True Love’s Falling

In the midst of cold, wet, dreary weather, I spent most of my weekend trying to console one of my characters, Cody, with his loss (by working diligently to finally put a large portion of this manuscript together). Meanwhile – in the real world – one of my best friends spent the weekend caring for her elderly aunt in her final hours while trying to console her family over the loss she was sharing.

I came into work this morning feeling particularly melancholy (probably because it’s still cold and wet and especially dreary, being a Monday and all). I had (took?) a few spare moments to pen these thoughts as they came to mind.

I’m sure my poem could use some work, but I hope it brings comforting thoughts to those who need them today. Blessings. -j

True Love’s Falling


Here is it in print form only, for those who might have trouble reading it in its “artsy-fartsy” form:


True Love’s Falling


Don’t let the sun set on your tomorrows

Though darkness may cloud your todays

Our falls always take us to sorrows

In due course,

Cold months surrender to Mays


The day’s sun approaching future horizons

You haven’t yet stepped out to greet

All of life’s best and mesmerizing surprises

In God’s time,

Will remove your false sense of incomplete


Breathe deeply the crisp wind that’s blowing

Take hope in all future renewals

Cleanse your heart in solely knowing…

Set love shines more brightly

Than all polished jewels



Related Link:  Rolling River

Coker Creek & Conasauga Falls October Hike

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Directions from Chattanooga area:
Coker Creek Falls (about 7 or so in the series) & Conasauga Falls are up near Tellico, but Coker Creek trailhead is tricky to find. Go up 411 through Benton & Etowah, turn right toward Tellico, find the Coker Creek Welcome Ctr, pass it on the left on 68, go to Ironsburg Rd on Rt, Duckett Ridge on Lt (only marked with a #2 on post), follow the gravel access road to the sign in on the left, continue until parking at the trailhead. Trail is supposed to be 6 miles – wasn’t cleared all the way, but you’ll have access down the creek for plenty of falls. You can catch Conasauga Falls by road sign on your way out (another gravel access road off 68 – 3 miles to trailhead) – quick hike in. Short Day Hikes with big rewards. (Stop at the switchbacks if you don’t like climbs.)

P.S. I also caught another example of light refraction (did you spot it?), which was the theme for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge.

Related Post: The Conasauga River (not to be confused with the Conasauga Creek, where Conasauga Falls is). Here’s also a good link that explains some of the geographical & name differences & similarities – Namesake: Conasauga Falls


Walking on Water

Last week, we were up on Bays Mountain in northeast Tennessee, hiking around the reservoir.

Much to my chagrin (which didn’t last long because I was enjoying the crisp air & colorful beauty too much), I didn’t have my Nikon with me.

Regardless, I happen to live in this wonderful technological age where I can pull an i-magic box from my back pocket and still share some of my glimpses with others. (All are unedited phonography.)

Here was the first event that pulled me to the water’s edge.

Because of the loss of resolution in my zoom function, my i-art looks a little Monet-ish.
But those of you who remember the Tennessee artist Ben Hampton will appreciate that I’ve added some of his artistic flair (a piece of wildlife that blends into the imagery). Did you spot it right off the bat? (No, sorry,didn’t mean to mislead you – it’s NOT a bat…)


A coot in the lily pads

Here’s a broader view of the lily pads with brighter fall plumage on the opposite bank’s trees than on our silly little coot.


And here’s our first crossing over the reservoir. It was awesome to walk across a field of lily pads!


Here are a couple of other great shots of crossing more lily pad mines – exploding with fall’s magnificence!

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On the way out, we spotted a funky little fungus (or maybe just a fun guy – get it? Fungi. If you pronounce it with the j sound, you won’t get it…) He’d artistically blanketed himself with contrasting & complementary colors for his photo op.


More proof that nature has great taste! (No, um, I wouldn’t suggest eating him.)

Falling for fall again, -jody

Refocusing on Perfection (and other less haughty goals)

Knowing how inconsistent I’ve been in the blogging community this year, I thought I’d better try to get my creative cap back on – even if I’ve managed to lose all of my writing communities and what little bit of interest I might have gained from blogging friends that I appear to have “dumped.”

I had gotten so deep into an intense scientific style of writing, in finishing out my dissertation, that my creativity (and time) felt otherwise pushed to the edge. So, here’s a warm up, as I’m hoping to get back to my other writing projects soon that have gathered lots of dust on the shelf.

I’m including a poem of dichotomy that played through my mind this morning, as well as a couple of images that were sitting on my iPhone (since I haven’t had time to get out and explore the trails with a decent camera in hand lately).

Okay, enough with the excuses…

dichotomous blaze

Dichotomous Blaze













Refocusing on Perfection
© jody love, 2014

My head rolled up slowly, my focus adjusting on you.
You were close – so very close.
You took my breath.
Our legs circled and entwined.
Your head turned away.
You sighed in contentment.
I closed my eyes and wondered.

In the vastness of this world
What were the chances of running into you?
I realized how perfect this all was.


My head snapped up sharply, my focus adjusting on you.
You were down the aisle – so far away.
You took my breath.
Our legs rotated in double-time.
Your head turned away.
I sighed in anguish.
I changed my path and wondered.

In the vastness of this world
What were the chances of running into you?
I realized this was all just…Perfect.

Evening Sunset in Bloom

Evening Sunset in Bloom

Ese’s Shoot & Quote Challenge: My Outdoor Appalachian Obsession

The lovely Ese has issued another Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge:

Prompt 10 – OBSESSION

I only have one obsession – not to be boring. -M.Hazanavicius

Were I to re-quote this in my own words, I might possibly say, “I only have one obsession…not to be bored!” Haha!

And I never find the beauty in my part of the world boring. I love my mountains especially, and am blessed to have them stretching out before me from the time I’m stretching out of bed in the morning. To climb to the top of one of them is like reaching for a tiny piece of my own personal heaven. No, they’re not the sharp peaks found in other parts of the world or even other parts of my country. You can have your sharp, treacherous high sky rises. I’ll continue to be respectful of my elderly mountains – the rolling Appalachians, patiently meandering along the border of my world in an ever-inviting southern fashion.

Yesterday, I hiked to one of the highest summits we have, named Mount LeConte. It’s always amazing to me how different the experience, depending on the trail(s) selected and the time of year. This being October, it was crisp and cool and colorful. My last trip up was in January, where we ran into 12-18″ of snow as we ascended, along with a miserable, cutting wind and no visualization (and a need to reroute quickly via the cables down the icy Alum Cave trail, due to a nasty unanticipated snowstorm). Not so yesterday. The view was spectacular – at least until the Smokies decided they needed to live up to their name once more. We came out about an hour and a half after sunset this time, simply because I couldn’t bear to leave the summit once we’d arrived, knowing I wouldn’t be back for another fabulous fall season for at least another year.

Friday Fictioneers – The Fall

A fabulous Friday to all! I’m beginning mine with…

THE FRIDAY FICTIONEERS CHALLENGE: Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going over or under the word count.)

This is my first time participating in Friday Fictioneers, but if I’m interpreting the prompt correctly (beyond the challenge rules stated above), it should be 100 words and should also use the image (which I’ve included through its Web link) along with the worded challenge prompt.

(Note: I’ve kept my entry to 100 words exactly because being ostrich-sized isn’t something I’m willing to chance…)

Image Copyright: Janet Webb

Used to be I didn’t see her much once I left home – just the obligatory holidays; then droppin’ the kids off for a week or so every summer. Those years flew by. Now I’m comin’ every spring to paint that fence I put up, just to keep her from wanderin’ over that way – at least in body, as I can’t stop her mind from goin’ back to her childhood over there daily. Fall’s comin’. No gettin’ around havin’ to clear out those weeds that always threaten to choke the life outta’ what’s been erected and break our deal.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

I live in the Southeastern foothills of the Appalachian mountain range. We’ve come to expect that holiday temps are a crap-shoot. Christmas may even bring us some balmy 70-degree weather on occasion (though, last year, we all woke up to the thrill of a rare Christmas snowfall that had stuck to the ground!).

Contrary to popular mythical belief, Southerners can & do drive on snow. (We just usually don't get an opportunity. Our hilly, curvy, mountainous roads are more commonly covered with sheets of frozen rain during winter conditions.)

Contrary to popular mythical belief, Southerners can & do drive on snow. (We just usually don’t get an opportunity. Our hilly, curvy, mountainous roads are more commonly covered with sheets of frozen rain during winter conditions.)

Here’s a photo of the more common conditions in our area at this time of year (photo below was taken exactly 2 weeks ago & I was hiking in very similar conditions yesterday). By the calendar, fall technically goes until around December 20, and our area holds onto it for at least that long. As you can see, we have very seasonal end-of-fall-like conditions, with most of the leaves serving as ground cover…

The leaves make a beautiful fall carpet in our area; but when temps have remained around a temperate 70 degrees, hikers in our area need to remember that copperheads come out & blend in well with this ground cover.

The leaves make a beautiful fall carpet in our area; but when the weather has remained around a temperate 70 degrees, hikers in our area need to remember that copperheads come out & blend in well with this ground cover.

…except for the rhododendron and mountain laurel, which will grow quite large in our forested areas and will remain green throughout the year.

Fall 2012

This mountain laurel and/or rhododendron framed this lovely creek setting well on my recent hike. I’m blessed that creeks like this are abundant in our area.

If you’d like to try to figure out which is the laurel & which is the wild rhododendron, here’s a little article to help you along  (but good luck in our area at this time of year, when they’re not blooming).

One last little capture. Here’s one of my summertime lilies (I chose it because it said it bloomed from Spring to early Fall – and I like to get lots of “bang for my buck”). Please don’t ask me to name this lily – because the best I’d be able to do is say “Doris” (she just looks like a Doris to me) – but feel free to tell the rest of us if you know what it is. Anyway, “Doris” bloomed bright fuchsia pink for me all summer long, then her blooms faded away. I walked out the other day to discover she’s apparently gotten into the Christmas spirit, sneaking in some dark red blooms to match her seasonal green foliage. Tis the season for Doris too, I suppose.

Doris getting into the Christmas season.

Doris getting into the Christmas season spirit.

So what kind of weather are you expecting for Christmas this year?

To check out others getting into the Christmas seasonal change, follow this link.

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Peaceful

Foggy, Flirty Foothill Frollicking

on a Peaceful Fall Morn

Peaceful Foggy Fall MorningThe sun was coming out & burning off the fog early one morning a couple of weeks ago

& was (just barely) no longer masking my equine friends’ flirty exchange

in their Appalachian foothill pasture.


I’m participating in the online adventure travel magazine’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggers. This week’s Challenge is: Peaceful!

You can follow the link to: (a) vote for my photo via reply;

(b) vote for any other photos (instead of or in addition to mine) via reply;

(c) enter your very own photo (and, heck, you can even vote for it too) 😉