Tag Archives: Nature

Keeping up with 2017

We have two new 2017 wall calendars in our Etsy shop that I’m excited about and want to¬†preview here as this might just be the perfect time to order one. ūüėČ
Each calendar is large (14.25 x 11 inches) and printed on sturdy high-quality paper with vibrant full-color.

The first we call Ice and Fire, a nature photo calendar that includes stunning images from Iceland, the High Sierras and the Colorado Rockies. ¬†These amazing photos were taken on trips that my sister and brother, Joni and Craig, made this summer, and I think you’ll find this calendar is a page turner.

Here’s what it looks like.

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Secrets & Dreams is an art calendar that¬†showcases my art work, and here’s a peek at it.

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So here they are.  Take your pick!

Have a great weekend.

 

 

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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 m√≠o…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.

Hunting Wilflowers on the Cucumber Gap Loop Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

See entire article at¬†Granny’s Little Apples

Last weekend my brother, Craig, and I were on a mission as we drove up to the Smokies and camped in the Elkmont campground on the Gatlinburg side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.¬† Our mission: to photograph early spring flora, fauna, and/or landscapes for a ribbon-awarding photography contest that is part of the park’s 2012 Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage to be judged in late April.

But first we had to set up camp, and what a cozy little “gettin’ outta the city” hideaway it was (great fire Craig got started with damp kindling and twigs)!¬† As we couldn’t do much in the way of hiking that late afternoon we decided to take a peek at the trail we were going to hike the next day, the trail a ranger told us was currently boasting about 25 different plant species…the Cucumber Gap Loop.

Cucumber Gap is joined by the Little River Trail and Jake’s Creek Trail forming a 5.6 mile loop of easy to moderate difficulty (I happened to find it much more on the moderate side!).¬† The next morning, after a rolling, rumbling thunderstorm, we set off with my newly purchased flower field guide (quite excellent, by the way) in hand¬† for the Little River entrance to the loop where we spent the next several hours finding many of the 25 flower species the ranger from the day before had somewhat promised.

Little River

It was amazing, really, because some of them are very hard to spot.¬† I have featured many below hoping, not only that you will enjoy them, but also hoping that you might help us choose four for the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage contest.¬† Hover over a photo for the common name of the flower (one was not in my field guide, and I haven’t yet identified it yet [some kind of wild rose, maybe?], so the image number will do).¬† Click on an image for a larger view, and many, many thanks to all of you who participate.

Hunting Wildflowers on the Cucumber Gap Loop Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Last weekend my brother, Craig, and I were on a mission as we drove up to the Smokies and camped in the Elkmont campground on the Gatlinburg side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.¬† Our mission: to photograph early spring flora, fauna, and/or landscapes for a ribbon-awarding photography contest that is part of the park’s 2012 Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage to be judged in late April.

But first we had to set up camp, and what a cozy little “gettin’ outta the city” hideaway it was (great fire Craig got started with damp kindling and twigs)!¬† As we couldn’t do much in the way of hiking that late afternoon we decided to take a peek at the trail we were going to hike the next day, the trail a ranger told us was currently boasting about 25 different plant species…
the Cucumber Gap Loop.

Cucumber Gap is joined by the Little River Trail and Jake’s Creek Trail forming a 5.6 mile loop of easy to moderate difficulty (I happened to find it much more on the moderate side!).¬† We approached from the Jake’s Creek entrance, and as we were checking out a portion of the trail we experienced one of those ‘Eureka!’ moments when we came upon a ‘community’ of dilapidated cottages and houses in various states of severe disrepair and bearing signs warning ‘US Property NO Trespassing.’¬† What the heck were they, we wondered, and why were they here in a national park?

Elkmont Historic District, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Through NP signage we found out that some of these cottages were renovated ‘shanty’ houses from a logging community established by the Little River Lumber Company in 1908,¬† long before the area was designated as a national park.¬† The town was named for the preponderance of elk that roam the area, and the original community was located on what is now the site of the Elkmont campground, ranger station, and Elkmont Historic District maintained by the park.¬† There is an unmarked graveyard behind the campground (which we, unfortunately, didn’t know about at the time so never got to visit…next trip).

Restored Appalachain Club

Over the next several decades hunters and fisherman from Knoxville bought land from the lumber company and established the Appalachian Club in 1910.  When the  Wonderland Hotel was built two years later the area began to attract the Knoxville elite as a vacation retreat.

When the national park was established in the 1930’s the owners of these cottages were allowed to sell their properties at half price to the¬† National Park Service and were offered lifetime leases.¬† When these leases expired in 1992 the club, hotel, and cottages were designated for removal.¬† Before that could happen, however, the structures were listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Elkmont Historic District, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.¬†¬† Eighteen structures were set aside for renovations, and the rest were cataloged and removed.

Restorations on the Appalachian Club have been completed, but as far as we could see, the others are still untouched except for stabilizing foundations.¬† As we checked out the Appalachian Club Craig and I wondered if the building¬† would be available for event rentals or only for guided tours (this latter option being the one for which we hoped). ¬† But, alas, I’m sorry to tell you, Craig, that this lovely, historic building is available for weddings, family reunions, business meetings, retreats…pretty much anything.¬† Shucks!

We found a certain charm in all of this decrepitude, but I digress from our mission: finding & photographing flowers.  The next morning, after a rolling, rumbling thunderstorm, we set off with my newly purchased flower field guide (quite excellent, by the way) in hand for the Little River entrance to the loop where we spent the next several hours finding many of the 25 flower species the ranger from the day before had somewhat promised. 

It was amazing, really, because some of them are very hard to spot.¬† I have featured many below hoping, not only that you will enjoy them, but also hoping that you might help us choose four for the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage contest.¬† Hover over a photo for the common name of the flower (one was not in my field guide, and I haven’t yet identified it yet [some kind of wild rose, maybe?], so the image number will do).¬† Click on an image for a larger view, and many, many thanks to all of you who participate.

PS: You should now be able to vote for as many as you’d like.¬† Go crazy! -April 1, 2012