Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Anakeesta

Last summer a new attraction opened up in Gatlinburg: Anakeesta - a Cherokee word meaning "Place of Balsams". My friend and I went in October. It's located right across the Parkway from the Aquarium - but that's just the entrance way. The actual place is up on top of Anakeesta Mountain. You get there by riding a chair lift; they have gondolas for those who need or want them. I'd advise you to take one if you're nervous about heights, because you're pretty much out in the open - and every time they load a gondola, the chairs just stop and swing. I loved it - worth the price by itself - but others may not.

The top is still a work in progress. Eventually they'll have cabins and tree houses for overnight stays, and a single-track alpine coaster. Now they've got zip lines - all the way down the mountain, with rappelling from tower to tower -, a Memorial Walk for the 2016 fire, and several shops and places to eat. The big attraction is the Canopy Walk (though it's not quite canopy level) - a boardwalk suspended high above the ground. Just beautiful - and I bet it's breathtaking when the fall colors peak (which they never really did in 2017). I really enjoyed it, and will go back.


Riding up - gondolas coming down (they have 8 gondolas and 142 chairs)




Looking down from the chair


Cutie welcoming you to the top


The Memorial Forest Walk



Map of the fire


One of the photo stations



In the center of the loop


The entrance to the Canopy Walk




Burnt trees along the walk way



Oooooo! Spectacular color!


Zipliner going down the mountain


Riding down




One of the things about that fire was that it moved so fast, many trees were left alive, though partially burnt.

Me on the walk

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Get out! Get out!

Very early this morning, I heard an American crow harassing something. It turned out to be a Turkey vulture who was just waiting for the sun to warm up the air. Eventually he flew away.

Interestingly, crows don't generally harass vultures, only raptors like hawks, owls, and eagles. And this crow was the only one involved, though several others were around - one in the next tree over.





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A few birds

Some birds, some in the Japanese maple outside the kitchen window and some out in the back woods.

Blue jay


Male Northern cardinal

Two male and one female Northern cardinal


A Carolina chickadee working on a seed


Two shots of a lovely little female House finch



And the male House finch


A couple of Tufted titmice


This one has a bit of peanut


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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Impressive

This is a Green heron. But still: point made.


Goslings look less fierce but no less prehistoric, by the way.

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At 6:11 AM, January 22, 2018 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

I was thinking more of THIS ;-)
https://ih1.redbubble.net/image.328890691.2858/mp,550x550,matte,ffffff,t.3u1.jpg

 

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Nice try but no

One might have a good discussion about just which vowel is in Pyeongchang's first syllable, though most sources agree it's /ʌ/ (the vowel in 'mud').  But I believe we can all agree that this is just plain wrong, and weird, especially given their transcription of 'taekwondo' later in the article. And what happened to the NG, /ŋ/? Usually it's /pʰjʌŋtɕʰaŋ/ or /ˌpjʌŋˈtʃæŋ/), NG in both syllables. This is just weird.


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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Snowbirds


We got snow today. Actually, we are getting snow - it's still coming down as I type. Here are a few of the birds who came by.

A Tufted titmouse at the heated bird bath

A Brown thrasher

A pair of well-insulated Mourning doves

Three Northern cardinals

A male Eastern towhee...

... and his mate, accompanied by a White-throated sparrow

Northern mockingbird

Another White-throated sparrow and another Tufted titmouse

A male House finch

Eight male Northern cardinals and at least five females

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