So when are we going back to the Smokies, Craig? Never, you say?

Reposted from TPI

We adore the Great Smokey Mountains National Park for its bounty of magical wonders, but three trips for me and four for Craig within a five-week period have been hectic to say the least.

[Trip #1]: In late March we went up to shoot photos for a contest sponsored by the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage (and thanks so much to all who voted in our poll). 

Once the photos were taken they had to go through post production in Photoshop, printing, mounting & matting, and finally required hand-delivery to the Pilgrimage officials by April 20th [Trip #2].

Just this past weekend (April 27th), after several days of judging last week, the photos had to be picked up.  So Craig & I journeyed up there again, this time with my grandson, Motley, to reclaim our photos and spend the weekend camping [Trip#3].  In between these trips Craig had made an independent trek to camp with his grandkids.  Whew, we were beginning to feel like the Elkmont Campground was our second home!

All this trekking around…back & forth to the Smokies, from my house to Craig’s lab, from Craig’s lab to my house, to the frame shop for mounting & matting…all of the overhead, all of the post production time & effort in Photoshop (rotating, cropping, color & contrast adjustments)…all of it…paid off for us, though, as we made our way into the exhibit area of the Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg and spied a blue ribbon for 1st place and a red ribbon for 2nd place in the flora category decorating two out of our four entries.  And oh, aren’t we just a little proud & excited and feeling entitled to just a few teeny weeny bragging rights.  But mostly we’re content & grateful, feeling the satisfaction of a good ‘day’s’ work.

Here are the winners.  Click on an image for a larger view.

Craig was far more refined than I at this little achievement (it must be a boy/girl thing), and perhaps it was my pride that brought on a terrible case of food poisoning our last night there that left me nearly comatose.  Craig had to keep Motley corralled, break camp, and pack everything up by himself…once again, as he so often does, rescuing me from myself! 

Before I’d gotten sick, though, I’d been having a blast with little Motley mío…searching for salamanders, throwing rocks in the rivers, lying down with him in the tent at night reading a good Mo Willems book, and waking up with him all to myself.

And we’d gotten to see more flowers, including pink lady slippers, wildflowers that have eluded me through many years of traveling & hiking, as well as critters like those pictured below.

Craig & I would like to thank the folks of the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage for their recognition and appreciation of our work and to let the promo people at GSNP know that they can plaster our photos all over their website and in as many brochures as they would like…anywhere, anytime!  What a super fine journey to one of the finest of our national parks.


8 responses to “So when are we going back to the Smokies, Craig? Never, you say?

  1. Debbie Hicks

    Congrats on the ribbons! Keep on clicking!
    Deb Hicks

    • Debbie de Juan nee Keating

      Thanks, Deb. I just bought a new tripod today so I guess we’ll be clicking for a while longer anyway!

  2. Deb, that’s awesome!!!! I’m so proud of you!!!! What an honor!!!

  3. How’d you get that close-up of the garter snake?!

    • Debbie de Juan nee Keating

      I was pretty close, but I used my telephoto lens. He’s kind of cute, don’t you think?

  4. Congratulations! Well deserved. You should feel very proud of your accomplishment.

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