From My Carolina Home

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Frozen Waterfalls

The deep freeze across the east has lasted long enough for some of the local waterfalls and even parts of the French Broad River to freeze.   This doesn’t happen every year, we need sustained weeks of sub-freezing temperatures for the ice to form around running water.  It was 27 degrees F (-2C) last weekend when we decided to take a hike and see some of them.  Yes, we are a bit nuts to hike in this cold, but the skies were mainly clear, the wind was very light and the hikes were short.  Bundling up in coats, hats, scarves, gloves, jeans and our hiking boots, we drove out to DuPont State Forest to see the first two.  The parking lot was mainly empty, of course.  Only the truly crazy go hiking now.  But there were a few other intrepid souls who wanted to appreciate the beauty of the white ice sculptured by nature. We headed out on the bridge over a partially frozen stream.

Winter in State Forests of Western NC at From My Carolina Home

The half mile hike wasn’t too bad in the cold, only one really steep section.

Winter in State Forests of Western NC at From My Carolina Home

Coming up the hill, Triple Falls can be seen in the distance.

Triple Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at From My Carolina Home

Getting a bit closer, all of that white that looks like froth is actually solid ice.

Triple Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at From My Carolina Home

Look to the left of the upper falls, see the icicles?

Triple Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at From My Carolina Home

There is still some water flowing, but most of the falls is frozen in time.

Triple Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at From My Carolina Home

Back across the bridge and a short 1/4-mile hike later, we came to Hooker Falls.  This one is not tall but really wide.  The very middle is still flowing, but both sides are frozen solid.

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

DH took this picture across the face of the falls, the ice is pretty thick!

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

Gorgeous, isn’t it?  The entire left side still looks like flowing water even though it is frozen stillness.

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

As usual for me, I notice the details like the crystals and air bubbles under the surface here at the water’s edge.

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

The fractured pattern is interesting.  Along the right lower edge of the picture below is a gentle rippling over a rock, amazingly still moving ever so slightly.

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

Downstream from Hooker Falls, lovely contrast between the dark rocks and the light ice.

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

The next day, we drove out to Pisgah Forest and all along the road were scenes like this, icicles from the watershed forming on the rock faces.

Winter in State Forests of Western NC at From My Carolina Home

The prisms of light inside the icicles were really lovely, but the camera couldn’t see them.

DSC04491

In warmer weather, these sections have dripping water.

DSC04496

We drove to Looking Glass Falls, also a winter wonderland.  It looks like a frothy falls, but in actuality, is frozen ice.  I usually try to get pictures without people in them, but this one gives you a better idea of the majesty and height of this waterfall and the stone canyon.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

A little zoom in, look at the frost in the trees on the left, and over the rock face on the right, all formed from the spray from the falls.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Several minutes later to walk down the icy stairs, where the temperature dropped another 10 degrees, and the falls still look exactly the same.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Frost covered the lower rocks next to the solid ice lagoon, with icicles hanging from the ledges.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The ice was inches thick, beautiful but dangerous.  The ice wouldn’t support the weight of a person.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Downstream from Looking Glass Falls, there is a trickle still moving in the very center.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

For my northern hemisphere readers, is it frozen where you are?  Southern hemisphere readers, do you have scenes like this near you in winter?

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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Catching up on Books and a Studio Book Sale

Scoring big again at the library sale, I came home with a stack of books.  I swore I was only going to get what was on my list, but naturally found a bit more.  I’ve started working my way through these interesting books and want to share some with you.  Amazon affiliate links are provided for the reviewed books for your convenience, thanks for clicking!

September Thrifting and Shopping at From My Carolina Home

First, though, I needed to finish off the novel I was reading, The House on Tradd Street by Karen White.  This was a fun read, about a real estate agent who specializes in selling old houses inherits one from an unexpected source.  The problem is she sees ghosts, so old houses are something she’d rather sell than live in.  Enter a charming but pushy guy who wants to do some research in the house, and another one with a hidden agenda, both bringing up problems from her past.  There is a mystery to be solved, but Melanie isn’t sure she wants to do that.  The ghosts, however, have plans of their own.  Overall an easy reading, well written novel that won’t require a lot of concentration.  The mystery isn’t that hard to figure out, but it is delightful anyway.  The House on Tradd Street

Book Reviews on From My Carolina Home

Next, The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen, one of my all time favorite writers who sets her novels in North Carolina, with just a touch of magic.  This book starts out with a quirky situation, Josey finds a friend in her closet, and the reason she is there becomes clearer at the end.  Secrets and habits combine to make the life of Josey miserable, and only when she gives herself permission to be herself does she find her true happiness.  In the process, surprising twists and turns in the story add humor.   As in all of Allen’s books, there is just a touch of magic, this time with books that appear to another character, Chloe, when she needs guidance and the books want to be read.  Sometimes the books can be quite persistent, and this added humor in unexpected scenes.  I couldn’t put it down, and finished it in just two mornings of reading. The Sugar Queen

Book Reviews on From My Carolina Home

One of the books I got in the book score at the library sale is Cook’s Country Best Lost Suppers.  I’ve been a fan of Christopher Kimball for a lot of years.  He is the founder of Cook Illustrated, the magazine where they roast 100 chickens to find the one best way to cook it.  For every recipe, they make it dozens of times, refining the recipe every time until it is perfect.  He started America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country shows for PBS.  If you get Netflix, be sure to watch his Fannie’s Last Supper show, a fascinating look at a dinner party from the 1800s, prepared the way Fannie Farmer may have made it before food processors and instant reading digital thermometers.  He also has a new show on PBS called Milk Street, which has a new focus of bringing international recipes and techniques to the modern home kitchen.  But, back to the book at hand, The Best Lost Suppers book is a collection of classic American recipes made better.  They took recipes from readers like Chicken Pot Pie, Baked Beans, Pot Roast, Meatloaf, Chicken Tetrazzini, plus many more, and updated the ingredients and preparation to make the dishes even better.  Each recipe contains notes from the Test Kitchen on method of preparation, use of spices, reduction of fat, and more.  Notes like these are interesting to read, and invaluable to a cook like me that likes to develop my own recipes. Cook’s Country Best Lost Suppers

Book Reviews on From My Carolina Home

Omelette and a Glass of Wine is a collection of essays from Elizabeth David, one of the pioneers of food writing.  I’ve written about her before (here), and I greatly admire her.  This book is one that you can ‘snack read’, a friends description for books that can be read in little five or ten minute sittings.  Most of the articles were written for The Spectator magazine in the 1940s to the 1960s.  Her writing is timeless, however, as good food with quality ingredients will always be welcome.  She writes about recipes, and restaurants, vegetables and cheese, whiskey in the kitchen, and her mentor in food writing from the 1870s among many other topics.  This is one of those books every true foodie should have. An Omelette and a Glass of Wine

The Fat Quarter Shop has some great quilting books on sale right now too, click on Book Sale.  Thank you to everyone that has used my link to make their FQS purchases.  Although I haven’t yet reached the threshold for a payment, I’m making progress.  Thank you for using my links!

And lastly, I have cleaned out my bookshelves and have these books for sale directly from my studio. I have quilting books…

Book Sale at From My Carolina Home

sewing books…

Book Sale at From My Carolina Home

Gooseberry Patch books…

Book Sale at From My Carolina Home

and holiday books with all kinds of subjects from sewn projects to tablescapes and recipes.

Book Sale at From My Carolina Home

Here’s a pdf of the entire list, subject to prior sale, first come first served.  All books $5 each or 5/$20 plus media mail shipping.  To order, send me an email with your choices and your zip code for shipping calculation, full info in the download – Book Sale 2017a

What are you reading now?


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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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September Hike

Saturday was a gorgeous day here in the mountains, temperature in the low 70s and clear.  A nice change from the overcast days we have had lately with afternoon rain.  We decided it was a perfect day to hike to some of our local waterfalls.  We drove over to Dupont Forest, our favorite place to hike, and picked the Triple Falls  trail.  We haven’t been up there in a couple of years.

September 20 hike -1

It is an intermediate trail because it has plenty of elevation change.  Luckily it goes up to the falls, so the last part of the hike coming back to the car is downhill.

September 20 hike - trail 2

There were a fair number of people out, but many times the trail was all our own.

September 20 hike -4

We stopped along the stream a couple of times both going up and coming down.

September 20 hike -3

We hiked up to Triple Falls, which is named for the three distinct waterfalls all on the same mountainside.  You can see two here, the third is at the bottom flowing to the left behind the trees.  We were high on the next ridge looking to the falls, and the people below will give you an idea of the scale.  These falls are high and lovely.  The roar of the water can be heard from quite a distance.

September 20 hike - Triple Falls

DH walked down to the very bottom to get these photos.

September 20 hike -triple falls bottom

September 20 hike -lower triple falls

September 20 hike triple falls lookg up

We weren’t too tired when we got to Triple Falls, so we decided to keep hiking. Going up we could get one more view between the trees.

September 20 hike -triple falls 2

We made it up to High Falls.  We went there earlier this year from the other side where the covered bridge sits over the river.

September 20 hike -high falls 2

Even the rocks are pretty with a sunny day.

September 20 hike -5

September 20 hike -downstream

We have a couple of weeks to go before our color season begins, but I did see this little section of a tree  starting to show a bit of red.

September 20 hike - a bit of color

Everything is so lush and green, lots of rain this summer. The stream on the left is quiet at this spot.

September 20 hike -creek trail

Yes, the downhill is easier going back, LOL!

September 20 hike -6

I hope you enjoyed the views!