Waking to a red sky is a good indicator of a tumultuous weather day ahead. The clouds flew by like time-lapsed footage. The wind was crazy strong - maybe 40 miles an hour at times. Little wind devils kicked up the golden carpet of pine needles and spun them into columns. Anxious to return to my granite outcropping on the mountain to experience the weather, I left in the shirt I slept in and yesterday's jeans. 

Trout trotted ahead and then disappeared for a time. She returns from an unexpected direction before leaving me again and I know this will be one of many reconnections throughout our separate but together journey.  I startled an owl and marveled at how silently he flew away. So big to move gracefully through a thick stand of trees and then disappear altogether. Yesterday, the big bird sighting was a pair of pileated woodpeckers hacking away high on a dying virginia pine.

A red tree caught my eye and directed me to the tiny nest it cradled.

The wind thundered like a waterfall with layers of sound from whispery evergreens and the brittle rattle of dying leaves clinging to the tips of hardwoods. ( 33 second video)

I did not expect to find this turtle way up here but later it made sense considering how much water is stored in the depressions and holes in the granite. There is also an amazing diversity of tiny plant life there too:

Back home after the hike I arranged last year's scarecrow in the trees by my driveway. It is
very halloween appropriate - the fabric is rotting off of its stick form and his stuffing is falling out.

I went back out in the late afternoon for a short walk and stood at the top of the driveway to just listen.
I could hear 3 layers of insects: one a constant hum, another a rhythmic pulse of crickets and finally the occasional chirp of yet another species. I could hear a branch rubbing against another in the wind making a mournful sound and a barking dog far away. What seems really quiet when I am not paying attention is actually very alive with sound.

When I returned it was magic hour and some of the locals decided to take advantage of the open door...

Peggy Jean!


  1. Glad you're safe and sound. We had serious wind and rain in Cincy today. It is a bit discomfitting to look out the windows from one's downtown 20th floor office and barely be able to see the skyscraper across the street. Not to mention those tornado sirens going off twice, windows leaking on the west side of the building, and two inches of water on the bottom floor. Sounds you had gentler alerts in your part of the world.

    Your studio looks like the most inviting place in the world - so glad to see a pic. And, what can I say, Peggy Jean rocks!

  2. Such glorious photos of your landscape and colourful Fall trees and foliage, the colours are beautiful
    I love the sound of the wind in the forest as it sweeps through the tree canopy and picks up the leaves from the forest floor.
    Your studio is beautiful and it looks most welcoming to any creature or person, what a pleasant place for your creativity to blossom. I like the paint finish you have used on the boards outside and inside, lovely soft colours and those pot plants either side of the door are a nice finishing touch.
    Peggy Jean looks completely at home there, she is a very pretty chick!
    xoxoxo ♡

  3. Just beautiful! I love that picture of the nest, and your visitor waiting for you! I adore your scarecrow - he is perfect. xox

  4. The studio turned out very nicely. At the back, is that a storage loft or what?

  5. I can't wait until the Girlz figure out how to get into the loft.

  6. shamy: you were so close! i discovered the granite top after the summit. grrrrrrrrr! come back -the hills are on fye -yuh!

    eggy: it was crazy rain and wind last night. I had to clean out my barn so i could park my beloved silk inside to protect her from hail. I love wind on the whips through the canyons and makes micro bursts. kinda scary but cool. i bet seeing something like that from a skyscraper is exhilarating! two inches of water on the floor? at work i hop, not your house.
    the studio is a warm cottage of creativity. i am very happy with the finished result.

    dianne: peggy jean is a pretty chick. especially now, with the others molting. Vera looks horrible. like an abuse victim. How is spring going down under? i planted a lot of bulbs last week. im really looking forward to seeing how the giant allium do!

    yoborobo: that skelly is so perfect for you! If i could box him up and ship him to you, i would. but everytime i move him, another piece falls off. and then there is the mildew.......

    xl: its a loft - its too high though. i need a ladder to store things up there. its almost pointless but i wanted the higher ceilings since its only 12x16. too small - but still cool.

    dani: I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. ~ Joseph Campbell

  7. shamy: what a horrible thought! if they got in the back of that thing i couldnt get them out. man, i gotta keep that door shut!

  8. big storms blowing
    all across and up the us

    your studio looks warm & inviting

    even to chickens!

    beautiful post, c

    × × ×


  9. Peggy Jean has decided Easter isn't the only chicken to roost inside?

    BEAUTIFUL hike you discovered. The turtle was a big surprise to see. I love the firey red leaves with the nest. Also love how it was discovered... because of your hike. And I'll tell you, your hikes aren't simple walks on paths... they are more exploration into a vast and dense wood. You are very "Trout-like." in that regard. :-)


  10. How much do you have to pay these animals to pose in these pictures ? Or are they just camera hogs ?

    Btw - Heff will post again this Friday, AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT, LOL !

  11. Fabulous post.
    I am thinking the storms on your mountain swooped East to these Carolinas. I am surprised you did not bring the turtle home to Chickory as you seem to enjoy a variety of species around you at all times.

    Your insect orchestra sounds very, very Southern to these ears. How do you keep them out of your studio?

  12. Good grief; not another house cheekon! We're going to come back next time and discover you covered in feathers, clucking.

    You must have been getting some of what blew through here two days ago: gale force winds up to 70mph. I actually really hate wind. It makes the dogs über alertful and works my every last nerve raw.

  13. the colors have been absolutely amazing, haven't they?
    i went walking recently and came across some quail. i was so startled but i managed to get some photos. oddly they didn't run away immediately since i had my dog with me. i think my dog would get along with chickens since she completely ignored the quail. odd, huh? however, those tree rats are another story.
    yeah, we had the winds, the rain. your video does convey that.
    i don't mind the wind unless it approaches hurrican strength or brings tornadoes. i hate a torrential downpour though ..

  14. Oh how I miss this living in Florida. The photo with the nest is breathtaking...Peggy Jean...I LOVE her!

  15. You have such an extraordinary ability to capture beauty, of the natural kind and the man-made. I'm thinking, though, about that scarecrow. Maybe I'm reading a bit much into it, but it looks to me like the ghost of a Confederate soldier:-)

  16. when did'ja say mah room would be ready?

    Chile Dawg, I can see ya on that granite perch in mah mind's eye...and from far below some hiker lookin' up wil ask hisself, "What sort of creature is that girly bird up thar'?"

  17. /t: crazy weather fall. i like it! How did you fare? the grill blew over, right?

    boxer: well i showed you a little bit of the granite...but then i started exploring further and found the mega view of all time!!!! the chickens have gotten out of control. ive had to get harsh on them - kicking them off the porch all day. gah!

    heff: i pay these freeloaders in a ton of feed and treats. they owe me!! the chicks need to be glad i didnt fashion an outfit for them. Yay about the bar

    fishy: you cant take a turtle. it would disorient him and take him from his family. i move them off the street though every time one is in the middle.

  18. moi: are you born in the year of the horse? horses dont like wind, but i think dogs like it. oh those chicks...or as V calls them, the shitresses.

    foamy: one of the best falls ever. brilliant skies, vibrant leaf colors. and the best hiking EVER. glad you are out enjoying it - hows the back?

    Pepper: Peggy jean is loveable....easter is the friendliest. thats boxer's chicken though. for some reason, she failed to take her home. too bad about florida..i was raised in north florida...there is a fall season, but its subtle.

    xdell: oh these hills are full of them...soldiers, indians....this was last years scarecrow i through in the woods to rot just for this purpose. glad you enjoyed your visit here. it was a treat to see your name blink up.

    aunty belle: c'mon now. you know you can have the creekside room anytime. :-)


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