Friday, June 30, 2006

Why I'm not posting photos from the mountains this week

If you follow the Appalachians north to southern New York State and turn left at the Finger Lakes, you'll end up here, in the Great Lakes shore flatlands. Posted by Picasa
Sunset over Lake Ontario (Sodus Bay). Posted by Picasa
Sunflowers along an interstate. A break in the rainstorms earlier this week, on the way north. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Here's another mention of western NC in the national media: The Washington Post's Tyler Currie takes a walk on The Road to Nowhere. Good long article with lots of history, and a trip with former residents to the old cemeteries near the long-deserted town of Proctor on the north shore of Fontana Lake. (registration may be required).
Rhododendron time. Posted by Picasa
From the top of Wildcat (a development near Murphy), looking north. Posted by Picasa
Looking south. Posted by Picasa

On these ridgetop developments, interesting article about Madison County in the Christian Science Monitor: North Carolina's mountaintop homes stir debate. From the article:
But these scenic views come with other costs: Ridge-top building may cause downstream water pollution and wreck trout streams by causing too much silt to pour off denuded slopes. Others worry that as rooftops, decks, and greens poke out from the ridges, this pursuit of the perfect view may ruin the view for others - and compromise the region's most precious asset: its beauty.
(Via BlogAsheville)
Hear, hear. And it's not just rooftops and decks poking out from the ridges. Huge swaths of trees are removed, and that exposes a lot of bare soil from roadbuilding. Some ridgetops around here look scalped. A full page ad in the Asheville Citizen Times recently is touting a mountain top airport community near Burnsville. Hmmm.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

More flowers

This one is pretty close to perfect. Posted by Picasa

Hollyhocks. Posted by Picasa

After posting this, I looked at the ads coming up on right. Seems they're most always ads for property for sale (although there are cabin rentals, b&bs and the like, too). I don't think I need to be advertising real estate here, but I could use the income if these ads ever make me any money (you need to click on them for that to happen).
But there was one here earlier that made me queasy: new homesites accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Please, no. Are those beautiful rural views going to be filled with developments, too?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Appalachian research

The Digital Library of Appalachia is from the Appalachian College Association libraries and is a searchable, browsable library of music, arts and crafts, customs, education, nature and religion.

You can search for something specific or just browse a topic. I browsed Music and found a link to Berea College's library on a local Murphy man, banjo player J. Roy Stalcup. The information in the essay came mostly from 1970's articles in the Cherokee Scout and the Clay County Progress.

Monday, June 19, 2006

June flowers

Gloriosas. Posted by Picasa

Here's another good flower identification website:
Not quite perfect. Posted by Picasa
Meadow flowers. Posted by Picasa
Lilies and a very dry stream. We need rain. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 15, 2006

WNC blogs

BlogAsheville is sponsoring The First Annual BlogAsheville Awards. Vote for your favorites.

And, Saturday is the BlogAsheville one-year anniversary party. More here. If you're a Western NC blogger, email for directions.

Note BlogAsheville's new design, too, with a great WNC blogroll and links to blogging tools, as well as newsy postings and photos.


On Apalachia Lake. Posted by Picasa
Can't imagine when or why this tower was built here. If it was before the dam was built, it would have been high above Hiwassee River. Posted by Picasa
Close up. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tellico Lake carp. Posted by Picasa
Near Vonore, TN, this lake -- and large marina -- hold some pretty big boats. Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 12, 2006

Great Smokey Mountain photos

Old photos, taken in the mid-twentieth century by Albert 'Dutch' Roth, are featured on this online exhibit from the University of Tennessee/Knoxville.
Lots of categories to browse: under 'Balds', for example, two pages of mountaintop photos, including one of the old lodge on Hooper Bald, near the modern-day Cherohala Skyway, and of the tower on top of Wayah Bald, near Nantahala and Franklin.

Ridgewood Barbeque

Nice to see that Knox View's R. Neal has discovered the Ridgewood Barbecue near Bluff City, TN. It's a long way from Knoxville (and a long way from here), but it isn't too far off the track if you're going to Virginia from here, although a bit hard to find (you have to get on the old highway, not the bypass, and it's not well marked).
I first went there in the late '70s a couple times, then rediscovered it on a trip about 10 years ago, after seeing reference to it in one of Jane and Michael Stern's Road Food books, and have been back once or twice since.
Very glad to hear it's still worth the detour. And entertaining to read the comments on Neal's posting, because as usual, the old NC vs. TN (and every other state) barbecue question always comes up.
Hydrangeas in the forest. Posted by Picasa
More hydrangeas. Posted by Picasa
Clematis. Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 05, 2006

Hugh Morton: North Carolina photographer

Marie at Blue Ridge Blog has a couple examples of Morton's best work, including his legendary photo of the skyscrapers of downtown Charlotte showing behind a sea of mountain ridges, taken from the top of Grandfather Mountain on a clear day.

UNCTV has a site dedicated to Morton and his career. The Grandfather Mountain website has more.

In the Citizen-Times, obituary and more links including multimedia.

Newspaper people and photographers remembered Morton: here's Scott Fowler in the Charlotte Observer; Jack Betts in the Observer; Lenslinger; The AP's Chuck Burton.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

After another rainy afternoon..... Posted by Picasa