Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to APRIL!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful TULIPS from Biltmore!!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Fall Colors in North Carolina --October 22-26, 2018

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway,  October 23, 2018
Dear Friends,   We have had a busy but wonderful week...   From October 22-26,  we met our good friends,  Neal and Patti,  in Maggie Valley, North Carolina  for some fun times together.   Then,  yesterday,  we went with son Mark and his girlfriend Diana to the Smoky Mountains for the day... To say that I'm weary today is an understatement ---but it is a "HAPPY" kind of weary!!!!!

While in Maggie Valley,   we saw the elk in Cataloochee Valley.   We drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway.   We did some hiking.  We saw several waterfalls.   We drove down several  'back' roads and forest roads.   AND ---we DID see some pretty Autumn Colors.   As everyone says this year,  the colors are not as bright or as vivid  as usual in October.  BUT---that made us search even harder!!!

I haven't had much time to go through my pictures ---but did go through and pick out some of the pretty colors we saw.   Hope you enjoy FALL IN NORTH CAROLINA!!!!

A Mountain QUILT --full of Fall Colors,  taken from the Blue Ridge Parkway,  10/25/18

My Favorite Fall Color,  RED;  Taken on 10/23/18  off of Highway 215

Some Yellows/Oranges/Browns;  taken on 10/24/18 off of the unpaved Balsam Mountain Road (also known as the Heintooga Ridge Road),  10/24/18

Don't you love seeing all of the Fall Colors as we checked out the mountain ranges  from the Blue Ridge Parkway, 10/25/18?

Beautiful Tree showing off its colors;  Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, 10/23/18

I love the blue sky behind that brilliant yellow and red trees;  Taken along the Balsam Mountain Road, 10/24/18

Betsy and her RED Trees  (I love 'em);  Taken at the Deep Creek Area near Bryson City,  NC on 10/24/18

Fall Colors along the Blue Ridge Parkway,  10/25/18

Multi-Fall-Colors;  Taken at the Deep Creek area,  Bryson City, NC  on 10/24/18

A close-up showing the Fall Colors in the mountains,  taken from Highway 276 on 10/25/18

I'll close by showing you one of my favorite pictures  along the Blue Ridge Parkway,  10/25/18;  That is Looking Glass Rock behind the Autumn Colors.

As I said above,  the colors around our area (and others) are sparse  and/or dull for the most part this year.  We had a very rainy and warm September and a very WARM October...  In order to have pretty colors each fall,  we need some COLD weather  and we just didn't get much until about the week of Oct. 15.....  

Every year is different depending upon what Mother Nature gives us...  This year may not have been the prettiest --but we searched and searched ---and you can enjoy some of what we actually found!!!!!  The challenge was FUN!  Hope you enjoyed the pictures.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Snowy Range Scenic Byway, Highway 130, Wyoming ---9/15/18

When we first got on Highway 130,  we could see where we were going!!!!!!  WOW!
Dear Friends,  On the way home on Sept. 15, from our West Trip,  George and I meandered off of I-80 and took a wonderful 'back road'  between Rawlins, Wyoming and Laramie, Wyoming.   This was Highway 130 which  is called the Snowy Range Scenic Byway.   We had never been in this area ---and in a word or so,  we LOVED it.

Snowy Range Pass is part of the Medicine Bow National Forest.    The Snowy Range used to be called the Great Sky Road.  Today I'll share pictures from our little  'side trip'....   Hope you enjoy them!!!!

Along Highway 130,  we enjoyed the beautiful Colors of Fall.   (Photo taken from inside the car)

Oh how I love seeing the ASPENS in their glory!!!!  And the Lodgepole Pines were beautiful here (as opposed to Yellowstone --where many of them had been destroyed by beetles)

The SNOWY RANGE is now in view!!!!!  Wow!

Getting CLOSER and higher in Elevation  (the Peak at Medicine Bow is 12,013 feet)

A nice lady took our picture together when we stopped at Libby Flats --which was over 10,000 feet.  

One of my favorite pictures from Libby Flats --showing one of the many GLACIAL Lakes in that area.  I think this lake is named Bellamy Lake.   

From the Libby Flats area,  I took this picture looking south --toward the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

From Libby Flats,  we just had to walk to the Observation Point in the distance...  See it????  It is so neat --and looks like a castle!!!!

I haven't found any details about who/how this Observation Point was built --but I do know that it is an official  Historical Site.

On the way up!!!!!   What an awesome observation point.

I took this picture of George at the Observation Point.  The weather up there wasn't cold --but it was VERY windy.  Hence NO hat for my man!!!!! ha

 I love seeing the Lodgepole Pines here... I did learn some interesting trivia.... Do you know what a Krummholz tree is?????  It is a stunted or deformed tree caused by the wind/extreme weather in high altitude areas....  I've seen many Krummholz trees through the years --and George and I have always called them our Creative Trees... ha

Another beautiful picture along the Snowy Range Scenic Highway;   That peak on the right is named  Sugar Loaf!!!

I'll close with one more picture of the Gorgeous ASPENS showing off their colors along the Snowy Range Scenic Byway.
Well---as you can see,  George and I loved this little side trip.   IF you are ever in that area,  we highly recommend it.. However,  this road is closed from November to June each year due to high amounts of snow.....

If you enjoy high mountain hiking,  there are LOTS of trails.   I'll close by giving you a great website telling much more about this amazing area.  Click HERE.

Have a great week.. We plan to have a wonderful week ahead!!!  Blessings to all of you!


Monday, October 15, 2018


Pretty FALL Re-blooming IRISES, named  My Friend Jonathan,  10/1/18
Dear Friends,   My post title today is not what you are expecting.   I know you were thinking that I'd be posting gorgeous 'leaf' colors since it is mid-October...  WELL--the answer is NO....Until a few days ago,  we were still having summer-like temperatures here in Tennessee.   Therefore,  everything is still GREEN around here.   BUT--now that we are finally getting some Fall weather,  maybe the trees will turn and maybe we will get some Fall Colors here --even if it might be in November.

The one advantage of our summer-like temperatures and lots of rain in September is that we do have some pretty color in our yard from the ROSES and the re-blooming IRISES..... Hope you enjoy today's pictures....

Milestone ROSE,  10/1/18

Pink Promise ROSE,  10/4/18

A beautiful ROSE named Sedona,  10/4/18

One my my favorite re-blooming IRISES,  named Clarence,  10/1/18

I love  the pastel colors in April in Paris ROSE, 10/4/18

Strike It Rich  ROSE,  10/8/18

Double Your Fun IRIS,  10/10/18  (not a good picture of this little colorful beauty)

Tropicana ROSE, 10/8/18

Royal Welcome ROSE,  10/8/18

Harvest of Memories IRISES,  10/4/18

Elle  ROSE,  10/8/18  (Love the colors in this rose)

A beautiful ROSE named Paradise,  10/8/18

Waltz Across Texas IRIS,   10/10/18

Malibu ROSE,  10/10/18

A pretty group of Iceland IRISES,   10/10/18

A close-up of an Iceland IRIS showing the pale lavender edges  (which you can't see as well in the group picture above),  10/8/18

A very pretty ROSE named Queen Elizabeth,  10/10/18

I usually like the Roses better after they open --but this bud caught my attention.  Her name is Sweet Afton and she has an amazing aroma also..   Taken 10/10/18
Hope  you enjoyed seeing some of our October Blooms.... Neighbors here are putting out Mums in their yards in order to add some Fall Colors --but we have plenty of other colors in our yard now, don't you think?

How is October in your area?   Do you have any Fall Leaf Colors yet?

Have an awesome week!