Foggy Morning Breakdown*

I live in the valley between the Cumberland and Smoky Mountains in Southeast Tennessee. It is a place of dreaminess…and music. A certain kind of music, of the earth and the people who revere these magnificent hills and ravines. Blood stirring music. Click to listen, if you so desire, while you read on…

When the conditions are just so, the fog hangs around as the sun rises high enough in the sky to provide just enough illumination for the snapping of a few images. Just such a morning occurred recently and out we dashed, still pajama clad and loving every minute of it.

There is birdsong always during daylight hours and the sound of waterfalls rushing downward if you head upwards towards where the rocks are high and craggy.

We were born flatlanders, in dusty Oklahoma, but Tennessee blood runs through my veins, as my grandmother was born near here, around these here parts.

She was as proud to be from these hills as if she had descended directly from royal bluebloods across the pond. Living here now, I understand how, and why she felt as she did.

There is magic here.

Just thought I’d share a little of the enchantment with you, dear readers. And a little mornin’ music to go along with the purty pickin’ pick-tures. So clickity-click and looky-look and tap your toe, my friends. It jus’ doesn’t get any better.

*”Foggy Mountain Breakdown” was written by Earl Scruggs and recorded in 1949 by Lester Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, with Scruggs playing a Gibson Granada five-string banjo. Many five-string banjo players consider “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” one of the instrument’s fastest and most rhythmically challenging pieces. Only very skilled five-string banjo players can play it at the same speed and beat that Scruggs can.


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24 Responses to Foggy Morning Breakdown*

  1. Jeff D says:

    Enjoyed the music on this cold frosty morning here in the UK!

    How-dee, Jeff! We’re just so glad to see you here! Really, thanks for stopping by and I am glad you enjoyed the music, too. It is blood stirring on a cold morning, or as they say here, mornin’.

  2. carolyn choi says:

    Tennessee is one of my favorite states -used to visit my first cousin in Clarksville. Thanks for sharing your enchanting garden and the mountain fog. Grew up listening to Flatts and Scruggs on the Grand Ole Opry. Your maw-maw would be proud. It appears to me that you’ve become a real ridge runner.

    Thanks Carolyn Gail. We are quite different in terrain than Clarksville, much more hilly with not a speck of flat land, but the beauty is still up there, as well. The youtube video is from a Grand Ole Opry performance. And my grandma would roll over in her grave at the term mawmaw, she was an English teacher. HA I have slowed down a little, but ridge runner, yeehaw, look out and speed up or pull over and let me pass!

  3. pbmgarden says:

    You’ve really captured the spirit of the land with the photographs and writing. It’s a beautiful setting for gardening. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks PMB! I do love it here and that steep incline keeps me spry.

  4. Crystal says:

    Only recently come across your blog. Love the combination of the stunning photos and the musical accompaniment in this post. The banjo was one of the first instruments I learned to play, and Earl Scruggs the best banjo player ever.

    Ooooo-eeeee, Crystal, thanks! Welcome and I hope you find things you like here in the 747, thank you wordpress for that stats page, posts that have been written, plus a few pages, too. Do you know about the blogger fling in May in Asheville this year? The link is near the top of my sidebar. If you decide to come, please bring your banjo!!!!!

  5. Les says:

    You do live in a lovely part of the world, one I try to visit whenever possible. I react the same way when I see fog in the morning, grabbing the camera and barely checking what I am wearing.

    Thanks for visiting Les. Next time you are around this area, contact me for a visit!

  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a great way to start off the morning. I am going to have to get up from here and move now. 🙂 We too are having those foggy mornings. It lends a different feel to the morning. Cheers.

    Thanks Lisa. Clogging is the way to best dance to this, but any moving is good! Love the fog, it is so mysterious!

  7. Tennessee is such a beautiful state. I often visit the Chattanooga area and love the landscape. Your photos capture the essence of your place and love the effect fog & light has on the landscape on those early mornings. Beautiful!

    Thanks Karin. You know first hand the beauty and splendor of this area. We get the Chattanooga local television stations in our dinky little town.

  8. michaele says:

    Oh, that enchanting early morning East TN fog…I know it well and sing God’s praises whenever I wake up to one of those magical mornings.
    Loved the hit of toe tapping music…if I am extra productive today, I will know where I got the energy. Thanks!

    Thanks Micheale. It is a spiritual experience when there is fog on the mountains. It makes one want to kick up their heels!

  9. I love this music since it is from the heart and soul of special people…what a gorgeous place where you live…

    Thanks Donna. The music indeed emanates from the land, soul stirring stuff.

  10. Gail says:

    Frances, How stunning your Diane is in the foggy morning light! Fairegarden looks like it’s been carved out of the mountains and I can feel the magic in each photo. Thanks for the music and sharing the magic…xoxogail

    Thanks Gail. Diane and Arnold are both wide open full throttle at the same time this year. It has never happened like that before. I am hoping for some romantic notions to occur here. Now that would be magic! HA

  11. Robin Ripley says:

    Lovely, lovely fog photos. It’s too early for toe tapping music for me though. Maybe later. : )

    Thanks Robin. It is early for top tapping, even for me! Maybe later…

  12. Faye Hunt says:

    You Made My Morning!!
    Thank You

    Thanks Faye, that makes me very happy.

  13. Great photos, Frances. Am the music was a great way to star the morning – foggy or otherwise.

    Thanks Heather. I don’t really know what is foggy about that song, but it seemed to fit my mood just right! HA

  14. Virginia Callicott says:

    Really enjoyed this post because we have been having these fine fogs as well, further west in the hills south of Nashville. And as a flatlander from Louisiana who has been gardening in Tennessee for 50 years, I especially enjoy the treasures of every season. Love the musical accompaniment as well.. Virginia

    Thanks Virginia, I am glad you are enjoying your time in Tennessee as well. What a great place to garden!

  15. Penryn says:

    beautiful photos… hope to be learning from you soon!

    Thanks Penryn. I will tell you right now, I shoot only on auto, point and shoot, that’s all I am capable of. I do know how to read good lighting.

  16. what a lovely idea to have that heart stirring music as we raced up and down the hills in the photos! Your garden as always is lovely.

    Thanks AA. That is funny that you say we raced up and down the hills. It is steep here, going slow is futile!

  17. Ginny says:

    I’m a North Carolina foothills girl living in the flat lands of eastern North Carolina. I do miss the hills! I love foggy mornings – I was out with my camera taking some pictures on a foggy morning here recently. It’s magical!

    Hi, Ginny, thanks for stopping by. I love North Carolina, Ginny, especially Western NC, but also the beaches of the east. What a great place. Fog is full of mystery and enchantment, for sure.

  18. Layanee says:

    A magical mist for sure. Don’t you love the quiet which fog seems to engender? Beautiful shots as always.

    Hi Layanee, thanks for visiting. I love the fog and how it hides the garden, encouraging us to seek enlightenment.

  19. nellie says:

    Spent many evenings listening to my brothers channel Flatt & Scruggs.

    Hi Nellie, thanks for dropping by. How wonderful to listen to family play this delightful music. Lucky!

  20. Rose says:

    What a lovely way to start the morning, Frances! I have similar roots and ties to the land here in Illinois, so I understand your feelings. By the way, if you also like fiddle music, did you know that Alison Kraus is from Urbana, Illinois, just down the road from me?

    Thanks, Rose, glad you enjoyed it. How wonderful for you to have roots like these and Ms. Kraus is a favorite of mine.

  21. Janet says:

    As a clogger, my feet are a’tappin’!

    Ah Janet, that is fabulous! I love to watch clogging, and even partake a little with my own made up version as well from time to time.

  22. debsgarden says:

    You live near that waterfall? I am seriously jealous, as a natural waterfall like that is included in my vision of paradise. My dad was from Tennessee, with his ancestors documented way back to the earliest settlers, so I understand what you are saying about the area. Those mists are in my bloodstream, too!

    P.S. I loved the music and quickly found myself tapping my toes!

    Hi Deb, thanks for visiting, cousin! That waterfall is about an hour’s drive from my house and a favorite spot to take guests who come to stay with us. The music gets us moving, doesn’t it?

  23. Lyn says:

    Frances, thank you for a few truly joyful minutes of listening, looking and reading. I’m still smiling. Your Tennessee hills are a special place.

    Thanks, Lyn, for joining along in the toe tapping!

  24. I love the foggy mornings/days, they have such a special feel. Did I tell you I saw Earl Scruggs last year? He was at the Newberry Opera House? Great show! Ricky Skaggs is Sunday. 🙂

    Lucky duck, Janet! I bet that was one fine show. Newberry seems to have more going on than orchids! HA

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