Random (but not really)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls

Since we were already in the area, we decided to stop by Blackwater Falls and see what the heavy rainfall was producing.

It produced a lot of water going over the falls and down the river.

We didn’t hike any full trails, just wandered out to spots that I knew would be pretty.

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Written by Michelle at 8:59 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley

I really like the Blackwater Trail at Cannan Valley SP. It’s a very short trail, with almost no elevation gain, but it goes through three different kinds of landscape–the prettiest of which is beside the winding Blackwater River. If you’re looking for a trail to take small kids, this is the one you want.

Location: Canaan Valley State Park
Trail: Blackwater Trail
Distance: 1.0 miles
Elevation: 3213-3275 feet

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Written by Michelle at 8:52 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hiking WV: Dolly Sods

We managed to spent the night in Canaan, so we took a long hike at Dolly Sods (most of our Saturday hikes are limited by the fact we have to drive 2-3 hours there and then 2-3 hours home after hiking). So it was nice to know that we could have until we were tired and not have to worry about a long drive afterwards.

Location: Dolly Sods
Trails: Valley View, Rocky Ridge, Raven Ridge, Bear Rocks Trails
Distance: 11.0 miles
Elevation: 3817-4198 feet (1447 feet ascent)

I took about a zillion pictures, because the Dolly Sods area is gorgeous.

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Written by Michelle at 7:49 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday Flower Pr0n

More day lilies are blooming! Hooray!

Why yes, I really do have many different cultivars of day lilies! (This doesn’t include the lemon lilies we got from Michael’s grandmother that bloom in early spring, and the Stella D’Oros that will bloom repeatedly.)

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Some of these can probably be split. If anyone is interested, let me know–assuming I can be bothered to split them this year. O.o

Written by Michelle at 8:59 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday Flower Pr0n

My day lilies are blooming! Unfortunately they’re kinda beat up. But the balloon flower and hostas look nice!

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Written by Michelle at 7:03 pm      Comments (5)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,House & Garden,Photos  

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Flower Pr0n

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Written by Michelle at 6:56 pm      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Rhododendron, Mont Chateau, Clay Run, and Unofficial Trails
Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation: 1510-2126 feet (800 feet elevation gain)
Temperature: 80-85 F

Last week’s rock sculpture was still there!

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So I added a new one, to a newly fallen tree.

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It’s just so lovely and peaceful.

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Written by Michelle at 5:46 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,West Virginia  

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Hiking WV: North Bend State Park

Every other place I’ve been, a trail named “Nature Trail” is about a quarter of a mile long, extremely flat (if not paved) and frequently has interpretive signs.

This was not your average nature trail.

Location: North Bend State Park
Trail: Nature Trail
Distance: 4.3 miles
Elevation: 708-1183 feet (875 feet total ascent)
Temperature: 79-85 F

I’m not saying this was anything like last week’s trail with a 24% grade. Just that this was a 4 mile trail that had significant elevation gain (although with switchbacks, not straight up!). This trail went through the entire park, which means that most of it was quiet and peaceful, except for the bits that went through the campground, near the swimming pool, and along the picnic area. Those parts were loud and populated. But for a loop it was an easy price to pay.

At the top of the trail, we saw the remains of a very old fence.

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These original state park trail signs are getting rarer. I particularly like the descriptiveness of this one.

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Found an old cemetery.

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Very old, since these were the only grave markers we could find.

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We also took a brief stroll on the North Bend Rail trail.

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These little spaces were built every few feet into the tunnel. For someone to escape into if they were caught in a tunnel when the train came through.

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Written by Michelle at 8:58 pm      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Decay

I have long had a fascination with decay. If there is a decaying building, I want to go look at it.

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If there is a decaying machine, I want to examine all the parts.

Park of Decay

If there is a building being torn down, I want to examine the ruins and see the normally hidden bits exposed.

Sunnyside Deconstruction

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In cemeteries I’m drawn to the oldest tombstones, the ones that are broken or can no longer be read.

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When we hike, I am always delighted to come across some long abandoned sign of human habitation, lost in the forest.

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I love taking pictures of these things so I can look at them later, and see bits that aren’t always visible at a quick glance.

This means that I find West Virginia an endlessly fascinating place. As we drive along two lane back roads, full of switch backs and steep grades, we continually pass houses and barns and buildings that are falling down.

However, I also find this terribly heart-breaking. Because, you see, some of those houses I see falling apart are still being lived in. Or they are next to an old trailer that is obviously inhabited.

These buildings are not just the past coming into the future, but are the past that still remains someone’s present.

So I almost never stop and take pictures of these buildings, because it feels terribly rude–because I am looking not at the interesting structures but at someone’s poverty. No matter how much I want to explore, I keep in mind that my fascination is of someone’s struggle.

I sometimes wish I weren’t so awkward and afraid of approaching strangers, because I would love to hear the stories some of these people might have, and to photograph them with the things they love and what they have and hold dear. But here in WV, we’re had too many people making fun of us, of our poverty, of accusing us of being backwards. I wouldn’t know how to convince a stranger that I photograph WV because I love it, and I love the character to be found in things that are struggling to stay upright.

So instead I’ll just stare as we go past, wondering about the stories, and wondering how long until these places are taken back by the woods.

Written by Michelle at 9:08 pm      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Flower Pr0n, Part the Second: Around the House

I slacked on taking pictures of the spring flowers around my house, but here’s what’s blooming today!

My lavender is blooming like crazy this year! Anyone want some?

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Stella D’Oro daylily

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In addition to my herb garden, I’ve got planters of a few vegetables this year.

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For the first time in several years, my hydrangea bloomed! Yay!

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Written by Michelle at 7:21 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,House & Garden,Photos  
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