outdoors

Slanting sun

Chattahoochee path

We wandered along the bank of the Chattahoochee, amidst detritus accumulated after the last flood…along with fine sediments. Mostly, though, what was underfoot was leaves and small dead branches downed by recent breezes. We encountered a few people walking dogs (including one sweet puppy), and some others walking kids, and some parties with both.

Engagement photo?

Muscovies and people

Photographer: Do animals always come up to you?

Lady in red: No, I guess they think we have food.

Photog: (pause) I have one cracker.

The Lady had a very American accent; I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, and didn’t hear the gentleman in white speak.

Layers of focus

Reflection overcast

Misty, moisty. Check.

Morning. Nope.

Cloudy. Yup; purely overcast.

No old man in any type of clothing. Too unpleasant, I guess, especially for a leather outfit.

I managed to get out between spitty-weather phases (in the early afternoon). Yippee!

Lookin’ and lively

Grass seedheads aglow

Outside an…IKEA, of all places….

If summer and the shoulder seasons are the time of the flower-photo, this part of the year is when I find seed-heads and branch-silhouettes compelling. And, with today’s sunshine, I did enjoy this clump of grasses, especially the curves in the tips.

…and windchill

Long view

One of the things we came to WNC for was to see for miles and miles. We found it from a couple of overlooks and tree-openings along the short section of the Parkway that’s open. I especially loved the visual effect of the white-crested tree limbs. Had I been more winter-hardy, I might have walked down among them….

Backlighting rocks

ABG trail curve backlit

Over at the Bot Garden, we enjoyed the natural autumnal delights like the dried, spent plants, overlooking and ignoring the…uh-hem…fancy lights, which, let’s face it, don’t look good in daylight. We’ve heard they’re…stately?…after dark, but I’m not so sure I’d like them….

Maybe five inches (snow)

Snow shore

I wanted to go out for a good walk, but thought the feet-warm situation was probably…not-so-good. Then, I remembered I’d squirreled away a perfectly good pair of low-top boots. Adequate, given the accumulation. So, I dug around and found an appropriate pair of socks (socks and shoes must work together, you know).

Aha! Then, I remembered that I’d tucked in my gaiters, and I was ready to suit up!

Nice walk, toasty all the way! Saw lots of deer tracks from approximately mid-day, even one place they’d gotten some apples from beneath the snow.

Rainstorm welcome

Rain arrives over TN river

As we reached Chattanooga, we saw a curtain of rain over the Tennessee River, smothering the landscape with gouts of precip. The Guru piloted us along and at some point the road was dry again, and soon the car was, too, by the time we were a half-hour into Georgia.

Mighty Miss

Miss near Hannibal

We wandered along the west bank, loosely speaking, of this major North American river. South of Hannibal, we followed Missouri-79 south, which climbs some (locally) serious ridges overlooking the alluvial plain a bit north of the Mississippi embayment zone. If you’re ever looking for a river wander, try that section of MO-79…. The haze makes this view less dramatic, but that’s still a lot of water!

Who is the interloper?

Bald eagle in flight

I hear voices down by the lake, and I know from experience they might be in a boat passing by (most likely), or they might have decided to use OUR beach*.

I fumble for my sunglasses and head down. No voices anymore. Probably they were from a passing boat or a fishing adventure far out on the lake, and the breeze carried the voices in.

Still, who can pass up a visit to the beach?

I look around, step out on the dock. The water is lightly lapping. I hear a squawky bird noise. Out there on what’s left of the dead birch on the point (several branches from last year are no longer framed against the sky), I see that voice.

Our shoreline hunter-visitor, the bald eagle!!

Like me, a tad annoyed by an interloper. S/he took flight over the lake, and looped around me, continuing along the shoreline, now silent.

* Have I told this story? I can’t remember. Once, a long time ago, my grandmother’s friend’s sister was on the beach, OUR beach, and some folks pulled up in a motorboat, and asked, is this a public beach? Assured no, they left. When the story was retold, Hope’s sister (can’t remember her name…why??), said, “do we look public???” (She moved to Pinehurst NC in her retirement/widowhood, and volunteered during the big golf tournament there; she was quite the character….)