“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.
It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”
~Henry David Thoreau
We returned late Friday afternoon, from a wonderful few days spent in North Carolina visiting friends. We left early last Monday morning and started our lovely drive through the Smoky Mountain National Park as we headed over to Cashiers, NC to meet dear friends, Tommy and Peggy, for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Cornucopia. The weather was perfect as we wound our way along the curvy, forest-lined road, and enjoyed the spectacular vistas we passed along the way, while stopping at a couple to take photos. It was a chilly 58 degrees in the upper elevations, and felt wonderful after our past few weeks of very warm weather. After drinking in the lovely views and enjoying the cool weather, it wasn’t long until we reached our lunchtime destination in Cashiers. Keeping with tradition, Wes and I both enjoyed their delicious Magic Mushroom sandwich, which is a yummy, marinated and grilled portabella. After eating, talking and relaxing a bit, we continued on our journey arriving at our dear friend, Don’s home later that afternoon. We weren’t there too long before one of his beautiful resident White Squirrels came for a short visit and some peanut handouts.
Wes and I along with Don, Barb and Fred, with Connestee Falls out of view to the right.
The next morning we all headed for Connestee Falls, and I got to go there in style, while riding with Don in his beautiful Porsche. I must say that at times it certainly was a most thrilling ride, though I won’t divulge the actual speed making it thus! The falls were absolutely gorgeous with great amounts of water rushing over the edge dropping to the bottom far below, creating a most powerful roar that filled the air! Leaving the falls, we visited a small art gallery before we enjoyed walking around the downtown area of Brevard, taking time to enjoy a tasty pizza for lunch. We returned to Don’s later that afternoon, when shortly thereafter, Wes and I took a leisurely walk along a lovely trail that follows alongside a stream scattered with small waterfalls and cascades throughout. The soft needle covered path was lined by lush Rhododendrons and piles of soft green moss, making it a most peacefully quiet and delightful place to walk.
Don and I in his Porsche, before heading to the falls.
That evening, the five of us enjoyed a tradition of eating at one of our favorite restaurants, Jordan Street Café, there in Brevard. Our dinners were delicious and, as usual, we enjoyed lots of conversation and laughter as we celebrated Don’s upcoming birthday. Returning back to Don’s house, it was time for a piece of his dark chocolate fudge cake that I made for his birthday, and we were all so happy that he shared! The next morning after we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of Wes’ pumpkin pancakes, it was time to say goodbye and continue along our journey to our next destination, beautiful Lake Glenville in Cashiers, NC. We arrived at Tommy and Peggy’s beautiful place on Lake Glenville in time for lunch. Within minutes afterwards, I was down the many stairs leading to the lake where I called my duck friends, and began my wonderful two-day regimen of feeding them. Before long there was an entire flock there happily accepting the bread Barb and I were tossing out.
Barb and I feeding my feathered friends, while Tommy looks on.
With gorgeous, sunny skies above, and a vast lake filled with emerald green water, Wes and I headed out on a short kayaking adventure. We paddled along the smooth surfaced water, following the tree-lined edge with rocks scattered about, until we came to the base of one of the many beautiful waterfalls that feed the lake with their gushing, cold water. We remained there for a few minutes just enjoying the scenery and the sounds, before turning around and heading back.
Beginning our little journey
Us heading out with the ducks all watching.
By the time we returned I had warmed up quite a bit and thought I would go swimming. Now those of you that know me know that I’m a wimp when it comes to cold water, and this year was no exception, since they have had cooler weather there, thus making the water much colder than last year. So after bravely trying to get submerged, I finally admitted defeat and jumped on a large float. This actually turned out to be absolutely wonderful, as the ducks suddenly thought of me as one of the flock, and started gathering around. This I found totally thrilling and happily laid there a bit enjoying seeing them from a duck’s perspective and being part of the group. Then the great idea of feeding them came, and after being tossed down a couple of pieces of bread, I began feeding them while carelessly floating there. Within seconds the two precious babies were there eating from my hand, and I couldn’t have been happier! It was amazing watching them from that perspective as they excitedly took the small pieces of bread from my hand.
Me totally in heaven, while feeding a few of my feathered friends.
I floated there with the ducks until dinner time which consisted of delicious homemade lasagna and salad! Later that evening, after I had made a couple more trips back down to feed my friends and tell them goodnight, we all played a fun game a Mexican Train dominoes, taking a short break to enjoy a piece of scrumptiously creamy Biltmore Cheesecake. We all woke the next morning to another beautiful day on the lake! After breakfast, I quickly flew down the stairs with bread in hand to say good morning to and feed my sweet ducks. They were all there at lakes’ edge waiting for me, and it wasn’t long until I was feeding the entire flock. That afternoon all of us went for a delightful pontoon boat ride around all of Lake Glenville. The weather was perfect, as we went along the smooth, emerald green surface of the water , viewing the surrounding tree covered mountains, while ducking into almost every little nook and cranny at the ends of the many fingers of the lake. There is almost nothing as relaxing as a peaceful boat ride on a beautiful lake to me!
“Nessie” of Lake Glenville comes up to say hi!
I always pretend that this is where she lives, in the deepest part of the lake 🙂
An unforgettable memory was made and we returned in time for me to jump back on my large float and spend time once again with my ducks, while feeding and just hanging out with them. I remained in this blissful state, until the rolling claps of thunder got too close, thus driving me out of the beautiful lake, and up onto the deck, overlooking this most amazing view. After finishing dinner, the rain had subsided, so we all went for a lovely little walk along a gravel road leading through a nearby wooded area. The evening air was cool, as we walked along stopping to look at different flowers blooming and moss covered areas, until we reached the top of the waterfall that we had kayaked to the previous day. It was so beautiful surrounded by the shiny moss covered rocks, still wet from the earlier rain shower. That was the turnaround point, so we began the relaxing walk through the dripping forest, back to the house, stopping to eat a few wild blackberries Wes found along the way.
Wes and I along with Barb, Peggy and Tommy in front of the beautiful falls.
Time had passed too quickly, we had awakened, it was already Friday morning and time to head back home. I quickly packed our things, being sure to leave as much time as possible to spend with my duck friends before having to leave them. So after finishing breakfast I headed down to the lake, where I fed the ducks that were there eagerly waiting for me. After feeding the group that was there, I had one piece of bread that I was saving in hopes that my three precious babies would come for one last encounter. While waiting, I sat on my favorite rock at the lakeside and did so quietly, while gazing out at and soaking in the amazing view, as being completely immersed in God’s gorgeous creation is a most happy place for me! As I sat there, I looked out at all of the trees, and began thinking of not just how many there were, but the vast variety that was represented there. Then I began watching the billowy cloud formations above, and I realized that there never has, and never will be, two of the same cloud formations or shapes. Then I took notice of the breathtaking emerald green water of the lake, and thought of the numerous fish species and water bugs and such that call this lake their home. As I quietly sat and pondered all of this, I heard the chattering call of the Kingfisher as he flew by to his favorite perch on a fallen tree that graced the water’s edge, the call of the Towhee, and the gentle quacking of the ducks floating there in front of me. And I felt blessed, very blessed indeed to have this opportunity to enjoy such a beautiful place! Knowing it would be soon time to leave, I began my ascent up the stairs, but just before doing so, two of my baby ducks came swimming up and looked up at me as if to say “Where’s our breakfast?” Oh . . . my heart broke, as I had given up shortly before and fed the last piece to the other ducks, thinking the babies weren’t coming. So I quickly went up the stairs and presented my case in a heart wrenching way, and returned with several pieces of bread to feed my little friends by hand once more before saying a sad goodbye. I said my last goodbye to the ducks, and then to Tommy and Peggy, thanking them for a most delightful time!
Feeding my babies!
Me sitting on my thinking rock down below.
My beautiful feathered friends
Fresh off the easel:I’m continuing to alternate between my commission of Sweet Sampson and my miniature “Admiring The Connoisseur”, and still having great fun with both! Wes finished his miniature painting of a beautiful and peaceful landscape from nearby us in the Smoky Mountain National Park. I also finished a drawing of one of Don’s precious White Squirrels named Twofer, as he always takes two peanuts when he comes. This was Don’s birthday gift from Wes and I.
Thanks so very much again to Don, Tommy and Peggy for such a delightful vacation!
Until next time ~ Rachelle 🙂