Sunday, November 22, 2015

keep moving

Better to start up a thousand wrong roads than to spend your life going nowhere because you know the way. 
--Robert Brault

Above: Late autumn road on a dreary day.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

life's essentials

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.  
--Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English Author and Statesman.   

Carden's Bluff Campground is open from mid-April till the beginning of November. But while you can't camp there now, you can park at the main gate and walk in and explore. It's a perfect place to walk the dog and take in some wonderful views of Watauga Lake.  For more pics and info, click here

Saturday, November 14, 2015

when all else has fallen

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen. 
--1 Cor. 13:7-10 (JB Phillips Translation). 

Above: Fallen leaves blanket the waterfall at Rocky Fork State Park

Directions: Take the Flag Pond exit off of I-26 (exit #50), at the stop sign turn left onto Upper Higgins Creek Road. Drive ½ mile, till you reach Rt. 23, turn right and travel 2 ¼ mi. through Flag Pond, then turn left on Rocky Fork Road. Enjoy the views of the tumbling creek. After ¾ mile, you will see a gravel pull-off to the left. Park here (out of the way of the gate) to continue exploring the 10,000 acre Rocky Fork on foot. Trail map here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Wonder is the basis of worship.  
--Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish Historian and Essayist.   

Monday, November 9, 2015


Smile though your heart is aching 
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you.

--Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) actor, filmmaker, and composer.

More shots taken on my misty day at Crabtree Falls. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

dark shroud

Dark, dark! The horror of darkness, like a shroud, wraps me and bears me on through mist and cloud.  
--Sophocles (496-406 BC) one of classical Athens' three great tragic playwrights.

Should have had this one up for Halloween -- such an eerie scene. This was taken on a very dark, rainy day near Crabtree Falls a few weeks back. Needless to say, the weather hasn't cooperated very well with my autumn picture taking this year. :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

rhythm in the woods

"There is music in the meadows, in the air --
Autumn is here;
Skies are gray, but hearts are mellow,
Leaves are crimson, brown, and yellow;
Pines are soughing, birches stir,
And the Gipsy trail is fresh beneath the fir.

There is rhythm in the woods, and in the fields,
Nature yields:
And the harvest voices crying,
Blend with Autumn zephyrs sighing;
Tone and color, frost and fire,
Wings the nocturne Nature plays upon her lyre." 

--William Stanley Braithwaite, Lyric of Autumn

Monday, October 26, 2015

illuminated history

At this season of the year, when each leaf acquires its peculiar color, Nature prints this history distinctly, as it were an illuminated edition. Every oak and hickory and birch and aspen sprinkled amid the pines tells its tale a mile off, and you have not to go laboriously through the wood examining the bark and leaves. These facts would be best illustrated by colors, —green, yellow, red etc.  
--Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015

the strongest force

Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable.  
--Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian Philosopher.

Above: Linville Falls

Friday, October 16, 2015


When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. 

Above: Price Lake

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rough Ridge

I took a day to search for God, 
And found Him not; but as I trod, 
By rocky ledge, through woods untamed, 
Just where one scarlet lily flamed, 
I saw His footprint in the sod. 
--William Bliss Carman

Above: Rocky Outcropping on Rough Ridge.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hawksbill Mountain

Be different, stand out, and work your butt off. 
--Reba McEntire (b.1955) American country singer.

One of the more prominent peaks in western North Carolina area area is Hawksbill Mountain, rising 2000 feet high above the Linville River. For miles around, Hawksbill and its sidekick, Table Rock, can be easily identified with their distinctive shapes jutting up sharply, standing out in a sea of gently rolling hills.  The view here is from Wiseman's Overlook on the south side of the gorge looking north.

For directions to Hawksbill Mountain Trail, click here. Another good source here.

For directions to Wiseman's Overlook, click here.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Crabtree Falls

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.   
--John Muir (1838-1914) Naturalist and Conservationist.  

Above: Crabtree Falls on a rainy autumn day. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in our region, Crabtree Falls is found at mile 339 of the Blue Ridge Parkway (roughly midway between Linville Falls and Mount Mitchell). Click to enlarge and you'll see my friend, Peter, at the base of the falls - which puts this spectacular 70' waterfall in perspective. For more discussion and directions, click here.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

changing beauty

Change can be beautiful, when we are brave enough to evolve with it. 
--Bryant McGill (b.1969) author.

Some more shots from the area of the Blue Ridge Parkway around Grandfather Mountain. Click the panorama below to enlarge.

For more photographs of the Linn Cove Viaduct, click here.

For directions to Rough Ridge Overlook, click here.