Tag Archives: western north carolina

Not-so #WW shares space with #BoTB

Good morning! I’m presenting a double post and I hope you don’t mind, kittens and dawgs. In the first part of my post I’m sharing my mid-week photo (not-so) Wordless Wednesday and hope if you’re in this crowd that you’ll help me in the second half of my post. ūüėČ

The winter before last, we were in the western North Carolina mountains passing through Maggie Valley when we came on a snow tube run beside the road.¬† It was chilly and the winds didn’t make it feel any better but I braved the cold to snap a few shots.¬† The one element needed that night was falling snow. (click on picture to view in another window and use zoom feature to magnify image)

I know what you’re saying but what’s that white stuff falling?¬† It’s all fake, baby! I loaded my image in my photo editing software program, Pixelmator, and used a freebie background from Insight Designs to add some snow. Pretty cool, eh? ūüėČ

What views through the lens are you sharing this week? I’m eager to see!

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DH surprised me on Valentine’s Day with a single red rose, Harry London assorted chocolates, a sweet little Teddy bear who I named Val. DH is the sweetest Valentine ever!

iPhone capture + Bokeh overlay


Okay you not-so WW crowd, you’re here and there’s no need to rush off just yet. I invite you to stick around for the second half and help pick the next winner in the second round of Battle of the Bands.

I decided to go with The Beatles’ While My Guitar Gently Weeps (the original is not part of the battle and is for reference only) in this showdown.¬† George Harrison penned the words to this soft, beautiful ballad. This is what Wackipedia says…

I wrote “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at my mother’s house in Warrington. I was thinking about the Chinese I Ching, ‘The Book of Changes”. The Eastern concept is that whatever happens is all meant to be, and that there’s no such thing as coincidence ‚Äď every little item that’s going down has a purpose.

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was a simple study based on that theory. I decided to write a song based on the first thing I saw upon opening any book ‚Äď as it would be relative to that moment, at that time. I picked up a book at random, opened it, saw “gently weeps”, then laid the book down again and started the song.

Today, I’m playing Santana against Toto. Who will win? It’s up to you! Listen and decide who does it better.



Ok, here’s the drill. Voting is open to everyone visiting. There is NO wrong vote, except if you DON’T vote. You can start by telling me in comments which artist you like best and why (optional).

Which artist gets your vote, Santana ft. India Arie & Yo-Yo Ma or TOTO?


The fun continues with more epic battles underway and I invite you to visit the official manager of BoTB, Stephen for the update list of players.¬† Check back, next week same place and time to see if your pick gets named the winner! ūüėČ

Come back tomorrow for another peek through the lens with my early edition of Skywatch Friday & Celebrate the Small Things.

Have a songtastic day!
















My 12 Favorite Photos from 2015 #WW

Brevard NC Soda Shop Jan 2015

Brevard NC Soda Shop Jan 2015

I hope the holiday season was a light and festive one for you, Kittens and Dawgs! I’m delighted you included me in your day and I’m eager to share 2016 with you.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee while you enjoy my top 12 favorite photos from 2015.


Maggie Valley North Carolina snow tubing

Maggie Valley North Carolina snow tubing

Mingus Mill in Cherokee, North Carolina

Mingus Mill in Cherokee, North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway Mt Mitchell State Park

Blue Ridge Parkway Mt Mitchell State Park

Chimney Rock, North Carolina waterfall shot and moon

Chimney Rock, North Carolina waterfall and moon shot

Linnville Falls, North Carolina rhododendron blooms

Linville Falls, North Carolina rhododendron blooms

Pineola, North Carolina lake community

Pineola North Carolina lake community

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Cades Cove community

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Cades Cove community

Mabry Mill in the fall

Mabry Mill in the fall

Little Pigeon River near Chimney's Picnic area

Little Pigeon River near Chimney’s Picnic area

Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Christmas in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Christmas in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

I hope you’ll link up and join the fun with other photo enthusiasts across the net and I would certainly appreciate a little blog love in sharing the mews with your friends!

Want more #WW link ups? Check “Daily Blog Hops” at the top of my home page to continue the fun!I I hope you’ll come back for my first edition of Skywatch Friday in this new year. ūüôā Have a fototastic day!



#WW Mabry Mill


Mabry Mill approx. mile marker 175 on the Virginia section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is very photographic site along the parkway and one place I’d love to return this fall when the colors are at peak.

On Friday, I mentioned the colors are beginning in the Smoky Mountains, but we have yet to see the autumn’s blazing coat across the landscape. Timing is critical in capturing fall at its best. This isn’t one of those instances “fall at its best“, but I snapped the below photo about the same time as this last year in the western mountains of North Carolina along the Cullasaja Gorge. It still makes a lovely picture, though.


What is your favorite place to photograph when fall is at its best?

Thanks for joining the fun. I hope you’ll decide to visit a few of my favorite #WW shutterbugs link ups! Have a fototastic day!






#WW Bicyclists

Hello, kittens & dawgs! It’s hump-day again and as the old saying goes, it’s all down here the rest of the way. I’m ready to slide right into Friday, aren’t you?

DSC_4506 WW5-06-15

I shot this photo at Lake Lure, North Carolina. I caught the cyclist out of the corner of my eye, and quickly turned snapping my shutter. I had no time to adjust my settings, which meant an unflattering photograph. However, thanks to photo-editing, then I turned an ordinary picture into something a little extraordinary (see original image at the below).

Continue reading

P is for and Thursday Two Questions

Blue Ridge Parkway

P is for…Parkway

Our family often enjoy¬†get-aways, even if it’s just of the day¬†to any one of three nearby parkways.¬† One of our favorite parkways is the Blue Rridge Parkway.

Near Waynesboro, Virginia, highway 64E intersects with the Blue Rridge Parkway at its beginning mark and extends south to Cherokee, North Carolina almost 470 miles.  We have had the good fortune to travel most of the parkway from Cherokee to Roanoke, Virginia.

There are many photo opportunities along the way and the beautiful of the parkway to enjoy inspite the conditions.¬† It’s common on our trips to encounter fog…dense fog and the ambiance sets a mysterious, romantic kind of¬†mood and we totally soak it up.

Water Rock Knob

One of our favorite pastimes is¬†to sit in our car while having a picnic lunch at Water Rock Knob when the conditions are like what’s pictured here. It’s so¬†relaxing!

I snapped this picture from a picnic area one spring.  The fog was thick, a slight mist was falling, and a chilly gentle wind nipped our skin.

Mt. Mitchell State Park

Mt. Mitchell is a state park located just off the parkway. Its the highest peak east of the Mississippi at 6,578 feet above sea level.¬† It’s situated north of Asheville, North Carolina (home to Biltmore Mansion)¬†roughly 30 miles.

A few weeks ago, we hiked the short trail to the summit.  At the base of summit tower, I captured this from the backside.

I love how the dark evergreens allow the purple clover to stand out and your eyes lead to the mountain view to the right Рreally pretty!

Sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains

We hung around that same evening to watch a lovely sunset.  As we were heading  back to the parkway,  we turned off the road into the lodge restaurant parking area to take a picture.

The sky was gorgeous! I like particularly how the road leads your eyes to the vivid shades of the sunset cascading across the image.

For more information on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you may want to consider visiting their website.¬† You can download a BRPWY map from their main menu under Tools & Quicklinks, if you’re interested.

Another parkway not too far from our home is the Cherohala Parkway.¬† Technically, it’s called Cherohala Skyway but for years it was called Nantahala Parkway. In the past decade its name became a portmanteau of Cherokee and Nantahala.

This beautiful scenic byway connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee to Robbinsville, North Carolina.¬† You may have heard of the infamous ‘Dragon’ a motorcyclist’s thrill ride which is a 44 miles of curvy, dangerous road, if so then you can find it here along highway 666.¬† This is a stretch of road you do not want to travel, if you’re prone to motion sickness – it’s very twisty!

Indian Boundary Lake

The first time we visited this little lake, our daughters were very small and¬†it was before the birth of our son. ¬†I was awestruck with by the tranquillity.¬† The lake seemed so still with no sounds except woodland creatures.¬† Wouldn’t you love to have a house right here? I would!


Bald River Falls

A couple of years ago, we got off the beaten path of Cherohala to see this little gem of a waterfall.  There was no hiking needed, you can drive right pass it.  It was getting lot of traffic that day, and we made several passes before I caught the right picture.  It was worth the effort.  My husband is so patient!

The Cherohala Parkway Skyway is home to the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.¬† Kilmer was a poet (another ‘P’ word)¬†who lived from 1886 – 1918.¬† Below is perhaps his most famous piece.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks a God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
To learn more about Cherohala and other points of interest such as Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, visit…http://www.telliquah.com/skyway.htm

Finally, this brings me to the 18-mile scenic Foothills Parkway, which skirts the north side of the¬†Smoky’s. It¬†may not be consider spectacular to most compared to its great rival, but it¬†has its own hidden beauty. This is a spot we enjoy visiting when we don’t have time for an all-day affair, but wanna break away from the humdrum routine.

Foothills Parkway

One point of interest along the parkway is the Look Rock Observation Tower, where you can get an amazing view on a clear day.¬† The half-mile hike got an easy rank but I’m certain the trail is over grown and that doesn’t suit me. How can you see snakes?¬† We made the trek years ago when the¬†vegetation was quite tame. ¬†Check out, Look Rock.

The Letter ‘P’ is brought to you by my blog PAL, Miss Jenny where you’ll find a plethor of polished pages to plunder filled with pleasure.

Jenny Matlock
If you’d like for me to prowl over to your blog, leave your web address in comments and be over as pretty as you please! ūüėČ


I’m participating in Amanda’s Thursday Two Questions meme.¬† I figured I spin-off questions about my Alphabe-Thursday post by asking these…

1) Do you like taking day trips, if so where are your hot spots for some down time?¬† Well, if you read everything above then you see where we like to go.¬† I’d have say these are the top hot spots for us. However, there are other things to see and do which are just as fun. Perhaps another day, another post I can highlight more things to do.

2)¬† A lot of you take photographs, like me, but only you’re better.¬† Anyway, what defined your initial interest to¬†pick up this hobby? I absolutely remember what caused my budding interest in photography.¬† My husband got involved in shooting 35mm in the early 80s.¬† I was in college at the time and began feeling a little resentful of his hobby. It made me feel (unknowingly to him) that I was taking the back seat.¬† This wasn’t true, of course, but the sense hung over me like a cloud.¬† That’s when I decided I wanted to learn photography, too.¬† I mean before that time the only camera I ever used was one of those old 110 film type cameras. Do you remember those? I would cut people’s heads off or¬†couldn’t figure out my composition. I was disaster behind a camera, but determine to learn. Once I started working, Robin bought got a Nikon FG-series camera for me.¬† I wasn’t fantastic at it, but I sure had a lot of fun and I was doing something with my best friend.¬† The exclusion feeling melted and I’ve enjoyed my amateur photo shoots ever since that time!

Have a good day!