words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

North Carolina

friday with mountains | crabtree falls | hiking for meditation

Hiking for meditation. A recent “Friday With Mountains” hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina.

Crabtree Falls is a 70 ft. cascade on Big Crabtree Creek. The creek spreads over a rock face with many small ledges, giving it a delicate appearance, before trickling into a clear pool at the base. Though there are hardly any crabtrees here now, in the spring, an impressive array of wildflowers abound on the trail, including four species of trillium. By July, ferns fill the forest and soak in the spray of the falls, with rosebay rhododendron in bloom.

The trailhead is located outside Crabtree Falls Campground at mile marker 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A trail leads to a footbridge over the creek at the base of the falls. The trailhead loop starts at the parking area just before the entrance to the campground, and is a medium to strenuous hike at just under 2.5 miles in length. The path to the falls is a rugged, downhill 0.9-mile, with a gentler 1.5-mile uphill return following Crabtree creek upstream before looping back to the parking area.

Crabtree Falls information data courtesy of Wikipedia.

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friday with mountains

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A beautiful day for hiking along the trail at Craggy Gardens off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina. This photograph was taken from a small gazebo nestled in the forest and overlooking the valley below. A tranquil setting where you can see wildflowers and blueberries that embellish the Craggy Gardens Trail.

INSPIRATION.

 


Image

a modernistic memory | grove park inn | herschel & huf | asheville nc

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your world beginning | piano and waterfalls – day 8

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For better viewing, in High Definition, please select the 720 HD setting in the tool icon.

The video “Piano and Waterfalls” continues the series “Your World Beginning”. It is an exploration of organic nostalgia i.e. a reflection of the beautiful times and places gone by. “Piano and Waterfalls” was filmed while hiking the Graveyard Fields trail to the Lower and Upper Falls located in the Balsam Mountain range in Western North Carolina. This film is of the Lower Falls which one arrives first after a short hike through the barren fields (a fire burned a large segment of the mountain range in the early 1900’s). Then the trail continues on with a more difficult hike to the Upper Falls. I shot various short segments along the way, which I will feature in a number of parts.

This video is also the first film I have produced using new software. My computer upgraded (without my consent I must say) to Windows 8.1 leaving me with an incapable AVID Studio. I loved working with AVID. And after nearly two years of using the software, I was really beginning to fine tune my use of it. I tried without success to find and install patches that would enable me to continue to use it with Windows 8.1, but with no positive results. So I just purchased the Sony Movie Studio Suite. And it is a learning curve all over again. My goal is to continue to produce quality videos that mirror the progression of my previous work. With this first attempt, I am discovering that there are some questions to the quality of the final video production as an uploaded internet movie. Formatting is a key. Especially when I am using my own video footage. This is a technical challenge, which I hope to conquer in order to create the most visually pleasing and technically diverse films possible.


Bridges

burning the bridges…

leaving the memories behind you

or following the yellow brick road

across that new bridge

the bridge of hope and beauty

and colors in transition….

Bridge

I would like to thank Sheila for inviting me to be the featured artist for the poets at dversepoets. I thought I may write a short poem as well, reflecting my thoughts for the challenge.

Peace


Winter Fog On the Blue Ridge Parkway

On a cool, brisk Sunday afternoon the fog rose along the ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains….

In 2012 I hope to explore in-depth various elements of video, video art, and video abstraction. There is a lot to process in the machinations of creativity, productivity and presentation. And it will certainly take a moment or two to master linking all the various social media outlets to accommodate the various video formats.

Some of the elements I will be working with are natural atmospheric landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes. “Winter Fog On the Blue Ridge Parkway” was filmed while ascending from Asheville, NC to the higher elevations along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The mountains here are quite beautiful, even when shrouded in mist. Hope you enjoy the piece.

http://youtu.be/41mpSmc6-d8


Finding My Way Back Home

Finding My Way Back Home….

the road I know

has left me behind

so I go

through the rain

that pours like shadows

driving to find my way back home

Gotta find my way back home


Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains 04

Mountain biking at Tsali Recreational Area in North Carolina

A photo challenge that includes mountains would not be a challenge without a difficult mountain bike to the summit. In this photograph I have just reached the top of the Right Loop at Tsali Recreational Area in North Carolina. The elevation at this point is around 5000 feet.

The popular Tsali Recreation Area has long been a top destination for mountain biking in Western North Carolina, and even the entire eastern US. Containing nearly 40 miles of trails in a system with four excellent loops, it has been rated as one of the top 10 places to ride in the USA. The area is located on a hilly peninsula reaching into beautiful Fontana Lake, at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains. The four long main trails at Tsali wind along the lake shore and onto the wooded, steep interior ridges. There are several connector trails, gravel roads and extension trails that give a few more options for rides besides the main loops. Three designated overlooks along the trails provide sweeping views of Fontana Lake with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the other side. The trails are fast, hardpacked singletrack, and they’re extremely well designed and well used.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains 03

The rocky edges of Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

Another classic view of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains 02

Waterrock Knob, North Carolina

Waterrock Knob is a mountain peak in the U.S. state of North Carolina.It is the highest peak in the Plott Balsams and is the 16th highest mountain in the Eastern United States. It is the 15th highest of the 40 mountains in North Carolina over 6000 feet.

The mountain is split by both Haywood and Jackson counties in the western mountains of the state. It is located in the Plott Balsams mountain chain between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Great Balsam Mountains. The mountain’s summit is located within the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Service unit.

The mountain is a popular destination with tourists and amateur hikers as it is easily accessible from the Parkway. A visitors center is located near its summit and a hiking trail leads to its top. The hiking trail and visitors center are manned and maintained by the National Park Service, part of the United States Department of the Interior.

This photograph was taken during a hike to the summit of the mountain. I love the view here. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a wonderful drive in which to cruise by car or bike.