Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Take Me Home, Country Roads

Tennessee is widely known for many factors.  We're the Home of Country Music and the Great Smoky Mountains; the Tennessee Titans and Elvis Presley's Graceland.  Three US presidents have called Tennessee home, along with notables Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, Casey Jones and Alex Haley, and the great Cherokee Sequoyah.  We have the only full-scale replica of the Parthenon on Earth as well as the world's largest artificial skiing area.  Our Reelfoot Lake was created by the largest earthquake in American history, and within the walls of the State Capital Building in Nashville lies the body of its architect, William Strickland.

Really.  I wouldn't make up something like that.

Yes, we're a famous state.  So many celebrities, past and present have been born here: Aretha Franklin, Betty Page, Dolly Parton,  Miley Cyrus, Dixie Carter, Dinah Shore, Greg Allman, Tina Turner, Kathy Bates, Morgan Freeman, Justin Timberlake, George Hamilton...the list goes on and on.

We're also the third highest state in obesity rank, but we're not gonna go there.

One thing we're NOT known for, though, is snow.  And yet, for two consecutive winters, we have been inundated with the white stuff.

Hazardous?  Yes.  Inconvenient?  Check.  Beautiful?  You betcha.

Illness kept me indoors during most of the snows: flu, bronchitis, and severe kidney infections.  During those days of confinement we had deep snows and bright sunny days.  I stepped out the back door and got this shot...

 ...and the front door to get this one...

But the days I actually felt like getting out and about were dark and dismal.

Still, though, there's something enchanting about some of the photos.  Maybe it's the near black and white aspect, some with just a hint of color.  Or maybe it's just the subject matter - how can you go wrong when your world is wrapped in a fluffy blanket of snow?

I drove through the countryside, sometimes getting shots directly through my filthy car windows, as I did in this one.  I had no idea where the road would take me, but I was mesmerized by the tangled white tunnel overhead and followed it deeper...

...past old barns...

...and modest farmhouses, optimistic with wicker chairs on the porch.

 I passed ramshackle old sheds...

...and new barns on prosperous ranches.

These ducks were hilarious.  Every time the gray duck took a step forward, the duck on the ramp would stick her neck out and squawk.  I think she didn't want wet webbed footprints on her freshly waxed floor.

Mother and child were in no mood for company, so I moved on.

I drove slowly, savoring each frosted tree, every frozen vine.

Old barns fascinate me, and I loved the interplay of solid roof and open beams on this one.

Ah, the simple life.

These horses dined outdoors in the cold...

...while this one enjoyed the finest accommodations of the day.

The road looked promising, but a bit too treacherous for me, so I reluctantly headed home.

Yes, it was beautiful, but like this little bluebird, I'm just waiting for the last bit to melt.

Winter be gone, I will have no more of thee!


  1. What wonderful pictures. You capture the scenes of winter beautifully. I love the pictures of the barns. I find them interesting also.

  2. I hear ya loud and clear sister!!! It's been the winter that never ends. We usually get great breaks in the weather between the winter storms but this year we've been smacked with one right on the tails of another. Yep...Spring...come on down!!!

    Your pictures are just amazing girl. (She says turnin' and ugly shade of jealously green)

    I sure hope your feelin' your old perky self, I hate to hear you've been under the weather.

    God bless ya sweetie and have an amazin' day!!! :o)

  3. glad you got out when you could so we could enjoy the beautiful all the snow dressed trees and the horses too...TN is a lovely place, my wife being from Bristol, I know...smiles.

  4. I love your photos of the snow. They remind me of its beauty. We get so much of it, so often, and for so long that we don't take the time to apprciate it.!

  5. NICE shots!! I've been enjoying the snow. I miss the four distinct seasons we had in MO.

  6. These are some beautiful photos. I especially love the bluebird. My hubby and I are from Indiana, but we almost think of Tennessee as our second home. We've been visiting the Smoky Mountains a couple of times a year since 1990. I think you've had as much snow as we have this winter (maybe more).

  7. Ahhh.. you never fail to entertain. What a beautiful series of photos. I love the barns and the critters you encountered, and your snow-covered trees. So lovely, each and every one of them. And a John Denver song running through my head to boot.

  8. Your photos get better and better - and I'll repeat what I've said many times, that you need to publish them somehow, like on a calendar or greeting cards! You won't be working at the post office forever, and this could be your ace in the hole - along with publishing all your wonderful stories! (Hope you're feeling better.)

  9. Hope you are now fully recovered!

    All these photos are masterpieces - absolutely stunning!

  10. I do hope you are feeling better my friend. I loved this post, I enjoyed your beautiful pictures, you do live in a beautiful State.

  11. we have broken snow and cold records this winter
    it is beautiful though
    I always wish it would fall and then melt :)

    your photos are majestic!!
    I love them all but the critters really made me smile

    thanks for visiting my brides post

  12. I'm glad you were feeling good enough to get and take these pictures, I have really missed your photos. It's funny how someone else's snow pictures look so great....we had about 10 inches yesterday and it's not looking too perty to me.

  13. As always ...I love your photography! I am SO sick of snow...but you captured it in such a beautiful way!

  14. Goodness, those are so beautiful shots. Love that old barn shot next to the road, with the splash of deep red. Hope you are feeling all better by now!

  15. Hi! Been awhile since I visited! You make me want to quit my all consuming job and just go out and take more pictures!

  16. The first one fo the road with the tunnel of trees is a framer. SO beautiful!

  17. I enjoyed these photos very much - glad you ventured outside to treat us. We have had our fare share of snow this winter - with more on the way I am told. Yes, "Winter be gone" - agree with that.
    You certainly have your fare share of celebrities on Tennesee.
    Hope your health is greatly improved.
    Eddie's feet send their regards to Ethel's feet LOL.
    See ya ~ Eddie

  18. I'm the same way.

    I am fascinated with old barns. We live in Wisconsin, and there are so many old barns JUST BARELY standing.

    I know, the next gust of wind, and they're gone.

    It's so money to spend to repair them, I guess.

    But, what an idyllic sight they make.

    These photos were LOVELY. Thank you.

  19. Those are some amazing pictures! I had no idea some of those people were born in Tennessee! One big name you forgot: Reese Witherspoon.

  20. That's how it is, first they can't get enough of the beautiful stuff, then they want it gone.

    I know just how you feel, I certainly don't want it back now that tiny little daffodils are sticking their heads above ground. We have deep snow every year for a few weeks and everybody complains.

    Lovely pictures of your snowy landscape. Keep them safe in case you don't get any snow next year.

  21. Just found your blog and know I'll be back! The beautiful photos are breathtaking! I love old barns-have taken so many pics of them in Maine-New Hampshire and Vermont! Be well!

  22. Your photos are suitable for framing....just gorgeous. In Michigan we are used to the white stuff and most of us are not fond of it unless its Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I did not know that Tennessee received so much snow! And even though I don't care for the white stuff, it is beautiful when its fresh. Tennessee is certainly one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Hope you're substantially on the road to recovery for good!

  23. Thank you for sharing this lovely ride along country roads!

    Congratulations on winning the Post of the Week Award,
    well earned! :-)

  24. Beautiful! But, I can totally understand the need for Spring. I love looking outside when it snows, everything looks so crisp and clean, but in reality it's cold, wet and messy, so I'm usually thankful when better weather comes along.

  25. Exceptional photos and I LOVE that one with the horse sticking his head out the window!! :-)

    Congrats on POTW photography ~ well deserved!

  26. Hopefully your beautiful snow will melt soon! I love Tennessee, actually got engaged in Nashville so it's very special to me. Congrats on your POTW. I love your photos, especially the ducks! :)

  27. There is a special beauty to be found with snow and ice.We get lots so it finally gets old, melts, and then you miss it a bit.

  28. Lovely pictures all, but the winter road with the "tangled white tunnel overhead" made me long to be there, too.

  29. Very beautiful, Ethel. I loved the one of the Duck, too. Swearing in Duckese, she was! Plus, it's made all the more amusing to me because it looks a bit like a dog house. So she seems to be a duck with an identity crisis.

  30. These are beautiful! That's the trade off for having to drive in it. :)

  31. Well, first of all, congratulations on your Post of the Week. The snow photos are stunning! I love snow photos...I just don't like being in the snow - ha!

    Okay, am I the only one who noticed that "other not so beautiful photo"? Is there some sort of virus on my computer? Am I seeing things? What's the deal, here?

  32. We're neighbors, you know. I'm pretty sure I recognize one of the houses in your pictures in this post! I love the horse head sticking out of the barn!


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