Hiking for Warren and me was very slow last spring. With wildflowers in abnormal abundance and with me sporting a new set of macro-lenses, my camera, not us, got the workout during April and May. A one-mile hike in Elkmont along Millionaires’ Row took us three hours. This was largely due to my obsessive need to stop every ten yards to take another photo.
The wildflowers have now disappeared along the trails and I am left to my own devices to find new subjects for my photos….SOOOO….in search of flowers and insects to photograph with my mighty macro lenses…I set out through town.
My first inclination was to try for some of the flowers growing on the side of the road…there were thousands of them. (I am not sure if you have ever noticed, side-of-the-road flowers are twice as big….twice as colorful and ONLY grow in the curves.)
This proved to be a BAD IDEA! When you stand on the side of the road …in a curve…to take a picture, you realize how narrow the space between the edge of the asphalt and the side of the mountain…REALLY is. After a CLOSE encounter of the BIG MOTOR HOME kind… I moved on. (Someone asked me later what kind it was…were they KIDDING?)
I traveled into the Park to Tremont. I thought surely I could find something there to photograph. The Mountain Laurel has been beautiful this year. Maybe there is something left for me and my camera!
After leaving the pavement and inching along the gravel road for what seemed like forever…there it was…the biggest most beautiful Mountain Laurel I have ever seen! Huge clusters of white with deep pink stitching…BIG branches of Laurel so full and so heavy they hung down to meet me….on the opposite side of the river.
Since the purpose of MACRO lenses is UP CLOSE…I had to make a decision.
I was not opposed to making the trip across the river. I have waded in this river many times…usually with waders; but what the heck, its hot outside. I was going for it.
There were a few obstacles to overcome before I could reach the mother lode of Mountain Laurel taunting me from the opposite bank.
First, I needed to protect my camera, just in case I should slip into the water (I do have some experience at that as well). I know the loss of footing usually comes when you least expect it, so I must protect my camera at all costs. Rummaging through the back end of the FJ, I found what was left of a zip-lock bag used to protect the real estate information flyers for my listings. This one was minus the zip…and there was no way it was going to lock. Not to worry…I found a rubber band to secure the end and I was all set to go.
Next I needed something to steady myself…a large stick would do the job.
Now I am in the National Forest…I am surrounded by trees…do you think I could find a stick???!!! NOT A CHANCE! I think I walked two miles to come up with something smaller than an oak tree to use for my staff. (Murphy is in charge of my world.)
I grabbed my zip-banded bag with my Nikon camera tucked safely inside. I picked up my oak tree staff…and began to wade across the river to the object of my obsession. Somewhere just beyond the halfway mark was when I realized I was not alone…I was being followed.
Now…I have lived here for a good while. I have waded the Little River more times than I can count. Up to this point in time…I had only seen one snake…NOW I have seen two! (someone later asked me…what kind was it…ARE THEY KIDDING?!)
I am not a sissy about a lot of things but once chased to the river bank…I decided to hang it up for the day.
I headed for home. Just past the Visitors Center, the sign hit me…”The Lily Barn”…hummmmmmm…..the Lily Barn…the Lily Barn….FLOWERS!
I turned right by Steve Headrick’s Phillips 66 station and made a mad dash down Webb Road. Maybe I could salvage something of the day…just a couple of trophy photos to show you what I have learned to do with my mighty macro super lenses!
There it stood…the secret garden of Townsend…Steve and Janice Fillmore’s beautiful place for weddings, gatherings, parties and, in season, FLOWERS!
To spend time in the garden is a special treat in the month of June. June is Lily Season! It is a sight to behold.
But none more beautiful than a single lily standing alone.Beautiful colors and shapes…some with visitors!
Cone Flowers…hundreds of them! OK…I like bugs!
I LOVE this stuff…I am going to plant a hundred of them in my yard!
I think these are called bachelor buttons…not sure…if you know, please email and let me know! There are thousands of flowers on the side of the road right now that look like this variety…I still have a lot to learn about flowers.
One more bug for the road…
So if you are in Townsend in June…and you need a flower fix…you may want to check out the Lily Barn first!