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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Roaring Forks Motor Nature Trail

This week, we were finally able to get away for a week in the Smoky Mountains. We had postponed our trip twice due to illness. As a result, the trees were all leafed out and green and gorgeous. Usually, we go in the early spring or late fall, so we don't often see the lush green of summer.
 
Today's photos were all taken along the Roaring Forks Motor Nature Trail, outside of Gatlinburg. I highly recommend this drive to anyone who doesn't have time to fully explore the national park. It provides a nice introduction to the park.

IMG_7419_Dogwood_on_Roaring_Forks_Motor_Nature_Trail
Most of the dogwoods had already shed their blossoms, but there were a few that were still in their full glory, like the one above.
 
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River along the Roaring Forks Motor Nature Trail
 
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Jim Bales Place, a historic homestead site along the  Roaring Forks drive
 
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This fungus-covered stump on the Jim Bales Place caught my attention.
 
IMG_7434_Mushroom_Stump_at_Jim_Bales_Place_on_Roaring_Forks_Motor_Nature_Trail
This is a close-up look at two mushrooms on the top of the stump.
 
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Dogwood blossoms on the Jim Bales Place
 
IMG_7460_Place_of_a_Thousand_Drips_on_Roaring_Forks_Motor_Nature_Trail
The "Place of a Thousand Drops" was transformed into a lovely waterfall by recent rains.
 
IMG_7464_Place_of_a_Thousand_Drips_on_Roaring_Forks_Motor_Nature_Trail
The "Place of a Thousand Drips" side view

Our love affair with the Smokies began in 1990. We went twice that year and have averaged about two visits a year since then...sometimes three or four...sometimes only one. That's roughly 45 visits to this national park. I won't even attempt a guess as to how many photographs I've shot there. Thousands, I'm sure. And still there are sights beckoning to me and my camera.

Different seasons, different times of the day, different annual rainfall, different daily weather conditions...all combine to make even the familiar look new and different. And so my camera is kept busy.


12 comments:

  1. It's certainly a photographer's paradise! I went to Gatlinburg as a young girl so long ago and still remember the beauty. You captured some gorgeous images of the foliage and waterfalls. I can see why you would want to return over and over. I'd like to go in the fall to see the leaves changing color.

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  2. wow! the falls over rocks are just gorgeous! love all the greenery and thick woods, too! pretty 'toasted coconut' mushrooms, too. :)

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  3. Looks like you had a great time in the Smokies, Linda. Sorry we weren't around to meet up with you this time. We got home yesterday from the beach--and had a terrific week. The weather was perfect --after all of the rain we had had here before leaving on the 4th. We stopped by Tallulah Gorge (GA) on the way to the beach to do some hiking and waterfalling... All in all, it was a GREAT trip.

    Great set of photos. There's just nuttin' better than the Smokies though.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  4. I've never seen so much water at the Place of a Thousand Drips. The Roaring Fork Motor Trail is one of our favorite Smokies places.

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  5. I can understand why this place has such appeal.The pictures show a place of extreme beauty.My camera would be very busy here.

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  6. Gail - It IS beautiful, and you and your camera would love it. The fall is awesome. We often go the first week of November, to avoid crowds and high lodging rates, and the color is still usually good in the lower elevations. But, to see it in all its glory, the third week of October is probably best.

    Theresa - That's the most water we've ever seen at the Place of a Thousand Drips. It's always pretty, though. I like your description of the mushrooms. :)

    Betsy - I thought about you two and hoped you were enjoying the beach. Of course, I knew you would. We had a great week in the Smokies. We'll hope to catch you next time.

    George - We had never seen the water flowing in such abundance there, either. It was gorgeous. You would have gotten better photos of it. :)

    Ruth - The Smokies are our go-to place when we want to get away for a bit. It's such a relaxing place and a place of great beauty. Your camera would indeed be very busy there.

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  7. Those roughly 45 visits show your affection for Smokey mountains persuasively. :) I don't doubt that there will always be something "new" to take a photo of. I love especially the details of the mushrooms - their surface looks like skin of an animal - and the dogwood.

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    1. Petra - Thanks always for the encouraging words. I took another look at the close-up of the mushrooms, after reading your comment, and you're right...they do look like an animal skin.

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  8. It's easy to see why you've fallen in love with this area. What a beautiful time of year to visit.. everything so lush and green. Lovely pics, Linda.

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    1. Hilary - We did enjoy seeing it all green. That's rare for us since our usual trips are before the leaves are fully out in the spring and then when they're gone or have changed color in the fall. The green on this trip was a special treat.

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  9. As you call it "the little bride flowers" are some sort of orchid. I don't know what trail you were hiking but this web site might have a picture and name of it when you click the trail. You might have already looked at it.

    http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/blog22_wildflower_hikes.htm

    Your shots were beautiful.

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    1. Kay - I did do a little looking around the Web, but I didn't exactly find that "bride" flower. I'll try that site you mentioned.

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