Tag Archive: claire and terry

Calm Days

Life slowed down quite a bit after our trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I surely needed the slow down as so much of the previous days were spent traveling or in the car. My photos reflect the “calmness” of our days. It’s so nice to have relaxing “girlfriend” time…!

365 photo #160 Friday, May 8 – a beautiful Bromeliad plant which Terry and Claire have potted on their front porch. What a gorgeous flower. I had trouble duplicating the color of the flower, as my photos came out too dark, but with messing with some camera settings, as well as a bit of post editing, I think it is close to what I know it to be. I have found that often the color red is more difficult to take accurate to the actual shade it is in the world.

A few quick bonus photos from that day…

IMG_0559 IMG_0567
1. A female house finch – in staging area for the feeders at Claire’s house
2. a male cardinal – also in the staging area.

Claire and Terry are in the process of retiring from the Methodist ministry, and are moving from the parsonage of their last appointment into a house they purchased last December. One room, which will be their den is the staging area for packed boxes being brought over to their new house. The garage is another spot where they have boxes. There is unpacking yet to do….

365 photo #161 – Chaos from the moving process 😦 Remind me never … EVER … to move!! ~

On Sunday (yesterday) I attended services at the churches (it’s a Methodist circuit of 2 churches) from where Terry will be retiring. When leaving the second service, I took the time to take photos of the most gorgeous Tiffany style stained glass windows, as well as some of the ceiling light fixtures.

365 photo #162 – Sunday, June 10 – A portion of one of the stained glass windows

Bonus photos:

IMG_0597 IMG_0614
1. Ceiling light fixture
2. The top of one of the stained glass windows

I have not yet taken today’s 365 photo….!


I arrived at Claire’s on Tuesday night. That evening I kept saying to myself I need a photo of the day, but I didn’t know what to photograph – and didn’t want to get up out of my chair to find something.

365 photo #158. No Photo. Epic Fail

The following day Claire, Terry and I went on a day trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. They were celebrating their wedding anniversary on this trip – and I got to go along. Because the parkway is full of numerous photo ops, I made up for the lack of a photograph on the previous day. It was a wonderful trip with fairly good weather: partly cloudy which provided interesting cloud cover for photographs. It was crystal clear — no haze — with cool temperatures mostly in the 60’s, and occasionally in the 50’s in the higher elevations. We entered the parkway just north of Mount Mitchell and traveled south. We took a ride into Mount Mitchell and stopped off of various overlooks to take photos. In the spring there are lots of wildflowers in bloom: rhododendrons and flame azalea and other things of which I’m unfamiliar.

365 photo #159 — This is a short path from the Glassmine Falls overlook which goes to a higher level for a better view of the vista. The path is picturesque – and I love the split rail fence.

This calls for bonus photos!

IMG_0388 IMG_0399
1. The first thing once we got onto the Parkway was to stop at the Folk Art Center. It’s a wonderful craft shop filled with various artisans from the Blue Ridge Mountain area. I’ve purchased some barrettes for my hair there and wanted some more in different colors, but it was an unsuccessful mission. They did not have any selection.
2. rhododendrons!

IMG_0404 IMG_0436
1. Flame Azalea – gorgeous orange flowering bush!
2. On one of the overlooks (I can’t remember which one now) there is this nearly dead tree. It’s so gnarled and growing in odd directions, probably due to the elements. I also think it’s been hit by lightning several times. The tree reminds me a little of driftwood in a way!

IMG_0429 IMG_0471
1. Rhododendron as seen at an overlook – with mountains in the background
2. Another vista – at Glassmine Falls overlook. The shade from the clouds gave the mountains a tapestry look.

IMG_0465 IMG_0483
1. Glassmine falls
2. an unknown wildflower. Sometimes something so small is so pretty!

IMG_0456 IMG_0457
1. Ohio Buckeye bud. The hummingbirds were swarming around these – and I tried to get a photo, but they are very quick and very small!
2. At the glassmine falls overlook there’s this interesting tree that splits not far from the tree trunk’s base. There are leaves growing around the area.

IMG_0501 IMG_0521\
1. Dinner at Pisgah Inn. The view from the dining room was superb!
2. Sunset photo – as we were leaving dinner. From there, as it got dark, we drove the approximately 50 miles to the southern most end of the Parkway, where we got off to make our way home.

My friends, Claire and Terry — Happy Anniversary to you!!

More catch up photos will be posted in my next entry….

It’s been a busy week of travel and good old fashioned “girlfriend” time, so it’s been over a week since I’ve posted here. I was in north GA – visiting my friend, Claire, and husband, Terry, at their new house, both to help paint her living room a fabulous “lemon butter” yellow, as well as to simply visit. Internet and phone communication is great, but nothing can replace hanging out together … face to face!

The painting ended up to be a “painting PARTY”. Two other friends came to help – friends Claire and I met on Facebook from our interest in and support of Operation Migration. “Craniacs” – they call us because we’re “crazy about whooping cranes” and Operation Migration’s work to save this magnificent endangered bird. This bond turned into a good friendship, as we painted – talked – and laughed together.

Sadly, in all the excitement of the trip, I managed to miss taking a photo on the day I arrived. The travel and excitement of arriving took precedence in my mind and I forgot. But – I have a photo for all the other days. Claire’s house and yard is full of wonderful photo ops, too! She runs a “Golden Corral Buffet” for birds, and the neighborhood birds congregate – allowing perfect shots for camera buffs!

The photos will be small sized to save space, but you can click on any of them to see them larger in my flickr account.

365 photo #59 … EPIC FAIL. Photo was not taken… 🙂

IMG_6750 (2) IMG_6825
1. 365 photo #60 – Male cardinal in the tree that is used by birds as a staging area for the bird feeders Claire has out for her birds. It was a foggy day, and in order to make the cardinal stand out, I added some contrast to the photo. But – you can still tell that it’s a bit “misty”.
2. 365 photo #61 – “The early bird catches the worm” – a robin in the “staging tree” — taken first thing in the morning before we started painting

IMG_6752 IMG_6959
1. 365 photo #62 – Our friends gave Claire this lovely bouquet of flowers when they arrived, and here is a macro of one bloom. What beauty! What texture! And – it’s “sort of” like the color of the paint we used!
2. 365 photo #63 – Claire and her kitty, Hannabelle. The night before this photo was taken it was very stormy in the southeast, with violent storm cells – one after the other – marching eastward, seemingly aimed at “us”. Claire and I were up lots of the night tracking these storms, so we’d know if we needed to find a “safe place in the house” to protect ourselves should a random tornado from one of these cells decide to drop down out of the sky. (We lucked out – and were just fine) The difficult thing was that it was not just us we were worried about. Claire’s kitty – Hannabelle – was not with us, but was still in their “other house”, the house from which they’re moving over the course of this winter and spring. So — during the storm, not only were we worried about our own safety, but the safety of the cat, as well as the safety of so many friends of Claire’s in the north Georgia area. So … the next day we went over to the other house to check on little Hannabelle and it was a wonderful reunion. She was was just fine. However, as Claire held Hannabelle, as you see in this photo – she told us – in a very meow-y string of “kitty obscenities” just how much she missed her family! (The bottom line is that they’ll be moving Hannabelle over to their new house very soon!)

IMG_7015 IMG_7042
1. 365 photo #64 – As we came home from doing some errands – there were 4 deer walking through Claire’s yard. Here’s one as he crossed the the driveway of the neighbor’s house.
2. 365 photo #65 – It was time to leave and return to Hilton Head, and on my way out, I took this photo of a lone flower in one of their front beds. I don’t know what it is…

Home again … home again! I’m back in Hilton Head now. Yesterday was a bright clear day, but I had so many photos to go through, I ended up staying inside to work on them and not enjoying the outside as much as I would have liked. But – – I took a break to find my daily photo. It was then that I discovered that our blue bird box is inhabited – but not by bluebirds. There is a brown headed nut hatch couple who have set up “housekeeping” inside. Here he (or she?) is guarding the home front. Not only was I really shocked at how close they allowed me to get to them, but they are the cutest little “contortionists”! They can twist around into such odd positions – often upside down!

365 photo #66

Now … it’s time to find today’s photo….

It was barely over a week after we returned from Maine when it was time for me to “hit the road” again.  This time my trip took me south – to northeast GA – above Atlanta and not far from the SC border to my good friend Claire and Terry’s.  Terry is a minister on a Methodist “circuit” – serving two churches, and Claire and I were scheduled to play a “summer concert” at one of them.  We’ll play a Christmas concert at the other one in December.

I drove down on August 7th, arriving on the 8th.  We decided to take two days before getting down to work on our concert and go to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I think it’s hot up here on Long Island?  I’m sorely mistaken as to what “hot” really means when experiencing what they call “summer” in Georgia.  It was so oppressive and “heavy” that when we’d go outside, it felt as if the air could knock you down!  However, the climate in the mountains on the “Parkway” is often 20 degrees cooler, and a few days there sounded like heaven.  At least we’d feel “refreshed” once we got back and had to go to work on preparing music.  At least the air conditioning in their house was a godsend.

So – off we went “to the mountains” – cameras in hand.  And – even though I managed to catch a cold / cough, I took close to 600 pictures in our two days there.  Yeah – I think I went overboard, and I went into “overwhelm” mode trying to decide which pictures were the ones to save to Flickr.  I narrowed it down to just a bit more than 200 pictures.  Now I’m again in overwhelm mode trying to choose the best ones to post here!  It is true that the more you post, the less likely that people will bother to look at them all, so it is imperative to be selective.

It’s hard because I loved the trip and my emotions are all wrapped up in each photo.  I am SO in love with the mountains.  It’s odd for me to say living as I do on two US east coast barrier islands:  Long Island and Hilton Head Island!  The ocean is what brings people to islands, and is what Ray loves.  I have learned to love the ocean from him – – but my heart will always be in the mountains.  As a child, we vacationed in the foothills of the White Mountains where they jut over into Maine – as have been posted in my last two entries (“Kezar Lake Maine:  A little slice of heaven and “Kezar Lake is vacationland!”).  Each year while there, we’d choose one mountain to climb.  I’m not much into that anymore (with my knees as they are) — but my memories of those family hikes, and the lovely views, remain.  My favorite views are of mountains — and I also much prefer a mountainous climate.  It’s usually cooler, crisper, and less humid.

Without further ado – here are photos – topically, rather than chroologically organized….

WILDFLOWERS – they are everywhere!

IMG_0711   IMG_0726

IMG_0862   IMG_0885

IMG_0884   IMG_0906  

IMG_1176   IMG_1180

1.  White Snakeroot

2.  Green Headed Coneflower – Echinacea

3.  Umbrella Leaf

4.  Touch-Me-Not

5.  (still unsure what this is)

6.  Bull Thistle

7.  Filmy Angelica

8.  Wild Blackberries

I have to admit — I do not know what any of these flowers actually are — except for the thistle in the one vertical picture, and the one which looks like blueberries are NOT blueberries!  Claire and Terry know a few, and often availed themselves of a wildflower book they kept in the car.  However, the names rolled off my brain like water off a dam  😦  If Claire gets here — I hope that she’ll share whatever she knows and I’ll update the blog!  I just concentrated on marveling at their beauty – not plant names!

EDIT!!  Claire has checked these flowers out and has helped me with some of the identifications and have posted what I know here.  I’ll add to it if I figure out any more of them.

We stayed overnight at the Cliff Dweller’s Inn – – a hotel in Blowing Rock, NC that’s built into the side of a hill.  It’s such a friendly, family owned place – – not an impersonal chain.  Even though the decor is “dated”, the rooms are spacious and clean, and the price is right, not to mention that they also have wifi *g*.  What more could you ask?  When we arrived at the motel for the night, there was a sign on the door that they had “stepped out” for 15 minutes, so we had some time to kill – and what better thing to do than take pictures of the flowers planted right there.  Again, I do not know what the flowers are:


IMG_0775   IMG_0788

IMG_0760   IMG_0767

IMG_0766   IMG_0792

IMG_0757   IMG_0809

The 7th picture is the reflection of the motel on the window of the motel’s office.  The last picture are the motel’s units that are on a higher level than our room was.

On our second day we spent some time at the “Linn Cove Viaduct”, which was the last section of the Blue Ridge Parkway which was completed in September of 1987.  It was tricky construction, and quite an engineering feat, as it was built literally on the side of the mountain.  The idea was to make this roadway environmentally friendly to the area.  It’s as if the road is “meant” to be there, and is not some ugly structure that seems out of place in the surrounding beauty.  It was also built so that nearby Grandfather Mountain would not be marred by any road construction.  The Viaduct was constructed with 153 precast fifty-ton concrete segments with only one of them being “straight”.  They were not cast on parkway property, but constructed elsewhere and brought in.  One other tidbit of information:  They are held together *in part* by EPOXY GLUE.  Dear God, I didn’t need to know that!  It had best be VERY STRONG epoxy!  :-0

There is a pathway which takes you underneath that roadway where you can see how it was constructed, and I took many photos.  It was incredibly interesting….


IMG_0914   IMG_0894   IMG_0918


VISTAS – so many of them – hard to choose!

IMG_0746   IMG_1018

IMG_1087   IMG_1127

1.  On one view – the clouds were dancing in the valley — making it look rather misty and ethereal
2.  The air continued to be unstable, making for some really pretty cloud cover
3.  Wildflowers at one vista — gorgeous.  I have close-ups of these
4.  Looking glass rock


IMG_0869   IMG_0995

IMG_0985   IMG_1173

click the 1st picture to see the butterfly larger in my flickr account!  Also, the second flowwer is a Coneflower – Echinacea, and the last flowers are green headed coneflowers – Echinacea.

We were going to eat dinner at the Mt. Pisgah Inn, but because we had eaten lunch too late, we weren’t hungry, so decided to have dinner later once off the parkway and on our way home.  But — at the time we arrived, the late day sunlight was wonderful, and the Inn has wonderful views, so we stopped anyway…


IMG_1114   IMG_1106

IMG_1115   IMG_1108

1.  The tree is Pyracantha Mohave – “Firethorn”

2.  The berries are from that tree

And – – I guess that is the photo overview of our two day trip.  There was so much more — like pictures coming out of tunnels, rock cliffs on the edge of the roadway, tiny water falls, and one picture of a fall leaf — a harbinger of fall to come!  However, this is long enough.  I’ll leave you with a picture of the three of us — taken by a kind stranger who offered to snap it of us:


Me, Claire, Terry

%d bloggers like this: