Monday, January 31, 2011

Did you notice?

That all my blog posts the last few months have been more about my photographs of the great outdoors than what I've been knitting, tatting, or beading? Well, I have a confession to make -- I have been running away to the mountains with my camera a lot more than I've been knitting lace shawls. Hey, for the first time in years I was able to head for the hills and I wanted to see the beauty of the Smokies in the snow. Trust me, this is progress!

When I haven't been in the Smokies or the Blue Ridge Mountains I've been at Thompson-Boling Arena cheering on my University of Tennessee Vols and Lady Vols basketball teams. At the last home game I was accompanied by my nephew and his daughter. Isn't she the cutest junior Vols Cheerleader ever? OK, so I may be a bit biased, but then that's my job!

Lest you think I haven't been knitting or tatting, I have. I just haven't been taking any photos of my projects. I'm almost done with a Go Vols hat and I have two new shawls OTN. I've been teaching tatting classes at The Yarn Haven and making little hearts too. One of these days I'll post some of those pix :-)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Snow, Snow, and more SNOW!

Growing up as a kid here in the Tennessee River Valley of Knoxville, snow was a rare treat. We didn't get much, it never lasted long, and we had to make our snowmen and snow angels while it lasted. Playing in the snow was a good thing to do since snow on the ground usually meant snow and ice covered roads, which  was hazardous driving at best. You just stayed home! Of course as an adult, things were different. My university classes and hospital clinicals went on no matter the weather. Once I was working as a nurse I was expexted to get to the hospital and don't be late or the nurses on the outgoing shift would give you an evil stare that would kill faster than rifle fire! When my career took me to Utah I got used to living with snow. Things were very different in Utah, they had things like street crews with lots of snowplows and light powdery snow instead of the wet, sloppy ice-forming flakes typical in Tennessee.

We've had more snow in East Tennessee in the past month than we've had in the last 5+ years! Crazy! Rather than hibernate like a black bear I decided to take advantage of a good road day following a storm to head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with my camera and see what I could do with a simple mid-range camera. Needless to say I wish I owned a seriously good digital SLR but that's just not going to happen any time soon. I'm making do with what I have. The snow was mostly melted at the lower elevations of the park, Cades Cove and the Little River Road, but at the higher elevations it looked God had taken a giant sifter and dusted powdered sugar over everything! Whether I was standing in the snow or simply looking up at the snow-covered peaks, it was all gorgeous.

The snowy photos above were taken along Newfound Gap Road (US 441) at the Chimney Tops Picnic Area and above the Alum Cave Trailhead. The rest were taken in Cades Cove, my personal favorite location in the park. While traffic through the park was relatively light, most were there with cameras doing exactly what I was doing - marveling at the beauty of the Smokies on a snowy January day. Gorgeous!