nature and do some hiking!!!!  It's good for you! See you on Monday!

Hugs,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WARNING: ADORABLE BIRD PHOTOS AHEAD

You can't miss this post today...  I have some very special bird photos to share.  I've been lucky this week ---and have had some very special guests at my bird feeders.  Obviously,  I've been taking alot of photos to share....

First of all,  I had a visit from Daddy Bluebird and two of his babies... One of the babies is pictured above... Isn't he adorable?




Here's a picture I captured of two baby Blues --on top of the arbor --waiting on Daddy to bring them some dinner! You should hear them 'chatter' when Daddy brings them food... SO cute!!!!



AND---I finally got a photo of all three of the new Baby Blues together.  I think the one on the left is a male and the other two are females... (But--they change daily--so I'll keep looking.)   In this photo,  they are looking up at Daddy --who is up at the Mealworm feeder getting some delicious worms for them... YUM!!!




The following four photos are ones showing Daddy Blue feeding one of the babies... I was so excited to get these pictures ---as you can imagine!  Daddy Blue goes up to the mealworm feeder while the baby waits in the plate below for Daddy to bring some mealworms to him/her.    








The Blue Jays love peanuts ---so I have to keep on adding more to the plate JUST for them...   When the plate is empty,  the Jays will HOLLER at me!!!!!! ha ha




BUT--the Red-Bellied Woodpeckers love the peanuts also (and so do the Nuthatches)...  Here is a female Red-Bellied visiting the plate feeder.




Now---here is one of the prettiest woodpeckers I think ---especially this time of year.  This is a Red-Headed Woodpecker.... Gorgeous,  isn't he?




The Red-Headed Woodpeckers are so gorgeous that I couldn't stop taking pictures of him.  I hope he brings his babies to the feeders this year.   I loved seeing the baby woodpeckers,  both Red-Headed and Red-Bellied in past years.




Ah-Ha........  Guess who else likes the peanuts????  It's no wonder I have to replenish that feeder so often... ha ha  (Don't you just love this picture of the gorgeous Red-Headed Woodpecker with a big peanut in its mouth????)




Finally,  here is a story as told by Mr.  Pileated Woodpecker,  as he tries to figure out how to get to the Suet Feeder....  (I think he is a 'young' Pileated--who was just learning!)






Hope you  enjoyed my 'adorable' Bird Photos as much as I have enjoyed them!!!!!

Have a wonderful day!

Hugs,

Friday, May 24, 2013

More Colors from Biltmore

LILIES
On our April 16, 2013 trip to Biltmore,  we mostly enjoyed seeing all of the tons of tulips in bloom.  However,  we took some long walk around the grounds --and we saw more colors which I will share with you today.

Above is a flower I am definitely looking forward to seeing soon,  LILIES.... We had lots of lilies planted in our yard, but the deer feasted on about half of them this week.     Thank Goodness--on this day in April,  we enjoyed seeing some inside the Conservatory at Biltmore.  Aren't they pretty? 

Hope you enjoy seeing some of the other blooms at Biltmore.  Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements.



REDBUD



FORSYTHIA



PHLOX



TULIP TREE



JAPANESE PIERIS JAPONICA

AZALEA


US at BILTMORE
 Biltmore is an incredible place ---no matter which season..  They do a fabulous job with all of their flowers/grounds.  It's just a joy to be there.  AND--one can get some great exercise since there are plenty of places to walk and enjoy the day!!!

Happy Memorial Day and Weekend.  Be sure to take time to pray for and thank all of the men and women in our Armed Services  who do so much to keep us safe.  We are taking Monday off to celebrate the holiday... SO--I'll see you on Wednesday.

Hugs,

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Some MAY Pictures Taken in our Yard

Bleeding Heart ---see the two little hearts?????
As you know,  Spring got here LATE this year.  BUT--once May arrived,  everything blossomed....  New things are blooming each and every day.  SO--why not share another yard post with you?????  (AND---there will be more this month since I have taken so many many photos!!! ha)

SO--have another cup of coffee (or tea) and relax for a few minutes and enjoy seeing more photos from our yard.  We do work hard in it ---George especially---but when we get new blooms,  the hard work is all worthwhile...

Be sure to click on all of the photos to see the slideshow and see them larger.   The picture above is a new plant in the yard,  a Bleeding Heart... Marcia (from Maryland) sent it to me last year.   I sent her this photo and she was surprised that I had a couple of blooms already.  They usually don't bloom that first year --but mine is looking GREAT.   Check out Marcia's great blog at Birds-Blooms-and Books.  




White Hosta ---White Feather
I love hostas and they do well in my yard... Above is one of my WHITE Hosta plants.  I think its name is White Feather --but am not sure.  It came in a collection.  Isn't it pretty?   (NOTE:   The green hostas seem to be heartier than the white ones ---and do better when co-habitating with the English Ivy and Periwinkle.  The white ones have struggled --and I've had to clear the area around them so that they hopefully can live.  I think the Ivy almost 'ate' them up.)




Pink Dogwood
I don't think I have shared a photo of our beautiful Pink Dogwood this year.   However,  it (along with the Redbuds) seem to struggle this year --mainly due to the weather I think.  We did have a few pretty blooms --which I will share with you above.




Pansies
Last Fall,  we planted about 72 Pansies around the yard to give us some color during the winter.  Once spring got here,  those Pansies (the ones that made it through the winter--which ended up being most of them this year) perked up and are blooming like crazy.   Here's one example!!!




Candytuft
I showed you our Phlox in my last yard post.  Now I'll show you another pretty little one,  our Candytuft. We also have it in the big rock flowerbed ---hoping that it will spread (along with the Phlox and the Dianthus).  Aren't they pretty?




Azalea
Once we got home from our trip to the beach,  we found the Irises,  Azaleas and Rhododendrons blooming.  Today I'll share some of our Azaleas --and will save the Irises and Rhododendrons for another post. 




Azaleas come in different colors --and we have 3 different colored bushes in our backyard. You can also see the big Rhododendron in the background.




Azalea
Here is one of the purple (lavendar) Azaleas up close and personal.




Azalea
And this is one of the hot pink/reddish Azaleas.   I love this color,  don't you?




Our Back Yard/Deck
Finally,  here is one more photo of the Azaleas in our backyard.  I was standing out in the back yard looking toward our deck.  It's hard to see the Azalea colors from this angle ---but you get the idea...

Hope you have enjoyed more photos from our  little home in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.    Now ----click HERE  to see a new photo on My Photo Blog.

Have a great day, and remember to say a prayer for all of the people who lost so much in the tornado in Oklahoma.
Hugs,