Beautiful Fall Foliage

fall leaves

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.

Beautiful Places – Yellowstone

 

Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park

Thank you with much gratitude to President Ulysses S. Grant for signing legislation on this day March 1st, 1872 making Yellowstone the country’s first national park.

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

yellowstone-bison-national-park yellowstone in winter

A Rainbow on the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River
A Rainbow on the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River

Yellowstone geyser

Beautiful Nature

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 —

-Emily Dickinson

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Beautiful Lavender

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.

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Bless the bees who pollinate.

lavender filed

“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

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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.

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Lavender is edible

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Sugar the Westie loves walking the fields

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sug and lavender

Beautiful Rugged Washington Coast

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.

   
       

Beautiful Nature

Every time I drive down the freeway I notice the sign “Kubota Garden” next exit and I always tell myself I must check it out but alas I always keep driving….except this time I actually went and checked it out. What a delight! Don’t know why it took me do long but glad I finally took the time.

   
 

Beautiful Nature

How amazing can a tree be?
(or shrub, or vine or even a grass?)
Laying eyes upon these amazing, huge,
beautiful creations of by nature makes
me want to hug a tree and say thank you.
If there truly is a God, it’s nature. Enjoy!
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125+ year old Rhododendron in Canada
Read more about it here reddit

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144 year old Wisteria in Japan
At 1,990 sq. meters (about half acre), this huge
wisteria is the largest of its kind in Japan.
This gorgeous giant is located at Ashikaga Flower
Park. After looking at these photos I’m ready to
book the next flight to Japan!
Read more about it here

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Wind Swept Tress of Slope New Zealand
Slope Point is the most southern point of New
Zealand’s South Island. The region is consistently
lashed with fierce winds that blow up from
Antarctica. The wind here is so intense and
relentless, that the trees are twisted, warped and
forever bent along the direction the wind blows.
Read more about it here.

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Antarctic Beech Tree Draped in Hanging Moss
The antarctic beech tree is native to Chile and
Argentina but specimen is from the NW Pacific
region. Image by Drew Hopper

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Blooming Cherry Tree Explosion
Bonn, Germany
Waltz through a magical tunnel fo
pink in the lovely city of Bonn,
where the cherry blossoms go
positively bonkers for two to
three precious weeks per year.
Read more about it here

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Angel’s Oak on John’s Island, South Carolina
The Angel oak stands 66.5 ft (20 m) and is
estimated between 400-500 years old.
Read more about here

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Flamboyant Tree, Brazil
The flamboyant tree is native to Madagascar but
grows in tropical regions around the world.
Image by Salete T. Silva
Read more about it here

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Dragon blood Trees, Yemen
The Dragon blood tree earns its name from the
crimson red sap used as a dye, in violin varnish,
alchemical ingredient and folk remedy for
various ailments.
Read more about it here

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The President, the
Third Largest Giant
Sequoia in the World,
California
Located in Sequoia
National Park, CA,
it’s 241 ft (73 m) tall
and has ground
circumference 93 ft.
Photo by Michael Nichols
Read more about it here

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Maple Tree Tunnel, Oregon
Read more about it here

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Rainbow Eucalyptus, Kauai, Hawaii
Possibly one of the coolest trees on earth.
These eucalyptus trees grow along the
Hana Highway on Kauai. The tree is a huge
evergreen and can grow 8 feet a year,
reaching a height of 197 – 246 feet
(60 – 75 meters).
Read more about it here

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Jacarandas in Cullinan, South Africa
Beautiful Jacarandas with their violet
flowers, grow in South Africa.
Read more about here

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Avenue of Oaks at Dixie Plantation, South Carolina
Avenue of Oaks was planted around 1790
Read more about it here

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Baobab Trees, Madagascar
Water is stored in the trunks of these trees to use
during a drought. They can grow for up to 5000
years making them one of the oldest living things
on the planet.
Read more about it here

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The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland
The Dark Hedges were planted in the 18th Century.
More recently, this stunning beech tree tunnel was
featured in the Game of Thrones.
Read more about it here

 

Beautiful Nature

Lounging in the grass, not doing much of
anything except enjoying the moment
with an iPhone and a cluster of random
daisies. They grow everywhere in the wild.
I couldn’t resist taking these shots on a
lazy summer day and searching for the
perfect poem.

Daisy Time
See, the grass is full of stars,
Fallen in their brightness;
Hearts they have of shining gold,
Rays of shining whiteness.

Buttercups have honeyed hearts,
Bees they love the clover,
But I love the daisies’ dance
All the meadow over.

Blow, O blow, you happy winds,
Singing summer’s praises,
Up the field and down the field
A-dancing with the daisies.
By Marjorie Pickthall

photo AdobePhotoshopExpress_2014_07_06_20_59_53