Saturday, July 21, 2018

Turn, Lift and Sparkle.....A Tennessee Walk

April 9, 2017 Sunny and warm Sunday in southern Appalachia.

Jan had not seen or experienced Falls Creek Falls State Park, Therefore, we spent Saturday stuck in Atlanta traffic after leaving the Okefenokee, arriving at the Park and our motel styled accommodation in the Park at a late hour.

We woke up to splendid breakfast at the Park restaurant, though I had feared missing it due to the late hour.  In my seventh year of retirement, many previously vital bits of knowledge are much less vital. One of these bits is the time!  As it turned out, we had crossed into Central Time, and were an hour earlier than thought. Serendipity!

As we left the restaurant, we met and talked to an obviously fashion-conscious visitor who took a photo or two of us. We learned that she had some model/photography experience. We therefore learned to TURN, then LIFT, and then SPARKLE, whereupon the shutter is released.

Janice pictured trying out this new process on one of the Park trails. As in the Ottawa Valley, Spring ephemeral flowers abound before the deciduous trees leaf out (6 weeks earlier here).

Two of these are below, Azure Bluet, Houstonia caerulea, which blooms in June in our area, and the omni- present Viola sororia, the Common Blue Violet, which appears in my garden in late April.

Fall Creek Falls is well named, as you can see from the typical photos taken on the trails.  The mountains are alive with active streams in Spring, bringing in migratory birds to mix with the local residents.  The large park is a favourite in the southeast.  SO if you decide to go, try for April weekdays!

Otherwise, you may experience some crowding on the rope bridge across the gorge.....

Jan sets out and crosses with little difficulty...BUT
on her return two LARGE mountain men trailed a tad close, causing a few moments of anxiety. I crossed the year before. It being a weekday, I was alone, and successfully challenged my panic driven fear of heights.

Signs always intrigue us, especially those that cause wonderment, like this one:

After this experience we traveled back to the Ottawa Valley for a second spring ephemeral experience.