Autumn, so many shades of…. green & brown.

Graybeard Overlook 10-11-2019  10.25.31-sm-2.jpgThe camera club went the night before to the Pixie Forest near Graybeard Overlook on the BRP. I didn’t make that trip, but we woke up to fog and had a day we could go goof together till about midday, so we headed that way.

Pumpkins in the fog 10-11-2019 07.55.46-sm

We got kinda a late start. Hubby had to go get an allergy shot and I took photos of my pumpkins in the fog. Shortly after we hit the road, we ran completely out of fog, and clouds. We didn’t really call this a leaf looking drive because the leaves are mostly green or brown.  Well, I guess we were still technically looking at leaves, just not autumn leaf colors.

I never did see anything that looked like the forest of curvy trees I had in my head from viewing other people’s photos. We went to the left from the overlook, didn’t see lots of curvey trees with grass but did find one gnarled cool tree. We went back through the overlook parking and tried the other side too. Maybe I had a closed mind because I didn’t see a group of curvey trees and it wasn’t in the fog so my creative vision was just “off.”

As we were driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, we passed where we could see the top of the Green Knob tower that June and I had hiked to. We passed that neat dead tree somewhere before the Twin tunnels. We past two trees with red leaves. Yes, two. I actually don’t think our local news is even able to say we are having a less than stellar leaf season. Ever. We did have a few days of a little bit cooler weather but it came with lots of wind even at lower elevations.

We saw a sign saying we were in Egypt Township. I bet you can guess what hubby said about it? Over the weekend a friend said that near Mill Springs there is one that says something about being Africa. And here I thought we didn’t travel. Who knew?

We ate our packed lunch beside parked on the side of the road between a church and the river. We passed a dilapidated church or old schoolhouse with a bell tower. I think we were still on 19W.  I so wanted a photo but hubby had already hit his limit of fog, trees, rocks, water and old stuff. If I’m ever back on that road, I will park and walk to get a photo from at least the road. I loved the image in my head that I would’ve shot.

I was surprised to see so many swinging bridges crossing over the river. There was one that I didn’t get a photo of that look like something large had hit the steel post and buckled its legs. I had on my bifocals but was twisted around in the passenger seat. I thought the two blurry wood structures I could make out in my screen were the front and back of the bridge. It was a telephone pole and the first part of the bridge, completely cutting off the bent side. Wish my eyesight didn’t require glasses.  Some had wood walkway planks splintered and hanging. One had a sign that said, “walk at your own risk.”

swinging bridges along 19W 10-11-2019 13.25.17-sm

I misread the directions to Big Creek Falls and was looking for a pull-off on the right with the falls on the left instead of a pull-off right near the falls on the left. As the road took us away from the sound of water, after going the right milage, we turned around where I re-read and saw my mistake.

Big Creek Falls 10-11-2019 12.51.39-sm

It really is right by the road. My knees were touching the guardrail in this shot. It makes me wonder how many waterfalls we drive right by? The photo in Adam’s book was taken after a snow and had a lot more water coming over than what we saw. It has been so, so dry! Here’s one from when we were not so dry. The bottom had been damned up with black material and rocks to make a swimming hole and there was an old rope swing tied to a tree.  I took a few photos from the road then did the short kinda steep, but not a scramble, trail to the base.

Big Creek Falls 10-11-2019  13.04.52-sm.jpg

Hubby noticed we’d just passed a descent sized hornets’ nest. I didn’t see it at all. Guess I should’ve been concentrating on more than where to put my feet. Just a note about a typical day for us when we don’t do much planning… we were only 4 miles from the Tennessee state line.

Big Creek Falls 10-11-2019 13.03.45-2-sm

The front of mostly my left knee has been sending a sharp pain through the front of my knee cap, for a while now, but only standing back up from sitting on a low seat. It doesn’t really hurt to squat and stand back up, or to walk or anything else until it did this day.

Then both of them had that same pain. How annoying! On this day, when I took a step going back up to the road the pain across the front / anterior of my kneecap hit me and it did it again on the step from our mudroom to the kitchen. I guess I need to start looking up strengthening exercises for my knee and hips, and start some of the same supplements I’ve been giving Tyler.  Of course, shedding weight I’m sure would help, although if you minus out all the weight I lost while building our last house, I’m right where I’ve been for the last 15 years. Dr. Google says it’s called patellofemoral pain. As a kid my knee caps could move around if my legs were relaxed like they floated. If I walk too hard or fast I get shin splints every darn time and I have flat feet. I’ve had plantar fasciitis that will come back quicker than a cat who hears a tuna can open, if I don’t wear supportive shoes. Normal? who knows.

Although this is an every morning routine…


Here are a few more of my pumpkin shots I’ve been playing with. I have a few more ideas but I’m starting to grow tired of setting them for photos. I didn’t have a cobalt blue vase so I tried to paint a Ball jar. My mom loaned me a cobalt glass vase so as soon as the mood hits again, I want to photograph my whopping two Chinese lanterns I got after watering the plants all season. I hope Tyler’s little flannel shirt arrives before the pumpkins rot.

I am beginning to have that slight panic attack that comes when I realize that there are 10 weeks left in this year.

I have yet to go through my computer and do the mass clean up of files, mostly photos that pushed me to double the size of my hard drive earlier in the year. Actually, I’ve now filled up about half, yes half of that extra TB. Auggh! Also, I have not worked on our business paperwork. Neither business. Neither checkbook. All 10 1/2 months of receipts thrown into a box. Taxes again are going to be a disaster this year. I swear I do NOT know where the time or all my well-meaning intentions go. I need to stay home. I need to work on our own stuff. I need to quit taking so many photos and I need to be hard and fast when culling. I need to spend time with friends and family, and Tyler time. This really hit me when he started limping this year. I need “me” time. I want to read or sit on the porch and ya know what… maybe not give reviews of every outing, product or book. I want to get up and go for a walk, sans camera, in the quiet. Yep, 10 weeks to go and I’m already feeling the year-end hecticness that comes with too many must-do holidays and traditions along with all the grown-up self-employed crap. I have learned (the hard way) to fully appreciate what I have and I know I will miss when they’re gone.  That fine line between enjoying life, and doing the things that are expected of you, plus work. I need to practice “no” even a little more. No explanation. Just “no”.  Have the getting older part down pat. Working on the wiser part. I can’t change anyone but me. I’m working on that.

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