Saturday, May 23, 2009

Grarled Old Tree

As I was walking down the 152 steps to the Natural Bridge in Va. I came upon this wonderful ancient Tree, I just had to take a few photographs to share with you, showing the twists and turns this old man tree had gone through to adapt to ancient winds and weather.

This photograph is of the base of the tree (click on to enlarge and see better the twists and torturous turns) with two other shots to show in detail the many ancient fingerprints of time and weather.

Another photograph higher up showing a mass of twisted limbs

What great Texture , knots and turns

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Along The Trail/Slide Show

"Lost River"

Close up of the "Lost River"
As usual, you may click on the photographs to enlarge for better viewing.

Elisabeth and I have a more of less standing joke about "Slide Shows" when someone goes somewhere or on a vacation and comes back and does the "Let me show you some slides from our vacation" bit..the obligatory sit and watch a boring slide show...well I have been posting photographs from our trip to Pa. only in hopes of sharing the beauty's of Nature with you and really didn't mean to bore you with a "Slide Show".
Now here I am posting more photographs...but I am going to try to not post any more ...but I am NOT going to promise you that I won't do it
The first Photograph is of a place along the Trail at Natural Bridge..called "Lost River" says someone heard a river flowing underground and blasted away some rocks and out came a flowing torrent of water from an Underground River flowing across the trail...story goes they have tried to find the source of this river but without success.

This photograph is of a "Saltpeter Mine" no longer in use..story goes it was mined during the Civil War to make gunpowder with and then mined for Bat Guenna(bat droppings used for fertilizer) which they say is no longer mined there as most of the Bats have vacated the area.

A very cute Squirrel that decided to cross the path just ahead of me...almost as curious about me as I was about him..showing no fear of me because I meant no harm to him.

One of several birdhouses posted along the trail for birds, but it seems either wood peckers or squirrels have been doing some remodeling on them.

This is a very unusual "Root Ball" I saw along the brain racing...imagining what could be carved from it and how wonderful looking it would be....also not wanting to disturb others could see it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

NC Mountains Foggy Morning

It was another of those unusual early morning ,thick fog draped,rising sun days. I was up very early as usual and I looked out the window and saw an amazing sight, a Half Moon in the sky and very thick fog covering the earth in a blanket grey, rising up into the sky.

I just had to go out and photograph it before it disappeared because here in the mountains Grandfather (Sun) rises very quickly once He climbs the top of the mountains quickly dispatches the fog.

The first photograph is of the Half Moon to enlarge..

This is a photograph of the fog and the rising sun and the Pink clouds just as the Sun was rising.(click to enlarge)

This photograph was taken just about 15 minutes later as the Sun was getting higher in the sky and burning off the fog..amazing cloud formations lit Pink by the rising Sun.(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Natural Bridge/George Washington

Natural Bridge showing trail going under it on the right side

On the left side of the Bridge high up above the water there are some names carved into the rock there , one is outlined with white paint, supposedly George Washington's initials. I know George slept everywhere in Va. but seems he didn't sleep here..just left his man sure did get around.

As on the image to get a better you will also see some other initials and my interpretation is as follows;( J. V. Getz Oct. 14, 1883)..this was put there long after old George was there for as near as I know George was long gone by then. So...did George really put his initials up there?

Farther up the trail from the Bridge I ran into this sign(click on it to enlarge to read it) it tells of a reproduction of a Monacan Indian Village which is a little farther up the trail.

A shot from a distance on the approach to the Village showing the Palisades surrounding the Village.

A Hanging Gourd...used to store water for cooking or drinking when the water supply could be a bit muddy from Cedar Creek after a major rain.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Natural Bridge/Waterfall

After going down the 152 steps from the building/museum to the Natural Bridge, I saw a sign saying what was beyond the Bridge, so I asked the man there how far it was to the waterfalls that was up the trail...well he said "Only about 3/4 of a mile" I proceeded on up the trail checking out the different things to see and taking pictures all along the let me tell you something is quite obvious that the man at the foot of the steps by the bridge has Never walked up this trail...because it turned out to be more like 2 miles up the trail..and I mean mostly UP, even though most of the trail was covered with a small type of gravel it was still rough going for an old man who has had 19 heart attacks as well as other health related problems..but all in was worth it.

Here are a few photographs that show some of the beauty of the Falls at the end of the trail and I will post some more photographs of other things I saw on the way at a later time.

Twin Waterfalls from a distance

Waterfalls shown close up..notice a gush of water coming in from the right into the main upper falls is actually 3 falls in one.

Some of the water at the foot of the last falls starting to tumble down the rocky river, creating a very peaceful, tranquil setting.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pink Cadillac Memorys

Pink Cadillac Diner

Memory's of the 50's and 60's....We had gotten off the I-81 in Natural Bride Va. for gas when we saw this sign that said "Pink Cadillac Diner" so being curious we just had to drive by and see there it was..big as Life...a Pink building with a Pink Cadillac sitting next to it.

Another of the "off the main road" sights to see and have a good chuckle to ease the strain of travel.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beauty of Pa. Back Roads

A huge Wisteria Bush

close up of the flowring Wisteria

6 of the 7 Deer I saw in the field

Back Road Beauty Through the Car Window

Another View Framed By Wonderful Old Trees

Today's Post is of more photographs from our trip to Pa. and the beauty one can see on the back roads in Spring.

One must go off the beaten path occasionally to get reacquainted with the wonders that Nature has for our viewing pleasure.

We had taken the back road as usual to our "Visit Destination" and I took some photographs of the Tree lined road on the way there and also some of the Beautiful Wisteria Bush in full bloom.

On the way back to the motel after our visit around 7 PM I spotted 7 Deer in a field that were browsing and playing, so quickly I pulled over and quietly got in the trunk of the car and got out my camera and started to shoot a few shots, when I decided that I needed to get a bit closer for some better shots, so quietly and slowly I walked across the road for a closer shot and the Deer just stood there looking at me as I approached, just as curious about me as I was about them,never moving or showing signs of fear.

One Deer of the 7 did wander off into some bushes near by but the others just stood still watching is a shot of the 6 remaining Deer...beautiful aren't they?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dogwood Reflections and Geese

A lone small Dogwood reflected at the end of the pond

Another larger Dogwood reflected in the pond about midway in the pond

Geese Reflected in the pond at the top of the pond
We saw this wonderful pond on the way to one of our "Visit" destinations while in Pa. It was on a narrow back road that we traveled, on the way to our destination.

What wonderful reflections there were to be seen there, especially the Dogwoods reflected in the pond, at the end and the Geese at the head of the pond.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life Flight

Helecopter lifting off from parking lot

close up just after lift off

We had just returned for the day from our visits to different places while in Pa. and an ambulance and police cars were flying by sirens blasting loudly urging people to get out of the way.

We were standing outside of the Motel we were staying in and watching them go by and wondering what was happening, we then proceeded to go in and up to the third floor where we were staying, noting that the sirens had not gone too far from us.

As we sat down watching a little TV and relaxing I heard a helicopter coming very near and looked out the window at the back of the Motel where we were staying and saw it landing in the parking lot just beyond the trees that bordered the back of the motel and noticed a flurry of activity and EMS technicians and firemen directing the Helicopter down and keeping other vehicles away from the landing spot behind the trees.

After a very short time I heard the Helicopter start to wind up it's engines and prepare for lift off,so I grabbed my camera and got two quick photographs just as it was clearing the tops of the trees on it's way to a hospital, here are two photographs of it clearing the tree tops and a close up of the Helicopter.....Click to enlarge for a better view.

We sincerely hope for the best for whoever was airlifted to the hospital and wish for their speedy recovery.


View From The Road (Foamhenge)

Another View From The Road

Plaque Explaining Foamhenge

Now don't Title is not a misspelled is actually Foamhenge because the makers used giant blocks of foam to make a replica of Stonehenge and then painted them to look like the stones at Stonehenge.

We took a trip to Pa. for a visit to Elisabeth's father and on the way we stopped at the Natural Bridge Exit in Virginia and went down that road and discovered this humorous exhibit on the way to the Natural Bridge.

I took a lot of photographs along the way and quite a few at Natural Bridge and several in Pa. as well...I will post some more photographs as I add posts for this blog to share with you all the wonderful things we saw.

If you click on the Photographs it will enlarge them for a much better view.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hand Drum

24 inch Hand Drum with Buffalo Rawhide

Back side of hand drum

Close up of Hand Painted Feather on Buffalo Rawhide
Today I would like to show you a 24 inch Hand Drum I made and give you a bit of an explanation as to the make up of this drum.

I used a steam bent Maple drum frame that is 3" deep and 24" across, then used a Buffalo ( American Bison) rawhide circle that I had cut out of a larger piece of Buffalo Rawhide to cover this frame.

First I soaked the Rawhide and Rawhide lacing to soften it so I could stretch it tightly over the frame and lace it on after shaping the Rawhide to lay flat when stretched over the frame and laced down as well as the Rawhide lacing to lace through the drum head and onto the back in a fashion so it could be held with one hand by the back lacing to be played with a beater.

I next decided to hand paint a full sized Eagle Feather on the dried and stretched tight Rawhide Drum head, this I did carefully with some of my soft hair brushes so I could get a realistic look to the feather.

This Drum has a wonderful deep sound because I used Buffalo Rawhide which gives it a deeper sound than using Deer,Elk, or Beef Rawhide because Buffalo (American Bison) Rawhide is thicker.