Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hodgepodge

Gray Rainy and All About Trees




Today

'Gray Rainy' has come
to dwell in these woods;
in Wet Slippery Land
I now live...
The quiet gray
holds me still
and stiller.
I resort to
to music and to song
to carry my lighter heart along
on gray days.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Camp Llynure







Hello Dear Readers!
We are back!
I am hoping that your
Thanksgiving holiday
(if you celebrated one)
was an invigorating romp!
I think all people should have
JUST as much pure FUN
(from time to time)
as my critters had at camp
over the holiday week!
Just LOOK at them!
(Tell me your gobble gobble
gobble stories~
or anything else for
that matter!)
And welcome!
(I want to go to
Camp Llynure!!)

:)

Things I Would do at Camp

1. Roll around with my friends

2. Preen myself endlessly

3. Crawl through the tunnel a few hundred times

4. Slobber my water bowl

5. Then hit the sack


(...all photos taken by Heather
Marcellino of Camp Llynure;
Apex, North Carolina~
Thank you Heather! :) )

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Looking Back




Looking (backward) through my
photos today I realized that we haven't
seen hide nor hair of the small and lightening
fast flying squirrel we had frequenting the bird feeder
at night last year at this time. Also- we haven't
been able to replicate the great deer shots
we got last year at this time. There are fewer
deer appearing and they are extremely
skittish of our new dog Ginger's deep and
loud barking. Plus, there just aren't as many
deer around (here) this fall. We will be leaving one
full bag of corn out for the deer when
we are gone though. Wooohoo.
It will be quiet here
as the dogs are being boarded.
Sure do wish that I could set up a camera though!
Top: Last fall right at this time we
took our teenage kids to the Smithsonian
in D.C; this is one of my favorite
paintings there. We had a great time!
:)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Windy!!





The wind was whipping up to 55 mph
all throughout the night and -still-
into this morning.

I need to work on my 'gusty wind'
photographing skills and will endeavor
to do so! I tried several shots but they
just don't convey the rushing sound,
the sheer and sustained blasting nature of a
steady mountain breeze and the up gusts!
The little wiggles (as I call them; the steady
back and forth
wiggling motion of leaves
that I have only, thus far, seen
in the mountains)
are altogether gone;
replaced by the breezes of a
tempestuous winter
(I'm sure) well on its way.

Bottom:
A rather large tree growing up entirely out of a rock.
The upward angle gives the purveyor some
idea of the magnitude
of the trees of the Appalachians.
Next Up:
The forest floor as it is currently here.
Love it. Love it :)
Next Up :
Dear reader: What is it?
Top:
Colors across the street
for you to enjoy!
I am still chattering inside
from the chill.
Shiver. Shiver.
Shiver. Shiver.
:)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Constrained



...is my view today.
You could say it is imploding on me.
O.K.~ who turned on the fog machine??
Seriously, I love it! The higher you go (here)
the foggier it gets!
I am certainly relieved that it will be
near 50 degrees today or~~
all this precipitation would be
_ _ _ _!
O.K. my 'jolly' readers...
what 4 letter word am
I thinking of?
:)
(Miss Lynn, this post is 'for' you!)
(Also) For my more astute readers,
on the top photo,

can you see the faint tree line
behind the obvious (trees?)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Short Story: "The Light"



The Light

His visage was that of a slightly soiled man-child vagabond. His coat, his father’s, was a few sizes too large, but quilted and warm enough. Out of a navy knit hat perched on his head peeped sweeping long red bangs. His cheeks, pink from the cold, bore the freckles to match. On his birthday last, his thirteenth, he had decided to set out hiking along the Appalachian trail.

“Circumstances dictated this,” he thought. “I won’t be held captive by anyone.” He had met, seen, and even studied the ‘other’ kids he knew who ended up alone. The shuttling from household to household under the watchful eye of the ‘authorities’ was not for him. Nope. So he took to the Appalachians. The big trees were his family now, the stream his source.

Tonight he had reached his destination. The sun was sinking fast over the mountain tops and it caused him to stop and gaze outward with the thoughtful large eyed stare of a young boy. The trees rustled overhead.

The stand of pine trees would be perfect as any bed could be, he thought… and private, too. As the last fiery streaks of the sun faded to gray, then blue-black, out of ritual he arose from the convenient stump and set up his modest night time camp. He noticed his body aching all over from the long day’s walk and the last hike up the patchy trail. His bed was made of folded up cardboard, with the outer long edge folded twice carefully to break any flow of chilly night winds. The mountains could whip up the unexpected. This much he knew.

The boy’s hand grasped the only true ‘tool’ that he had on his person that had been his father’s. It was a rusty but sure flashlight, a Kel-lite 2D silver SKL that he had polished some and cleaned up, too. For his journey he’d made sure that he carried plenty of batteries for it, in case he got into trouble. Dad had always said, “Son, you never want to be caught without a flashlight. It could save your life! Or at least, save ya from breakin' a leg.”

He began the process of settling in for a sleep. His thoughts drifted back to a time when his mother was tending a fire. He could almost see his mother’s frame smack dab in the middle of the shadow of his mind’s eye. It was like a story. There were the shadows and then his mother’s hands, working. The soft line of her face was illuminated by the slightest of touches of firelight. "There she is!" he thought.

Then he would remember the good feeling he got while staring into the firelight as it jumped and changed color, from red to orange to white and back again. And there was the blue tinge that he liked better, fed by a wee bit of green if you looked in real close. He could see her hands moving, always working, in front of the flickering flames. Warmth crept over him. 
Tick…tick…tick went the story in his mind’s eye, frame by frame. This one he ‘played’ each night.

He sighed a heavy sigh as the shadows of night pressed in hard on the mountain. Click-click, went the flashlight, on and off, on and off again. He wanted to leave the light on, but knew he shouldn’t dare drain the little bit of control that he had over the darkness. He needed to have his sense of power over the night (at his whim) through the flashlight in his hand, that much he was sure of.

His breathing slowed. An owl hooted. The verse that accompanied him this and every night trickled up through his consciousness, parting his thoughts and soothing him altogether.
“Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made…”

---------------------------------------------------------------

The above was written for a Poet's meeting in early December here in the High Country. We were asked to write on the theme of "Light." I wrote this and then remembered one of my all time favorite reads on the subject of "Light." Here it is (not to compare it to mine, pleeese :) but as a tribute.) I love this short story. Here is "The Little Match Girl" in English by
The Little Match Girl

It was so terribly cold. Snow was falling, and it was almost dark. Evening came on, the last evening of the year. In the cold and gloom a poor little girl, bareheaded and barefoot, was walking through the streets. Of course when she had left her house she'd had slippers on, but what good had they been? They were very big slippers, way too big for her, for they belonged to her mother. The little girl had lost them running across the road, where two carriages had rattled by terribly fast. One slipper she'd not been able to find again, and a boy had run off with the other, saying he could use it very well as a cradle some day when he had children of his own. And so the little girl walked on her naked feet, which were quite red and blue with the cold. In an old apron she carried several packages of matches, and she held a box of them in her hand. No one had bought any from her all day long, and no one had given her a cent.

Shivering with cold and hunger, she crept along, a picture of misery, poor little girl! The snowflakes fell on her long fair hair, which hung in pretty curls over her neck. In all the windows lights were shining, and there was a wonderful smell of roast goose, for it was New Year's eve. Yes, she thought of that!

In a corner formed by two houses, one of which projected farther out into the street than the other, she sat down and drew up her little feet under her. She was getting colder and colder, but did not dare to go home, for she had sold no matches, nor earned a single cent, and her father would surely beat her. Besides, it was cold at home, for they had nothing over them but a roof through which the wind whistled even though the biggest cracks had been stuffed with straw and rags.

Her hands were almost dead with cold. Oh, how much one little match might warm her! If she could only take one from the box and rub it against the wall and warm her hands. She drew one out. R-r-ratch! How it sputtered and burned! It made a warm, bright flame, like a little candle, as she held her hands over it; but it gave a strange light! It really seemed to the little girl as if she were sitting before a great iron stove with shining brass knobs and a brass cover. How wonderfully the fire burned! How comfortable it was! The youngster stretched out her feet to warm them too; then the little flame went out, the stove vanished, and she had only the remains of the burnt match in her hand.

She struck another match against the wall. It burned brightly, and when the light fell upon the wall it became transparent like a thin veil, and she could see through it into a room. On the table a snow-white cloth was spread, and on it stood a shining dinner service. The roast goose steamed gloriously, stuffed with apples and prunes. And what was still better, the goose jumped down from the dish and waddled along the floor with a knife and fork in its breast, right over to the little girl. Then the match went out, and she could see only the thick, cold wall. She lighted another match. Then she was sitting under the most beautiful Christmas tree. It was much larger and much more beautiful than the one she had seen last Christmas through the glass door at the rich merchant's home. Thousands of candles burned on the green branches, and colored pictures like those in the printshops looked down at her. The little girl reached both her hands toward them. Then the match went out. But the Christmas lights mounted higher. She saw them now as bright stars in the sky. One of them fell down, forming a long line of fire.

"Now someone is dying," thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star fell down a soul went up to God.

She rubbed another match against the wall. It became bright again, and in the glow the old grandmother stood clear and shining, kind and lovely.

"Grandmother!" cried the child. "Oh, take me with you! I know you will disappear when the match is burned out. You will vanish like the warm stove, the wonderful roast goose and the beautiful big Christmas tree!"

And she quickly struck the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother with her. And the matches burned with such a glow that it became brighter than daylight. Grandmother had never been so grand and beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and both of them flew in brightness and joy above the earth, very, very high, and up there was neither cold, nor hunger, nor fear-they were with God.

But in the corner, leaning against the wall, sat the little girl with red cheeks and smiling mouth, frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. The New Year's sun rose upon a little pathetic figure. The child sat there, stiff and cold, holding the matches, of which one bundle was almost burned.

"She wanted to warm herself," the people said. No one imagined what beautiful things she had seen, and how happily she had gone with her old grandmother into the bright New Year.



Gentle Glories






These are in no particular order.
I slapped on my boots and my jacket
this A.M. and grabbed my camera.
It was 34 degrees but clear.
The sunrise was a vivid peachy
red-orange over the
still black mountain tops.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Parade of Seasons







We have a full 4 seasons here in the Appalachians.
-Looking Back-
Top:
Deep winter on nearby Beech Mountain
(last winter; it was 6 degrees for the photo :) )
Next Down:
A shot from this (almost surely past) fall.
Next Down:
Spring thaw.
Next:
Glorious summer. The Blue ridge Parkway
dressed in some of her finest; blue skies
and lush, green grass.
Second from Bottom:
Sky thick with mist and color; early winter.
Bottom:
Fog frequents the Blue Ridge.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shamelessly


promoting my talents :)

I have been thinking about hand made items lately.
Maybe what got me started was browsing on
Etsy for a hand made Teddy for my
niece's little daughter Grace.
Anywho~ you know how one thing leads to another?
Here is a link to a site that has artistic hand
made dolls of all kinds. I found it mesmerising.
Please do check out two dolls ~here~.
(Click on the left column; 'Pia Dolls' to see "Cappi"
and then on 'Zwergnase;' the 2011 Doll Collection's "Mialotta.")
I found the artistry in them amazingly beautiful.
Hand made items are prevalent in the High Country
(quits, baskets, woodcarving to name just a few.)
Here is my humble offering.
:)
Her name is 'June.'
She is a doll that I made entirely by
hand stitching at age 12
of a handkerchief and fabric
that my grandmother Mabel
would keep stored up in a big bag in her
bedroom closet. Myself and my sisters
would raid the closet, set up shop
on her dining room table, and
cut, sew and devise things.
These are some of my best memories
of childhood.
:)

Kudos to all who make with their hands.
(This post is just for fun. But do take a look at the link and
the above mentioned dolls; you won't be disappointed.)


The Road Home




A thick frost covered the ground entirely this morning
but when the sun's rays began to warm
at about 7:30 A.M.
all the crunchy ground turned to
sticky mud (making for some pretty muddy
pawprints from the dogs
I'd say!)

Bottom: The road back to a cosy inside...
Here you can see the rather severe
nature of the slope, its length and
the ravine or 'hollow' on the right.
Sometimes I spy a red fox or deer in the hollow
which makes for a lovely trek.
I don't often take the entire road up
but instead turn around and head back down.
It twists and turns further up in its climb
upward on Yarnall Knob.
Middle: The colors of spring/summer
(the creamy whites, mauves and limey greens)
are replaced by deep and luscious browns.
Top: Houses nestled in
(from a previous series called
"In the Clouds.")

Enjoy the
beejeebers out of
your day
:)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall's Muted Tones




Muted tones
quiet on the eye
grays mossy greens white black and brown
red standing out like a fair jewel
in nature's fall crown...
all a prelude
to a snow white
winter
drama.

:)

Hitting the Trail Soon...





My mind is ahead
on a family vacation!
The first photo is my family
hitting the wagon trail
during the week of Thanksgiving.
We will be heading further north
to visit family
and leaving the High Country
(only temporarily...)
I am so 'in love' with the mountains here
that my heart sinks inside when I look back
and see the big mountain peaks fading slowly away
on the way out and down and down (and down some more) then,
we all too soon find ourselves in the foothills.
This wee blog
will 'reopen'
upon my return
though; you can
rest assured

of that
dear
readers
:)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Road Ahead




Top: A road that was never developed lies
across from our house. It goes up and UP
...great trekking with the dogs!
There are no street lights on it so
it makes for a dark woods
(we have just one street light near us
and it
is off more than it is on.)
This is a photo of the first light 'snow;'
called The Road Ahead. Bottom:
This photo doesn't show the
BIG picture, but up the trail
there was an entire mountain
side of ferns curled up 'asleep'
in the frost, slowly awakened by
the touch of the first sunlight
rays through the forest.
:)
Enjoy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wee Furries


Wee furries creeping here and there,
dancing through the night.
Wee furries
with brown coats of hair,
winter winds are their delight.
Wee furries after apples, red
traipsing through the corn.
Wee furries
with their hooves alight
on a crispy winter morn.


Friday, November 5, 2010

In the Clouds...







At 4200 feet
this morning,

the clouds were rolling in fast, heavy and
windswept.
Across from the community

I was standing in to take the photo,
was another
community of homes nestled
into the
opposite mountain.
The
clouds here sweep in and cover homes, trees and tops,
and then move slowly away
creating
their own unique unveiling effect.
It's different every time.
I will never tire of this.
There has been a light dusting of snow today
above 4000. Once again, however, as I study the photos
I feel a sense of letdown, as the huge vastness
I behold here daily cannot be captured to send.
Imagine.....
a full circle of a panoramic
clouds and blue~all about you.
:)