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.

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In warmer weather, these sections have dripping water.

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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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Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway

We love driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, and these pictures are from a drive we did last July. There are a number of neat tunnels on the parkway, fun to honk the horn as we go through with our car club.  I haven’t shown the tunnels before, so now is a good time to show them, while I study.  The mountains are so gorgeous in summer, so green with many days of hazy blue over the distant peaks.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway ~ From My Carolina Home

Rocky bald areas accent those lush green hills.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway ~ From My Carolina Home

Most of the tunnels are stacked stone, with lovely green mountain laurel, rhododendrons and other green shrubs surrounding the openings.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway ~ From My Carolina Home

Inside, some are short enough to see light on the other side, while others will put you into pitch blackness for a bit. These are all west of Asheville, before you get to the high point.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway ~ From My Carolina Home

Coming out into the sunshine.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway ~ From My Carolina Home

And then a short drive to another tunnel.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway ~ From My Carolina Home

Sometimes as soon as you leave one tunnel, there is another one in sight.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway ~ From My Carolina Home

There are five or six of these fairly close together on the parkway going west.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway ~ From My Carolina Home

Stopping at one of the many overlooks, the view is just spectacular.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway ~ From My Carolina Home

Each overlook has beautiful views.  It is heaven to live in the mountains.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway ~ From My Carolina Home

DH sold his little British car, so we haven’t been out for a drive recently.  We are hosting a special kind of rally event Saturday, but we will be doing timing and scoring, so not driving.  We really need to go on a hike soon.  Do you have nice areas nearby for a day drive?

How about some shopping without having to drive anywhere?
New fabrics in my Etsy Store, Click HERE.
This week, new items in my eBay store, listings end Sunday!  Click HERE.
New pattern in my Craftsy Store, click HERE.
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A walk along the river

Last weekend was busy, but we made time to take a breather along the Broad River near Chimney Rock, NC.  Sometimes you just have to stop, take in the beauty that is on this earth and breathe.

River7River Rocks | From My Carolina Home

Beautiful, isn’t it?  Spring is really coming along, the trees are greening up, as the flowers are changing over to the later bloomers.

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One of the things I love about the streams and rivers in Western North Carolina is the boulders in the water, some large enough to sit on while the water flows around you in a quiet undertone.

Looking upriver, there is more beautiful greenery

.Riverrocks

River |From My Carolina Home River6

I could stay here for hours with a nice picnic and good friends to share it with.

River2 River5

But, alas, at some point you have to go home.  There are lovely delights still in the garden there too.

These pretty pink rhododendrons are on the way up to the house along the drive.

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A later blooming dogwood with pale green flowers is in full bloom next to the circle.

Dogwood1 Dogwood2

This Flame Azalea is in my neighbors yard.  My white azaleas are still blooming, my favorite.

FlameAzalea White Azalea

In the back of the house, on the mountainside, the rhododendrons are struggling to bloom.  It is harder due to the shade from the very tall trees.  But these dark pink ones are doing well.

RhodoPink2 RhodoPink1

Soon the potting plants will be ready for their debut.  They are all growing well.  Spring in North Carolina, such a pretty place for so many weeks!

Oh, and just in case you are wondering, the little jump-up in the driveway crack continues to hang in there too.  Hardy little thing isn’t it?

JumpUpsApril2014

Did I show you the apple blossoms?  Our county is the largest producer of apples in this part of the country.  It is a huge part of the local economy.  The late freeze got some of the blooms, but here is what they usually look like.  This large apple blossom close up is my desktop photo every spring.

Apple Blossom close up Apple orchard 2 Apple orchard with house Apple orchard with mountain

Go for a walk this weekend.  See the beauty in your area.  It is raining here, and will be all weekend, so I am back to getting some quilting and reading done, will walk on the treadmill for exercise, then get busy finishing my picnic quilt for the challenge.  Have a happy and healthy weekend everyone!