It’s My Birthday June 14th

Me obviously enjoying my cake on my first birthday and as an aspiring ballarena when I was five.
Me obviously enjoying my cake on my first birthday and as an aspiring ballerina when I was five.

        Today, June 14th, is my birthday. Thirty-nine years ago today, a little bundle arrived for my Mom and Dad to figure out what to do with and how to try and keep it happy. They did a great job, and I’m still happy and at times still a bundle. . . . ha . . . but now for Wes to take care of! I’ve been blessed to have made many happy memories with my family and friends so far in my life and continue to enjoy each new day as it comes my way. For my first birthday, my parents got me my own cake and so started my love affair with “icing cake”. I still enjoy eating my cake in this same manner, especially if it’s chocolate. I also was fortunate in having the opportunity to take ballet and tap classes for many years as a young girl. This was a great joy and I still have all of my tutus and precious ballet costumes, as well as my ballet and tap shoes to this day.

granny's orchid
Granny's orchid bloom, also known as the "Florida Butterfly Orchid".

       My late Granny, my Mom and I are all June babies, so it seemed quite appropriate and special that a wild orchid that my Granny and I found in the woods in Florida one day, about nine years ago, bloomed this past week. The first beautiful bloom opened the day after my Mom’s birthday and the second one opened on my Granny’s birthday. A special tribute for two very special ladies, so I thought I’d share a photo as it’s quite stunning at only an inch in diameter!

Avery, Beverly, myself and Wes enjoying a delicious picnic in Cades Cove.
Avery, Beverly, myself and Wes enjoying a delicious picnic in Cades Cove.

        We enjoyed a wonderful picnic in the Cades Cove picnic area with our two very dear neighbor friends Beverly and Avery Collins. Not only are they loads of fun to be with but Beverly is also an awesome cook and makes everyone’s tummies and taste buds very happy! She graciously provided the lunch consisting of delicious sandwiches, an assortment of fresh fruits and totally yummy homemade, dark chocolate cookies!! Wes and I did our best to make sure she didn’t have to worry about leftovers, as it was the least we could do!

This is how close we were able to enjoy the music in Cades Cove for the 75th Anniversary concert.
This is how close we were able to sit and enjoy the music in Cades Cove for the 75th Anniversary concert.

       This year is the 75th Anniversary for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. To celebrate this milestone, several special events have been planned for this year, in the park. Yesterday, after our yummy picnic, we were happy to be one of the people to have acquired tickets for a concert in Cades Cove by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. What a fabulous event it was and the National Park Service is certainly to be commended for such a great job done running this event so smoothly, as they were dealing with quite a number of people.

Senator Lamar Alexander tickles the ivories, and fellow musicians play during the concert.
Senator Lamar Alexander tickles the ivories, and fellow musicians play during the concert.

         There could not have been a more beautiful setting for the concert than in one of the beautiful Cades Cove fields in the Smokies! We arrived in time to acquire a most wonderful spot smack down front and to the side a bit. There was no one between the four of us and the stage, so it was almost as if we were enjoying a private concert, forgetting the other thousands of people that were also there enjoying this wonderful event. As the music played, it appeared as if the clouds above were dancing and keeping time, as well as the occasional butterfly that would flutter by, with its wings appearing to have perfect timing. At one point I decided to go up front and sit about 15 feet from the stage with a few other people there taking photos. I found this to be a great idea, as it sounded like I was on stage in the middle of all of these talented musicians. The last song I enjoyed in this close proximity was “Amazing Grace” which is one of my all time favorites. They begin it with only the violinists playing, making it sound like bagpipes. It was quite a hallowing and beautiful sound as it carried through the mountains, and I felt so very blessed to have been able to experience it in this way. They performed a melody of songs from the Sound of Music, with the words “the hills are alive . . . with the sound of music” being most appropriate in our mountain setting! To top it all off, on the drive out of the Cove, we saw two Black Bears and also enjoyed watching as a mommy White-Tailed Deer and her very young fawn crossed the road directly in front of us! An ultimate uplifting of the spirits was achieved from this amazing experience by all.

Me enjoying my peanut butter and rasin sandwich at Upper Meigs falls.
Me enjoying my peanut butter and raisin sandwich at Upper Meigs falls.

        For my birthday we hiked to Upper Meigs Falls, and enjoyed a picnic there. It was a lovely walk with several of the Rhododendrons in bloom, and the moss in full splendor after the rain we’ve received. I lost count of the many times the soft mounds of moss begged for me to pet it along the way. Even the lichen called British Soldier Moss, due to the small red blooms on top that resemble a soldier’s cap, felt nice and soft to the touch. Needless to say, it takes a bit longer to travel with this habit. The falls were beautiful and just as we got there the sun came out and spotlighted it in full splendor. We enjoyed eating our lunch there and I myself enjoyed walking and playing in the water since I was wearing what I call my “all terrain sandals”. The soothing effect of cooled feet makes for a most pleasant hike. On the way back we took photos of the most unusual and gorgeous Fungi blooms. Another wonderful hiking experience was added to the memory banks!

A most beautiful and unusual  fungi.
A most beautiful and unusual purple club coral mushroom.

We returned home in time to have a wonderful dinner and Moose Tracks (chocolate with big chunks of chocolate in it) ice cream with friends. A wonderful end to a wonderful birthday!

Until next time ~ Rachelle 🙂

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14 thoughts on “It’s My Birthday June 14th

  1. Happy belated Birthday Rachelle! Sounds like you had a really lovely time. What a wonderful concert that must have been. The orchid is absolutely beautiful and the fungus is very weird!

    1. Hi tracy,
      Thank you so very much! I did have a lovely time and the concert was just awesome!! Yes, the fungus is really weird. . . it looks like it should be living in the ocean to me. I’m still enjoying the orchid blooms.
      Rachelle 🙂

  2. Rachelle, belated Happy Birthday, and all best wishes for your year ahead! My sister Peggy’s birthday is the day after yours, June 15.

    I’m pretty impressed that you and Wes knew what to call that purple mushroom!

    1. Hi Mona,
      Thanks for the happy birthday! June is a good month, isn’t it!
      Well, we consider ourselves more naturalists, so we like to learn the names of different species. We have a field guide that let us know the type of mushroom, Coral Mushroom, but Wes found online that it was specifically a Purple Club Coral Mushroom.
      I’m glad we impressed you 🙂
      Rachelle

    1. Hi Dana,
      Thank you!! Yes, peanut butter and raisins, it’s my Grandpa’s recipe. It works much better than jelly, as it doesn’t get mushy when we take it on our hikes. Plus you get an extra energy boost from the raisins and protein form the peanut butter!
      Banana and sweet pickles . . . . well alrighty then . . . . I’ll take your word for it on that one 🙂
      Rachelle

  3. Banana and sweet pickles? Sounds weird. I guess England and the USA have quite a lot of different tastes. Or is it just me – as I’m a bit weird when it comes to food likes and dislikes. But it was hilarious when Mona queried the word Knob on my blog. Love from Bill

    1. Hi Bill,
      I’ll have to admit, banana and sweet pickles doesn’t sound too appetizing to the taste buds to me, but I’m sure some of my edible concoctions might not sound very yummy to others. So I guess each to his own taste accordingly, but it’s quite interesting to hear of other peoples “favorites”. Yes, that’s funny about the inquiry of the knob, but alas it’s better to be on the safe side as there are some totally different meanings to a few of our words from across the pond.
      P.S. Wes says he’s going to try Dana’s favorite sandwich . . . . if he survives, perhaps I’ll try it as well . . . .Ha!
      Love and Hugs 🙂
      Rachelle

    1. Hi Dana,
      We’re in Indiana at present. As soon as we get the correct ingredients, Wes will try it, as he’s a good sport about trying new foods. If he survives, then perhaps I’ll try it as well . . . ha!
      Rachelle 🙂

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