Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Sunday, May 12, 2019
My MD son asked me last summer, during the family visit to MA, to work with my oldest granddaughter (GD) to build a Little Free Library (LFL). So, my GD and I had a design meeting. I found out she knew exactly what she wanted. Right down to shape of building, one slot for large books, and the other side two slots. One for small books and one for medium size books.
I have plenty of scrap wood at the house so we took her design and we built her Little Free Library.
After a trip to Home Depot for building supplies, my son and I tackled the build of the post. They live where the library loans tools for building things, so there was a library trip to get a post hole digger.
Putting the post in was a collaboration by both of us.
With my son at work and GD at school, I took the painted LFL and mounted it to the post, completing the project.
It’s done! Well, I anticipate my son will paint the post, but before I left for home on May 1, he had ordered and registered the MacAloney Little Free Library.
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Although I was on the Ridge Trail the hillside has a network of trails.
If you run out of gas don’t look to this pump in the woods. Once trash it now is probably an antique.
There are a couple old buildings in the woods along the trail too.
In the spring there are multiple streams but usually only one running down the hill in the summer.
This is the Patapsco River. This river and upstream locations have flooded a few times in the past years. The bent over trees indicate the height of the water.
This was a significant hike st 7.5 miles. The elevation change wasn’t bad either.
Above is the trail route that I took.
Friday, May 10, 2019
(Above is from a Google search)
(Google map capture)
As noted above we hiked the Appalachian Spur Trail up the mountain to where it intersects the Appalachian Trail.
Here we meet up with the Appalachian Trail.
We loop back down the mountain to the parking lot where we parked. There were some nice spots along the trail to make overnight camp.
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
My friend LL from NC and I were headed from Linville Gorge to Damascus, VA and we decided to check out this uniquely built church in Linville, NC.
“In the late 1880’s the town of Linville was created in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina as a resort. Several of the original buildings were designed by architect Henry Bacon, the designer of the Lincoln Memorial, and constructed of American chestnut in a simple style of natural, native materials. The last structure to be built of Bacon’s design was All Saints Episcopal Church.
Commissioned in 1910, the church was completed in 1913. It is basically a log structure laid out as a Roman cross. The roof beams of the open ceiling, the rood screen, and the altar rails are of unstripped logs and branches. The walls were covered inside and out with chestnut bark shingles. The style of All Saints Church and the other buildings by Henry Bacon became known as the "Linville Style" and is typical of the architecture in the area.”
It was built before Chestnut Blight.
“The pathogenic fungus Cryphonectria parasitica is a member of the Ascomycota taxon. It is native to South East Asia and was introduced into Europe and North America in the 1900s. The fungus spread rapidly and caused significant tree loss in both regions.” Wikipedia
Not stated here by Wikipedia is that; We have lost most of our North American Chestnut population and it is figured that we will have no more Chestnut at some point in our future.
The story about Chestnut Blight has been in the news lately. After visiting this church there was a NPR podcast on “How GMOs Might Save The American Chestnut”
You can listen to this podcast in the following link.
This proposal to save the American Chestnut doesn’t come without some controversy. Researchers supported by Monsanto have been able to genetically alter the tree species to resist the blight.
Now the question is is this the right thing to do? You decide after listening to the podcast.
From the picture above you can see the chestnut tree bark pieces for the siding.
The door has a wonderful ornate piece of hand-forged hinges.
Stained glass at the east end shines bright colors during morning services.
I’m able to get a picture of the front without the sun in the picture.
It’s things like this little church made from American Chestnut, over 100 years ago, gives beauty from choice of material and of simple design intrigue me and makes the suggestion by LL to stop to visit more than just seeing a church.
Little did we know at the time of our visit that a controversy about the future of our native Chestnut Trees was brewing.
I have to say that we all face so many issues about our environment. Animals and plants brought between continents have created many problems. In MA where I live, indigenous plants are being crowed out by invasive species. We are using up natural resources faster than ever. Pollution is ever growing and impacting us in many ways. The ice caps are melting faster than ever. Recycling is not what it should be. New UN report “One million species at risk of extinction, UN report warns” is the title by National Geographic https://www.google.com/amp/s/relay.nationalgeographic.com/proxy/distribution/public/amp/environment/2019/05/ipbes-un-biodiversity-report-warns-one-million-species-at-risk
We need to look for solutions and GMO of the Chestnut Tree is one attempt to solve the loss of one species. I listened to the arguments on both sides of the issue on the podcast. I don’t know the right answer but I do know we need to doing something to save our world for future generations.
Who would have thought that stopping at an Art inspired church would have yielded such a blog. As you can tell I listen to a lot of podcasts.
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
(Above photo from Google Maps)
After breakfast at a nice breakfast/lunch place we parked at the park next to the rail trail that cuts through town perpendicular to the north/south AT.
Here is the other mural. With less than 1000 residents the town is small, but grows for their upcoming festival.
Here is the rail trail that is multi purpose.
Sunday, May 5, 2019
My NC friend was doing a great job of forestry road navigation in my Tacoma / FWC navigation on somevery rutted roads. Some spots were so steep and although dry, I was slipping with the weight of my camper. I put it in 4x4 and climbed the hills without slipping.
The walk to the river was quite busy with others for a weekday.
If you look closely in the center of the picture above there is an orange cone. Behind it the observation platform is cluttered with debris from one point in time when there was high water.
Right after the last picture the water rushes down and around this rock.
A hike down stream and up the canyon wall you come to this view of the waterfall.
Saturday, May 4, 2019
I’ve had a mild fascination with the lower Appalachian Mountains and the Appalachian Trail (AT). I have been to the southern end of the AT to see it. I have camped at a National Park Campground in Bryson City, NC.
We went to Pisgah National Forest to hike from Table Rock to The Chimneys along the ridge. The weather had cleared and it couldn’t be better for a hike.
Above is the parking lot with Table Rock in the background. The road up here was very rough from the winter weather. 4x4 was helpful in places.
You can disburse camp on the ridge too.
The views along the hike were amazing.
Spring was everywhere with flowers lining the trail. It was nice to catch this rhododendron with table rock in the background.
Wild irises were in full bloom.
More flowers with alThe Chimneys in the background.
The views looking off into the distance made for a pleasant view.
Looking south down the Linville Gorge..
Looking north in the Linville Gorge, and the Linville River shining in the center.
Friday, May 3, 2019
Another soggy day at the SE GTG and that makes it a great day to tour a cave just south of Scottsboro, AL.
I met my oldest son and family at the Cathedral Caverns State Park in Woodville, AL. They are on vacation and we coordinated to meet here for an activity.
Of caves I have seen, this is a good cave with lots to see.
The tour takes you way into the cave and past many interesting formations.
My two granddaughters had a great time.
The concrete walkway makes thecwalk east, yet long.
There is well placed backlighting.
Plenty of pillars where stalagmites meet stalag tights.
Thousands of years of dripping.
Here are broken stalagmites. Not only broken but also shifted indicating a possible earthquake.
They call this bacon for its color.