Sunday, October 30, 2011

Today's Flowers: Happy Halloween

I haven't done any decorating this year for Halloween.
Fortunately one of my neighbors with young children went all out so I had a subject for my Halloween and Today's Flowers post. We have frost warnings for tonight so I'm not sure their flowers will last much longer.
Click for the home of Today's Flowers.Link

Friday, October 28, 2011

Photohunters: Broken

There is no shortage of broken objects in my house, including the chest below which sits in my living room. You may note that one side near the top has diamond brass studs and on the other side they have broken off.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nature Notes: Here and There

I haven't taken many photographs since I've been home from the mountains.
For that reason, I'm using photographs for this week's nature notes that I took last week.
It's a shame I haven't been going out for walks this week because the weather has been perfect, but I'm still recovering from overdoing the hikes last week.
I liked the ground cover above that I spotted in the forest but I'm not sure what it is. Maybe some kind of juniper.
I like the sound from rushing water as much as I like the way waterfalls look.
I love leaves on the ground almost as much as I like them in trees.
It amazes me how trees can try to grow in solid rock like the one below.
It's nice the way fresh leaves on top of old ones can add color.
The ferns below are almost covering the old 1929 Blowing Rock sewage treatment plant which is on the Glen Burnie trail.
The next shot is of the other side of the ruins of the old sewage treatment plant.
The root end of an old tree that fell down will probably provide a place for plants to anchor in the spring.
I like the way the spindly trees below are adding to the color in the forest.
It doesn't take many leaves on top of small trees to have a pleasant color show in fall.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today's Flowers: Drive by flower shooting

Last Sunday I managed to get a fair amount of wildflower shots on the road since I wasn't driving.
I wish the lighting had been better because it was hard to work around the reflections through the windows to get decent shots.
At some places the wildflowers formed carpets on the side of the road.
As we got closer to the mountains the flowers were becoming more sparse but the trees were more colorful.
In central NC where I live we haven't had a hard freeze yet. Blowing Rock where we were heading had already had its first unusually early light snow the weekend before we went there.
It was spring like weather when we were in Blowing Rock but it was obvious they'd had some prior cold weather and I had already read about it when I looked in advance for the forecast before our trip.
Some fall flowers around town and in the woods had survived the frost and snow but were much less abundant than on the way there.
The burning bush and fall trees provided plenty of colors and I think of them as Autumn flowers.
Click for the home of Today's Flowers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Photohunters: High

The theme this weekend is easy for me because I returned Wednesday from Blowing Rock, NC which is high in the mountains.
I can get high simply looking at the fall leaves.
I'll admit when I first saw the theme I thought, hmmmm, are we supposed to post blood shot eyes and munchies.
I'm glad I can get a natural high from the big beautiful world and skip the rest.
Running water carves through the mountains starting high and going down stream.
I love rocks and creeks and how they rush from high to low.
The adventurous hiker can start at the high altitudes in the NC mountains and hike to sea level on the coast. I think 1000 miles worth of planned trails with over 500 completed is pretty amazing.
Cone Manor sits high on a hill in Blowing Rock, NC.
Cone Park has 21 miles of carriage trails and you can start high at the Manor and go down to Bass lake.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nature Notes: Enjoying nature in the NC mountains

I got back today from a vacation in the North Carolina mountains (Blowing Rock, NC).
It's always interesting to me to watch the progression of fall colors from central NC where I live up to the higher elevations in the Northern NC mountains.
The shots in this post are all from the NC mountains where fall is in full swing and in some parts even past peak.
Where I live it will be well into November before we get to the peak colors.
The weather was perfect for hiking and exploring the whole time we were there.
It didn't start raining until our last night after we had already finished our hikes.
I love this time of the year. The natural world puts on a big show before starting to wind down for winter.
One of our more challenging hikes involved a lot of hopping across stones although in my case it's more very carefully placing my feet.
I love rocks and rushing water carving its streams through the mountains.
On the hikes where we had to cross streams a lot we were also doing a fair amount of climbing and descending.
As much as I love rocks I started getting tired and worried a bit about my footing as I made my way along the trail.
When we got to the ladder my reaction was, you've got to be kidding, but I managed to cope.
I spotted a lot of running cedar which is one of my favorite ground covers in the forest.
Fortunately, the end of the most challenging hike we took was easy walking so we could recover.
The figure ahead of me in the shot above and below is Bill.
We reached a field full of the white puffy stuff below that looks almost like cotton.
The rest of the shots are from another day when we walked on very easy trails which was fortunate since I'd used up a lot of my energy on the first two days.
I love reflections during the height of autumn.
I also find the forest very magical this time of year.
I always find magic in forests but the colors and fresh leaves add a layer of beauty.
Click for the home of nature notes.