Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Little Frog Wilderness, from Buck Bald, TNFrom the Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina side:

Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee River.
Looks like a regatta on the other side:
And a sailboat on Parksville (Ocoee) Lake.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hummingbird photos

Don't miss Marie's wonderful shots of a very frustrated hummingbird in Valle Crucis. And while you're at it, click on the link to Hugh Morton's hummingbird photo. Not to mention the amazing photo of the Charlotte skyline from Grandfather Mountain.....

Can we save the mountains?

It's getting scarier, now that the administration is reportedly planning to expand mountaintop removal mining (New York Times story). We should be able to do better than rely on coal for our energy needs, especially bythis destructive method. Just look at the photo with this story.

Want to express your opinion? I Love Mountains is a campaign to try to stop this waste of mountain land. See more links in this previous posting.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Volkswagens on display

Every time I pass this place along US 411 at Greenback, between Vonore and Maryville, TN, I smile. Never seen such a collection of old VWs.

Knox Views' R. Neal has taken photos and posted them to the blog.

(Amazing how many comments this has attracted, from readers who owned VWs at some time in their lives. I had two beetles myself, a 1970 and a 1972, I think.)

Around and about

On a forest service road in Cherokee National Forest (TN): some signs of color changes: drought or season?
A late cardinal flower, nearly too bright to photograph,
along Apalachia Lake.
Downtown Tellico, TN,
not Helen but this building could fit there....
Outside of Murphy, the bridge over the Hiwassee River for the new US 64 has been at this construction stage for awhile now....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Summer heat

Finally, the air has cleared and you can see the mountains without gazing through a thick mist (maybe we'll get to see the Perseids tonight after all). This is Brasstown Bald (middle peak).

The hummingbirds are having the late summer annual Star Wars/Top Gun dogfights around the feeders, but occasionally one gets a break to stop and drink....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Roses in rain

Sunday evening, before the weather turned too hot to go outside...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Scenic trains

This area is becoming the place to visit if you'd like to ride old trains through scenic mountain routes. Here's a story in the Chattanooga Times Free Press about the three trains operating within a few minutes of here: Scenic Trains Spur Business. There are links to the three companies' websites at bottom of the story.

Wouldn't it be great if there was still a train running to/from Murphy? The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad was running excursion trains here when I first started visiting Murphy, but stopped in 1985 or so according to this Wikipedia entry on the Murphy Branch. There have been rumors about a proposed trolley on the tracks from Murphy to Andrews. Next month the refurbished depot in Mineral Bluff, Ga, is reopening . The track from Blue Ridge thru Mineral Bluff to Murphy is broken now but can't you just imagine all these trains reconnected some day?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Overlooking Chattanooga

Up on Lookout Mountain:This park marks the battlefields:
New York monument:
Looking over Moccasin Bend and downtown in the distance (I-24 and railroads on the mountain side of the Bend):
A look at part of Rock City, on the Georgia side of the mountain:

In Point View Park, the Ochs Museum and Observatory (the museum is shut down and the observatory deteriorating) commemorating the contributions of Chattanooga Times publisher Adolph Ochs (of the New York Times) to preserving the battlefield areas:

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Back in the mountains

Looking down on Lake Chatuge, near Hiawassee, Ga:

Coming back from a long trip, I discovered the Roses of Sharon have filled the view from my kitchen window.

Appalachian Roads

Last week I took a driving route I've done only once before, and was reminded that there is another corner of Appalachia I haven't investigated yet...the northeastern section of Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky, and the Cumberland Gap. I've passed the area a few times now and have been intrigued by the beautiful scenery each time.

This trip, I did pull off the highway to have a look at Berea and a few neighboring towns, and will go back again. Meanwhile, though, one sign I have noticed each time is the one for the Museum of Appalachia, at Norris TN, and so was glad to see this New York Times travel story: Twisting Roads Take You to the Heart of Appalachia, which is about the museum and some of the places nearby, in eastern Tennessee and over in western Virginia.

Time to plan a trip.