Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mountain State Fair


We went to the fair last week and had a great time. We just stay on the ground and watch the rides, view the prize winning exhibits and visit the animals.   They had been showing the pig races on the local news station nd we made sure we got to see that.  It was difficult to photograph the races as the kids were so excited that they kept jumping up in front of me or waving their hands.  I have included the video from the fair from YouTube so you can get a taste of the pig/duck/goat races.






My favorite is always the animals.  I love the Brahmans - so huge, quiet and expressive.  They are actually very adaptable to different climates , intelligent, inquisitive and actually shy.

Brahma bull

This year they set up a "Mooturnity" ward for the cows who were about to have calves.  Many were born during the fair and it was great for the kids and adults to see.




Newborn calf




Sleepy pig



Llama
We are playing Camera Critters, Straight Out of the Camera Sunday, Mosaic Monday, Our World Tuesday

Monday, September 12, 2011

Neighbors


Flying Cloud Farm is a short drive from my house and offers fresh organic produce and flowers all season in a small roadside kiosk set up on the honor system.  I love to visit here not just for the things for sale but because the owners Annie and Isaiah are two of the kindest people you could meet.


When my husband and I first moved to this area a few years ago from the high mountains, we took a drive to explore and stopped here at Flying Cloud.  Unfortunately, our car died in the parking lot and we had forgotten our cell phone.  We propped open the hood and I stayed with the car while Don headed off down the dirt road to the farmhouse with the farm dogs following, to ask if he could use the phone to call AAA.


While I was waiting, many people stopped to ask if they could be of assistance - not just patrons of the produce stand, but those driving by.  Their kindness made a big impression on me.

Back at the farmhouse, Don had had called AAA using the house phone and  was talking food and gardening with Annie, losing track of time. She discovered during the conversation that we had just moved here and had no jobs as of yet.  Don was very touched when she invited us to dinner at the farmhouse. He assured her we had savings that would tide us over until we found work.


Meanwhile at the car, Isaiah stopped on his way out of the driveway to try and jump the dead car but to no avail.  We had to wait for AAA.


In spite of all the hassle of our car breaking down, everything turned out just fine.  We met so many warm and welcoming folks that afternoon, we knew we had moved to the right place!












Rednesday

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Labyrinth Meditation



September 11 is my mother's birthday (she passed in 2006) as well as a day to honor those who lost their lives in 2001.  I decided to do a walking meditation to honor both  by visiting the local labyrinth, tucked into a mountain cove not far from my house.




I took with me a stone, engraved with the word peace, a sunflower from my garden and a scrap of paper with Happy Birthday Mom written on it.  It was the perfect day - blue sky, a hint of fall in the air and brilliant sunshine.  Not a soul was nearby - I had the place to myself.  I placed the stone at the entrance which is guarded by twin trees.  The path in is littered with stones, trinkets and personal items placed there by many who use this lovely labyrinth.


I walked slowly and deliberately, chanting silently to the center.  I placed my flower next to and tucked my note under a small statue of Kwan Yin, the Bodhisattva of compassion, wishing my mom a very Happy  94th Birthday.  I spent a few minutes in the center rotating around to take in all of the details of this serene wooded setting and began my slow walk out, stopping to pick up a tiny spotted feather I had not noticed before.  I took the feather as a good sign,  for birds are symbols that connect this world with the next.  My mother got her message, I felt.





When I got home I sat outside on the deck for a while watching the birds at the feeder and a brilliant orange butterfly hovered over my heart and stopped there for the briefest moment before fluttering away.   I was delighted - I  felt I had been visited by a sprite or fairy!

I have been thinking of making a change in my life and this seemed to tell me to go with it - butterflies mean transformation and change and so does the color orange. Orange also means creativity which fits perfectly with my dreams of change.  Nature talks to us if we only stop to listen.


The labyrinth is available for all to use during daylight hours and lies on the property of a private residence.  They offer alternative healings at and labyrinth retreats.  Please do visit their web site to learn more - The Labyrinth Center.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September Blooms


The rain bands from Tropical Storm Lee were still passing through his week when I headed over to the Arboretum to see what was blooming this month.



I was surprised at all the flowers in bloom from the symmetrical formal garden with oranges, yellows and purples to the wooded paths with various flowers scattered here and there.  Even the dried hydrangeas looked lovely!


Autumn Crocus


Hydrengea


Spider lily


Hydrangea


Formal gardens






Water garden


Pool and container gardens


Waterfall


Bridges over the creek.




Skywatch Friday
Weekend Reflections
Sunday Bridges

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ducks, Bridges and Lake Reflections



I like to go for a walk around Lake Tomahawk in Black Mountain.  The views are just amazing and the local water fowl provide an amusing display!  With little rain this month the lake is low and covered with algae.








There are two bridges - one at the far end of the lake over an overflow drain and the other back to the parking lot.





My favorite view is of the seven mountains called the Seven Sisters visible from the far side of the lake near the fountain.  Hope you have a great weekend.








Straight Out of the Camera Sunday


Please stop by my Wildcat Woods Vintage Treasures blog for lots of new and gently used items for sale to support my feral cat  rescue.

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