Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rolling Pasture

Folks are surprised how much land is still farmed just outside Asheville. In years past there were many more farms but the they are thriving now with people requesting more homegrown and locally grown produce. Our area farms have plenty to offer whether it is milk, organic meat or produce.

On my way home each day I go by these beautiful rolling hills with the mountains rising behind them. With all the rains we have had the pastures are lush and green. Even the mountain peaks have leafed out. The cows on this farm are usually out sunning and grazing. I love the peaceful serenity especially after a frazzled work day!

For more Scenic Sunday posts click on the photo below.
Scenic Sunday

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Horse Neighbors

I was on my way home from town and saw these guys standing under a huge shade tree in their pasture. They are not usually this close to the fence so I stopped the car and walked over to see them. They obviously thought I had food and came even closer. When all they saw was me and and my camera, they left pretty quickly! Sorry guys!

To see more Camera Critters click on this picture -

Camera Critters

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Clouds over Grandfather Mountain

At 5000 feet this mountain in the Blue Ridge acts like a cloud magnet - catching on the clouds and holding them there - not so good for us living under them! I caught this photo form the Blue Ridge Parkway.

For more Sky Watch Friday posts check out

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Watery Wednesday - Cane Creek

We have had a lot of rain the past few days - seems like a system is stuck over us. The water is pouring down the mountains into the streams and creaks which are running full right now. This is Cane Creek in my town.

Go to the link below to check out more Watery Wednesday photos!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, Asheville, NC

We are participating in MY WORLD TUESDAY.

This four-star resort is a must see for anyone visiting Asheville.

Built from granite boulders hewn from Sunset Mountain, The Grove Park Inn opened in 1913. At its opening dinner, William Jennings Bryan declared that it had been “built for the ages.” In the decades since it has become one of the South’s most famous and venerable resorts.

The hotel was the vision of E.W. Grove, a St. Louis entrepreneur who made his millions in the 1890s peddling an elixir called Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic. For his Inn, he envisioned a hotel that would be like “a big home where every modern convenience could be found, but with all the old-fashioned qualities of genuineness with no sham.”

It took a crew of 400 men only 12 months to build the majestic landmark, dragging hundreds of tons of boulders up the mountainside with the aid of teams of mules, ropes and pulleys, wagons and a lone steam shovel.

The lobby is known as The Great Hall — and for good reason. Measuring 120 feet across, the hall features 24-foot ceilings and two gigantic 14-foot stone fireplaces. It’s famous for the elevators cleverly hidden in the chimneys of the stone fireplaces (put there to conceal the noise of the machinery), which continue to transport guests to their rooms today.

During the summers of 1935 and ’36, author F. Scott Fitzgerald resided in our Room 441. He’s just one of the American luminaries to have stayed here, a list that includes Harry Houdini, Will Rogers, George Gershwin, Thomas Edison, Eleanor Roosevelt and Henry Ford. Not to mention presidents — William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton and Barack H. Obama.

It’s hard to believe today but there was a time soon after WWII when the only thing that kept the Inn standing was the prohibitive cost of tearing it down.

Fortunately, in 1955, the hotel caught the eye of Dallas businessman named Charles Sammons. Under the stewardship of Sammons and his wife Elaine, the Inn was fully restored and, in1973, it was named to the National Register of Historic Places.

With the restoration came a new era of hospitality as the resort was perfected for a modern audience. The contemporary wings of the hotel were added, and beginning in 1998, a period of intensive renovation and expansion occurred, culminating in the creation of the resort’s $42 million Spa.

From yesterday to today, The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa has remained a place dedicated to providing its guests with comfort — and genuine delight.

There are wonderful shops, several bars, and live music in the Great Hall plus plenty of balconies to sit, relax and view the Smokey Mountains. Thankfully it is a bit of history that has survived! Visit for more info.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #20

Click on the photo to see other Mellow Yellow posts.

It has been a rainy weekend here in the Appalachian Mountains - the reason why everything is so lush and green. When I took this photo of the last of our irises in the rain, I spotted this fungus growing from the tree nearby.

Sliding down the slippery slope, I got a close up of the fungus. Not quite yellow but close enough! Happy Memorial Day to all.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rhododendron in bloom - Scenic Sunday

Rhododendrons are native to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Some are large with deep fuchsia blooms. We have bushes as large as small trees on our land. They are in full bloom right now and magnificent.

In the higher mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the rhododendrons are pale pink to white in color and thrive in the dense underbrush of the hardwood trees in the forest. During certain years when it has been very dry they will all bloom at the same time. If you stand at the edge of the Parkway and look into the forest, as far as you can see will be pale pink and white rhododendron blooms glowing in the dark shade of the leafed out trees. It is breathtaking and only happens every so many years in late spring. Last year was one of those years and these are my photos of that beautiful event. Enjoy!

Scenic Sunday
Click the photo to see other Scenic Sunday posts.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sunny Hiking Day

After several rainy stormy days we finally got a nice warm sunny one - perfect for hiking our land and taking note of what was blooming.

The trees have all leafed out and the rhododendrons are blooming - huge tree sized bushes of deep fuchsia blooms.

Irises and lily of the vally dot the retaining wall bed and the slope in front of the house.

My husband and I hiked up the east side of our property up to the ridge and across the back northern edge. We spotted a couple of flame azaleas. The dogwoods are past peak but a few blossoms hang on.

The fall leaf carpet is turning green underfoot with buttercups and small wildflowers. So far no new trees have gone down in the storms - we sold a few downed ones to friends who do wood working projects - Don poses next to one large oak that went down and was reused.

A quiet restful day exploring - we don't seem to get many of those anymore.

Friday, May 15, 2009

National Straw Hat Day

May 15 was always the day years ago when the men put away their wool fedoras and brought out their dapper straw hats for the summer season. Deck yourself out today!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

In memory of my Mom who passed away three years ago and in honor of all the mothers out there who care for two-legged, four-legged, feathered and finned creatures! And for the animal mothers who often struggle against all odds to care for their babies. Mom's rule!!!!

A Mother's Love
There are times when only a Mother's love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.
There are times when only a Mother's love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.
There are times when only a Mother's faith
Can help us on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.
For a Mother's heart and a Mother's faith
And a Mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above.
--Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gallery of the Mountains, Asheville

Whether you are visiting Asheville and would like to take home a hand crafted memento of your stay here or live locally and want to support the art community, this is the gallery to visit.

Located inside the historic Grove Park Inn on Macon Avenue, three doors down to the left of the Great Hall, the Gallery of the Mountains offers fine American crafts for the art lover. Over 100 artists are represented and most of them are local or regional.

The staff is friendly and helpful, offering background information about the artists and the techniques they use. The pottery is functional and beautiful to look at in a variety of colors from earthy tones to vibrant blues and teals. Lovely wood sculptures, carved bowls, kitchen utensils, small dresser boxes with inspirational quotes carved into them, and animal figurines dot the shelves.

Silk scarves in deep rich hues, hand woven shawls, scarves and hats add to the assessories. The clothing lines are elegant with chenille cropped jackets, woven loosely flowing jackets, silk tops and slacks - all handmade locally. For the men one case is filled with hand crafted cuff links, silk bow ties, glass paper weights and other masculine items.

The jewelry is exquisite ranging from elaborate beadwork to simple silver and copper necklaces and earrings. Handmade fabric pins, potholders and eyeglass cases invite you to touch. Water colors and metal work line the walls and the center island is full to the brim with handmade scented soaps, a wonderful gift for anyone on your list. There is so much to see here that I can't list it all.

The Gallery is open seven days a week - Monday throguh Saturday from 9am - 9pm and Sundays 9am - 5pm. For more information call 828.254.2068.


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