Monday, January 28, 2013

Lake Louise Rainbows and Waterfalls

See the rainbow?

The ice storm of the other day fizzled out when the temps got over freezing.  Fine by me!  The next day was sunny and all the ice had melted away.  I had errands to run north of town and stopped by Lake Louise in Weaverville for a brisk walk around the lake.  The ducks thought I had food and kept pace with me as I walked.

 It is a small park with a playground for the kids and a community center.  The walking trail takes you around the lake and it not very long.  Some folks were doing laps with their dogs but it was a bit too breezy for me.  The sun was hitting the fountain just right to create a dazzling rainbow. 

On my way back, I noticed the water wheel and went down to investigate.  The waterfall was an unexpected surprise.  As I have mentioned before - I am drawn to trails near water and this made my day! 

I was not able to find any info about the waterwheel or falls.  Apparently Lake Louise was named Lake Juanita back in 1910 when it was created.  Trolleys used to run from Asheville out to Weaverville to this area to give the city folk a day in the country!It was made into a park in later years.  The trolleys have long since stopped running but people do still come out here, now  just 10 minutes from the city to have lunch and get a dose of small town life

Our temps will be in the 60s this week for a couple of more days - hope to get out and see something new to photograph!  Have a good one yourself!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sick Cats, Broccoli and Frost

Had to take a bit of a break to tend to a cat emergency!  Our Snowball had a urinary blockage and spent 3 days at the vet.  He is home and OK for now but we have to overhaul his food and other things to get his weight down and make sure he is feeling much better.  Don't want to go thru this again.  I set up an auction blog to help defray the cost of his bills - check it out and make a bit by Jan 30!

Nothing much new besides that.  A lot of heavy rain last week and then some cold nights lately.  We had broccoli crowns on our plants and had to harvest them or lose them.  Our kale plants are thriving. Some mornings the frost was so thick on the pasture across from us it looked like snow.  The ponies over there seem to be invigorated by the cold, running from one end to the other!  They look cute with their fuzzy coats.

A wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow is descending on us tonight so we will see how things look in the morning!  I am off work for a few days so I can just stay home and watch it go by.  Right now the wind is howling - it is just a loud roar as it bellows through the trees on the ridge.

It being Thankful Thursday today - I am just thankful for a mild winter so far and that our Snowball is home and doing good.  Stay warm and dry!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Still Raining...

At least it is not snow or freezing rain like many places across the country are experiencing. My next post will have pictures of the white stuff.  We will get 2-3 inches on Thursday - our first snow this season. In the drizzle, I walked around outside and took some shots of the drops on the holly bush and larch

The birds seem to be enjoying the mild weather in spite of the rain. There is a sweet Carolina wren who comes to this feeder but I have yet to get a photo of her.  She sits on the porch railing and chirps away to tell me the feeder is empty!  As soon as I move away from the window, she flies off. She is very shy and never sits still!  One of these days I will be fast enough to get her picture!

And our spring bulbs are coming up two months too soon.  If we get the cold front later this week I don't know how they will fare!  Hope you are staying dry wherever you are!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday Drive to Hickory Nut Falls

Another day of showers but the temps were downright balmy - in the upper 60s and perfect for a drive.  I finally took down my Christmas tree yesterday and drove the boxes to our storage unit. From there it is a  short but spectacular drive through Hickory Nut Gorge down through Bat Cave and to the tiny village of Chimney Rock. With camera in hand and the radio on I descended the 1800 feet down into the gorge along twisty winding Route 9.  This is one of my favorite drives.

I enjoyed the fact that it was a quiet day with very little traffic. The Rocky Broad River tumbles down the gorge shewn with boulders into Lake Lure a the bottom.  I stopped a couple of times to shoot the river which is always changing with the seasons.

I pulled into a small campground at the base of Hickory Nut Falls.  Without going into the state park, this was as close as I was going to get.  There had been plenty of rain recently so the 404 foot falls was quite visible.

Sitting here, listening to the rushing water, relaxes me.  Water has always been my place of calm - whether it is a river, waterfall or lake.  Even though I grew up in a large New England city, I did live on the shores of a lake.  To stay sane, I have to have my water. Here in North Carolina, I am fortunate to live close by to so many water sources and find that a short spell sitting next to a river will keep me going for days!

Where in nature do you go to restore?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Low Clouds in Life

The clouds sit very low today and some are caught on the mountain peaks, making for a gloomy drizzly overcast day.  But on a positive note, it is more like a warm spring day.

My mood has been more like this over the past month.  We have had n snow but lots of rain or overcast days.  I have mild SAD but this year it seems worse.  At times I wish I was a bear and could hibernate for the next two months and wake up in spring - a new world and a new beginning.

Part of this mood is grieving over losing my cat Joey - still going over the what ifs and what I missed. I know it was meant to be but it seems so final.  After losing so many pets over the years, I realize that when it is their time to go there is nothing that can change that.  I have seen cats survive incredible odds to live long lives and then others succumb early on  to sudden illness.  I think that their lives are predestined and they  have a finite time to experience life on earth before they return to spirit.  Knowing that doesn't make it easier to handle  losing them .

Dark and somber, the mountains still cast their spell on me.

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”  - W.B. Yeats

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Living Thermometer

When I want to know how cold it is outside, I just have to look at the rhododendron leaves on the bush outside the office window.  The colder it is, the tighter the leaves are curled! At about 25 degrees and below, they are drooping and tightly curled.

I often wondered why this strange thing happens so I looked it up.  According to one web site....

The leaves curl because they lose water, just as many other plants wilt. Severe droughts also cause rhododendron leaves to droop and curl. The pores through which the plant loses water and takes up air are located on the underside of the leaves. When the leaves curl, these pores are protected, and the evaporation of additional water is reduced. The curled leaves protect the rhododendron plant from more water loss.

So on warm days, the leaves are open and perpendicular to the plant stem.  As it gets closer to freezing, they start to droop. Below freezing, the leaves droop and curl.  Pretty cool plant!  I have my own thermometer just outside the window in winter!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sunset Over the Smoky's

I had another post planned but seem to be having camera downloading issues so that one will have to wait.

 I took this last night at work.  A very slow night - January is usually like after the hubbub of the holidays and all.  At least I have the pleasure of  working someplace that has the best views of the sunsets over the Smoky Mountains in all of Asheville!  Last night was a breathtakingly beautiful one!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Almost an Emergency


My two dear ancient cats Yoko (19) and Chica (21) get subcutaneous fluids daily. we have found that it works best for us to give them at night before we got to bed.  Last night at about 10 pm, my husband was warming the fluids and the tubing that transfers the fluid from the bag to the needle broke! 

Panic!  Could they make it until morning?  Could we find a replacement on Sunday?  At their age, their health is so fragile, I hate to change their routine at all.  We still had time so  I called one of my vets who is open until 11 pm every day and they had a replacement.  We had an hour to get there before they closed.  Hubby jumped in the car and headed over there - 20 minutes away. 


He came home with the tubing and said they just gave it to him - no charge.  Haw Creek Animal Hospital is a great place for emergencies without the high fees of ER vets.  Plus they have a kind staff who does things like this often. 

We did the fluids and I was able to go to bed knowing my furry kids were fine for one more day.  Hope you are having a peaceful day today too!

Friday, January 4, 2013

I Am Back with a New Format

Happy New Year!

I missed having a blog about my life besides the one with the cats so I am back.  This time I am going to just do my thing and hope that you either participate or at least follow along.  Instead of the travelogue of our area,  I will  use photos, stories and my thoughts to make up the blog. I will try to be interesting and worth your while to visit.

This lovely heron was feeding in a nearby stream. We have one who frequents the creek across the road but this was a bit further away.  What was unusual this time was how close he let me get without being the least bit afraid.  Just very intent on his prey. I had my  animal totems done by a student of Native American ways and she told me herons and hawks are my messenger totems - to be aware of when and where I see them.  Herons are associated with peace, balance in life and connections to the spirit world.

I have been trying to find all of those in my life recently - becoming more of a homebody (altho that could be the cold winter month's calling for hibernation).  My life needs balance physically and emotionally.  I seem to have too much of everything!  And I do wish to find some connection to the spirit world after losing my cat Joey a month ago along with several relatives and friends this year.

So, according to my heron,  my goal for this 2013 is to create peace, balance and a spiritual connection.  Do you have any goals for this new year?


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