From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


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Reflections on an Early Morning

Sometimes I am up really early in the morning, and have the wonderful opportunity to witness the sunrise over the mountain to the east. There is just something about the light in the early morning that is different from evening. I’ve never been able to describe the difference, but I can see it. It somehow seems softer, more pure.

Early Morning 3

The torenia baskets seem to turn their faces to the morning light.

Early Morning 2

A view down the veranda. Quiet. Peaceful.  Only bird song breaks the silence.

Early Morning 7

Noticing the shadows of the railing on the flooring boards, a gentle breeze moves the leaf shadows ever so slightly.

Early Morning 1

Hot coffee and a cool morning, perfect to reflect on our many blessings, and enjoy the beauty of our little corner of the world.  It is also a great time to just think, and I have been doing some designing in these quiet hours too.  I will have a new quilt pattern for you soon.

Early Morning 4

The valley has a different look to the layers of hills and distant mountain ridge with the light from the east.  We face south so the east is to the left in this picture.

Early Morning 5

The bird feeder was seeing a lot of visitors on this day.

Early Morning 9

Here and there, dew drops had formed on flowers.

Early Morning 13

Interplay of light and shadow make interesting shapes.

Early Morning 14

I really liked the shadow on this lobelia trailing tendril, this may be a photo entry in the fair later this year.  The shapes are interesting, and the clear light made a sharp edged shadow.

Early Morning 17

Looking up, the clouds looked like flying visitors.

Early Morning 18

Light and shadow on the driveway down the mountain, in the golden morning.  Reminiscent of a time gone by, of a slower day, time to be still and breathe.

Early Morning 20

The blue jay calls, and the chickadees answer.  A titmouse, a wren and a nuthatch join the choir.  This is a morning for gratitude, for our lives, our freedom, our beautiful home and property, our family and friends, our many blessings.  Count your blessings today, and remember those who have protected our freedom.  Have a wonderful Memorial Day.

 

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My blog is a variety of subjects, quilting and sewing, tablescapes and recipes, book reviews and hand stitching, crafting and mountain living. I love to have new followers, too!  See the buttons on the sidebar to follow by your favorite method.  If you are visiting from Fave Quilts, Pinterest, a blog hop or link up, please stay a bit and have a look around, my tutorials are gathered at the top in pages to make them easy to find.  Lots of fun is had here, and I invite you to follow with any of your favorite methods, see the sidebar for ways to follow.  Click on the Home page to see the latest posts on the blog.


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December Mountain Living

We had a real cold snap last weekend, and as much as I’d love a white Christmas, it isn’t in the forecast for this year.  Somehow, the cold makes the skies crisp at night, lots of stars out to see.   Occasionally, I have a bout of insomnia, and this particular morning I was glad, as the sunrise over the mountains to the east of ours was spectacular.  Rain was on the way, and dawn brought brilliant color to the sky, seen through the architecture of the bare trees.

December Dawn 1

The wider view was difficult to get the brilliance of the dawn, but you can see the color was most of the horizon over the mountains.

December Dawn 3

Out in the valley, the color there was beautiful as well.  My camera just doesn’t do this justice, I’d need a wide angle lens to show you the true grandeur of this moment.

December Dawn 4

Our avian visitors have been eating us out of birdseed, emptying the feeder in just a few days rather than over a week.  I am thinking some of the other neighbors have stopped filling their feeders for the winter, so these guys are hungry.  We have such a wide variety right now too, titmice and nuthatches, cardinals and chickadees share the feeder, sometimes with 8 or 9 on the feeder at once. I managed to get one shot of seven at once – two chickadees, two nuthatches, and three goldfinches.

December Bird visitors 4

The goldfinches are regular visitors, wearing their duller brown coats for winter.

December Bird visitors 7

A blue jay comes around from time to time.

December Bird visitors 1

But the biggest surprise was seeing a pileated woodpecker gobbling up the suet.  He made short work of a lot of the seed in the feeder too.

December Pileated Woodpecker 1

I could not believe he could land on such a small spot!

December Pileated Woodpecker 2

The crows finished off the pumpkin and DH threw away the shells.  This week I put out the insides of a spaghetti squash and they brought their buddies to polish off the treat.  I think the squirrels got some of it as well.

December Crows 2

December Crows 4

Then these guys showed up.  Robins!!  In winter!

December Robins 4

There were more than a dozen of them, and I got pics of some of the individuals.  They were scattered over the lawn and the meadow, in the trees and down the driveway.

December Robins 3

I couldn’t get a clear picture of the group, and they were gone in an hour.  DH thinks they are migrating south, but I thought they would have done that by now, unless we are near the end of the journey.  It has been too warm through fall so maybe they stayed longer than usual.

December Robins 2

We had doves and towhees stop by in the last few days too, but no pictures, they flew off when they sensed movement.  DH saw a purple finch on the feeder last weekend. The cardinal finally showed up again, I have missed him and his lady.

December Bird visitors 6

The turkeys haven’t been by in more than two weeks, so I think they have moved on for the winter.  I was saving some bread for them, but I think I’ll spread my mixture of bacon fat and peanut butter on the slices and press birdseed into them for the suet feeder.

Are you feeding birds now?  Who is visiting at your place?

 

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November Visitors on the Mountain

The last few days have seen some really amazing sights.  Having a camera with a really good zoom lens has helped to capture some spectacular pictures of our regular visitors.  Often I am unable to grab the camera fast enough to get good photos of the visitors, but this week was a banner week. First, early one morning the turkeys came by, this time the two males had joined the female flock, and they were showing off. I love it when they fluff up and strut, and this particular morning was one of those very rare instances where they gave a magnificent display.

November Turkeys at From My Carolina Home

The two males seemed to be in competition parading around the females.

November Turkeys at From My Carolina Home

They both puffed up their feathers, spread their tail fans and strutted their stuff for quite a while.

November Turkeys at From My Carolina Home

The funny thing is that the females seemed unimpressed, they kept pecking at the acorns, and didn’t pay a lot of attention to the poor guys.

November Turkeys at From My Carolina Home

Marvelous, aren’t they?  They would fluff up and stand for a moment, then slowly turn in a circle in order to show off from all sides.  Then they would take a few steps in one direction and turn again.

November Turkeys at From My Carolina Home

It was like they were in a pageant!

November Turkeys at From My Carolina Home

Poor boys, doing all they could to get the attention of the girls and not being very successful.  Look at me!  Look at me!

November Turkeys at From My Carolina Home

After a while, the whole flock moved off to the woods, with the boys still strutting their stuff as they went.

November Turkeys at From My Carolina Home

Then, one of the four foxes living nearby made an appearance. I first spotted it walking on the driveway circle, and it strolled over to the meadow. I was in such a hurry to take photos, this one was between the railing on the porch from inside the house. I was afraid to go outside as I thought the noise would make the fox run away.

Fox visit November at From My Carolina Home

Magnificent, isn’t it?

Fox visit November at From My Carolina Home

It sat on the edge of the meadow for a minute….

Fox visit November at From My Carolina Home

scratched under its neck…

Fox visit November at From My Carolina Home

looked around a bit, then wandered off to the forest.

Fox visit November at From My Carolina Home

It is wonderful to live with all this wildlife. Mountain living at its best!  I saw on the news that the black bears are going to be later in hibernating this year because it is still so warm, and there have been more sightings in residential communities north of us.  I haven’t seen any here lately, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t around.

What’s happening in your neighborhood?

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Autumn on the Veranda

Color is finally showing in some of the trees, and I wanted a pretty veranda for our recent company to enjoy. I thought it would be nice to add a quilt to the tableau, fall inspired and cozy feeling. The little pie pumpkin will become pumpkin bread in a couple of weeks.  I found dark red chrysanthemums at the local store, and got two.  I couldn’t resist putting a small quilt out too.

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

A larger pumpkin is sitting near the front door, with the other deep red chrysanthemum.

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

The begonias and impatiens are still blooming, and I cannot bear to throw them out while they are.

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

I did bite the bullet on the torenia hanging baskets, and took them down. They really were ragged. There was a lot of green still in the forest when I rearranged the pots to form this grouping in the corner of the veranda. Those pink flowers just don’t go with my fall theme, but I am still watering them.

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

My thrift store find Halloween metal hanger is hanging on the outside wall, just down the way a bit from the harvest wreath near the door.  It is fun, even though we have never had trick-or-treaters.

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

At the last minute before company came, I found two orange daisy plants, so I put them in a basket and placed them with the pumpkin. It made a festive fall grouping near the door.

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

Along the driveway, the trees began to show a bit of autumn in the past week.

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

There was a bit more coming along farther down the driveway.

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

Early one morning last week, I pulled up the shade in the kitchen window to this lovely scene. It is so pretty when an early morning fog settles into the valleys. The layers of hills and mountain are brought into sharper relief with the fog.  The rising sun over the mountain to the east lit the neighbor’s tree beautifully.

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

Zooming the lens a bit closer, lovely isn’t it?

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

It still is too warm, and I am looking for it to cool off more.  I am working on Scrap Dance 3 for you, dear readers. More on that a bit later.

autumnjubileelogo

Today is the last day to enter all the drawings, so if you missed one, you have time today to get in a comment.  I’ll be drawing winners tomorrow and notifying you by email.  We will wrap up Autumn Jubilee Friday.

Autumn On the Veranda at From My Carolina Home

Is there some color at your part of the world?

 

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Waterfalls in the Autumn Mountains

I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze.
The sweet chill of pumpkin
and crisp sunburnt leaves.
~Ann Drake, 2013

I found this quote recently, and had to share it with you.  It was the perfect opening to a picture heavy post from our hiking over the weekend with friends here from out of state.  They wanted to see some waterfalls, so we took them to a few lesser known areas of Transylvania county, knowing that the Blue Ridge Parkway would be overcrowded this weekend.  It wasn’t their first visit to local waterfalls, so we could go a bit farther off the main roads. We were all hoping to see more brilliant color, but this year it just isn’t to be.  It has been too warm and too dry.  The drought has made it hard for the leaves to stay on the trees long enough to have pretty color before falling off.  The warmth has delayed the change in color, which needs a good cold snap to make that change. You can see that in dramatic detail with these 100-ft trees next to our home, some that are bare too early and more that have yet to change color.

Leaves 2016 3

On the road, the color is sporadic like this spot, but it won’t be the brilliant color of past years.  A brisk wind over the past few days brought down a lot of leaves just turning brown.

Leaves 2016 5

Still, nothing beats a walk in the woods no matter what the season. This is the path to the first waterfall view of the day. It was chilly, we had to wear jeans and sweaters, but it was worth it. It was one mile to the waterfall.

Log Hollow Falls 2

The first waterfall we hiked to was Log Hollow Falls.  It is way off the beaten path of the Blue Ridge Parkway or DuPont Forest. Small (only 25 feet high) and tucked away, we had the place to ourselves to listen to the gentle running stream, hear a rustle of leaves, and marvel at the quiet beauty.

Log Hollow Falls 7

Back to the car, we drove over to Whitewater Falls near the SC border. This park is more of a draw, with a nice parking lot, a paved walk to the observation point, then 154 wooden steps down to the bottom. Going down is easy, coming back up is a bit hard on the knees. This picture is from the observation point, some color in the trees but still a lot of green. Whitewater Falls is the tallest in the eastern US, falling a total of 811 feet. This is the upper section, 411 feet.

Whitewater Falls 3

Whitewater Falls bottom section falls another 400 feet.

Whitewater Falls 5

From the bottom, you can get a view of both sections.

Whitewater Falls 11

Another view of the upper falls.

Whitewater Falls 10

While we were in that area, I was able to take a picture of Lake Toxaway.  This area is still mostly green, and probably won’t reach peak color until mid-November.

Lake Toxaway

I did find this tree with beautiful color, lovely red leaves against an azure blue sky.

Leaves 2016 7

Another short drive south of Rosman, there is a privately held property with a waterfall. They allow visitors to respectfully visit on their property. The falls drop 60 feet down a rock face, lovely and a bit unusual in the rock formations.

Eastatoe Falls 1

The rock at the top has a curve to the right, which makes an interesting pattern to the falling water.

Eastatoe Falls 13

Lovely, isn’t it? The leaves are scattered around the moss covered rocks.

Eastatoe Falls 16

Downstream a bit, there is a little bridge that leads to a small raised platform with a couple of chairs to sit and enjoy nature in all her glory.

Eastatoe Falls 28

Moss covered rocks channel the water between creating a calming environment, a perfect way to relax.

Eastatoe Falls 29

Here and there, brilliant color can be found. This scarlet red and orange with some gold was all on the same tree.

Fall 2016 trees

If you love that first quote as much as I did, there is a free printable on Ann Drake’s website with a lovely image – HERE.

I’ll leave you with this lovely thought.

When autumn dulls the summer skies,
And paler sunshine softly lies
Upon the brown and fallow lands:—
As fairy artists come in bands
To paint with brushes dipped with frost:—
They pay with gold, for verdure lost…
~V.O. Wallingford (b.1876), “The Cottonwood Trees”

How are the views at your place?

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An Interlude on the Veranda

The flowering season continues, and as we head into a holiday weekend, many more blooms have shown their faces. There were several weekend mornings over the past month where I took my study materials out to the veranda on a cool morning with a hot cup of coffee. Quiet and peaceful, birds chirping and enjoying the feast of seeds in the feeder, it is relaxing and easy to concentrate.  Although sometimes I got caught up in the beauty of the forest and the flowers.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Sunlight filters through the forest to the east as the sun comes over the mountaintop.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I finished 24 hours of CEUs in June, bringing my total close to the 50 I need for the year.  Thank you to everyone who commented for all your support.  I wouldn’t say it was fun, some of it was interesting, but I would just rather be playing.  There is only so much neuropathology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes management, and psychopharmacology one can take, even as interesting as those subjects are to me.  Now I only have one more course to do and four months to do it. Cool quiet mornings on the weekends and my days off helped. So did staying off the computer as it gave me back a lot of time.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

In the garden, things are still blooming wonderfully, especially my hydrangea! Looking over the railing, it is full of blooms in three colors. What looks like white on the right is really a pale pink in the early morning light.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

This lavendar color is my favorite, and I cut a few of these to have inside.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The daylilies continue their show, this one is just so intense with color.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

And this one too.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The paler peach one with the yellow throat blooms just a few feet away.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The ruffled one is still going too.  Daylilies will bloom continuously for a month or more.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The Easter lily bloomed finally, just a few days ago. Just one bloom this year, it may be done, but I’ll give it some fertilizer and we will see what happens.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The geraniums and verbena are happy, and apparently the fairy is out as he left the door open. One can just imagine what wonders await at the top of those stairs inside.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The little blue lobelia in the pretty pot is happy.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I think the white lobelia got a bit waterlogged as the container is water tight after all. I drained it out, and will be much more careful with the water on this one from here on. I need to move it into more sun too.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I can’t believe how tall the yellow lantana has become! I didn’t know it would get that tall, it is almost 2 feet. Next year I’ll put those in the front bed for some height.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Here’s my study space in the evening after work, glass of tea at the ready, books open. The impatiens are getting huge and blooming like crazy!

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

This verbena on the porch was lagging along, then all of a sudden took off, blooming and filling in nicely.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Out front, the local goldfinch population got the word out that the diner was open and all the barstools were taken, LOL!

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The hostas came into bloom over the weekend, I love these. The foliage fills in beautifully every year and the flowers are so pretty. These are along the back retaining wall behind the garage.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

These are out front, around the big oak tree.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Close up they are such a pretty purple with a variegated throat.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Here is the hydrangea from the front, spilling through the railing on the steps.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Out back, on the mountainside, the rhododendrons start pale pink opening to white.  They will bloom for a couple of weeks.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

In the time I allowed myself between studying and working, I have been planning and sewing on a special event to come in July. It is a Christmas in July event that will cover daily posts here on my blog for 12 days, plus the link up with a blog hop. There will be something for everyone, the crafters, the sewists, the quilters, the stitchers, the tablescapers, the DIYers, the cooks. I promise you will not want to miss a day. But, that is all I will say for now, there are more plans to finalize, sewing to finish up, crafting to do, cards to make, pictures to take and tutorials to write.

How is your summer going?


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Garden Blooms May

I have had so much to post about that I haven’t been able to get back to updating the garden.  The fairies have settled in permanently, and I found another door in the kitchen.  The weather finally has turned warm to stay, so the landscape has turned verdant green.  There are still some flowers in the wild areas of our land.

Late May Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

It rained so much during the time the rhododendrons and mountain laurel were blooming that I almost missed getting pictures. Across the meadow, the huge green shrub in the center is mountain laurel, almost done. The white next to it on the right and just visible on the lower left are both white dogwoods.

Late May Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The dogwood on the circle is blooming too.

Late May Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Mountain Laurel is blooming in the back on the mountainside as well.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The pink rhododendrons are in full swing, but the white ones are still in the bud stage.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the back, I went to check out how the peaches were doing, and they are all gone. ALL of them! Dang bear they weren’t even close to being ripe!

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Out front, the lily does have a bud and I am hoping for it to flower this week.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Looks like I may get some tomatoes this year…

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

and some squash too!

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

This little dianthus is blooming like crazy, but I wish it would get a bit bigger.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The daylilies are starting up now, and there are tons of buds to come.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

These will bloom continuously for several weeks.  There are five or six varieties in the garden.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

I have put three pots in the garden with flowers to add interest and height to the bed. Those are doing well, this one really looks good with three different flowers. I just missed the geranium blooming with them, but it will bloom again and most of the summer. The verbena and petunias are doing great.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The most exciting thing is my hydrangea is blooming this year! It didn’t bloom last year or the year before, so I am thrilled. It is covered in blooms!

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

There must be sections of soil more acid and some more alkaline in the same area because I have blue and pink flowers, and a lovely lavender too, all on the same plant!

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Stunning, aren’t they?!!

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

They spill out of the bed through the stair railing, with many more clusters in the process of developing.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Back up on the veranda, the lobelia seems to be happy.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

White impatiens are overflowing their spaces with flowers.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

All the torenia baskets are now trailing a bit.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The yellow ones are doing well too.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The lettuce is coming up, and I hope the bear doesn’t find it.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The white geranium is happy too.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

I love this pot with the pink and white colors together.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

On one end of the veranda, the lobelia looks great with the pink geraniums. Another variety of lobelia complements the yellow lantana too.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Lobelia and white begonia almost cover the little fairy house.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The rockers are ready for visitors.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Want to come sit for a spell?