The Great Smoky Mountains has joined much of our nation’s pre-Christmas frigid cold snap . . . the coldest temperatures recorded here in a quarter century!
At our digs up here on the mountain > down in the ‘holler’ > over the ‘crick’, the temperature plummeted from near 50 degrees last evening to flirt with zero this morning . . . an ‘invigorating’ touch of the Last Frontier😊
Unlike her unhinged Alaskan hubby, my refined New Orleans spouse isn’t a ‘cool’ temp aficionado. I explained to her that there is really no such thing as cold weather, just improper clothing. She tacitly complied by layering herself in a decorous assortment of stockings, sweatpants and sweaters (pic strictly forbidden!)😊
Evidently, rhododendrons prefer warmer climes as well, and shrink from ‘cool’ temps as the pics indicate. BTW, don’t nibble on their leaves. They have high severity poison characteristics . . . that reminds me . . . I need to check my dinner salad tonight😊
May this Christmas find you surrounded by friends and family rejoicing together in His birth that conquered death. Smile😊. . . . and stay warm, happy, and healthy.
Sunlight shafts illuminating ethereal mists of a thundering mountain stream; a 6-point whitetail buck stealthily crouching in a thicket to avoid detection; me silently crouching to avoid detection as a black bear saunters by 😟 😟 😟 . . . Nature’s soul stirring wonders to embrace wandering through the Great Smoky Mountains.
“The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
For the past several years the Great Smoky Mountains has been America’s most visited National Park. Travelers come from all over the world to enjoy Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg’s endless venue of entertainment attractions, and to explore one of Mother Nature’s premier wonders . . . next to Alaska of course 😊
Living here makes October my most labor-intensive month. Local residents, bedecked in vibrant colors, descend on our digs up here on the mountain > down in the ‘holler’ > over the ‘crick’ . . .
LEAVES! . . . lotsa’ and lotsa’ LEAVES! . . . zillions of billions of LEAVES!
My best Fall friend is only 3 feet tall. Each morning we meet up to remove the leaves that have smothered our 1/10th mile, 40-degree slope driveway since the day before. To neglect this chore would jeopardize us being able to drive up out of the ‘holler’ to the gravel road leading to civilization . . . I love my leaf blower! 😊
After reclaiming our driveway today, I took a woods wander along the ‘crick’ for some shinrin-yoku . . . ‘forest bathing’. The Japanese coined this term to describe the practice of getting into the woods for body and mind renewal. I’m not Japanese, but it works for this ole ‘Kraut’!
Studies have shown just three days and two nights in a wooded place increase the immune system functions that boost feelings of well-being for up to seven days. This includes increased awe, greater relaxation, restored attention, and boosted vitality. Among the health benefits are enhanced immunity, reduced cardiovascular disease, fewer migraines, and lowered anxiety. The same three days in a built environment has no such effect.
Sooooooo . . . while leaf-blowing is not one of my favorite activities, I always look forward to my ‘forest baths’ from whence they came . . . and I don’t even have to get wet 😊. Here’s a shinrin-yoku ‘modern art’ pic from today.
“Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sin for joy.”
Took a road trip this past weekend from laid-back, rural TN to full-press, urban VA for a medical appointment. Can you guess which pic was taken from our rural TN backyard, and which was taken from our urban VA hotel window? If you’re having difficulty, I have the phone # of my wife’s ophthalmologist to consult 😊
I’m genuinely grateful for the multitudes of urbanites whose 60 hr.+/week careers and services necessitate they reside in megalopolis dodging gridlock to keep our society operating. I’m equally grateful this ole retired, ‘Everyday’s Saturday’ dude is blessed to reside in ‘rural congestion’, currently dodging falling leaves 😊
“Therefore, my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure.”
There’s always an adventure pending with our feral friends here in the Smokies up on the mountain . . . down in the ‘holler’ . . . by the ‘crick’.
Two days ago Mr. Smokey came by to check things out. I was ‘bearly’ awake early this morning when Mrs. Smoky and her triplets wandered through for a quick splash in the creek . . . Ellen advised against skipping breakfast to join their pool party at the risk becoming breakfast and giving them food poisoning😊
These bears untroubled, carefree meanderings brought aRalph Waldo Emerson quote to mind,
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
P.S. – Please ignore temperature, date, time shown. I need to hire some young kid to show me how to figure out my game-cam settings 😊