Here's a few of the leaves that you may or may not see if you are coming to the Valle Country Fair this weekend. I took these images the other day. The leaves have been slow to turn probably because we have lacked a real hard frost to kick the leaves into changin' mode. If'n you are coming to the fair, dress for the weather to be chilly. And, just for shiggles, Momma Nature might send us some hard core temps in the form of snow showers Saturday evening just to make up for our lack of seasonal frost.Additionally, don't forget that the Valle Crucis Elementary Annual Chicken Dinner fundraiser will be held at the school after the fair. I can promise you will get healthy portions of good eats at a very reasonable price. Why fight the crowds at the restaurants in town?
And yes, I'm a going to both events this weekend. It is what we do in the Valle every 3rd Saturday in October.
(You can click on the top photo and see a slightly larger view of the Cooper's barn and tree.)
I have several more photos just like this, but pointed in different directions. I'm not sure I've ever seen so much Halloween orange on the trees before. If'n you get a chance to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway in the next week, you will be in for a treat. That is unless Mother Nature throws in a few tricks.
I've toured the foggy Blue Ridge Parkway the last couple of days looking for signs of autumn, but this is about as colorful as it was possible to see. But, today the sun shines and I hope to get a better look this afternoon. In the meantime, if you want more detailed info on autumn in the High Country, please visit the Fall Color Guy's blog. He'll walk you through.
It was pouring rain last night when I returned home. Not yet ready to settle in for the evening, I decided to spend some quality time with Annie. As we played together I noticed how our favorite maple tree is beginning to turn. The tree is ancient and for whatever reason has become our harbinger of both spring and autumn. It is the first to cast an innocent blush in March and subsequently, the first to turn orange in September.
I decided to engage myself with a photo experiment choosing the maple tree as my subject. I fished out the ol' rarely used tripod and a crazy 400mm lens and played around with some spooky long exposures. Normally during long exposures I plead with the dog to be still because any wag of her tail causes undesirable movement in an image. But last night I was curious as to what might happen if during a 4 sec exposure @ f32 I bounced a tennis ball and Annie jumped to catch it? The result is the above photograph. Many of the images were not nearly as painterly, but damn if she and I didn't have fun making them.
Before I took this photo I pondered and studied this Baird's Creek farm scene. The long sun of the season makes light dance around these hills. There is much afoot in this mountain valley...
As you read this, the worker bees of Holy Cross Episcopal Church are making the final preparations for the Valle Country Fair. For 30 years, this labor of love has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charitable causes.
"The Valle Country Fair was founded with the objective that all products sold at the Fair in Church-operated booths should be authentic representations of the traditional, simple, self-sufficient mountain way of living, the elder members of Holy Cross Church have for thirty years passed down their knowledge, skills and recipes - raising up new generations in the old ways of canning, quilting, jelly making, cider pressing and apple butter cooking, further preserving the heritage of the mountains and the ways of Valle Crucis."
Valle Crucis is not just another beautiful place, it is a community which maintains a strong commitment to Appalachian mountain traditions.
And I'll leave you with this poem by Carl Sandburg, the American poet who spent much of his adult life living in the North Carolina mountains. He clicked with autumn.
Autumn Movement by Carl Sandburg
I CRIED over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.
The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.
Hey. He's talking about me, Monte Mitchell @ the Winston Salem Journal wrote a very kind story about about me...and Harley. I am humbled by the positive attention. All I really want to do now is pick up Annie and make a long trek to Carlene's place. I might do that tomorrow. There will be photos of course;)
And for those of you coming here from the Winston Salem Journal. Welcome. Please come in and sit a spell. Here are a few of the posts Monte wrote about:
While walking around campus today I stopped at the Duck Pond to witness the waterfowl frolic, or whatever it is ducks do 'neath the golden canopy. Their webbed feet made this kinda cool pattern in the water. If someone could make this into a ring or bracelet, I'd buy it. Maybe.
I fell out of bed early Saturday morning. Without brushing my teeth or hair, I pulled on Friday's pair of jeans and stumbled into the Jeep and steered towards the Parkway. I headed north at Blowing Rock and quickly turned around because the cloud cover wasn't going to allow for a striking sunrise. I traveled south and hit Price Lake. That's where I met the first photographer. The light was dull and I briefly considered bagging the trip and going back to bed. But I figured while I was out there, I would do a bit of leaf reconnaissance so I would know the better areas to go to at a later time. I ventured to the boat area at the lake. That's when Mr. Sun decided to do his little thing. It was fairly magical. After 20 minutes I packed my gear and drove to Grandfather. By the time I got to Rough Ridge I had already passed at least 20 photographers. As I crossed the viaduct, add at least 50 more lens slingers to count. I think this section of the Parkway most be highlighted as 'the place to shoot autumn,' in some landscape photography magazine. I'm gonna look for a different spot just to be rebellious. For those keeping track of the leaves, peak on the top is just days away. Barring a major windstorm, autumn will stay around a while. It is gorgeous everywhere and you won't be disappointed. Bring your camera.
Note to self: Your bogen tripod is tired, in fact, it is dead. Time to get a new one.
This is an album of photos I took at Saturday's 6th annual Watauga River Run in Valle Crucis, N.C. The 5K event raises money for the Watauga County Schools and Zapfitness in honor of a pair of runners, Gwen Tyrie and Andy Palmer, who died a week apart in 2002. (Click on thumbnails for a larger image)
135 runners took part in the 5th annual Watauga River Run on May 27th 2006. The 5k race started and ended at Valle Crucis Elementary school. Proceeds from the race benefit the Gwen Tyrie and Andy Palmer Memorial Funds.