Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2015 just around the corner

Ho! Ho! Ho!

And a very Merry Christmas and a 
Happy New Year

Next post: January 6, 2015

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bear's December appearance a surprise

The fifth, and our last trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this year, brought a surprise on our last full day in the area which was Dec. 7.

We like to go up and visit the Chimney’s picnic area because of its beautiful surroundings and the fact that the west prong of the Little Pigeon River runs through it.

Well, even though we knew better that it would probably be closed, we headed up that way anyway.

And just before we got to the turnoff, we noticed a few people on the north side of the road looking down the hill.

“What do ya’ll see?” I asked.

“A bear!”

Meandering along the side of the hill was a black bear looking as though he was ready for the winter, seemingly having put on a few, if not quite a few, extra pounds.

I parked our van and grabbed my camera to see if I could get more than a black blob of a shot.

Not the perfect shot, but evidence anyway.  I moved along the edge of the road paralleling his movements farther below.

All of a sudden he disappeared. Another person and I debated what had happened.

Did he enter his winter den? We looked and looked.

And then our attention was directed to the other side of the road, the uphill side behind us.

He was over there. It seems the bear made its way through a culvert under the road.

We headed up the side of the hill with many tourists following to get their own pictures.

After awhile we decided he wasn’t going to get any closer and we headed on back down the mountain.

We haven’t been very lucky, even in the summer time, to see a bear, and this was truly a surprise.

Next post: December 23, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Gatlinburg tries to break 'nose' record

Parade participants urge others to don red noses

The results aren’t in as yet, but Gatlnburg, TN was hoping to set a new world record during their Christmas parade on Dec. 5.

And the record to be broken — The largest number of people wearing a red Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer nose for five minutes.

The previous world record was set in Australia in 2011 when 16,092 donned the proboscis addition.

Before the parade began, locals were handing out what was expected to be 20,000 red noses to participants along the parade route.

Wifey and I arrived too late to get a “nose job” but we saw hundreds of others in the area sporting them.  

The parade went off as expected although rain, which didn't arrive until the next morning, was forecast to be in the area.

We were at the parade two years ago and on Friday night came to realize that one can’t expect the same thing at each event.

I was shooting a good number of pictures and held back, waiting for some participants that we had seen in the earlier parade. They didn’t show up. I was a little disappointed.

But none-the-less, the parade was entertaining for the thousands along the route who were out to kick off the Christmas season.

Next post: Dec. 16, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas -- Bellingrath's full of color

Extending telephoto lens while using slow exposure

Bellingrath Gardens, in close proximity to Mobile AL, has gone Christmas colors for the holiday season.

Just this past Friday, the gates were open for their Magic Christmas in Lights presentation.

Nice weather, cool, but not cold temperatures, greeted visitors.

Although the first day, the crowd was not overwhelming and visitors could easily enjoy all the festivities afforded.

For the opening, there was also a trio performing Christmas music. It was great.

Wifey and I, along with a son and daughter in law and four grandchildren, took advantage of the after-Thanksgiving colors.

Decorations of all sorts lighted up the night sky. A truly beautiful experience.

Enjoy the included pictures and make a visit if you live nearby.

Next post: December 9, 2014.