Saturday, December 26, 2009

Close to Flood Stage

The little town of Marshall, NC escaped the flood waters the day after Christmas. This photo was taken on Blannehassett Island -- which is prone to flooding -- but like Marshall -- stayed dry. The awesome power of the water was very much on display today -- there was a constant rumbling sound as huge stones in the river bed where pushing around by the water like tiny pebbles.

The photo below was snapped just below the hydroelectric dam in Marshall - where some giant rocks stood their ground against the flood waters.

Hikes in Snow, Wind and Floods

Hiking is something I always look forward to when I come home to western North Carolina. I attempted the Rich Mountain hike on Christmas Eve, but high winds on the ridges made it extremely dangerous with dead limbs falling all around me. I turned back.

Christmas Day I stayed off the ridges and hiked the Laurel River trail that parallels the river -- the snow melt and rain the night before caused the river to flood -- so there was a constant roar as I walked the trail -- a cliff on my left -- the raging Laurel River just inches away on my right.The snow melt had created some amazing waterfalls on both sides of the river.And the plant life loved the water!
Tim-Berrrr! The beavers decided to take a break.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Desert

The Day Before Winter

As I stood on a hillside looking into a pine thicket covered with 15 inches of snow -- there was a large snapping sound -- followed by a small storm of snow rising above the trees. This scene was repeated throughout the afternoon today -- as the heavy snow kept snapping the tops out of the pine trees -- releasing an evergreen smell onto the hillside.

It smelled like Christmas.

The trees were falling in the forests, and also in the roadways -- making things doubly treacherous -- heavy snow on the roadway and downed trees in some places blocked or made roads into single lane tracks. Particularly hard-hit was Madison County, North Carolina -- where power and phone lines also snapped -- leaving thousands in Madison and nearby Buncombe County in the dark -- and in some cases -- in the freezing cold.

Below are some photos snapped today in Madison County, near Marshall, NC.