Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mountain Laurel in North Carolina in the spring!

I have been taking lots of photos to share with you and I am getting behind. It takes time to resize them to small and then rename them so I just get behind which seems to be my middle name. I love to take roadside photos also and anything Rusty Crusty appeals to me. There are so may old barns and homes that are very old and dilapidated.
Well, we took Bailey and Emma on a road trip to the Nantahala area of North Carolina which is about 1 hour north of us. I am so grateful to have it close now. We used to drive hours and hours up there with the Vulcan Trail Club back when (1998-2000) to go rafting, camping, and hiking. They were fun trips and back before I had a digital camera. Oh, the pictures I do have; they are just in albums I should scan into the computer to save them. There are many fabulous memories there of friends and fun trips I remember! Neither my husband or I could carry heavy packs on our backs for hiking so we mainly did day trips, canoe, and rafting trips with them. We went to the Blackwater River in south Alabama and the Nantahala and Ocoee, and Hiawassee Rivers up here in North Carolina. Anyway, we met a couple at the flea market last year and they said when their Golden Retriever went into heat he wanted to get with Bailey, our Golden Retriever male dog to make puppies! Well, it happened! We took Bailey up to their compound he runs for many honeymoon couples. They have fabulous cabins for rent along with this outdoor area I took photos of for you. They have a large covered patio area with the fireplace and kitchen to hang out in with campfires and treats. They have flower petals in the cabins and in the bathtubs awaiting the couple that return from honeymoon trips. That is most of their business he told us as they don't really even advertise much. We saw no signs leading us there on our way but they gave us wonderful directions and it was easy to find. I will tell you it is called Cherokee Mountain Cabins . Look at the photos and information if you know anyone who might be interested in them. What a great getaway for anyone!
I also just learned about a beautiful plant we have in our yard too. It is Carolina Allpsice and was worn in the bosoms of ladies back when as it smells wonderful and is so beautiful. I also will show you a photos of old growth being replaced by new in the leaves on this oak tree. The red leaves are only about 1/2 long compared to the old brown leaf that will fall off and is several inches long. They make wonderful mulch for the gardens and I am learning to save a few when I rake. I am not sure what the white flowers are but they are beautiful. We also had a hail storm here, see the photos,
I just remembered while I took a break to go outside that at the Georgia Mountain Research Farm which I am now calling "The Farm" at which I am training to be a tour guide. I took a tour with an experienced guide last Monday when I went to work weeding some garden areas and I saw some huge poison ivy, well, I just saw some just like it in our backyard. Here are the photos I just took. I had no idea what I was looking at and that it got so big. I have a very bad break-out last year after we just moved here and I have so much to still learn about the outdoors in a forest. I was digging to plant by the side yard when I uncovered this dinosaur too, boy, it really scared me as to what it was. Some children lived here before us and I dug up a barbie doll one time also. I replanted her, but retrieved her later as I felt sorry for her. Her hair is a mess, but maybe I can use her in my mixed media somehow. I am sure she has a story!
I believe the small lily flowers on this bush may be the sourwood trees folk's make honey from up here. They are all over the woods and so beautiful! The bear returned again last night and got the birdseed again. He even got in a bluebird house in the front yard and opened the door to it. The peeling bark tree is at my neighbor's home also. It just loses the bark. Maybe it is a sycamore tree? The meadows here are all yellow filled with small flowers and they are really beautiful!
bear, The Mountain Laurel branches are from downed limbs I found in the woods. We have many tree limbs down all over the forest and I drag them home. I thought they were rhododendron branches till my neighbor told me different. I am going to make a fence with them. I saw my first real rhododendron flowers too in my neighbor's yard here. One is a dark pink and one is light color. Here is the dark pink one. They are just starting bloom here and last about a month I am told. We have to go back up to the Nantahala River to see them all over the place as they line the river wonderfully!
The small white and pink flowers are the "mountain laurel" which is one of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen! It is so delicate and dainty! Both grow wild here.
After it hailed it rained and rained flooding my side yard. It became a creek for a while.
My top soil sure washed so I am glad I had not planted seeds yet and I guess I won't after seeing that. We did plant our vegetable garden today and we will just have to see as I have never grown much to eat before. Mainly salad items and tomato's. My husband also took a photo of my $3.00 work boots I got at the flea market. Not a bad buy except that that they are big on me. If I could only wear heavy fiber socks. I made this fabric layer wheel from an old bicycle tire I found.
Well when I do write, I write a book don't I? I know and I have been coming and going all day back and forth from the computer. Smiles, Cyndi Smiles, Cyndi


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