I absolutely love exploring and hiking in new locations, so I was thrilled to get to do that very thing this past week! With the lack of rain in our area, we weren’t quite sure what to expect and if we were going to see a waterfall or not when we started our hike. The trail led through an open field at the beginning, offering lovely expansive views of surrounding mountains. Minutes later we entered a wooded area casting shadowy lines across us, making the air quite crisp. We walked along a fairly level trail before starting the decent to the stream below. There was obviously moisture in the area, as we saw several groups of icicles dangling along stone cliffs.
Down we went, sometimes on stairs and at others climbing down rocks. Areas of the trail were lined by lush green mountain laurel adding a hint of life and summer to the landscape.
Growing nearer to the location of the falls, we were delighted to hear the sound of falling water! Having hiked down for quite some ways, we found a spot to carefully climb to the base of the falls. It was a bit tricky with the rocks and boulders covered with thick piles of leaves, making it very slippery in spots. Reaching the bottom, a big smile spread across my face as I exclaimed “Wow… it’s beautiful!” Wes agreed and we spent some time enjoying the gorgeous setting. It’s already in my plans to return to that very spot for a picnic lunch some day!
Reluctantly I left the waterfall as I followed Wes over a jumble of rocks. We have discovered that this area is filled with numerous amazing rock formations and cliffs, something we both love!
We continued limbing and scampering over rocks and found this wonderful spot, showcasing a rarely smooth rock slide ending into a deep pool below. And yes, I already have plans to return to this location with my wetsuit and a tube, so I can enjoy many fun trips down this wonderful natural waterslide!
We hiked back to the trailhead and decided to stop and explore another area of the beautiful stream. Once again we were amazed at the sheer size of some of the boulders and spent time exploring this picturesque section. We decided this would be a great spot to fly fish for trout next spring.
Everywhere I looked, the scene was like a postcard, and I envisioned myself floating on a tube there this summer! Of course we didn’t leave without having picked up a couple of small bags of litter. It seems like everywhere we go anymore, even Cades Cove recently, there is litter. It breaks my heart to see it and I so wish people would realize what a treasure our parks and public lands are, and respect them while following the “leave no trace” rule.
After eating supper that evening, we enjoyed sitting out by a fire for awhile, and of course had to roast a few marshmallows. I thought this photo taken with my iPhone using the night setting, turned out lovely and has an ethereal quality to it.
We enjoyed a fun visit from friends Helen and Kit one day this past week. They joined us for pizza cooked in the pizza oven and although it was way too cold to eat our pizza outside, we braved it long enough to roast some marshmallows in the fire and make s’mores. The afternoon was spent playing dominoes and enjoying supper together, before saying our goodbyes that evening.
There has been a lot of critter activity in the yard this past week! The momma white-tailed deer and her triplets have been coming almost daily, with another doe sometimes joining them. No matter how many times they come, for me it’s always a royal treat and I can’t help but stand at the window watching them for as long as they stay! Once morning as the group was forging on acorns, the smallest fawn decided it wanted some liquid refreshment, so it literally ran over to the mother and began nursing. Well, within seconds the other two had ran over and joined in on the feast which lasted only a few moments before the mom obviously decided that was enough of that business. It was an amazing thing to watch take place in the front yard, and I felt very blessed to be a part of it.
If you follow my blog, you may remember me talking about our resident red-headed woodpeckers and how I’ve been trying to get a good photo of them. Well, finally one day this past week, Wes spotted one of them in an oak tree not too far from the living room window, so I grabbed the camera and lo and behold, I actually got a good photo! I was thrilled to say the least, as these very talkative birds are always on the move.
IN THE STUDIO
Wes and I were delighted to learn that each of us had an artwork juried into the Society of Animal Artists upcoming exhibition, “Encounters with the Animal Kingdom“. This exhibition will be at the lovely Janice Mason Art Museum located in Cadiz, KY and will be on display February 22 – April 8, 2023. Wes and I are planning to attend the opening reception for this exhibition, so I will keep you updated with that.
SEE OUR PAINTINGS IN PERSON THIS WEEK
89th Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, DC International Exhibition of Fine Art in
Until January 7, 2023: Strathmore Mansion, North Bethesda, MD
2022 Kentucky National Wildlife Art Exhibit
Until November 29, 2022: Preston Arts Center, Henderson, KY
To see our available miniature paintings as well as some upcoming shows,
Until Next Time ~ Rachelle