The Dream Continues

As time has gone by and we have explored more of the Blue Ridge Mountains, our Mountain Dreams have expanded to include the mountains of southwestern Virginia. Through the virtual pages of my blogs I have made many “imaginary” friends throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains…Some of whom call the mountains of Virginia home.

As we continue to dream and plan for a move to the Blue Ridge Mountains, I find I need a place to organize the information I find. Since my “daily” muses now show up on my blog Coffee Muses, I thought I would start reinvinting North Carolina Mountain Dreams and now the new domain, Virginia Mountain Dreams as resource pages for the Blue Ridge Mountains of both states. I am not sure where this new direction will lead, but the journey should prove interesting. Bear with me as I work on the changes I envision…

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The Dream Continues

As time has gone by and we have explored more of the Blue Ridge Mountains, our Mountain Dreams have expanded to include the mountains of southwestern Virginia. Through the virtual pages of my blogs I have made many “imaginary” friends throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains…Some of whom call the mountains of Virginia home.

As we continue to dream and plan for a move to the Blue Ridge Mountains, I find I need a place to organize the information I find. Since my “daily” muses now show up on my blog Coffee Muses, I thought I would start reinvinting North Carolina Mountain Dreams and now the new domain, Virginia Mountain Dreams as resource pages for the Blue Ridge Mountains of both states. I am not sure where this new direction will lead, but the journey should prove interesting. Bear with me as I work on the changes I envision…

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Missed The Blue Ridge This Year…

It looks like we won’t get the opportunity to roam the Parkway this year.

November 2007
From 2007 Vacation

No Craggy Garden sunrises, no foggy mornings above Valle Crucis, no apples from the Orchard at Altapass, no shopping trip down King Street.

November 2007
From 2007 Vacation

I missed another Valle Country Fair.I didn’t make it to the Games this year either.

July 2006
From North Carolina Mountain Dreams

There wasn’t an afternoon spent up on Grandfather…or Grassy Knob…or Roan…or Mitchell either.

No walks in the Valle Crucis Park, no trips to the Mast Store.

July 2006
From North Carolina Mountain Dreams

No pizza on top of Beech. No bar-b-q and bluegrass in Linville. No outdoor grilling on the deck above Clark Creek.

No morning coffee as the sun comes over the mountain and the valley fog rises to meet it. No evening glass of wine waiting for the stars and the fireflies to come out to play.

June 2004
From North Carolina Mountain Dreams

I missed the blue ridges fading into the dusk and I missed them when they faded back to blue again the next morning.

As I stare off into the distance here at home, my mind tries to make the tree line across the pasture become the ridges of the mountains from my memory…The layers of branches take on the look of the layers of ridges when my eyes let my memory take over…

In the years that I miss making the trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, I feel the call stronger with each passing month…Next year…

Next year I’ll get there…Next year we’ll make the move…Next year we’ll make it permanent…Next year…

Maybe I’ll see you there…Next year.

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Silence

It’s not easy to find silence in the modern world. If a quiet place is one where you can listen for fifteen minutes in daylight hours without hearing a human-created sound, there are no quiet places left in Europe. There are none east of the Mississippi River. And in the American West? Maybe twelve. One of these is in the temperate rainforest along the Hoh River in Olympic National Park.

In a forest like this a drop of rain may hit twenty times before it reaches the ground, and each impact—against a cedar bough, a vine-maple leaf, a snag—makes its own sound.

You can change the pitch of a stream by removing a stone. A stream tunes itself over time, tumbling the rocks into place.

Gordon Hempton

Silence Like Scouring Sand | Kathleen Dean Moore | Orion Magazine.

One of the things that keeps calling me back to the Blue Ridge Mountains is the sounds of silence like those mentioned in the Orion article above. I recall the first time we stayed up on Nettles Knob out of Valle Crucis. Standing at the upper reaches of a cove in on the north side of the knob in a gentle summer rain listening to the water trickling down under the rocks at my feet. Ferns and moss covering everything. More species of vegetation within sight than I had ever before seen…I was in awe.

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Fall Color Report – Grandfather Mountain

I wish I was here…

View of Lost Cove on the south slopes of Grandfather Mountain:

Grab your sweater because the temperatures are falling Highs will be in the low fifties this weekend

Friday had lots of wind and rain, so most of the leaves from the trees above 4,000 feet are finding their way to the ground today. Grandfather remains an excellent leaf-looking destination, however, because you pass through color in all the lower elevations on your drive to Grandfather Mountain, and because Grandfather’s peaks make a great vantage point for looking out at the color changing in the valleys. Today’s photograph from Lost Cove illustrates that there is lots of green left in the valleys.

NC Highway 105 between Boone and Linville ranges from 3,000 to 4,000 feet in elevation. Trees in those slightly lower elevations are only now beginning to change color, which guarantees lots of lively leaf looking for the next 10 days.

Fall Color Report- Grandfather Mountain.

Before our trip last year, I always looked at these photo’s with a bit of skepticism. My corner of the world doesn’t have color changes like these…I learned just how wrong I was when we hit the Appalachians in early November of last year.

Here is the first “real fall” I ever saw…

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Wish I Was Going To The Market…

Seal of Watauga County, North Carolina
Image via Wikipedia

The folks at Watauga County Farmers’ Market would like to thank everybody who braved the drizzle to support the market this past Saturday. The market will be open all four Saturdays in October, rain or shine, or even in the snow if need be. The outlook for Saturday the 4th calls for a nice day, and we hope to see you at the market.

There are plenty of good things left to harvest. Robert Church will have a good supply of Irish potatoes on hand as well as several varieties of apples including Wolf River, JonaGold, and Macintosh. Jerry Harvey may possibly have more yellow and white sweet corn, but he will certainly have plenty of pie pumpkins to bring to market.

The flavors of summer have not left, and Don Owens will have red, striped, pink and yellow tomatoes this weekend, yellow and zucchini squash, bell and hot peppers. Cheryl Piracci will have San Marzano tomatoes and quick marinara sauce recipes to go with them. Cheryl also will have her homemade pesto, pistachio orange biscotti, and even her own special garlic jam. Charles Church will be busy harvesting potatoes, onions, garlic, chard and butternut and spaghetti squash. Charles will also have humanely raised pork to offer.

Watauga County Farmers’ Market | Please Support Local Farmers.

If you are in the High Country this weekend, stop by the Market and pick up some of those good mountain vegetables…

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Homegrown Tomatoes

Listening to The Gestalt Gardener this morning and during the break they played this song. I just loved the refrain…

Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes, what would life be without homegrown tomatoes?

Only two things that money can’t buy and that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.

John Denver Homegrown Tomatoes lyrics.

If you haven’t caught Felder Rushing’s show, swing over and download the podcast. He deals with gardening in Mississippi, but his style of “slow” gardening will work anywhere.

Speaking of homegrown tomatoes, it looks like the Watauga County Farmers’ Market should have a good selection tomorrow judging by last weeks update…

The long wait for fresh local sweet corn is over. Jerry Harvey is among the vendors who will have a good supply of corn this Saturday in both yellow and white varieties. Jerry hopes to have more blueberries this weekend, and will be harvesting watermelon soon. Jerry will have plenty of Better Boy, Big Boy and Early Girl tomatoes. Reba Greene will also have a wide variety of tomatoes to choose from, including Giant Beefsteak, Mr. Stripey, and Pink Girl. Reba will also be harvesting okra for the market.

Watauga County Farmers’ Market-News

I sure wish I could make a run over to the “Market” tomorrow and grab a few. A good BL&T would taste so good especially out on the deck…

There ain’t nothing in the world that I like better
than bacon and lettuce and homegrown tomatoes.
Up in the morning, out in the garden, get you a ripe one, don’t pick a hard one.
Plant ’em in the spring, eat ’em in the summer. All winter without ’em is a culinary bummer.
I forget all about the sweating and the digging every time I go out and pick me a big one.

As always…I am North Carolina Mountain Dreaming from the Texas Gulf Coast…

*The above photo was taken by my eldest in 2006.

Mountain Weather Dreams

I walked out of my house this morning before sunrise. It is garbage pickup day. With the wildlife population explosion we have had I don’t dare take the garbage out too early. When I stepped out on the porch the hot, humid air settled down on my shoulders like a load of bricks. When I made it back into the artificially cooled interior of our home I looked at the weather station on the wall…81° and the humidity was 86%.

After making my lunch to haul in to work, a couple of pieces of toasted ciabatta bread with jam and butter with my morning coffee as I fired up my email led to this report…

HOME
Currently (on Tue 5:53AM CDT from Pearland Regional Airport)
Clear Clear Temp: 82° (Heat Index 89°)
Dewpoint: 75°
Wind: S 5 MPH

VALLE CRUCIS
Currently (on Tue 6:44AM EDT from Ashe County Airport)
Clear Clear Temp: 52°
Dewpoint: 48°
Wind: Calm MPH

FLOYD, VA
Currently (on Tue 7:20AM EDT from Virginia Tech Airport)
Mist Mist Temp: 50°
Dewpoint: 48°
Wind: Calm MPH

Now…Do you understand why I dream of the Blue Ridge Mountains? Do you see that heat index at 5:53 in the morning? The middle of August and we still have months of this hot humid weather to go.

To top it all off, we are still in a drought situation here. We have a front (I refuse to call it a cold front) moving our way and all day long I’ve watched the rain vanish on the radar as it gets close…

So all you folks up on the Blue Ridge…Enjoy that beautiful weather. I wish I was having my morning coffee and email on the porch looking out on the morning fog rise from the valley…

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