Unexpected in common hours


“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
– Henry David Thoreau


Festival of Leaves, Week #6: Sassafras

Sassafras is the only tree I’ve ever seen with leaves of three different shapes. The leaves on this small sassafras tree growing beside the lane are just beginning to turn yellow.


We’re still waiting to see some reds, but with the weather turning cooler maybe that will happen soon.

See more autumn leaves or join the Festival of Leaves Challenge here.



Predicting Weather by the Signs: Wooly Worms

Here in the Southern mountains, the old-timers (and many young people as well) still predict the weather by “the signs,” that is, the signs found in nature.  One of those signs is the coloration of the wooly worms.

Wooly worms, also known as wooly bears, are found across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and are caterpillars of the Isabella Tiger Moth.  Their bodies are said to have 13 segments, corresponding to 13 weeks of winter, and have bands of black and brown coloration.

Some years we have seen wooly worms as early as the month of June, but this year I saw my first one yesterday…


Weather lore about wooly worms is found in three versions.  Some folks say that the amount of black is an indication of the severity of the coming winter.  This is the version with which I am familiar. The more black on the wooly worm, the longer, colder, and severe the winter will be.  If the wooly worm has more brown segments, the winter will be mild.

Other folks say that the wooliness of the coat predicts the weather.  The woolier the coat, the colder the winter. (I honestly wouldn’t know how to measure the wooliness of a wooly worm’s coat.)  Still other folks believe that if the wooly worm is crawling in a southerly direction, it is trying to get away from an upcoming cold winter.

This wooly worm was mostly brown, indicating a mild winter, and was headed in a southeasterly direction, indicating a cold winter.  Who knows what kind of winter we will have!




Festival of Leaves, Week #5: Muscadine

Muscadines are a type of wild grape native to the southeastern and south-central U.S. The vines can be cultivated but often are found winding up and around trees in the woods.

Because we still are having temperatures in the 80s, leaves here are not changing colors very rapidly.  However, the muscadine vines in the pine trees have turned a brilliant yellow this week.

Muscadine vines 2


Muscadine vines

See more autumn leaves or join the Festival of Leaves Challenge here.

Autumn azaleas?

Our azaleas always bloom in the Spring, and although there is a type of hybrid azalea called an Encore Azalea that also blooms in the Autumn, ours are not Encores.  Nonetheless, two of the azalea plants in our woodland garden are blooming.  What a surprise!

Autumn azalea

Autumn azalea bud

Autumn azalea 2

One Word Sunday Photo Challenge: Pink

This tree has pink leaves!

Tri-colored beech 2
A Tri-Colored Beech on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana


Tri-colored beech 3

Tri-colored beech

See more interpretations of pink or join Travel With Intent‘s challenge here.

Festival of Leaves, Week #4: Dogwood

Once again, not much is happening leaf-wise in my neck of the woods.  However, there is a touch of red on the dogwood, a dull red this year and not at all like the brilliant red we sometimes see.  We are waiting on tropical storm Nate to blow through, the second tropical storm in recorded history here in the North Georgia mountains. Who knows what it will do to our autumn leaves?

Dogwood 2


See more autumn leaves or join the Festival of Leaves Challenge here.

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: All Things Farm Related

They’ve seen better days

Old farm implement-2

Old wagon


See more farm implements, animals, crops, and other farm related items or join Cee’s challenge here.


Blocking traffic

Yes, this is what blocked traffic on the road yesterday in my neck of the woods.

Rooster in the lane

To get to our house, we turn off the highway onto a paved lane and travel a short distance before turning onto our unpaved lane.  Yesterday. as I was approaching the unpaved lane I had to stop the car for chickens in the road.  The hens quickly moved out of the way, but this rooster refused to budge.  The land slopes upwards on one side of the lane and downward on the other side, and there was no driving around the miscreant.

One of the children from the house nearby was outside, and he came over and tried to get the rooster to move by kicking at it (in the air), but rightly was afraid to get too near.  I got out of the car to try my hand at shooing the rooster away, but that rooster was having none of it.

As I got back in the car, laughing at the situation, I noticed another car behind me, a rare occurrence as not very many cars come up this road. Getting back out, I walked to the other car, the driver of which (of course) could not see the rooster and was wondering why I was just sitting there.  A passenger in the other vehicle, a young man, got out and he and the neighbor boy were able to get the rooster to move.  And we continued on our way.

Just another day in the North Georgia mountains.

Birthday flowers usher in October

We celebrated my dad’s 89th birthday yesterday evening on the last night of September.  Before the celebration, our daughter made a quick trip to the supermarket to pick up something she needed, and when she returned she brought these lovely flowers.  What a beautiful way to decorate for the party and to usher in my favorite month, October.

Kitchen flowers

Kitchen flowers 2


“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.”   (Henry Ward Beecher)

Festival of Leaves, Week #3: Tulip Poplar

Not much is happening leaf-wise in my neck of the woods, considering that it’s almost October.  Maybe it’s because we still are having days when the temperature is in the high 80s.  The tulip poplar is changing, but the leaves have almost as much brown in them as they do yellow this year…

Tulip poplar


See more autumn leaves or join the Festival of Leaves Challenge here.