Beauty in the Backyard

My brother Bob and wife Beth came for a quick visit to see the autumn colors in our mountains. I made them pose before a sourwood tree, one they identified for me that I’m trying to fix in my memory.

102216 Bob Beth with sourwood tree Smoky Mnt Natl Park.jpg

In a big loopy drive, we went on the Blue Ridge Parkway, drove through Cherokee, and came back on another section of the parkway. The weather was a bit rainy, making some of the scenes rather dark. We have memories of lovely fall colors that don’t exactly match our photographs.

102116 Parkway scene by Bob.JPG
Bob’s shot from the parkway

As we drove past the Hemlock Inn, Beth and Bob said they had stayed there once. They told the story about playing a word game that night with the group, something similar to Scrabble.

Beth asked, “Is dogly a word?”

Bob said, “No, but godly is.”

That made everyone burst out laughing. Bob felt that made his long-ago graduation from seminary very worthwhile.

Rain was falling when we came home. Beth stepped onto the back porch to see how our garden was faring. She has advised me on gardening from time to time, and this summer she and our grandson Nathaniel dug up all the iris bulbs and replanted them. She could see the new growth, a healthy circle of green blades. We noticed a brilliant rainbow on this side of the mountain. Beth said she’d never seen purple on the lower edge of a bow. The proverbial pot of gold should have been in the horse pasture, about equidistant from Joyce’s house and ours. We went outside, Beth looking at this fantastic scene while Bob and I tried to capture it with our cameras. We had been looking for beautiful sights of the season, and the most dramatic was in our own backyard.

102116 Rainbow.jpg

The acorn squash we had for dinner was a show stopper. I realized as I cut it that Beth might not like it. She can’t abide pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Would this pass muster? She insisted she would try anything put in front of her. John and I liked it last week, baked with a little butter and molasses. Beth tasted it and said, “This squash doesn’t taste nearly as bad as I thought it would.”

We laughed, and she extended her statement to say that it was good, good enough that she would eat her whole portion.

The next morning the temperature was 42 degrees at walking time. Beth opted for a bit more sleep, but the rest of us set out. I took the usual photo at the creek where the guys were still bundled up. I had already taken off my windbreaker and put it back on. The wind in the valley was intent on chilling us.

102216 John Bob at creek.jpg
John and Bob at the creek

Bob expressed interest in a saw John pointed out halfway down the steep hill. I suggested we stop to look at it on the way up when I would need a breather. The rough workshop has been producing outdoor wood furnaces and cutting big trees into thick planks. The fellows were looking at the saw when I snapped their picture. John looked for the blade and commented that it was a big band saw. I nudged Bob and said that was just the thing! He plays trombone in a retro group with a big band sound.

102216 Bob John with big band saw.jpg

We drove to Cataloochie, the closest part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to us. We knew the scenery would be good and hoped to see the elk in the high meadow. The road was good in places, but part of it was gravel and only one and a half cars wide. This was a real mountain road that wound up and down to get over the ridge. We stopped at an overlook where a kind young man offered to take our photo together.

102216 Beth Bob Anne John lookout in Smoky Mnt Natl Park.jpg
Beth, Bob, Anne, and John in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

There were lots of vehicles parked in the meadow, and sure enough, the herd of elk was there. They stayed in the field, and the humans stayed on the road, although some had lenses that made their cameras look 15 feet long. If I were the elk, I would demand more privacy.

102216 Elk at Cataloochie.jpg102216 Fall colors in Smoky Mnt Natl Park.jpg

19 thoughts on “Beauty in the Backyard

      1. We were not that much affected by super typhoon Lando Anne (thank God for that), we are here in Metro Manila but my heart goes out to those friends up north who were hardest hit by the typhoon. thank you so much.

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  1. Did you notice, it was a double rainbow? Beautiful pics as usual and I swear, Beth and Bob have that familiar look, like tv stars or something. I could swear I’ve seen them before, maybe they just have those types of faces. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. What a beautiful place! You said the photographs didn’t do it justice, which means the original must be amazing! Incidentally, I believe “dogliness” is next to “godliness” in a Scrabble dictionary.

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    1. I’m so glad you didn’t say cleanliness is next to godliness. I’ve been condemned by that too often! My sister-in-law needed the Scrabble dictionary the night they played a word game. I should get that book to look up the odd words my grandson makes up. He may have more validity in this world than I think.

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    1. I haven’t seen it officially, but I suspect the peak of our season has passed. We saw lots of beautiful scenes, though. As for the elk, they seem to have gotten used to our gawking. Maybe it’s a win/win situation. We get to see them, and they are protected from us in the meadow and the woods. I hope they are reasonably happy.

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  3. Absolutely amazing!! Such beautiful photos and good memories made with family!! I love the family photo with everyone, usually you are on the other end…I hope you frame that one!

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