Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Birthday, Treven

Whenever I think of you, Treven, I think of the beautiful drawings and paintings that you create.  Remember when you did this one?

Since doing this one you have learned a lot about using the computer to create art.  I especially like the three dimensional effects that you get now.

I hope you had a very happy birthday and did something you really like to do.

Love from Grandma

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Walk at Charleston Falls, June 10, 2014

It is now June 15 and I am just getting around to posting.  I have a new small camera, a Canon, which has different features than my Fuji which I dropped once too often.  I am frustrated with learning how it works but I'll be fine once I understand a few more things.

I was pleased to see Smooth Ruellia (Ruellia strepens).  I usually think of it as Wild Petunia.  I never find more than one here and there.  The flower looks a lot like a garden petunia.  But I discovered by way of the wonderful Internet that it isn't in the same family.  Ohio's wild petunia is an Acanthaceae  and garden petunias are Solaneceae.  The garden petunias were introduced from South America.

In Maryland, what we call wild or smooth petunia , is called rustling wild petunia.  It is on their endangered list.  It is threatened in Michigan where it is called smooth ruellia and also threatened in Pennsylvania where people call it limestone petunia.

This flower  is found as far north as Lake Erie, as far west as Kansas and as far east as New Jersey as well as throughout the southeast.

The picture below was taken at Cedar Pond.  It is one of the two Red-winged blackbird nests found by friends from the UK on Saturday, June 7.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Rocky Fork Driving Trail, Smoky Mountains National Park

We decided to take a side trip as we were returning from North Carolina.  For our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, we had rented a lovely suite for a few days at the edge of Gatlinberg, Tennessee. That was twenty-eight years ago. Tom remembered the Rocky Fork Driving Trail that we had driven then and decided we had time to drive it again.

We turned south at Sevierville.  The area has changed a lot. Lanes are being added to the already multi-lane road that leads to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinberg.  

Pigeon Forge reminded me of an enormous amusement park...King Kong clinging to one building, a monsterous green serpent twisting in and out of another one.  

Gatlinberg was a bit more subdued.  The town ended abruptly at the edge of Smoky Mountain National Park.

The old homestead above was visible from the first scenic overlook on the Rocky Fork Driving Trail.

We continued along the trail.

Along the entire trail, the creek was visible on one side or the other.  Water roared down between and over the rocks and boulders.

There were cars behind us so I had to snap this picture of flowers as we drove by.

Here is a little mill we found.

We found a place to pull over to get a picture of Rocky Fork Creek.  Movement on the gravelly berm caught my eye.

I was delighted...Tiger Swallowtails and Silver-spotted Skippers.