The Mountain to Sea Trail promoters say it goes from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. But if you get down to brass tacks and look at the map of the 1175 mile trail (1891 km) you will find it is not all continuous trail, but relies on 'connecting backroads' in part. However, it is a continuous trail from its start at Clingman's Dome in Smoky Mountain National Park to Stone Mountain State Park. In the process it crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway not far from Asheville and the Pisgah Inn. And it is there that I have found some interesting trees.
Both trees are right on the trail, and there is no way you can miss them. This is not a heavily traveled portion of the trail; even when there are several sight seers at the Mills River Valley Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway I have only ever encountered one other person on the trail. Pretty amazing given its proximity to Asheville!
I first visited Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden last spring. At that time I was gobsmacked by the pink blossoms of the Horse Chestnut Tree and other flowering trees. I went back last week and, despite the fact the calendar said it was September the garden was still in full summer green, with a few exceptions such as this Golden Raintree.
I was also delightfully surprised to see the entire gardens bedecked in fanciful decorations for their "Chinese Lanterns" event. The natural beauty of this garden is so abundant that one might be tempted to say these decorations were "gilding the lily" but nevertheless they are fun and colorful. They are lit in the evening, which must be a fabulous experience. The celebration runs until the end of October. Here is a shot of how they look in the day time.
Poemscapes is a term I use to describe the fusion of photographs with the words in a poem. Basically it is like an old-fashioned slide show where the pictures change with the words of the poem being read aloud. I made the first Poemscapes program about three years ago with Carol Pearce Bjorlie, the poet and cellist.
Carol joined me again yesterday to play a few selections on the cello and to read her poems from the book, THESE TREES. Kate Stockman also joined us and read her poem, "Crone Oak," along with Annelinda Metzner's poem, "Redbud." I had made Poemscapes of "A Walk in the Woods" by Diane Egge, "Entering the Forest" by Carol V. Davis and "My True Loves" by Marilyn Sequoia.
The Kaplan auditorium in the Hendersonville Library, where the event was held, was nearly full. Afterwards several people made suggestions for additional places I should visit to see trees. These suggestions are: Dolly Sod in West Virginia, Arcadia National Park in Maine, Chesapeake Arboretum in Virginia and three people suggested Joyce Kilmer Forest in North Carolina. I love having suggestions of more trees to visit! So I appreciate the suggestions. And if YOU have any suggestions of good places to meet trees I'd love to hear about them too.
I live in western North Carolina; in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. People come from miles and miles around to see our 'fall color.' They come in station wagons with their kids, on tour buses, and dragging their travel trailers. Motorcyclists seem particularly partial to "leaf peeping." My point here is that for us, fall color is a REALLY big deal. But unlike other 'big deals' like Christmas or Thanksgiving, we don't have a specific date circled on the calendar for the day the trees will start displaying their beautiful multi-hued extravaganza. We just have to sort of guess.
I confess that I am getting pretty excited about the upcoming fall foliage, rather like a kid looking forward to Halloween. So I ventured out today, even though I knew it was still really too early, just to look for SIGNS that the colors were on their way. And I saw some! The first picture here is of a Japanese Maple in Bullington Gardens, just outside of Hendersonville, NC.
.Poemscapes is an audiovisual event where pictures of trees are matched with poems about trees. Word and image have been fused into a new sensual landscape of slide shows that celebrate trees in all their splendor.
On September 20, 2017 from 3 - 4pm Hendersonville Public Library will host a Poemscapes event where photographer Ruthie Rosauer will be joined by poets Kate Stockman and Carol Pearce Bjorlie. The poets will be reading tree poems aloud. Bjorlie will also play a few selections on the cello. Trees photographs will be displayed in slide shows and in prints.
Those who have seen the tree photographs have remarked, " . . .it is an ecstatic celebration of nature!" and "The photos and poems left me feeling warmly peaceful and grateful for the wonders of this world! Beautifully done!"
The library is located at 301 N. Washington St. in Hendersonville. The event is free.
Sean Smith, a reporter for the Hendersonville Times-News, wrote a lovely article about the book, "These Trees." It was published in the September 3, 2017 issue. Here is the link:
The above photograph of a Sargent Weeping Hemlock, taken at Bullington Garden in Hendersonville, NC, was the top photograph in the article. Smith did a good job of capturing my passion for trees because I am, as he quotes me, "besotted with bark." The below photograph of monkeypod bark, taken in Hawaii, is one of my top 20 favorite bark pictures.
The article also references my next event -- Poemscapes -- at the Hendersonville Public Library at 3pm on September 20. It will be a mixed media event of slides, prints, and poems about trees. Poets Kate Stockman and Carol Pearce Bjorlie will be reading their poems. I hope to see you there.
Ruthie photographs trees because she loves them.
1 - 3pm
A Walk in the Woods
423 N. Main St.
Photographer and editor Ruthie Rosauer will be on hand to autograph copies of her book, THESE TREES. The book, a compilation of 140 trees photos paired with poems, has been described as "A gorgeous book, a heart-opening photo collection."