I really don’t make it a habit of chasing birds, or any other animals, on a daily basis. I was almost home from my walk and heard something come out of the weeds and brush (on the right in the photo). He (or she) followed me for about 10 steps until I turned to get his picture. Which, of course, made him turn and waddle the other way. Not a very good picture at all, but he was adorable.
This is motivation enough to bring my camera along with me! I saw these 2 guys (or gals – I thought it rude to ask) about 5 minutes into my 1st day of walking. The deer on the right stayed there the whole time, and seemed as if it would stay there all day. The one on the left wasn’t having any of it and sauntered away after the next picture. I’m guessing their some of the same deer I see in my neighborhood, so maybe they’ve seen me around.
In addition to my smoking cessation, I’ve started walking (almost) daily. Since I’m walking alone, and because I currently can’t use either of my mp3 players, I’ve been taking my camera along with me. It keeps me from not getting bored, even if I don’t take many photos, by looking for things to photograph and becoming more aware of my surroundings. As motivation to blog more, and take more photos, I’m going to post (almost) daily photos of things I see. Some (or many) may not be interesting to a lot of people, but they will be interesting to me for whatever reason. Sometimes the photos may not be from my (almost) daily walk, like when I’m on my semi-annual traveling salesman gig next month, or when I actually get to go out of town. Most of the time there will only be 1 photo, occasionally there will be more if it’s a related set like today’s daily sighting. If I don’t see anything, or don’t take any photos on a given day, I’ll post one from a backup of other days (I have at least a week’s worth of backups already).
Today most of my walk was on Tiny Town’s walking track. As I was finishing my last lap I noticed these guys at the edge of the infield. Since I don’t often get to see them this close so I couldn’t resist an opportunity to photograph them.
Yeah, I really didn’t think it would be easy.
This one was blurry, but this is the closest photo I could get of them.
Those lines in the grass? From me following them around and around to get their picture.
When we had some nice weather last month I decided to take my camera out and do a little exploring in my backyard. I haven’t been in this part of the backyard in about 20 years. I’m sure that sounds odd, but there are many good reasons. First – this part of the backyard is a river bank so you have the whole RAGING FLOOD thing to deal with several times a year. Plus, after it floods it gets a little, well, MUCKY and YUCKY. Also I have, thankfully, not lived here for more than 10 of those 20 years. And I’m allergic to practically everything so things like POISON IVY and GRASS and POLLEN and BEES and AIR aren’t all that pleasant. AND things that are also not pleasant – falling down a steep hill and BREAKING YOUR HEAD OPEN because the hill is STEEP and has RANDOM HOLES and LOOSE DIRT from the RAGING FLOODS and you have BAD KNEES. Plus I’m not really an outdoors-y person (although I am trying to get out more since the only time I really got out before was to smoke and THAT’S not happening anymore). Also, part of this little exploration is TECHNICALLY not OUR backyard, but a little TRESPASSING never hurt anyone. At least not me.
Whatever, on with the exploring.
Oh, and if you haven’t noticed – LOTS of pictures. At least I didn’t put all 58 here.
Looking down the hill toward the river part (a little trespassing going on here). I didn’t notice until I had taken a couple of pics, but that thing that’s kinda left center in the pic? Dead deer. Thankfully, it wasn’t smelling yet. Be thankful that the close up shot isn’t posted here. Poor little guy. He might have broken his neck going down the hill (SEE?)
I was trying to take a picture of the thing that was lodged between the trees, but I like this better. Almost creepy.
This couch thing has been here in the same spot for over 4 years. Even though it is right next to the river’s natural edge, it has barely budged during any of the floods in that time. Now it’s kinda wedged itself so it probably won’t be going anywhere for awhile.
I love the terrain here, always changing. We spent many summer hours down here with the neighborhood kids. Building forts, tepees, just having fun.
This little lace scrap looked so sad laying there by itself.
I don’t know why, but I have always loved this bridge. It’s just a little one-lane bridge at the end of our street. It’s no longer in use, and is sadly now falling apart. The damage (on the left side) happened during a flood last June when the river flooded and covered this bridge and the edge of the street next to it. One of these days (soon) I’m going to get brave and cross it to do a little exploring before it’s completely gone. The neighborhood deer (and cats) use this bridge quite often.
This is a sandbar that we spent a lot of time on when we were kids. Lots of great rocks and little river mussels. I’d like to come back down here when I get a rock tumbler.
This little guy showed up as I was retracing my route. There was another one with him (or her – I didn’t get a chance to ask), but this was my last shot. I deleted a pic and got him swimming away down the river.
Go here to see all 58 photos.
I’m hoping to do more exploration posts in the future. I think it will be a good excuse to get outside, get exercise, and get inspired.
When last I bored you I had spent the evening playing sucking at pool. I think I would have been better with alcohol.
I’m not really a big drinker. In fact, I haven’t had any alcohol in over 4-1/2 years. It would just be nice to have a drink more than once a half-decade. One of the reasons I don’t currently drink is because I’m always working. Another is that I live in a dry county. If you don’t know what that means, please take a look. In Tiny Town it means that if you go to the store to buy alcohol, your only choice is beer. Not even wine coolers. Although they do have a substitute that could probably be called a malt cooler. That’s basically a beer with fruit. Or a wine cooler made with beer. I have tried a few different kinds of beer and have actually only ever finished 1 can. I was pretty darn thirsty. The only thing beer-like that I could drink was Chimay Ale, which is actually known as a Trappist beer, even though I remember the label saying Ale. I don’t know the difference but I do know that I really liked it. In my CA days we used to frequent a Brewery that had several pool tables, but only served beer. This was the only thing I drank there. Eventually they started serving mixed drinks. They should have stuck to beer.
We arrived back at the hotel about 1 a.m. and I slept for 5 hours, woke up, and slept for another hour until I couldn’t sleep anymore. Which was fine because I woke up to this:
Yes, that is a river. The hotel room itself was just OK, but the view was the highlight of my trip (other than the wedding, of course). Unless I was asleep, my time at the hotel was spent either on the balcony, or pacing back and forth to the balcony, or down on the patio area which was 1 story closer. You might be able to see in the photos that the hotel was right on the river, and I mean unless you wanted to stand in the foliage on the bank, you couldn’t walk between the hotel and the river.
That morning I spent a lot of time on the patio and coordinated the day with Brother via cell. I was watching them
and I looked at this
I say, “I don’t think dad is… oh, snake”. Brother, “Snake? Where!?!”
So while I spent a lot of time enjoying the view, I also spent that time looking for more:
Blurry snakes! I had several other photos but these were the only 2 that looked like they included something that resembled a snake. My 7 year old digital camera doesn’t zoom a 1 to 2-story distance.
To finish the rest of the trip:
Morning: I walked for 2 hours while looking for a Smiley Face store (which hadn’t opened yet) and for a place to eat (all of which were either closed before 11 or had about a 1/2 hour wait time). Blisters. But had Silver Dollar pancakes. FYI: Much of Main Street Gatlinburg does not open before 11 a.m. on a Friday morning during June, especially if you want to eat or shop. But every little attraction is open and you will not pass one without someone begging you to come in and see their amazing shit.
Afternoon: Wedding. We weren’t allowed to take any photos inside or outside the chapel. Photos were taken before, during, and after the ceremony by the staff photographer. So you have to buy their photos, of course. The inside was nice and the outside was beautiful with a gazebo and stream. The ceremony was beautiful, of course. I’m an involuntary crier and was trying very hard not to cry about my baby brother getting married. Until he started getting choked up while saying his vows. I haven’t seen him cry in years so that’s when my eyes filled with tears. My baby niece (9 months old yesterday) was standing between my sister and I on the pew (both of us had 2 hands on her). My brother finished his vows and his bride was about to start hers. And that’s when baby niece farted. Very loud. But only loud enough that my sister and I could hear her. For the rest of the ceremony we could barely contain our laughter. Looking at each other or baby niece just made it more difficult. But it could have been worse. I had noticed while we were sitting there before the ceremony that sometimes when she passed gas she would then blow a raspberry with her lips. So it would go *fart* *raspberry*. If she had followed up that time I’m sure we would have had to leave. I did warn my brother later because there were 4 video cameras in the chapel and I’m our hysterics were caught on at least one of them.
After the ceremony there were more pictures inside and out and then we lined up and blew bubbles until we almost passed out.
Evening: The reception. Beautiful restaurant, especially outside. Very dark inside. I was the only one who took photos so I spent most of the time with that. I saw several people with alcohol but I was too busy to find out where they got their drinks. It took a half hour for the wait staff to take our orders and another hour to get our food. Mine was wrong (mine is always wrong) but I’m not complaining because I only had time to eat the baked potato anyway. And then they rushed us out about 20 minutes after we got our food.
Night: Dad, Sister and her 3 kids, and I went to Ripley’s Aquarium. Amazing. The best part for me was the tunnel, which seemed like 5 miles long, and was on a moving sidewalk. It reminded me of the underwater tunnel in JAWS, except the sharks weren’t that big. Thousands and thousands of fish. My 15-year-old nephew got lost on purpose and we spent half out time there trying to find him. Which was a waste of time because he had gone back to their hotel.
Final morning: Most of us that were leaving that day met with the newlyweds for breakfast. Sister and her kids spent the day at Dollywood. After breakfast we walked to the Smiley Face store, checked out and drove home.
Then I worked for the next 36 hours straight. Not really, but close. No alcohol but I was very glad they were married there and that I could attend. And that I could finally have a freaking day off.