Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving America!

Be safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving all. ENJOY!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fall in the Valley

Some of us choose to see through the fog and mist on a cloudy day in the Smokie Mountains. One never knows what you will find when you choose to stop, no matter the weather, to capture an image. ENJOY!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fall's Leftovers

Is it a coincidence that beautiful Fall colors are followed by Winter's dull and dreary days followed by Spring's brightly colored bulbs. I think not. I think there surely is a reason why Winter was tucked in between two radiant colorful seasons with reds and oranges and yellows and blues and purples and pinks. Special Note: Set your turkey out to thaw. ENJOY!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fall's Bounty

The holidays are almost upon us and with Thanksgiving comes roast turkey and dressing, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole, and that ever present pumpkin pie with heaping spoonfuls of whipped cream. Next Thursday marks our Thanksgiving holiday celebration. The meaning of which oftentimes gets lost in the height of the day's festivities around the table. And yet I tend to think we all remember at least once throughout the day the burdens our forefathers weathered in those bygone days. As I ventured throughout the small historical town of Leiper's Fork last weekend, I noticed the remnants of Fall's bounty all around me from the beautiful purple hues of the large ornamental cabbages to the deep oranges of the leftover pumpkins. ENJOY!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Vintage America

Leiper's Fork is a very tiny little town that is situated east of the Natchez Trace Parkway southwest of Nashville. I drove the Trace south of Nashville and exited onto the road going into Leiper's Fork this past weekend. This small town is made up of farmers, artists and musicians hence the art galleries and restaurant featuring live country music.

I can never pass up an opportunity to snap a few images of the remnants of by gone days, one being what looked like an old Model T, and the other an old tricycle. While walking the tiny town, I ventured into a couple of the shops and had a quick bite at one of the few restaurants in town. There was a band playing, but unfortunately they took a break just as I sat down outside.

A large number of country musicians have settled in and around Williamson County which is south of Nashville just east of Leiper's Fork. When Williamson County began encroaching on the small towns nearby, Leiper's Fork decided to protect its heritage and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. America doesn't have enough thriving small towns in my opinion so seeing Leiper's Fork thriving was heartwarming. It made for a nice afternoon. Just to show you how welcoming these folks are, several of the shops even have fire pits and rockers out front for visitors to gather and sit a spell in the cooler months. Truly Americana. Back soon with more images. ENJOY!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ravishing Fall Color

The natural beauty of Fall is quickly coming to an end. I relish every single moment of Fall with its reds, yellows, oranges and even its greens. There are times when one snaps an image only to realize later that it needs no words as it speaks for itself. This is one of those times. ENJOY!

Friday, November 13, 2015


Such a gorgeous few days in the mountains regardless of the wet weather. The clouds moved over quickly at times and at other times they seemed to move at a snail's pace.

As I drove through the mountains on Newfound Gap Road, this scene greeted me at one turn. It is so nice that there are so many pull offs in this national park for visitors to stop and snap images. ENJOY!

PRAYERS: My prayers to all French citizens, and to all of those whose lives were impacted today, because of yet again more terror attacks. What more can one say in an era where terrorism is almost a daily occurrence even when you don't live in the Middle East.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fall Leaves, Rushing Water on Oconaluftee River

Every now and then one finds a reward in his or her travels. On this Tuesday afternoon, as I had made my way across Newfound Gap and down the mountain to Cherokee, my quest was to find Elk. It wasn't in the cards that day which I fully was aware could happen. Before I made it to the visitor center on the East side of the park, I stopped when I saw a bridge that traversed the Oconaluftee River. My reward was in plain sight.

The perfect place right off the road ten steps from my car. The scene was a gorgeous mountain stream resplendent with rushing water and beautiful Fall leaves hanging over the river. Fall leaves were strewn across the boulders. The sound of the rushing water was like music to my ears. I gathered my tripod and set to work snapping images. Normally, finding a spot to photograph water requires scrapping through brush with your equipment catching on twigs and branches, only to discover you just don't have the best vantage point. Yet, you stay in spite of that and snap a few images in hopes of a few keepers. Today was easy, convenient and the perfect setting. Don't you just love when that happens. ENJOY!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Winding Mountain Road

What an unusual perspective I captured here of this winding road working its way around the mountain side.

Can you see the tiny car on the left side. I like the way you can see that car and the road in the middle of the frame. Those orange Fall leaves just added the right punch of color too. The Smoky Mountains is such an amazing place to photograph no matter the season, but Fall definitely is my favorite. ENJOY!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fall Colorscape

If I had to choose an image that I love most from my trip to the mountains of eastern Tennessee, it might be this one. I hope you will leave me a note and let me know your thoughts. Have a fabulous Sunday all. ENJOY!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Red Maple, GSMNP

As I approached the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Cherokee, North Carolina, on the eastern most side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this gorgeous red Maple Tree greeted me with stunning red leaves.

As I stopped at the visitor center, I noticed I wasn't the only one capturing images of this beautiful red Maple. Others were stopping to photograph it as well. So beautiful. ENJOY!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall Along Oconaluftee River

Photographing water is a challenge I love to take up at least once every trip I make to the Smokies. There are countless opportunities to photograph water at almost every bend in the road. You will find the Roaring Fork River, the Little Pigeon River and the Oconaluftee River in the park just to name a few. If you drive any distance, you will encounter waterfalls in every shape and size as well. As I drove to Cherokee on the main road from Gatlinburg, I pulled off the road at the Kephart Prong Trail head and stood on the wooden bridge that traverses the Oconaluftee River. Looking east I saw this beautiful Fall scene.

Gorgeous yellow Fall leaves in the background were in stark contrast to thick, dark green Rhododendron leaves hanging over each side of the bank along the river. I stood for a bit photographing the scene using my shutter mode with a few aperture adjustments. I knew the gray overcast day would impact the light and tried to adjust accordingly. Overall I was pleased with the image although I would have loved blue sky in the background. I have attempted in the past to photograph this type of composition, but found you have to have the right elements to really do it justice. Oftentimes, there will be logs in the river or brush along the bank that takes away from the composition. This was as near perfect as I could ever hope for. I love when that happens. ENJOY!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hiking, Bote Mountain Trail

Every trek I make to Great Smoky Mountains National Park I try to take a hike on 'a path less traveled'. As you drive along the main road from Cade's Cove back to Gatlinburg, there are many pull offs. One pull off is the West Prong Trail which is part of the Bote Mountain Trail. I liked the looks of this trail as it was wide and flat, although after hiking a short way in you begin to feel the rise in elevation in your knees.

This visit to the Smokies brought the remnants of Hurricane Patricia so I had rain to contend with throughout my entire stay. Albeit, one minute there might be a sliver of blue sky with a few rays of sun peeking through white clouds and then a dark gray cloud moves in and drizzle in varying waves sets in.

After I parked my car at this trail head and gathered my walking stick, I set out. Not sure how far into the hike I would get before drizzle might set in and force me to turn back. I hadn't hiked more than a quarter mile when a serious drizzle started forcing me to turn back. UGH!

At this time of year black bears are foraging heartily for food to fill their fat reserves for the long Winter months so I was mindful of this before I had started on this trail. On Newfound Gap Road on Sunday I caught a few glimpses of a bear cub foraging, but that was the only bear siting I encountered. Perhaps on my next adventure to the Smokies I will get to walk further along this path as it really looked like a beautiful hike. I snapped a few images of the Fall leaves while walking along the path. This is my favorite image. I love the greens of the forest and the yellow Fall leaves. I hope everyone had a fun filled Halloween. Next stop, Thanksgiving! ENJOY!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Glowing jack o lanterns dot the landscape on this spooky night.
Blustery winds shake the leaves and shiver your limbs.
A chill brings thoughts of ghosts and goblins creeping in.
Costume clad kiddos tote their sugar laden treat bags.
Doorbells and trick or treat greetings permeate the darkness.
Pumpkin spiced drinks and gooey candy treats await.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall Color, Smoky Mountains

One of the many benefits of rainy weather in the Smokies is the fog in and around the mountains.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Happy Halloween Eve! ENJOY!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

GSMNP, Shrouded in Fog

There is always more to photograph than there is time to do so when you spend any amount of time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is a virtual wonderland of rivers, streams, forests, woods, mountains, valleys and let's not forget the history that is found here. When you take 500 images over the course of four days and slowly cull through them to see just what you have captured, you never know what will be peering back at you.

When I happened upon this image, I decided it has to be one of my favorites from my trek to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No doubt there are people who believe rain and fog won't net them much on a photography trip. I beg to differ. A foggy mountainside can be stunning to me and when you add yellow Fall leaves with the dark green Fir trees, I declare a winner. I love to capture photos that have natural lines such as the one I shot here of the ridge line. It takes your eye right up to the top left of the photo. I did photograph some Fall color and some water images while on my trek and will post those soon. Back very soon. ENJOY!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall Color in the Smokies

Every color I encountered on my trip this week to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park surely is present in this image. The least of which is the blue smoke.

I moved to Hendersonville Friday. I like this small bedroom community north of Nashville and I think I will enjoy living next to the lake especially in Summer. I unpacked my furniture and such Friday night and Saturday. Then I had to pack Saturday evening for my Fall sojourn to the Smokies. The remnants of Hurricane Patricia made its way across Texas and the southern states and moved up into middle and eastern Tennessee Sunday. The front was so huge it rained every day while in the Smokies. It wasn't a steady rain which made it bearable. Today the sun did make a brief appearance. I am so very happy I do not have to pack anything for quite a while. I will be back soon with more Smokies images. ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fallow Deer, Land Between the Lakes

My favorite image of the Fallow Deer I photographed at Land Between the Lakes a month ago. ENJOY!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Purple Mexican Sage

A hearty bunch of Mexican Bush Sage was blooming next to the walkway behind the Botanical Hall at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens last weekend. Its brilliant purple hues were shining starkly in the harsh afternoon light. A woody shrub, Mexican Sage has 3-4 foot long stems covered in deep purple blooms.

If you look closely, you can make out the velvety texture on each tiny bloom. Add that velvety feel with the deep purple hue and it's a winner in my book. If I had a flower garden, this would be the first shrub I would plant. This hardy shrub blooms from Spring through Fall. And yes, you guessed it. Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees love these blooms. ENJOY!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Brilliant Whorled Sunflowers

Gorgeous Whorled Sunflowers, a.k.a. the Aster family, were reaching for the sky at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens Saturday. The blooms must have grown at least twenty feet tall into the sky. The bees, moths and butterflies were in abundance taking in their nectar.

Autumn has taken hold here in the South and the trees are starting slowly to turn their much anticipated reds and yellows and oranges. The days are noticeably shorter. The nights are much crisper. And the blues in the afternoon skies are a rich and brilliant blue. These images needed absolutely no tweaking of color. They were brilliant right out of the camera.

Don't you just love when that happens.

Soon Halloween will be upon us, followed by Thanksgiving. Thoughts of the holidays have crept into my day. And just a note before I leave you today. This gorgeous Whorled Sunflower could go on the Tennessee Endangered Species List as there are very few left in middle Tennessee where they are typically in abundance. ENJOY!