Lens-Artists #105: Spring

This July “Seasons” will be the theme for the entire month with a different season featured each week. This week the challenge is “Spring”. For me, spring is best represented by the vibrant colors of flowers.

Here in coastal Georgia I know it is spring when the azaleas, dogwoods and fruit trees are blooming.

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Spring Azaleas
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Spring Dogwood Bloom
Peach Blossoms in Georgia
Peach Blossoms in Georgia

Spring is a beautiful time for a road trip. In Texas, fields are filled with the bluebonnets and other brightly colored wildflowers.

Bluebonnets near Stonewall, Texas
Bluebonnets near Stonewall, Texas
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Boots and Bluebonnets in Texas
Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush along Park Road 4
Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush along Park Road 4

The spring blossoms in the Blue Ridge Mountains add bright colors to the landscape.

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Flame Azaleas on the Blue Ridge Parkway
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Wild Rhododendron along the Blue Ridge Parkway
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Eastern Redbud at rest area in Western North Carolina

Tina, thank you for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Spring

February Wildflowers in North Florida

The calendar said February but the flowers said spring!

As we wandered along the trails of Silver Springs State Park and O’Leno State park in north Florida this February, wildflowers added a pop of color to the lush green forest around us.

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Wild Azaleas at O’Leno State Park, FL

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Carolina Jasmine along the swamp trail in Silver Springs State Park

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Pickerel Weed in the Silver River

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Wild Dogwood blooms in O’Leno State Park

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Can you identify this Florida Wildflower seen near the Ichetucknee River?

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The Wild Dogwoods were in full bloom at O’Leno State Park

Happy spring!

Spring Flowers and the Suwannee River

It’s been two years since our last visit to Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs. During that stay we did a lot of exploring around the park, the town of White Springs, and nearby Big Shoals State Park. I posted about those adventures at  Way Down upon the Suwannee River.

We returned to the park this February. The carillon tower is a focal point in the park and one of my favorite things about being there is hearing the the bells from the carillon chime on the quarter hour and hearing Stephen Foster’s music throughout the day.  Unfortunately, the carillon wasn’t working this year.

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The carillon at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center

We didn’t visit the museum on this trip but there are interesting exhibits about Stephen Foster and his many songs.

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Stephen Foster Museum

Even though it was only February there were some beautiful spring blooms. Gotta love Florida!

One day we took a drive to Suwanee River State Park near Live Oak to check it out. High on the banks above the Suwanee River, we enjoyed a walk on an easy trail to the confluence of the Suwanee and Withlacoochee Rivers. Beside the trail were relics from riverboats that once traveled up and down the river.

We enjoyed wonderful views from an overlook at the confluence of the two rivers.

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Confluence of Suwanee and Withlacoochee Rivers

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Bridges over the Suwanee River

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Withlacoochee River

After our walk we sat on a wooden swing overlooking the Suwanee River enjoying a picnic lunch. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – North Carolina

State 30:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state in my series is

North Carolina

North Carolina became the 12th state on November 21, 1789. The capital is Raleigh.

From the Great Smokey Mountains to the Outer Banks, there is a lot to explore in North Carolina. Waterfalls and beaches, hikes and scenic drives, mountains and racetracks, wildlife and wildflowers  –  these are just a few of the things that make North Carolina memorable.

Back before our RVing days we wandered around the Outer Banks seeing the lighthouses and beaches, visiting the Wright Brothers Monument where they took their first flight, and taking the ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke.  Another ferry took us from Ocracoke back to the mainland where we visited Bath where the pirate Blackbeard once lived.

If you love waterfalls, you won’t be disappointed in North Carolina.

It doesn’t get any better than a campsite with a beautiful view. Our campsite at Campfire Lodgings in Asheville was perfect for hanging out after hiking or touring the fabulous Biltmore Estate.

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Blondie taking a break at our campsite at Campfire Lodgings in Asheville

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Biltmore Estate in Asheville

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Sunset at Campfire Lodgings in Asheville

I felt as if I had gone back in time to Mayberry as we wandered around Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy.

We ended our tour of the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the winner’s circle.

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In the Winner’s Circle at Charlotte Motor Speedway

One of the hikes we made was on Whiteside Mountain in the Nantahala National Forest.

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Whiteside Mountain in Nantahala National Forest

Whether it’s the leaves showing their fall colors or the flowers showing their brilliant blooms, the vibrant colors of the North Carolina mountains change with the seasons.

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Fall Colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway

We explored Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mingus Mill in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park near Cherokee.

And if it’s wildlife you’re looking for, try visiting in the fall where you might see the bugling elk in Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri     Montana     Nebraska     Nevada      New Hampshire     New Mexico      New York

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Nebraska

State 25:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Nebraska

Nebraska became the 37th state on March 1, 1867. The capital is Lincoln.

When I was a child, my family lived in Lincoln, Nebraska for a few years. We moved after I finished the first grade and all I remember is that I walked to school at the end of our street and that it snowed a lot in the winter.

Nebraska is one of the states many people drive through on their way somewhere else and we are among those who did just that. As we drove across the interstate in Nebraska we learned why it is one of the Great Plains states. There were fields of of corn and other crops as far as the eye could see. Road weary after almost two months on the road on our very first cross country RV trip, we stopped for a quick overnight stop at a campground next to the interstate.

As we drove along, fields of sunflowers added color to the green of the crops.

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20060904Nebraska-(5)To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri     Montana