Sunday, August 28, 2005

Mountain summer

In the middle of the photo, Murphy, NC, viewed from a sea of kudzu. Too hazy to make out much of anything. Distant mountains invisible. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 26, 2005

Wating for Katrina

Just like last September with about 3 hurricanes crossing Florida and heading straight here, looks like Katrina will be pointing right this way beginning of next week.
Still not getting out much to take photos, so relying on flowers, etc. This is Cosmos. Posted by Picasa
Another sunset photo: this was last Saturday evening. There hasn't been much of one since. Posted by Picasa
First full-size praying mantis we've seen this year. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Eye on Cherokee County

In Sunday's Asheville Citizen-Times: In Rudolph country, outsiders have changed the culture; Anti-abortion warrior wouldn’t fit in, local says. Nice photo of Rachel at Blue Moon Elise, downtown Murphy.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Coming up

To see Murphy, NC at its finest, don't miss the Heritage Walk and Festival, September 3.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

So sad...

Vasser Clements has died.

I-3 meeting

Word of the informational meeting being held this Thursday at Tri-Community College, from the Stop I-3 Coalition:
    On Thursday, August 18, from 7-9 PM, there will be a Public Information Meeting on the proposed "Interstate 3" at Tri-County Community College, Enloe Building. (On US Hwy 64 between Murphy and Hayesville, NC, about 9 miles west of the light in Hayesville and about 6 miles east of Murphy). The meeting is sponsored by Western Carolina Pacesetters.

    Speakers from the NC Dept.of Transportation and elected officials and representatives of elected officials will provide information on the proposed interstate from Savannah to Knoxville and an update on the status of the Feasibility Study for the highway.

    There will also be speakers who are experts on watersheds, nuclear transport, and highway feasibility studies.

    The second half of the meeting will consist of a public forum for questions and comments.

    Coalition members and other groups may have a place to set up for literature, etc. There will be opportunities to sign up to receive email updates from the Clay/Cherokee Chapter of the Stop I-3 Coalition throughout the feasibility study process and Stop I-3 stickers, shirts, and hats will be available.

    A big turnout is crucial to demonstrate that Western North Carolina, North Georgia, Upstate South Carolina, and East Tennessee are paying attention and that I-3 proponents will not be allowed to force this unwanted and unnecessary project on our mountains. Please forward this email freely and invite friends and neighbors to attend.

    For more information on Interstate 3 see .

    Also on Thursday, August 18, there will be a "Nuclear Luncheon" at 12:30 PM at the Monte Alban restaurant in Hayesville,NC (just south of the US 64 stoplight on NC 69-first strip mall on the left) Reservations are required and we will be limited to 40 people maximum. We will order lunch off the menu and do checks individually; it's good affordable Mexican food.

    Mary Olson of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, who will have a speaker's position at the Tri County meeting, has agreed to meet with interested folks for an informal lunchtime discussion about nuclear materials transport as it is currently practiced through the Asheville interstate corridor and would be practiced on I-3 if it was ever built. Mary will have limited speaking time at the TriCounty meeting Thursday evening but this is a very important topic that takes time to understand, and we are thrilled that she is sharing her expertise with us.

    Please email John Clarke at if you would like to attend.

The Stop I-3 Website seems to be out of service right now. Here's the Google cache. (There also seems to be some confusion over the exact URL. I tried all of them, though.) There's also some good information on the Chattooga Conservancy site.
I'd also recommend this Asheville Citizen Times editorial.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Another Blue Ridge mountain blog

Check out Blue Ridge Junction, from Transylvania County. Beautiful photos.

There's one thing that keeps me from looking more often at this and some of the other photo blogs out there, though: up here on our rural road it'll be a long time before we get high-speed internet. Loading a site with several large photos on it can take several minutes on dialup.

Won't some of you photobloggers take pity on folks like me and load smaller versions of your beautiful pictures on your main page, with links to high-res versions?

Friday, August 12, 2005

First bear

We had a late afternoon visitor today. Still daylight, although a bit dark for a photograph at the edge of the woods. Nothing like the photo on Fletch's blog today, though. You've got to see that one. Posted by Picasa
At least now I know what stole my feeders last winter. The one on the right is gone now. He wouldn't leave until he got them down and carried it off. Posted by Picasa

Tennessee moonscape

It's amazing that the wonderful music event in the previous postings (below) takes place in an area filled with trees, rivers, and friendly towns (Greater Copper Basin) along the Tennessee/Georgia and North Carolina borders that was once a barren wasteland.
The environmental problems here, caused by copper mining and sulfuric acid production in the 19th and 20th centuries, rate their own section of the EPA's website where you can get EPA cleanup documents and historical photographs. There's also a site all about The Copper Basin Project from Glenn Springs, an Occidental Petroleum subsidiary which is responsible for the ongoing cleanup.

Still a lot of problems here, as shown by the EPA documents and these current day photos, but the transformation is amazing. The photo above seems to show the route of current U.S. 64/74 facing east towards Murphy, NC over the mountains; the view is totally green trees now.

This is an area proud of its mining history, with museums, books and art devoted to the subject, and a booming tourist industry fueled by rafting and kayaking on the Ocoee River, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway between Blue Ridge, GA and Copperhill, TN, and the nearby historic Tennessee Overhill area.

Thursday music

Pickin' in the Park, again.
 Posted by Picasa
Nice place for a picnic or stroll with music in the background.... Posted by Picasa
Dusk along the Toccoa River. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Wednesday photos

True to my previous post (below), I haven't gotten any good photos recently. But here are a couple, anyway, including another misty sunset..... Posted by Picasa
Swallowtail. Posted by Picasa
Misty meadow flowers, late summer overgrowth. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Photo fix

I've been tied to the computer most days lately, working on some projects, and when I do go out it's raining or hazy. So I haven't gotten any good pictures lately. For photos, there are other places to go:
Try Blue Ridge Muse where Doug Thompson's posted pictures of the Friday Night Jamboree in Floyd, Va.
Or check No Direction Home, where Fletch has been taking pictures of flowers and other sites in east Tennessee, including 'The Beloved Woman', Nancy Ward's grave near Benton, Tn.
Then, of course, there's Marie, the 'hillbilly photographer' at Blue Ridge Blog. Lots of really nice photos the last week or so, from up near Boone/Valley Crucis, NC.
And, snakes, flowers and birds on Rurality from northern Alabama.

Murphy/Cherokee news

The region has been getting lots of attention this week in the regional newspaper, the Asheville Citizen-Times. A rundown on the latest coverage:

Interstate 3 study stirs WNC protest: this story backgrounds the possibility of I-3 coming through the far Western corner of NC and has comments by local Cherokee County residents. It also discusses other road improvement projects in WNC.

Inmates harvest new skills at Cherokee prison farm; nice photos and article about Cherokee County's innovative jail program.

Once best-known as bomber hideout, Murphy now a second-home magnet, and Second-home boom leading buyers into new areas of WNC, both stories from the Associated Press, discussing a new high-end development being built in Marble by the owner of Moose Hollow Trading Company, and Murphy's recent ranking as one of the best towns in the country for second homes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Thinking about roads

I love to drive the back highways, the old federal and state highways that used to be the main streets of America. And I want to know the history of them. There's a wonderful Web site called U.S. Highways where you can get information about a highway by its number, or look up the history of a storied road like the Dixie Highway, whose routes pass through or near some places I've spent time.
Or you can look up highways by state: here's, where I can read about the highways traveling through my part of the country. I looked up the state highway closest to me, NC 294, and discovered what I feared: that the road is due for an expensive widening and straightening soon. Finding out the history is fun, but the future is depressing. The site says: "Another perfectly good rustic backroad safety-sanitized for your boredom. At least you've got a few years left to drive it the way it is."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Another hazy sunset. Posted by Picasa
Oswego tea and Joe Pye weed. Posted by Picasa
The Appalachian Trail crosses Wayah Crest. Posted by Picasa
Nantahala Lake. Posted by Picasa
The water in this lake is an amazing color from some angles. Posted by Picasa