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Tag Archives: Snake Mountain

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

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…

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

back on the mountain

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Like Edward Abbey wrote in his introduction to THE JOURNEY HOME, “I am not a naturalist. I never was and never will be a naturalist.” But, Like Abbey I am a deep and passionate lover of nature. My most intense joy is being immersed in nature in any of its myriad of guises.

Right now I am again soaking up the solitude and splendor that is my small slice of Snake Mountain. PreSpring is here. The snow is gone. And if the bright sunshine hasn’t actually knocked the chill from the air, it has revealed that it won’t be long before those loveliest shades of green will be covering the mountain from the ridges down to the creek.

I have been waiting to get up here since before the new year kicked off. Actually, I’ve been here several times, but never for more than a couple or three days. And I will admit it…I’m greedy when it comes to Snake Mountain. Two or three days is just not enough time to  soak up the beauty of this place.

Even though it probably doesn’t sound like it, I am here working. My next book, STOP HUNGER NOW: Ending Hunger in Our Lifetime is due out in early December. That’s a short timeline. But, that doesn’t keep me from soaking up the richness and beauty which surrounds me as I write.

I’ve been able to get over a thousand words into the machine this morning, so now it’s time for a little reward. My walking stick is by the door so for me it mean’s it’s time to grab the camera and head down toward the creek. Besides, I need the exercise to stay sharp.

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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news, views, poetry & prose from Snake Mountain Press

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