Friday, July 1, 2016

Rambling Mountain Stream

A tiny mountain stream makes its way down the mountain at a gingerly pace at the head of Ramsey Cascades Trail in Greenbrier, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I often photograph streams such as this. I have a particular image in my mind that I hope to achieve some day. This attempt came close, but not quite there yet. A tad bit too much foliage and noise in the image, but I still think it's a keeper.

There is nothing more fun than Independence Day here in the States. The very words conjure up images of our Founding Fathers. I can see them sitting at a simple writing desk, quill pen in hand, with a stack of well crafted paper, as they create the The Declaration of Independence. I could swear I hear someone say 'We the People . . .'

It would not be the Fourth of July without our ever faithful Red, White and Blue flying our proud colors and stars and stripes all. Parades and music, food and fun. And of course, the standard fireworks display will be seen by millions from town to town and city to city. From what I have heard, the largest 4th of July Fireworks Show in America is held in Nashville, Tennessee. Who knew!

My weekend plans involve a whole lot of resting and generally taking it easy. It has been an extremely busy few weeks. However you plan on spending the holiday weekend I hope it is filled with sun, fun and maybe a spark or two from a nearby sparkler or firecracker. Stay cool and dry wherever you are. ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Burnt Cove, Deer Isle

It has been close to a decade since I journeyed to the beautiful state of Maine for an adventure. Maine is situated in the northeastern part of the States. Over the course of a week in August of 2008, I drove along the coast of Maine. First, I stopped in the quaint small town of Camden, situated along the Mid Coast. I walked around the harbor and shopped in Stonewall Kitchen, and even drove way up to the top of Mt. Battie to take in a view of the entire Mid Coast scenery.

Then I pulled up stakes and drove farther northeast to Downeast Maine. I made the Barncastle Inn, just outside of Blue Hill, my base. From the inn each day, I would venture out trekking to various locales in and around Downeast Maine, such as Deer Isle, Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park. I spent a day in Bar Harbor and took in the harbor walk along the coast. Just as I was finishing my walk on the approach to downtown Bar Harbor, I caught the last of the tourists as they boarded the beautiful tall ship, Margaret Todd, as it set sail for an evening sunset cruise.

I visited the small island of Deer Isle, just south of Blue Hill, where I photographed the foggy harbor of Stonington with several tall ships cruising through. One afternoon, I made the short drive from Blue Hill to Burnt Cove on Deer Isle to photograph this precious little inlet with its colorful New England homes situated on the coast. The sailboats sat idle as the buoys bobbed up and down. The fog hadn't quite burned off by early afternoon so what fog was left added just the perfect amount of charm to the whole scene. It was simply gorgeous.

Believe it or not, this image and all of my Maine photographs were taken with my old Pentax camera, which had no automatic settings at all. It was all manual. You really had to know your stuff when it came to settings. None of this digital camera stuff at that time. It was several years before I transitioned to digital. I will be back with more images from my Maine adventure. ENJOY!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Osprey Catch

Osprey often referred to as Sea Eagles or Fish Hawks have such a wide wing span which ranges in color from cream to brown to black. Reducing the shadows in Lightroom helped to differentiate the variation of colors. This particular Bird of Prey was the first one I had seen on Old Hickory Lake thus far and was in a backwater area where I am sure fish are plentiful. He flew over the area gaining altitude and then dropping down for quite a while as I've often seen Osprey do. As this week closes, I pray for peace as this week has been especially difficult for the citizens of Orlando and for all of us here in the States. ENJOY!
Linking to Saturday's Critters

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

National Flag Week

Old Glory, the American Flag, was adopted on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. In 1916, the President of the United States issued a proclamation establishing June 14 as Flag Day. In August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Every year around this week I pull out my flags and display them in my pots on my patio. I did that this past weekend. How do you display your Old Glory? ENJOY!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Grandeur

The grandeur that is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is truly amazing. Every year millions visit the park. There is no fee to view the park. There is no wait list to view the park.

Foggy Day, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Spring 2016

There is the Roaring Fork, Cade's Cove, Newfound Gap, Chimney Tops, Elkmont, Greenbrier and Tremont. There are Elk, Black Bear and White Tailed Deer. There are White Trilliums, Black Eyed Susans, Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurels. There are rapid rivers, waterfalls, flowing streams and babbling brooks. There is blue smoke, fog and rain. There are cool days in Spring, sweltering days in Summer, crisp Autumn days and snowstorms in Winter. This is the grandeur of the Smokies.

Bright Sunny Day, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Spring 2012

Every year I visit the park at least once and often twice. I love Spring in the Smokies with the blooming wildflowers and bright green of the new leaves in the forests. Yet, I can't resist Autumn when every surface is a magnificent chorus of color. The red Maple trees, the orange Sycamores, the yellow Oaks are in contrast to the dark green of the Fir trees. Each visit I bask in the grandeur of the Smokes. This magical place shows my heart, eases my mind and soothes my soul. It ruly is grandeur. ENJOY!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Water, Water, Waterfall

Another beautiful scene along the Roaring Fork River in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As you stand next to your tripod capturing this unparalleled scene, the water rushes over the rocks and boulders as it makes its way downstream. The sound soothes your mind. The sound soothes your soul. Your heart beats a little slower. A calm comes over you. It's a heavenly place to visit. Have a wonderful weekend all. ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Roaring Fork River

The source of the Roaring Fork River in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is 5,000 feet up the slope of Mount Le Conte where several springs converge. Twenty five hundred feet over a two mile span the river falls until it spills over Grotto Falls, absorbs Surry Creek and comes to a steady flow, as it meanders through the narrow valley between Mount Winnesoka and Piney Mountain. The mouth is at the northern end of the small town of Gatlinburg. From there it empties into the West Fork of the Little Pigeon River.

On a dry day, the river could easily be a steady trickle, but let the slightest rain fall and the river turns into a torrent smashing its way downstream rushing over moss covered boulders as it makes its way through the valley. It's magnificent to see and hear. I always drive the motor nature trail to see the Roaring Fork River. I love this river and look forward to hearing the sound of the rushing water. On this particular visit, with wet weather before and after my trip, the river was a monster barreling through the valley. This is just one of the stops I made to photograph the water. ENJOY!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Blue Smoke, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The essence of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park surely must be the fog and blue smoke that hangs over the Sugarloaf Mountains. This mountain range is typically immersed in blue smoke, but this past weekend there was an abundance of fog and blue smoke due to the rain showers that plagued the park. In spite of the weather, I did visit several sections of the park taking in the various wildlife including a few Black Bears in Cade's Cove. If you look at the very bottom of this image you will see bright pink blooms from the Mountain Rhododendrons. The Rhododendrons will be in full bloom in mid June. I just wished I could be there to see it. ENJOY!