Saturday, April 30, 2011

Whitewater Falls

I'm heading home tomorrow 
SO many storms circling around the South lucky for me nothing came this way the weather was perfect, so I went ahead with my waterfall hike plans--this waterfall is in 2 states!! Is that amazing or what?
Whitewater Falls Upper and Lower! Together this system drops over 700 feet---
SO first I hiked to the Lower section in SC.  It was a nice hike of 3.8 miles round trip- not too hard on the way in, coming out a bit more difficult as the first half mile was uphill...hhhhhhhhhhhh

BUT wow!! Look at it--

This section is 200 ft tall... took my lunch break on the view platform & had this whole wonderful wilderness all to myself!!

It was kinda breezy as you can see in the video...
So after I took a lot of photos...I packed up and headed back to the parking lot...this hike uses the Foothills trail and a spur trail to get to this remote area.  the Trail head is on the property of Duke Power at the Bad Creek Hydroelectric pumping station.  There is a visitors center and over- look and I drove up to see the view it was pretty awesome! This is Lake Jocassee.

I lost my photo of the falls from the
  Jocassee Lake Overlook


The Upper Whitewater Falls is located about a 1/4 mile via the highway...up from the turn off for Bad Creek Access in the Nantahala National Forest and in cross the state line and then there is the turn off for the Falls.. (or a 2.3 mile hike via the Foothills trail in the forest) I chose the highway--since I had just finished hiking to the Lower Falls...
This waterfall overlook is easy to get to...a simple walk up a nice paved trail-- very accessible even to the handicapped and I think thats very important...BUT the sign says it all....
SO I was very careful...
The Upper Whitewater is 400 ft tall!  AND
the West thinks they have all the beauty!! NOT true its Here you just have to go look for it!

            Upper section 

Mid Section 

                                                                        Lower section.

We have had a wet spring so finally the drought has been relieved somewhat! This Whitewater Creek is moving a ton of water from the mountains to Lake Jocassee..
I can't tell you how long Ive had this shirt---BUT its a favorite of mine and other hikers I meet on the trail usually say" WHOA"..then proceed to giggle--being glad its only a
Just have to remember not to wear it during Bear Hunting season...;o)


                                                  A video I made, the sound is LOUD


Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Next Generation-

You know how "those" grannies run around showing off the offspring of their offspring...Well until mine arrives I adopted a few-- come take a look--I was so enchanted....

SO yesterday upon arrival to my destination the very first thing I did was check out my favorite pond and sure enough there they were the Next Generation!! It was supposed to be a rain out today but the sun is shining so Im off to do something....WHO knows what I'll find!!
OH and lately Ive been doing some genealogy research and in so doing I signed up to be a contributing  photographer for my area meaning I get requests from individuals for a photo of a grave to add to a persons grave page and I made one for My Father... We are taking a trip to TN end of May to celebrate my aunt Jeans 70th and I will be photographing more of the grave markers in our family cemetery...and meanwhile I got 14 Photo requests for headstones in MY area JUST YESTERDAY--wow its an unpaid endeavor so I will have to combine a few trips when I get back to my area Im in Greenville until Sunday night--SO I'll be doing the "cemetery shuffle"
Tomorrow -weather permitting-a waterfall hike ;o)


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

WBW -23 MR T-

i'm supposed to be packing my stuff for travel tomorrow--BUT Hey- Im gonna take a break and read some WBW Blogs and make one of my own...I thought I could resist and not participate this week cause Im slammed for time... but I CAN'T its addictive or seductive or something--
SO summer is here and I mentioned last week that I would try for shots of the Summer Tanager! 'Till I get that killer shot these will have to do--today its MR T--the Summer Tanager  a medium sized brightly colored orange/red bird with a yellow beak... some darker feathers to the wings..(the Scarlet Tanager has BLACK wings & tail and is slightly smaller) The Summer Tanager likes to take advantage of the suet feeder--here HE is with...

a few rain drops on his back...

chomping down on some suet....

just a wee bit soggy...

A little sun in his eyes...

                                                ... a very handsome songbird-

I should remove the suet 'cause they like to eat bees!  (carpenter bees & wasps are driving us nuts-second only to squirrels as pests)
Hope you get to see a summer tanager and add him/her to your life list--

Here is a photo of HER from last yr..and yes she is eating a wasp.

Visit World Bird Wednesday and share your bird with the world--I will have plenty of time on Wednesday night so I'll be visiting all the WBW Posts!

Tanager Trivia:Piranga rubaf: migrates to Mejicho, Central & South America they were once in the class Thraupidae (tanagers) but have been moved to the cardinal classification! (Cardinalidae)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Meanwhile back in DixxeLand...

Spring Catch UP--
Our Spring is marching headlong towards summer...the humidity has been up the last few days and we had to use the AC a few times already but this moment the doors and windows are open and the curtains are moving as if they were stirred by an ocean breeze.. whats been going on here in DixxeLand?--[my blog].

I had some work to finish up and did that--yippee the fat quarters are going to Denver to the National Quilt Festival...and most of my family will be there--I could have gone but it's a fast and furious pace they keep and I prefer life in the slow lane these days so...I'M DOG SITTING INSTEAD - Wednesday - Sunday so that means [hopefully] another waterfall Hike!! YEAH--I'd much rather be holding court for one in the mountains than fighting crowds in the rat race in Denver--so with that said...

This morning I was watching a race of a different kind...I was the only observer at the Marion Dupont Thoroughbred training center here in my hometown.  One of the first jobs I had after my stint as a soda jerk at the Dairy Queen was "exercise girl" and this is what I was my dream--to be a jockey...OF Course who knew I'd grow into a chubby middle aged woman by the time I was 28? lol BUT I did this for several yrs in my late teens and early 20's...and now in my late 50's it seems like eons ago...but I do recall how wonderful it was to ride these young and sometimes crazy horses!


This is the  training track...they went twice around...and before they started they walked them through the starting gate to get the youngsters used to being in close quarters and let me tell you its quite scary to be on a horse that looses it in the start gate....these are young horses and this is probably their first year of training...I no longer support the idea that's its OK to make horses race for money.....but I enjoyed watching this easy workout they had

 BUT....that was NOT my reason for being at the track today this was--

TONS of FREE MANURE for my garden and yard--we have very sandy soil due to our geographical closness to the OCEAN [it used to be here--so what can you expect]? So today I got a load of manure for that bare spot under the [dang] Magnolia tree!!  Meanwhile...

We are eating lettuce and green onions from the garden already...and my tomatoes in pots are blooming--everything I planted is up and growing--Just hope we continue to have rain moving through now and then.

I have other things in pots too like arugula--have to keep that covered as best I can from the varmints!  The
Great Crested Flycatcher
serenades me while I weed the garden

and of course the Girls are always keeping an eye on me...

Annie on the left in the wildflowers and Flossie stayed in the yard and took a good roll in the grass....she is having a bad hair day...AND You know WHO is always around too but this time he was NOT on my feeders for a change--but posed on a fence post to plan an attack later after Ive gone inside~

Saturday I went over to Goodale State Park (my local park) to check on one of my favorite plants...the North American Pitcher have seen my photos of them before I'm sure..but this time of the year they are really showing off---

WOW---I love these plants and they eat bugs...WISH I had some in my yard!  Hope your Spring activites rejuvenate the nature nut in you! Possibly I'll see some young waterfowl when I check out Oak Grove Lake up in Greenville later this week ---OH I HOPE SO--!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day--

Each year I try to tackle something that no one else wants to tackle to Celebrate Earth Day.  It is my prime directive to lead by example! So I don't trash, I recycle everything possible, I take scrap metal to the scrap yard, I take everything that can be recycled there..,they take tin cans, aluminum, wire, pipe, cars, you name it!  Then the community recycle center takes the plastic, glass, cardboard etc.  I think our Carbon Foot Print is important and we should always look for ways to improve/lower it whenever possible. 

... last year we cleaned up a piece of land that for some reason draws the attention of illegal dumpers!
I have to drive past it everyday so its an eye sore to me.  Its what we refer to as owner vacant land....meaning the owner is "who knows where, but not here"....So you know how we always say "someone" should clean that up ....well I decided "I'm someone" and I did it with some help--And it was so NICE for about 6 months and then one day I drove past and DAMN they struck again!

Another load of trash--ruining the beautiful forest---why?
So tomorrow IF its not stormy, like it was earlier today, I will once again rake up the mess and get rid of it!! I put up a NO Trespassing sign last year...but it didn't work..I know that I am actually trespassing myself but I figure I'm doing the right thing? Doesn't make my trespass any more/less legal tho---this photo is from last yr...look at all that stuff we took to the DUMP..a car seat, old carpet and pad and endless other junk.  MY utility trailer is 8 x 4 feet and it was FULL----We had old tires we picked up too..(those went to the recycle) Thats my Mom tossing stuff out she was 85 in this if she can do it.............YOU CAN DO IT--WE CAN DO IT---!

Celebrate Earth Day everyday---

“I think it’s so important that we always remember that nature, environment, wild places, and wild things are a big part of what makes us who and what we are as human beings, to deny this is to deny our own heritage, our own spirit, and our own souls.”
-John Denver-


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I havent been very lucky in hitting the mark lately with my birding--went dashing through the woods following the black n white warbler only to get caught up in some black berry bushes and got some nice cuts and scratches for my trouble..Meanwhile I heard the "Here I am -Where Are You" repeated song of the red eyed vireo...but he was wayyy up in the canopy-- then the RIDICULOUSLY loud call of the White Eyed Vireo came booming out of the trees like a low rider retrofitted with oversized ghetto blasters and he was CLOSE BY--- AND I got his picture--amazing how this smll bird can have such a loud and crisp call...I had to lighten the photo quite a bit using curves and gamma in painstshop pro due to harsh backlighting--so its not so sharp--


YOU can see why he has that White Eyed Vireo name--

... he has a bug in his beak?

AND its official all of my summer breeders have is the ruby throated hummingbird...this was shot through the window she has a white patch on her head...

a couple of my other summer favs like Summer Tanager  and the Great Crested Flycatchers are here for the nesting I hope to get some new shots of them as the season marches on!

 FOR WORLD BIRD WEDNESDAY -XXII Some amazing photos of amazing birds from around the world can be seen just click below to check it out!!

Enjoy and Participate!


bit of birding trivia: a group of vireos is referred to as a CALL OF VIREOS!

Friday, April 15, 2011

HEY--Nothing Ordinary About this Day at the Lake

Marcel has nothing on me....everyone is after my least at Oak Grove Lake.    I have seen some cool birds there like the ring neck duck, gr. blue heron, the green heron, the spotted sandpiper, the kingfisher and of course the ducks and geese are always fun to watch. Its fun to find the ordinary waterfowl going about normal life---Here's how it went down---just an ordinary goose but geeze look at this--

"Hey Sondra, look at this pose, its blast off goose!!!"

"Hey Sondra, bet you wish you looked this good!"

"Hey Sondra, wanna a good head shot?"

"Hey Sondra, are you stallking me?"

Talk about chivalry...this male was taking his role of protector to extreme limits...he is the mate in shinning armor while she sits on their eggs on that small island...nobody got close-- he allowed the pied billed grebe to swim by that was it!!

"Hey Sondra, you got this?"
Here she is sitting on the nest..sssshh and over there is my buddy the Muscovy Duckling that I've watched grow up he is becoming quite handsome..This summer he will be one yr old!


 "Hey Marcel,  you got nothing on me!!!"~

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WBW-21 I spy with my little eye~

Last Wednesday I was upstate I visited my favorite "duck pond", Oak Grove Lake.  The usual waterfowl is there and I was able to enjoy some interaction with them including this little fellow that I followed around for a bit---

Well I knew it was a sandpiper and he had lots of spots and he was constantly pumping his bumm I took at stab at the spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularia) and I was right when I checked my fieldguide. Not a new bird for me, but been a longgg time between sightings.


He wasnt bothered by my following him and I keep saying HIM I dont know  which it is...cause the book says females are a little larger but other than that they look the same...Ill go with HE this guy wasnt too big!
 I wasnt the only one who wanted a closer look at this sandpiper...

                                      They seemed to be saying to each other, "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU?"  Reminded me of the movie Predator and that line exchanged between Arnold and the alien monster--

I had a fun day watching all the birds show off
Now its time for you to share you birding story on World Bird Wednesday or just check out some of these other great blogs--its all about sharing nature stories and being part on an online community of like-minded people!