01 February 2009

A John Denver Morning

It is what a friend of mine calls a "John Denver Morning". The weather is cool and crisp with a bright, clear quality to the light. Of course the fact that we live in a forest and are surrounded by pine trees, just adds to the John Denver mood. The Rocky's are famous for the Aspen trees but there are a lot of pines too. Mostly Ponderosa Pines and Lodgepole Pines. Here in the Piedmont of South Carolina, we have a lot of Loblolly Pines. They are also referred to as Plantation pines. (No, I don't know this kind of stuff, I had to look it up. I do however have the books to look it up in.) The local pines do not look or smell quite the same as the Rocky Mountain pines, but when the sun shines through them it still makes me happy.
We may not have Aspens, but we do have Shag Bark Hickorys and big old oaks with garlands of mistletoe and Ivy. We also have quite a few Cedars that smell oh so good even when they have not been cut.
The Rockys dwarf the Smokey Mountain range by size alone. The two ranges are very different. If you camp high in the Rocky's on a summer night you will think you can touch the stars. The sky seems to be a big bowl turned upside down. It is the deepest cobalt blue and it is just barely out of reach. I have never seen the stars so close anywhere else. The air is thinner so if you are not used to it, it can literally take your breath away. The first two photos this week are tree photos I took here in South Carolina, one of our Shag bark hickories and a Big Loblolly Pine. I may have posted the pine photo before. I quite like it.
The next two photos are the Rockys. I took them last summer on vacation. Then I re posted one of the Smokey Mountain photos from early fall for comparison.
I was born and raised in the Rockys. Ogden Utah is quite literally built in the mountains. Driving through there in the winter when there is snow on the roads is quite an adventure. You can not get from here to there without driving through some high mountain passes. (That is why we don't visit in the winter.)
Back to my point. This lovely morning reminds me of the Rocky's. (Although they are a bit colder than us this time of year.)
Yesterday we drove to Greenville for the day. (We listened to John Denver on the way.) We went out to dinner at The Indian Palace on Pleasant Ville Road. The food was just right. I had a non vegetarian Tali, spiced mild. I would strongly recommend it.
Thursday we were in Augusta for an appointment at
the VA. On the way home we stopped at Earth Fair to pick up some cheese. Jennifer was there and she as always helped us pick up some delicious treats. It is easy to be brave about trying new cheeses when they let you taste them before you make up your mind. We wound up with a "Tilsit German" an aged "Pecorino Pienz" and a "Hirtenkase Rustic". If you like strong cheeses, you should try these.
Another one of my favorite things this time of year is Citrus fruit. They are not to expensive and they sure perk up my mood.

The penultimate picture is the best way to start a weekend morning. With a good pot of tea.
I have been experimenting with different ways of presenting my photos on the blog. That is why they are framed and not all the same. Please let me know what you think. Which photo is your favorite? Should they be framed, or unframed?
Last but not least, a picture of me.
Have a great week.

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