Back To The Mountain

October 18, 2009 Ashv 077 (2)
Let us go back to the mountain. The mountain being Christopher’s place just Outside Clyde in western North Carolina. There was an assignment that was missed by someone who could not stop their motor mouth long enough to get the instructions right. Here is the make up work, the macro shot of the same red leaf that we were both photographing. You can see his here.

October 18, 2009 Ashv 079 (2)
If you, dear readers were up there amidst all of that cold but brilliantly ablaze with color foliage you might have missed the rules yourselves.

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It is the kind of jaw dropping, eye popping, drop to your knees and pray then jump into the air and shout Halleluja beauty that can only be imagined but seldom seen. It is the real deal.

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There was obedience when this favorite road shot was pointed out and the shutter clicked as told.

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Uncle Ernie was standing tall over the spent corn stalks. Christopher said the raccoon got his share too.

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The cozy cabin is a work of art, by a very talented artist.

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Who happens to have a very large boulder on his land and likes to show it to visitors who are respectfully in awe.

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You were right about the flash showing the sparkles on the mossy icicles, Christopher. Thanks!

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There were native witch hazels, Hamamelis virginiana in bloom, several of them in fact.

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Along with a large stand of hypericums. This mountainside is a native plant lover’s dream come true.

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Speaking of dreams coming true, a big welcome home to the roving Mama Spot, seen here helping her human dig some white Japanese anemones that were desired for the Fairegarden.

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This was the view from higher up the slope at Bulbarella and The Contractor’s mountain home. We had brought the new camera, the Canon Powershot SX1 IS to use the 20x zoom on these snowy mountain vistas. After pulling off to the side of the road on the climb ever upward en route after a clear view of the not so far away peaks was spied, when the camera was turned on the screen read: Change the batteries. Okay, we were prepared with a whole baggie full of charged batteries and popped the required four in. Turning on the camera it now read: Lens error, restart camera. After the millionth restarting and that same message displaying, we got back into the gas guzzler and climbed on up to Christopher’s. We tried everything, warming the camera, warming the batteries, nothing worked. Rats. At least the old camera was on stand by to do its macro magic. But we really wanted some long shots, the specialty of the SX1. Upon coming home and looking at the user guide online, the troubleshooting section said this was a problem for the support staff. After dialing the 800 number and going through a long maze of menus, we were on hold for a real person. While waiting, we tried taking the battery cover off and cleaning it. Then we turned on the camera. No problem. Voila! It seems that some dust had gotten in the battery compartment when we changed the batteries in the less than spotless back seat of the car. We hung up the phone since support was no longer needed. But the views of heaven were not captured as they deserved. Sorry views, next time.


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45 Responses to Back To The Mountain

  1. Darla says:

    What an awesome place!! Snow and icicles, love these photos!

    Thanks Darla, it is unbelievable up there. That day the sun and foliage color with the snow and ice was perfect for photo ops if not for humans! HA πŸ™‚

  2. Eye popping it certainly is! In my country there are no mountains whatsoever but we do a mean flat as a pancake sort of thingy. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks YE, and I agree, your country does a mean pancake thingey! Piet would agree. πŸ™‚

  3. gittan says:

    WOW! What a great place to visit. Sad that you didn’t get that picture of the mountains you wanted but the others looks amazing / kram gittan

    Thanks Gittan, it was amazing, really words cannot describe the beauty. My camera snafu was a very minor irritation. There will be other opportunities to use it up there. We shall return! πŸ™‚

  4. I love the sparkle on the icicles! Even though your new camera didn’t work, your pictures were amazing!

    Hi Deborah, thanks so much. I forgot to turn the flash off and it turned out great, just like Christopher said it would. I think he has taken shots of the icicles hanging off the big rock before. πŸ™‚

  5. Joy says:

    Now that is scenery ! … and you picked up some plants on top of it all ? You lucky gardener ! .. I love the BIG boulder and I would show it off too .. plus little madame that had to see what exactly was going on with her pet human .. purrfect !
    You are getting more colour from those leaves than I am here .. this Autumn has been a wet gray one instead of our gorgeous years.
    New camera eh ? I’m still trying to figure out mine and have both on the go .. πŸ˜‰

    Hi Joy, thanks. It was a wonderful visit, like all the ones before. This was the best for the foliage color, the lighting and the ice and snow. Back home our color is nowhere near that crescendo, and will never be like his mountain. The new camera and I have made a peace treaty after considerable fiddling with the settings it was reset to default and will be used on auto or maybe sport for the bird shots. The zoom is the thing and I know how to work that, when there is no dust on the battery cover insides. πŸ™‚

  6. That is certainly a beautiful place, that mountain. Thanks for sharing more of it with us!

    Hi Carol, thanks. You need to see this place, you were so close. Next time. And maybe pop over to the Fairegarden while you are in the vicinity. πŸ™‚

  7. Lola says:

    Fantastic Frances, thanks for sharing that part of the beautiful mtns. Great shots of the red leave. I like the road shot.
    Where were your gloves?

    Thanks Lola, I knew you would enjoy seeing more of Christopher’s mountain since you are familiar with his story and the area. My gloves were in my pocket. HA πŸ™‚

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    At least you have something to look forward to next time Frances. What fun to be up in the mountains and seeing the cozy cabin in person. That boulder is to die for too. All that moss clinging to it makes it look so alive.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. There is plenty to look forward to with each visit, including seeing Christopher! I hope that you can see it someday for yourself, it is worth the trip and maybe you could see the Fairegarden too. We would love to have you. Bring your sister! πŸ™‚

  9. jwlw says:

    Good Morning: First Post I read today was from Cape Cod, MA. Second one was suppose to be from east coast, turned out it was from Hawaii. Now I am in Tennessee and the post is about North Carolina. Very interesting journey. All have great photos and interesting writing. Wonder what I will encounter next?

    Have a wonderfull day,

    How fun, John and thanks. What a wonderful way to travel the world.

    • jwlw says:

      HI Frances: My next read was in Washington State touring in a foliage trip. That was it for this morning. Your photos are great.

      Enjoy your day,

      Hi John, thanks. Sounds like a nice way to begin the day. πŸ™‚

  10. Gail says:

    Frances, That is eye popping beauty you’ve shown us. It must be a wonderful place to live surrounded by native plants, fresh air and great views! Mama Spot looks like she is glad to be reunited with Christopher. He is an artist…the ceiling beams are beautiful. Speaking of beautiful~~wow on the sparkly icicles! gail

    Hi Gail, thanks. You would love it. So much to see that your eyes don’t know where to look. Thank goodness Christopher is such a good tour guide. He knows what to point your attention to. πŸ™‚

  11. tina says:

    Looks wonderful-except for the cold! I had heard it was most cold in the mountains. I just adore Uncle Ernie. I wish my native hamamelis would bloom. It was half eaten but caterpillars though so perhaps that is it. Enjoy the warm day. I’m cutting trees down and working in the garden as well.

    Wow Tina, be careful out there! Thanks for the kind words. It is way colder up there, always, than down below. I would never have noticed the witch hazel, the yellow blended in so well with the fall foliage of nearby trees and shrubs. Christopher pointed it out.

  12. Sweet Bay says:

    The fall colors are amazing, and such beautiful views. Love Uncle Ernie and the icicles. Was the Witch Hazel fragrant?

    Thanks Sweet Bay. Interestingly the witch hazel had no scent that I could detect, and I gave it a big whiff too. I don’t know if that is normal or my smeller was frozen! HA πŸ™‚

  13. Wow, I am seeing real red colour leaves here. I have never seen such bright red leaves. Maple? I always dream of seeing red maple leaves and that is how I want autumn to be. I love the sparkle created by the flash on the icicle, just like magic. Is there something wrong with me? I don’t know what/who is Uncle Ernie!

    Hi Autumn Belle, thanks. Those are indeed maple leaves and some are more red that others. The mountain had all the colors, but the reds were just brilliant, we seldom see them as jewel like as these where I live. Uncle Ernie is a sculpture Christopher made from scrape lumber as art and a scarecrow for his vegetable garden. Don’t know if it scares away any critters but being near the road it often causes passing cars to screech to a halt for a better look. πŸ™‚

  14. Racquel says:

    I can’t get over all that fall color & the icicles. It’s been cool here but not that cool. That boulder was massive. Nice shots, thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, thanks. It is another world up there, so beautiful and pristine.

  15. Janet says:

    I don’t think there is a more interesting place than in the woods in the fall. Love the icicles with the moss. I need to check out witch hazel in the Learning Garden to see if it is blooming. The reds of the maples are magnificent.
    What frustration with your camera. Glad it is still working, though having forgotten batteries and missed shots, I know the feeling.

    Hi Janet, thanks. The witch hazel was sort of overshadowed by all of the foliage turning, being yellow, it blends right in. The camera thing is typical. HA πŸ™‚

  16. Hi Frances. Having me in the picture with the school bus boulder really puts its size in perspective. There will be plenty of opportunities to get that zoom in of the view now that dust has been removed from the battery compartment on the new camera. I could even show you big boulders and bigger views across the scenic byway from me.

    Hi Christopher, I guess you have never seen that perspective with the rock before. I was even surprised at the photo. Those views from across the street were enticing, especially of the cozy cabin. You know I will be back again, don’t know how soon though. Thanks once again, the anemones are planted and fared the trip well.

  17. ourfriendben says:

    Wow, Frances!!! I don’t know which I envy more—Christopher’s boulder or his view! But I can tell you, I’m ready to move down there…

    Thanks OFB. Western North Carolina must rival anywhere else on earth for majestic beauty. We may end up there yet. πŸ™‚

  18. Rose says:

    This may not have been the view you wanted, Frances, but it sure looks like heaven to me! And wow, that is one huge boulder! I enjoyed reading Christopher’s post of your visit, too. Looks like you were appropriately bundled up for the weather:)

    Hi Rose, thanks. The camera thing was not really a big deal, I may have made too much of it in this post. I was ready with the winter gear, kept throwing things in the car while packing and was glad to have them. πŸ™‚

  19. lotusleaf says:

    As well as eye popping, the place has also heart-stopping beauty. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks Lotusleaf. Glad you enjoyed traveling up the mountain! πŸ™‚

  20. rosey pollen says:

    All the wintry photos you shared were enchanting… thanks so much for sharing. I am researching cameras, so would you reccomend this newer camera, or not? I know NOTHING about cameras. My daughter has a photo class this year in HS and needed help yesterday and we had to go over the manual to figure out how to turn it on. πŸ™‚ (It is an old camera.)

    Hi Rosey, thanks The Canon powershots are all good. I would recommend the sx10 over mine. It was the one I wanted. How fun to have an old camera too. Sometimes those are better than the new ones even. πŸ™‚

  21. Jen says:

    Stunning views, and a kitty also. What a absolutely beautiful day you had. It seemed that there were amazing photo ops where ever you turned.


    Hi Jen, thanks. It was a gorgeous day for photography even though it was chilly. Nice to catch up with friends too. πŸ™‚

  22. Patsi says:

    Oh so pretty !
    The icicles are fascinating to see.
    He’s right about using a flash…sometimes I forget it can be very helpful outdoors.
    Mountains…sounds like you had a workout.
    Looks like a good time.
    Keep snapping those pictures !

    Hi Patsi, thanks. I usually turn the flash off, but now understand about capturing the sparkles of frost. I was huffing and puffing while walking up and down those trails, but Christopher and his long legs climbed around with ease. He is used to it, younger and in better shape than me, obviously. I need to climb my slope more although it doesn’t come close to the grade of his mountainside! πŸ™‚

  23. Benjamin says:

    Oh my I want to live there! Such gorgeous shots. Mr. C. always has nice ones, too, but I like yours just as well, especially the ice.

    Hi Benjamin, thanks, so nice to see you. You would love it there, so much to see and admire. Christopher is a great host too.

  24. ‘It is the kind of jaw dropping, eye popping, drop to your knees and pray then jump into the air and shout Halleluja beauty that can only be imagined but seldom seen. It is the real deal’.

    Frances, this made me laugh as there is NO grey area, you love this place, and a beautiful part of the world it is too. I enjoyed your photos and narrative. I bet you’re chuffed to bits with the Anemone gift!

    Hi Rob, thanks. Glad you got a laugh, I am enthusiastic about Christopher’s mountain for sure! I have admired the white anemones, especially yours, and am quite chuffed about getting some. They are in the ground and look good so far. πŸ™‚

  25. Carol says:

    As always I so enjoy your posts Frances… your humor and mastery of images are great. What a beautiful place to visit and I so admire someone building their own home. I too love the photos with the dripping ice. The mountain views are splendid and now you must go back to gather more. Carol

    Thanks so much, Carol, I appreciate your kind words. Christopher reminds me of Thoreau, although he is more outgoing. HA Since he lives on the way to my son’s place in Asheville, we like to climb the mountain to visit him when there is time. Always a pleasure, rain, snow or whatever. πŸ™‚

  26. Always a “next time” lures us back to the special places. Thanks for the tip about using the flash…never would have thought of that. Isn’t it odd how simple fixes often foil the technology gods? I sometimes fail to remember that unplugging the computer will often fix what ails it.

    Hi Ricki, thanks. The flash was an accident, I normally turn it off outside, but Christopher said it would help the sparkly show up and he was right. When we have a nice frost it will be experimented with here too. If only I had tried cleaning the battery cover while up on the mountain, the views were spectacular. Next time. πŸ™‚

  27. Joanne says:

    Sorry for your frustration over the camera but the photos of the trees and the views are lovely what a wonderful wonderland.

    Hi Joanne thanks. The camera snafu was small potatoes compared to the fun that was had up on the mountain. It is a breathtaking place of natural beauty.

  28. Hello Frances, what a great place, what beautiful shots!!!! It must have been freezing with all that ice!
    maria cecilia

    Hi Maria, thanks. It was cold but we bundled up so it wasn’t too bad. It rains or snows every single time I have been up there, so I come prepared. πŸ™‚

  29. Wow, darlin’, those were some shots. Witch hazels already blooming? Gee, that sounds wonderful. That boulder is stunning. The icicle trick (sweet of you to share) is nice too. Glad you got to visit Christopher. He’s so nice.

    Hi Dee, thanks. That is the native witch hazel, a larger tree that blooms in the fall as opposed to the hybrids like Diane with different genes that bloom much later. What a native plant sanctuary Christopher’s mountainside is, one doesn’t know where to look! Luckily he can direct the eyes to the choicest specimens as he has studied them thoroughly. He is a sweetie. The flash on the icicle was an accident. Good thing I never delete the pix until they are loaded on the computer. πŸ™‚

  30. Siria says:

    Hi Frances! I enjoyed all the pictures of your visit to Outside Clyde ~ Your pictures are gorgeous as always. What a gorgeous spot, isn’t it?! And to think that when you have been there it has either been raining or very cold and snowy. Imagine on a clear, warm beautiful day. Hopefully for your next visit! πŸ™‚

    Hi Siria, thanks. Since you too have seen this place, you know about the beauty. Clear warm day? I can’t imagine it. HA πŸ™‚

  31. Beckie says:

    A photagrapher’s paradise! As well as a gardener’s. When you are surrounded with beauty like this the only eother thing you need is a companion to share it with.

    Hi Beckie, you are, as always, quite astute! Beauty is even more so when shared. We had more time to explore and chat on this visit than ever before, so it was great fun. πŸ™‚

  32. marmee says:

    this is a gorgeous place to be able to visit and record with your new camera. i really need to get myself some witch hazel. i love the way they look.
    happy autumn.

    Hi Marmee, thanks. You do need witch hazel with all your room, you could have a grove of them! They grow very well here in TN also. πŸ™‚

  33. Hello Frances,

    I feel an adrenaline rush when I happen upon the perfect photo opportunity, which is not as often as I would like.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

    Hi Noelle, thanks for visiting. I get that same feeling and it is great when the camera is in hand. I am trying not to run for the camera as much lately and just enjoy the moment for what it is sometimes too. Balance. πŸ™‚

  34. Catherine says:

    It is beautiful there. I love those roads in the mountains that are lined with trees and views. That boulder is huge.

    Hi Catherine, thanks. It is the most beautiful of scenic spots. I can’t imagine living there, nothing would ever get done for there would be too much to gaze upon. πŸ™‚

  35. Urban Green says:

    What an amazing place! Thanks for sharing these pictures, they are gorgeous.

    Thanks Urban Green, glad you enjoyed the travelogue. πŸ™‚

  36. Another wonderful tour on the mountain! Looks cold, though! πŸ™‚


    Thanks Cameron. It was delightful, but quite cold. We were both bundled up though. πŸ™‚

  37. VW says:

    The boulder is magnificent, and the sparkles on the moss icicles is magic. ‘Motor mouth’ – ha – I’ve been accused of that before. Now I know I’m in good company!

    Hi VW, it was a wonderful rock and Christopher was quite proud of it. Motor Mouth was the name my gym teacher, who hated me, gave me in middle school. She was right though, I have always been a talker. Sounds like you are too. Good for you! πŸ™‚

  38. Ohhh you captured Autumn so perfectly…the leaves, the coats, the critters. Thanks so much for the big smile this post brought me! Kim

    Hi Kim, thanks. I do love fall, but this was more like winter with leaves still on the trees! Incredibly beautiful. πŸ™‚

  39. Mary Delle says:

    The mountains are beautiful in their fall colors. Loved the close-ups and the panorama.

    Hi Mary, thanks. Those mountains are majestic and full of mystery and history unknown. I love going up there. πŸ™‚

  40. linda says:

    Lucky you Frances, being able to visit Christopher and his beautiful place. Lucky us that you shared the visit. Awesome scenery, awesome photos!

    Hi Linda, thanks. Christopher lives right on the way between where we live and Asheville where my son lives. Our terrains are slightly different but similar enough that we can grow many of the same things and have exchanged plants several times. He is a fine host and tour guide. πŸ™‚

  41. FlowerLady says:

    Oh how wonderful. I love picture #4.


    Hi Flower Lady, thanks and welcome. That was a favorite shot of Christopher’s, the header photo of his blog at the moment. Glad you liked it. πŸ™‚

  42. sequoiagardens says:

    Glorious shots and an oh-so-typical story of (a) camera problems at the worst possible moment and (b) modern electronic helplines! I would love to have joined you on this outing, Frances! Thanks for sharing.

    Hi Jack, thanks. Of course the camera malfunctioned when it was time for its special zoom capabilities to be tested. I have spent way too much time going through those menus on help lines too, it was nice to be able to hang up. I feel sure the person who answered would not have suggested cleaning the battery cover. They would have had me send it to be repaired at great expense. You should read Christopher’s amazing story of his mountain and the cabin he is building there at Outside Clyde, link is on my sidebar. πŸ™‚

  43. Ursula says:

    beautiful photographs, i am enjoying this when I should be working in UK. Our website is I hope you enjoy looking at it

    Thanks Ursula. What a nice place to work!

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