Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cades Cove Tour

Cades Cove  ~~  Great Smoky Mountains
The Smoky Mtn NP has one of the largest collections of historic log buildings in the world
This was the condition of the cabin in 1957 - Maintaining these historic structures requires unending care
As we are leaving the property to continue the tour this was the magnificent view
  Walking back from the cabin a surprise awaited us in the meadow
 A nice buck in velvet... slowly got up and walked away
 Stopping briefly to eat some leaves from a nearby tree
As we travel the 11 mile tour many cabins are visible along the road.  Many more could not be seen without hiking to them.
 When the park was created more than 1200 families had to sell their houses
 There are 20 historic cabins for touring.
 Large families often lived in such small buildings.  Parents, infants and daughters slept on the first floor and sons slept in the loft.  Everyone had a job very early... often the children were given the job to take mule and sled to the creek and gather stones for the chimney when the house was being built.
 A Log cabin could take 1 to 1 1/2 years to complete.  Not much except mules, muscles and simple tools and neighborly help to fell the trees, get them to the building site and build the house. The round logs first were scored along their length with a felling ax, then hewn with a broad ax. The notched corners need no nails or pegs, gravity holds them together.  Chinks (open spaces between the logs) were filled with mud to seal out wind, snow and rain.  
Buildings made of lumber from a sawmill were built after 1870.
These families had a hard life but had no time to belly ache as they had chores to be done from dawn to dusk.  

To God Be the Glory  ~~  Great Things He hath Done

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Blue Ridge Mountain History

Leaving Skyline Drive of Shenandoah behind we are on to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Immediately I sense a difference in the Scenery.
The parkway follows the Appalachian Mtn. chain for seemingly endless views of parallel ranges connected by cross ranges and scattered hills

There is so much history preserved here in the Blue Ridge 
5 miles south of milepost 1 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA.  head down the trail alongside the tattered chestnut logs fashioned into  a split rail fence.

 It was a short walk but well worth the time to get the history lesson
This is a 'single pen' log cabin.
Every inch of space was used.  Many tools were hung on the walls.
The cooking pots were hung or gathered around the fireplace.  A butter churn is on the right.  You might see strings of beans, red or yellow peppers, sliced rings of pumpkins or apples in the fall drying.
They canned a lot of their garden vegetables.
A 'rope bed' was made with strips of rope or leather laced across the bed frame.  Sleepers needed to tighten the ropes often for firmer support.  Hence the expression 'sleep tight'
A child's chair, baby cradle and steamer trunk among many other things they needed
It took a crafty 'varmint' to raid this weasel-proof chicken house.  The cracks were constantly chinked with pieces of wood and the doors secured at night with wooden pegs
This chicken is a Barred Rock.  They lay about one egg per day so if you had a large family you would need enough  chickens to keep up with egg supply
Inside the chicken coop you see the nests and roosting ladder for the hens


these eggs were gathered that morning

Tiny square windows near the chimney were called "granny holes" because the extra bit of light allowed the grandmother to sit by the hearth and sew and knit, tend the fireplace and watch comings and goings of the grandchildren.

A hand made wooden checker game and hand made chairs with woven seats rest on the small front porch awaiting game players
Dug into the hillside this cool, dark root cellar was a storehouse for vegetables and fruits.  Smoked and cured meat hung from the rafters
Rambling stone walls were 'hog walls'  Built in the early 1800's.   They helped to keep out the half-wild hogs that foraged for acorns.
The barn  served as a shelter for livestock and storage for feed and farm equipment

A very large Walnut tree welcomes you to the property
It had to be a hard life but these farmers  were too busy making everything from the earth and by hand and taking care of their families to think about the hardships.


To God be the Glory  ~~  Great Things He hath Done

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Shenandoah Skyscape

There is nothing to compare to the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and Skyscape.  I never tire of it. It's just as exciting to me as all the wildlife we see here
Every year I take the same pictures and each year they look different to me
My brother David checking out the clouds
 An unusual tree, shaped by the weather no doublt
On a clear day you can see all the layers of mountains and valleys
 

At this look out is where I took a picture of my favorite 'picture' of Skyline Drive
She was capturing the beauty that I so admire
 The area is rich with history

To God be the Glory  ~~  Great Things He hath Done

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Deer and Fawn of Shenandoah National Park

All of these deer were seen at the campground at the Meadows in SNP.  The first one is very small even for a newborn. 

Take notice that the fawn's head does not even touch the doe's underbelly. 

 Mom was very attentive and paid no attention to us in the car snapping pictures

 A short distance away we came across a bigger fawn

Mom was not far away.  She has tags in her ears.  a lot of the deer are tagged and some even have radio collars. 
 They began tagging the deer in 2012 due to CWD (chronic wasting disease)  A lot of photographer's were upset about it.  SNP is one of the few places you can get close to wildlife in a natural habitat


 We would have never seen this tiny fawn if someone hadn't told us where he was.  I walked up from a distance to take these pictures and he never took his eyes off me.  But he did not move.



Bucks were not moving around much  but we did see this one along the road

A young spike was eating alongside one of the overlooks. 
As we got closer we saw  what we think were warbles on his face.
They are caused by the warble fly (The fly lays eggs on the forelegs of large animals. They are ingested when the animal licks them off. The larvae travel to the skin surface and cause swellings called "warbles" They remain under the skin, and can be destroyed by pressure,)
One night leaving the restaurant after dark the headlights caught this deer
SNP is the place to go to see wildlife!

To God be the Glory  ~~  Great Things He Hath done

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