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Category Archives: Photography

home is where the heart is…

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Bloom where you're planted

Bloom where you’re planted.

flower power

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where there’s a will there’s a way

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Darwin wrote that it is not always the strongest species that survives, or even the most intelligent. The species that survive are the one that prove to be most adaptable. The photo below is one of a survivor.

Bloom where you're planted

Bloom where you’re planted

unused luck at Black Lion Forge

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Unused Luck

Unused Luck

My son’s shop, Black Lion Forge, located in Sweet Hollow, Virginia is a wonderland of photo opportunities. He is a traditional blacksmith and metal artist, and going to his shop is always a treat for me. There’s something primitive about working with fire and iron and beating hot metal to your will that strikes a deep chord in me. These horseshoes will never see the bottom of a horse’s hoof, but they will be transformed into something even more beautiful than they are now…which, after all, is what luck is supposed to accomplish.

I just love sunflower seeds

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I know I don't look like a bird, but...

I know I don’t look like a bird, but…

diving in

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Look mom. no hands!

Look mom. no hands!

a little exercise

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a few chin-ups

a few chin-ups

uninvited guest

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The bird feeder on my porch here on Snake Mountain has become the place to be seen in the past couple of weeks. And although I thoroughly enjoy all my feathered friends, the antics of my four-footed neighbors are the most entertaining.

giving thanks before my meal

giving thanks before my meal

Snake Mountain conquered by spring

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IMG_2968Spring has officially conquered Snake Mountain. There is now nowhere one can look without seeing the power of new life exploding in every possible direction. A thousand and one shades of green carpet the ridges and plants are working overtime to demonstrate their attractiveness to every passing butterfly, bee and hummingbird.

And speaking of the birds, well, let’s just say love is in the air. From the delightful drumming of the woodpeckers, to the gobble of turkeys, the mountain is alive with the sounds of avian courtship. There is also a noticeable increase in territorial behavior at the feeders, as well.

IMG_2904  For most of the year it is not unusual to see three, four or five species at the feeder all peacefully sharing a meal together. Now, however, there seems to be far more testosterone in the air. The volume and intensity of the bickering has definitely ratcheted up a notch or two.

And the fun part is that it is all happening so fast. Blink and you have already missed something too beautiful to describe, or just too powerful for words.

Sometimes it is easy for us to take nature for granted. But, not on the mountain, not during the invasion of spring. It’s a natural high so completely addictive it is close to incapacitating. It’s probably a blessing that it cannot be bottled, otherwise it would have to be illegal.

spring exploding on Snake Mountain

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Two weeks ago when I was here on the mountain it was obvious that spring was on the way. Now the Snake Mountain is literally exploding with spring.

Forsythia blooms

Forsythia blooms

Everywhere I look there’s a riot of color and new life. A special treat is that once again we have Red-breasted Grosbeaks joining us. They have been noticably absent for past couple years. I have already seen a half dozen males around the feeder at the same time, so they are back in numbers.

male Red-breasted Grosbeak

male Red-breasted Grosbeak

The males are the showy ones, but the females are just as beautiful. The Grosbeaks are just one of almost a dozen species using the feeder this weekend. But, it’s really nice to have them back.

I am actually having a difficult time getting any work done with the live show taking place on the porch.

female Red-breasted Grosbeak

female Red-breasted Grosbeak

my shy dinner guest

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Well, hello there.

Well, hello there.

A couple nights ago I posted about my unexpected dinner guest. I don’t get a lot of guests here at the cabin so I was somewhat disappointed that she didn’t stay longer. I would have really liked to become better acquainted.

Last night I was awakened by a clatter on the porch. Assuming my shy dinner guest had returned for a midnight (literally) snack, I grabbed my camera before heading out on the porch to engage her in conversation.

She obviously loves the cow bone, but I have to admit, she doesn’t seem to care much for my company. At least she was gracious enough to allow me to get a couple of snapshots. As I wrote in the earlier post, she’s a real cutie.

Snake Mountain sunset

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I started the morning at my laptop, and I will finish the day the same way. That’s part of the joy of being on the mountain. My time is totally my own and I can write when I want and for as long as I want.

But, another source of deep joy for me is to be immersed 24/7 in the life of the mountain. Last night, for example, I heard an unusual noise on the porch. When I opened the door I had a guest that had arrived for a late dinner. A beautiful young possum was chewing on a large cow bone belonging to my Golden Retriever.

We chatted for a few minutes before my guest decided the bone was not as tasty as he had hoped. Either that, or I was poor dinner company. I was sad to see him go. He was still in that cute stage…which doesn’t last long for possums.

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North Carolina mountain sunset

Tonight we had a glorious sunset on the mountain. Here is one pic.

spring springing up Snake Mountain

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As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I owed myself a little reward for a good morning’s worth of writing. So I grabbed my walking stick and my camera and ambled down the mountain to the creek.

During my walkabout I discovered that spring is already sneaking up the mountain. Green is beginning to snake around the edges of the creek and there are even flowers starting to grace the hillsides.

It’s a glorious time to be on Snake Mountain. But then, there’s no time that isn’t.

Here’s a couple of pics of spring beginning to spring up the mountain.

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a growing green carpet down by the creek

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brave souls leading spring’s advance up the mountain

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