In the Forest


Koby and I headed out around 8 am to hike up in Big Sky.

Dew made the asters sparkle like gems against the soft southern light

Sourwoods are the first to go red

Oaks are turning golden

Koby and I survey the climb ahead

This time, we shag a trail up a dry creek bed

We found a rare bed of chestnut seed pods. Most american chestnuts died in a massive blight around 1905 -thanks to infected trees imported from China.

Reindeer moss grows liberally on the edges of the canopy

This is our reward for the climb. In a few more days, the mountains will be aflame with color

A blazing tree shades our rest at the summit

On the way home, we stop at the pond

The reflection on the still water is like a painting

Tiny white asters decorate the shore line

A trout swims under the leafy confetti and joins us as we walk around the pond. Tomorrow i will take him a treat

We walked back through the cathedral of trees on a well developed path

Upon our return home, we walk the creek and look forward to another perfect day


  1. Those woods are perfectly made for walking with a dog!

  2. xl: yeah - you take a walk with a cat and you end up in a witches den or a tuna processing plant. ;-)

  3. Trout the aristocrat!

    Any sight of the sweet old black Lab and lil' white feller? I still remember that moment out at the pond when the black Lab watched in wonder as Trout swam out to fetch the stick. "Oh, that's what I'm supposed to do!"

  4. Wait! That's Koby! Sheesh. She looks awfully "Trout serious" there.

  5. absolutely gorgeous. and today was a perfect day to hike. of course, some of us were trying to instill a love of art into wee ones ... sigh ...

  6. wow...
    First, let me back you up just a hair,,,
    Do you know how long I stared at that picture trying to see Trout?
    And then the pronoun sloooooowly catching up to me and saying things like...."huh?"

    That was absolutely beautiful!
    IF...and I realize it's a big "if"...but...
    IF you ever need another dog...
    I swear...I'll paint a picture of fur on me, grow a tail, and walk around on all fours....

  7. Heaven in Georgia.

    Is it wrong that I read that "tomorrow I will make of him a treat"?

    Chestnuts, precious. Grow some seedlings.

    Koby, howwwwlllllllll.

  8. "Big Sky" I know that walk and was thinking the very same thing: did you see two beautiful dogs? One older and black the other with big blue eyes?

    That hike up into the woods was one of the highlights of my visit. Watching you charge uphill into that dense forest and following you with the upmost confidence... knowing/praying you knew exactly where you were going. Amazing. Thanks.

    And Koby?? Fabulous!!!!!

  9. Glorious photos dearest chickory,I love them all, especially the greens mixed with the Fall colours,it gladdens my heart to see such beauty in Nature, what a perfect place, looking at this sacred place is a spiritual experience.
    Thank you for sharing your hike with us, I can almost hear the crack of the twigs and leaves underfoot, birds calling, feel the cool, damp morning air and the fragrance of the forest must be amazing.
    The reflection on the still water does look like a painting, I would like to run my fingers through the water in the pond.
    Koby has certainly grown, she must be a great hiking companion. :-)
    xoxoxoxo ♡

  10. Well I loved this walk in the mountains! Whoo eee I think I might have broken a sweat!

    I hate to sound alarmist but Koby looks big and brown and it is hunting season so can I suggest you get those bright orange vests for your fabulous dogs?

  11. Beautiful! But not quite ready for us just yet, I don't think;)

    If I were the impertinent sort, I'd ask a question about the possibility of your young oak being a sassafras, and your trout a largemouth bass.

    Since I am not that sort, I'll just be jealous that you got to see all that magic today and I did not...


  12. The chestnut looked like a sea urchin and the moss reminded me of coral. You certainly have an ocean in those Georgia mountains. And I want to fish in that pond.

  13. What a beautiful post! I had always heard of reindeer moss, but never seen it.
    We have the same issue with our native Dogwood trees that used to lighten the woods each Spring; more junk brought in from China, with a disease. We are losing them one by one...they were such a part of Indiana---I cannot imagine Spring without them.
    The photos are magnificent!


  14. moi: that was an amazing moment. that lab might as well have had a light bulb blink on above his head! no, i havent seen "black and blue" since our walk. I know you fell instantly in love with black, and it was hard to leave him behind. he is a good soul and i hope i do see him again.

    foamy: you know when i was teaching i was always finding excuses to take the class outside. landscape assignment? pinhole photography? something!

    boney: im sure your own beautiful landscape has turned! Grrherhahaha to the search for the OTHER trout. If you come back as a dog, what kind would you be?

    shamu: heaven in georgia is right. I wish we couldve had Koby too - but that dog is so big she fills the cabin all by herself. but what a treat she is have - Trout was mad at me and left with V.

    Boxer: im looking for new places to hike. Soon Big Sky will be off limits as houses are built and people are there full time. I can always go up to the Cohutta but then you get into planning because if anything goes wrong it could go wrong in a big way. if i see the dogs again, i will give then yours and moi's regards.

    dianne: indeed it is a sacred space. i often think that is what is wrong with so much of the modern lifestyle - rushing from place to place in cars and being too scheduled. you have to be still and quiet sometimes. and lately, ive been making myself walk barefoot after reading about absorbing the earth energy through your feet. i walk to the creek and stand on a mossy rock in the freezing cold water.

    fishy: yeah - thats a good idea. and ive thought about it. but its more likely that Trout would get shot - Koby isnt allowed to range free -ever. Im worried somebody would steal her she is so beautiful and friendly. A stranger cant even pet trout, much less take her away.

    tripp: LOL. will i know its not a sassafras - heres why: you cant tell from the photo, but those leaves have like seven lobes. the sassy has 3. and the sassy turns lemon yellow -these are going deep golden brown. looks like a common oak to me.

    on the fish - body seems too narrow for bass although that stripe is prominent and not appearing pink so i though maybe a brook trout. im not as confident here as i am on the oak but i plan to look into it. YOUR fall is the end of october first of november.

    thanks for stoppin' by!

  15. tripp: i dunno. this fish is missing that spiny front dorsal fin...ha! a fun identification challenge.

    buzz: neat observation about the ocean reflected in forest forms! Lots of people up here fish there own pond. i have a buddy who has a pond so full of fish they practically jump into your hands. (thats cheating! and is NOT zen at all)

    AHL: hey girl! great to see you - and i really enjoyed your autumn post yesterday. so sad about the dogwood. i knew about it but havent seen it here yet. but we have a hemlock crisis with the wooly adelgid. you cant prevent it, you can only treat once its happened. its very expensive. i have a big hemlock in my field thats infested. and across the creek - i see one that has already died. just a giant brown stick now.

  16. Sigh.....mebbe I will pass yore way--I'se headed up yonder fer a spell of mountain glowwwry.

    Yore pics are good as any professionals--an' the angle of view is all yor'n.

  17. Gorgeous gorgeous scenery. You are a lucky Chickie indeed. My sister just did a road trip out your way and fell in love with the Georgia/South Carolina area. Those hills make you want to hike. Unfortunately around here it is a long flat walk to nowhere. The best part of your walk? The doggy company.

  18. It's just so beautiful...what a blessing it is to live there- and to KNOW you are blessed ♥

  19. the trout,
    leafy confetti,
    reflected sky/pond surface,
    is just like escher's "three worlds" (possibly my most favorite of all of mc's works)

    i've looked but never been able to find this scene in the real -- finding a swimming fish is difficult -- you found a treasure!

    × × ×


  20. Okay,
    You wear the vest when walking Koby.

  21. How I miss the woods and the change of seasons. Beautiful photos.

  22. Sigh, such beauty. I missed my fall trip to "my" mountains, but so enjoy sharing yours. Thanks!

  23. Good evening Chickory,

    A beautiful view into a slice of your life.

    I agree with fishy. At this time of year, if walking in the woods, whether on two legs or four, bright orange is the dress of the day.

  24. Convict ghosts whisper.
    Leaves sussurate softly still.
    Banished to Eden.

  25. Love the photos of your autumn season. Looking at them, I can almost smell the crisp, damp air! Gorgeous!

  26. Sure do wish I could trade the construction noise for some of that mountain solitude! And don't mind Tripp, he can't help himself... ;)

  27. Awesome shots as always.

  28. aunty: thank you! i saw your shots. the butts were best. LOL

    Pam: yeah the great thing about the hills are the heart gets to work hard but it isnt hard on the skeleton. i gotta take care of that ol neck. but a dog to hike with is essential.

    mayden: every day a gift. dont think i dont know it. and to think, this trip i didnt have to rescue any ladybugs.

    /t: i love that one too - its the puddle in tire tracks reflecting the pine trees, right? i was shocked too at how well i can see the fish. its neat to throw out a bigger piece of bread and watch the piranha like frenzy.

  29. Fishy: you know i have a bright orange leash...

    secret pepper: i need to come see where you are living, you have no leaves?

    eggy: thats kind of like missing the transition from day to night while napping. you can never get right the rest of the evening....i think your year is shot. (just kidding) im glad you liked mine -more color now!

    karl: or i could wear the gold sequin pants! point taken and thank you!

    TROLL!!! i had to look up sussurate...beautiful and evocative...and mysterious. whatever is he saying? hmmmmm. come back. i miss you terribly.

    diva: you can smell the good earth on the air - and on the mountain you smell crisp sun air. know what i mean? warm days cool nights. very romantic.

    hey jessica! great to see you and welcome. well, you said this was your ancestral home - i just know you'll be here someday - but where you are now sounds very cool too. how are you liking the goats?

    heff: i thank you!!


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