Some consider Autumn to be the most incredible time of the year. Gorgeous colors vibrantly encoring the end of summer as the trees put themselves to bed for the long sleep of winter. The Great Smoky Mountains floods with thousands upon thousands of annual visitors all hoping to achieve a breath taking view of the beautiful renaissance of nature.
The Smoky Mountains team has once again released their foliage prediction map, updated for 2017. The complex algorithm uses historical and forecasted precipitation and temperatures, as well as historical leaf peak and observational trends to predict when the trees will be at their most colorful. As each year passes, there’s more historical data to consider, and therefore, the predictions get more accurate.
This 2017 Fall Foliage Map is the ultimate visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves. While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.
People had been living in Yellowstone for 11,000 years, but the first European American to see the region was most likely a man named John Colter, in 1807. People ridiculed his stories and began referring to the place as “Colter’s Hell.” But word of its natural wonders continued to trickle eastward over the next few decades. Most of the descriptions sounded like feverish delusions. The famous trapper and guide Jim Bridger reported seeing stone forests and upside-down waterfalls. Another trapper named Joe Meek described fire and brimstone, steaming rivers, and boiling mud. East Coast newspapers refused to print the description sent to them by a group of prospectors in 1869, saying that they didn’t publish works of fiction. In 1870, a railroad man named Nathaniel Pitt Langford led an expedition through the region in hopes of drumming up support for the Northern Pacific Transcontinental Railroad. He was stunned to find that all the tall tales were true. Finally, in 1871, the government sent out an official scouting party made up of a group of scientists. The party submitted a 500-page description of the region, which was enough to convince Congress to place the area under governmental protection.
Yellowstone covers nearly 3,500 square miles, and is home to one of the world’s 30 active super volcanoes. The volcano lies underneath Yellowstone Lake, and it’s responsible for some of the more dramatic of the park’s features, including hot springs, mud pots, and the famous Old Faithful and Steamboat Geysers.
From the Writer’s Almanac
I spied some beautiful crocuses today and it smells like spring. I have no special knowledge of Crocuses other than the fact they seem to beat every other flower to punch when it comes to blooming. And it’s one of those names that doesn’t quite fit the plant, seems like they deserve a name that is a little more elegant. Crocus sounds too much like crocodile.
They at least they have a pretty poem:
She dwelleth in the Ground —
Where Daffodils — abide —
Her Maker — Her Metropolis —
The Universe — Her Maid —
To fetch Her Grace — and Hue —
And Fairness — and Renown —
The Firmament’s — To Pluck Her —
And fetch Her Thee — be mine —
Every summer I visit the lavender farms in Sequim, Washington.
Everything is offered, dried flowers and leaves for sachet, small
bundles of the whole stem with flowers on them that will dry
naturally when placed in a vase or basket, soaps, lotions, and
essential oil for bath, potpourri and sachets are just a few
of the uses. The farms have been there for many years and
visiting is like stepping back into an old world garden.
Bless the bees who pollinate.
“And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom
shall be, ere-while, in arid bundles bound
to lurk admist the labours of her loom,
and crown her kerchiefs witl mickle rare perfume.” by William Shenstone The School Mistress 1742
Did you know….
Lavender is a herb in the mint family.
Lavender is edible and can be used in cooking and making teas.
The benefits and use of lavender has been known for over 2,500 years.
In perfume, scented bath oils, and even mummification, the ancient
Egyptians used lavender profusely.
Lavender in water can be used for cleaning floors and furniture.
It is an excellent and aromatic cleaner which can be used for laundry also.
Nurses bathed the wounds of soldiers with a lavender wash, for its
healing properties, during World War I.
The beautiful ocean along the rugged Washington state coastline beaches is one place where nothing ever changes….which is a rare in a world where change never ceases. The constant gray, misty weather is as static as ever and the feeling of isolation is heavy. Years can pass between visits and it’s still the same, kind of like an old friend who never changes.