I have been away. Thank you for all the wonderful comments you've recently left in my absence. It was a happy surprise to read your thoughts on my return. Today I'd like to share some pictures of our trip to Franklin, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. Despite my great fear of a certain mammal with black fur, I went "unto these hills", into the Great Smoky Mountains. The only large mammal that I saw was on this poster.
(Please stay tuned later in the week for an ironic post-script related to this picture.)
Back at the cabin, which my loving husband rented so that I could sleep at night, we enjoyed the sight and sounds of a river rushing over large rocks. The quality of light was amazing as it filtered through the canopy of trees. Once dispersed, this magical light reflected back in diamond like sparkles on the surface of the water. There were a variety of plants and song birds, yellow swallowtail butterflies, big mossy rocks and ferns. Truly this place is a hidden paradise. The air was cool and fresh, with pockets of warm sunshine that I soaked up while reclining on a carpet of thick green moss. We even found a few small gems in the river bottom, after we learned to identify them at the mine.