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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.

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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

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.

IMG_2848

North Carolina mountain sunset

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

welcome to the Snake Mountain Muse

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Snake Mountain is a mountain in the North Carolina High Country, east of the community of Zionville. Its elevation reaches 5,564 feet (1,696 m).

The mountain generates several feeder streams to the North Fork New River (via Maine Branch[3]), South Fork New River (via Meat Camp Creek[4]) and Watauga River (via Cove Creek[5]). Several ridges form from Snake Mountain, with the main being Snake Mountain Ridge,[6] which marks the border between North Carolina and Tennessee; also there is Sugartree Ridge[7] and Hessian Ridge,[8] which are smaller outcrops from Snake Mountain, to its west. Several gaps also surround the mountain: Elk Horn Gap,[9] Pottertown Gap,[10] Rich Mountain Gap[11] and State Line Gap.[12]

Historically, both the Old Buffalo Trail and Daniel Boone Trail converge at the foot of the mountain, at Zionville.[13]

Snake Mountain is the home of Snake Mountain Press. The Snake Mountain muse and I have begun a dance that I would love for others to join. This is your invitation.

Founded in 2011, Snake Mountain Press believes that publishing doesn’t have to be as difficult as it has proven to be for most aspiring authors. Our mission is simple: We want to work together with good writers to help get their work published in the most professional, timely, efficient and cost-effective manner possible.  We make that happen by guiding writers through every step of the publishing process until they have a  book published of which they can be duly proud.

Snake Mountain Muse is the blog for Snake Mountain Press. Of course, the blog will have the pertinent  news about the press, but it will also have far more. SMM will feature quotes from great writers, as well as articles about writing, publishing and the writing life. The site will have excerpts from writers published by Snake Mountain Press, book reviews and other information of interest to writers. There will be poetry, photography (both my own and by others) and other creative efforts of all types. Information about writing contests, classes and grants will also be included.

You are most cordially invited to become a part of the Snake Mountain Press community. Let’s court the muse together and begin a dance that will go on forever.

 

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