Before the California Gold Rush, North Carolina was the place people flocked with hopes and wishes of striking it rich. Reed Gold Mine was developed after one such discovery made by a farmer’s son on their property. A visit to the mine includes a small exibit detailing the history of the gold rush in North Carolina, and a chronology of gold culture. After moving through the exibit visitors then move to a self guided tour of the mine itself and the surrounding property. Some points of interest include the engine shaft, Chilean mill stones, and a quartz vein.
A sculpture of my favorite birds at the North Carolina Zoo, spotted during my annual visit this summer.
flowers damp with dew briefly brilliant, then fading with the rising sun
Usually when the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens hosts a special exhibit, visitors can expect to find something extra peaking out from all the greenery, like the Chinese Latern show I attended in 2017. But on my most recent visit I found myself in a small events room, surrounded by small folding tables. Lined up on each one were delicate, twisting bonsai trees cultivated by local gardeners. Each one came with a small card showing the type of tree, and how long it’s been “trained” by it’s owner. Training is the process of shaping the bonsai tree, primarily by pruning and then wrapping the branches in wire until they set in the desired shape. If you look closely, you can see wire wrapping some of the trees in my photo’s below. Some of the trees (like the one shown above) have been painstakingly cultivated for 30 years. I’m sure any writer with their own WIP can relate to the dedication and patience that would require! Hades Cypress, 20 years old, trained 15 years Crepe Murtle, 4 years old, trained one month …
I’m used to pale amber rays tinting my morning Today they were a bold tangerine staining the world Some would squint at the blazing beams shining down Or lament the light leaving shimmering in the rear view But I soaked in those brief brilliant rays as they pushed me forward
I spotted this grasshopper clinging to my screened-in porch. The outdoor floodlight is so intense you can almost see through him.
I always have a great time documenting my weekend adventures, but some of my most interesting photos are captured either going to or coming from work. Something about the quiet early mornings and occasional late nights lend themselves to spotting all kinds of interesting things that serve as writing inspiration. I’ve spotted towering thunderclouds, tiny snails, Venus aligning with the Moon, unexpected commuters, and blazing sunsets. I find you can notice all kinds of strange and unusual sights when you’re looking for them, even in ordinary places.
When I was growing up, my family spent many summers hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. I grew up relishing the accomplishment of making it to the summit of a mountain and taking in the view from the top. Some of my favorite hikes passed by rushing waterfalls or intersected with small streams. Having to strategically crossing a stream successfully always made the hike feel more adventurous. When I moved to North Carolina five years ago, I traded the White Mountains for the Greak Smokey Mountains, which sprawl between North Carolina and Tennessee. Thanks to the North Carolina gold rush, you can explore caverns and abandoned mines within some of the mountains in addition to hiking to the top. Cavern and waterfall hikes are the perfect pairing for a day trip, especially if you add in a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway that runs though North Carolina. Located in the Pisgah National Forest near Marion, NC, the Linville Caverns are submerged within Humpback Mountain. Open to visitors since 1937, they were …
night crawlers sound off chirps, clicks and buzzing blend midnight symphony
When most Americans think of a bald eagles, they also think of the imposing screech they hear when one is featured in a movie or tv show. But that majestic call doesn’t belong to a bald eagle, it’s borrowed from a red tailed hawk, and dubbed in. The sound bald eagles actually make is more of a musical whistling. You can hear it in the video below that I took at the Carolina Raptor Center, where I was lucky enough to hear it in person.