Autumn in Maggie Valley
During the month of October, we love to visit North Carolina to see the fall foliage in the Smoky Mountains. On the third Saturday (which is usually peak weekend) visitors can find a number of festivals in the Maggie Valley, Asheville and Boone areas.
Maggie Valley is close to Cherokee, North Carolina and Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge in neighboring Tennessee, with the Blue Ridge Parkway connecting all of these scenic areas. I particularly enjoyed taking pictures of nature and the historic richness found in the area.
My husband and I used two cameras to capture the pictures posted, an SLR and a point and shoot. We were able to get some good shots with both. Often pictures can be disappointing. I’ve had many disappointments. Back in the “film” days, one would wait anxiously for prints to be developed only to find just one or two out of the roll that turned out anything like the memory of the scene.
The beauty of digital is seeing the immediate results of each click, and, if you pay close attention to what you see on the screen, you can make adjustments to get a better shot. Light is key to capturing leaf color. I’ve have gotten my best fall color shots by aiming at the sun through the leaves. However, cloudy days can render some great broad landscapes.
Don’t be afraid to get up close. I actually got a couple of great shots in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Yep, they had pretty trees and the sun was just at the right angle. Obviously I didn’t want to get asphalt or cars in the picture, so I just zoomed.
One of my favorite places to visit in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is Cades Cove. For hundreds of years the valley was a hunting ground for Cherokee Indians. European settlers came to the cove during the early 1800s.
Cades Cove contains a wide variety of old structures. Along the 11-mile loop road you can find restored eighteenth and nineteenth-century cabins, three churches, a grist mill and other structures. My nephew was married in one of the churches, which makes the area even more special to me.
The cove is not far from many other beautiful places and was part of a wonderful day trip that we made during our visit.
Outside of Sevierville, Tennessee we found a great fruit stand “210 Fruit Stand” on Highway 411. They had a great variety of pumpkins and gourds.
After purchasing pumpkins my husband was looking in the rearview mirror and noticed the beautiful sunset. I was pretty tired from our day and really didn’t want to take the time to stop for pictures, but after telling him not to stop, I noticed an old Ghost Town, with a cemetery across the road. We have traveled down this road many times, but this was the first time that I had ever noticed either the town or the cemetery. The oldest headstone dates from 1787. I don’t feel quite as old now.
Just south of Clayton, Georgia is one of my favorite camping spots, Lake Rabun. The lake is a beautiful blue green reservoir bordered by a twisting mountain road which offers beautiful vistas. I have many happy memories of swimming in the lake and climbing local waterfalls, which can be found in abundance in the surrounding areas.
After we returned, I added a few Fall touches to my home. I had purchased a handful of hanging votive containers, a couple of years ago. I hadn’t used them because I didn’t think they suited any of the parties or special occasions that I had decorated for. So there they sat packed in a basket in need of a place to go.
Realizing that candles, in pretty containers, are one of my favorite indoor objects to decorate with, I took the indoors out and placed the votive containers with flickering LED lights in the ficus tree on my front porch.The lights have a 120-hour fe, and so I’m going to leave them there to add a little sparkle on special nights. (P.S., this post was actually contributed by Susan, not Robert.)