Spring is passing into Summer at the Ranch. The rain continues and
everything is growing green and lush.
Looking from the front porch out through the pass at the Hay Meadow. The
grass is growing so fast this year.
house, on another rainy afternoon.
Ivy (aka Mountain Laurel, Kalmia latifolia) is in full bloom...
the flowers of this evergreen are beautiful. The bees and Humming Birds are
going crazy with all the blooms...
this has always been one of my favorite native plants.
Laurel (aka Rosebay Rhododendron, Rhododendron maximum) is preparing to
bloom. Another of the signature native evergreens of the region. This bloom is
pink now, but will be white then it opens.
saw these Ghost
Pipes (aka Ghost plant, Indian Pipes, Monotropa uniflora) out my
bathroom window and came to take a closer look. They are fairly rare because of
the special soil conditions it takes for them to grow. While researching the
above link I found that these plants are even more special than I thought, they
are actually flowering plants in the blueberry family, not fungi! They are
related to another plant I see all around in the woods around the house, Squaw
blueberries are starting to get ripe. A really nice bonus from my native
having blueberries for breakfast every morning. These are huge!
garden is starting to grow a little. Here, Sugar and I come out to see how it's
the rain is helping some things and hurting others.
grass in the meadows is sure liking all the rain. Summer has rolled around and
the days have gotten a lot warmer, up to 74 degrees! ...
on this lazy Summer afternoon I caught this picture of Timber taking a nap on
his "throne". This one cracked me up...
you can't be more relaxed than this.
Sugar is enjoying the afternoon too...
a sleepy Summer afternoon.
Other scenes around. The barn up the hollow is having its hay fields bailed.
Horses grazing on the mountain side on the way up to the Ranch.
very special person was born in June. My niece entered the world! Here my
sister is holding her a few hours after she was born.
Summer comes all the work of Summer. Here I'm out weed eating the fence lines.
Timber and Sugar stay with me a while until they start to get a little hot and
I take them home. I would let them out, but I'm too involved in the weedeating
and can't watch them. There are just too many critters and things to get into
to let them roam. While bushhogging my pasture Grady hit a big rattle snake!
It's the first he had ever heard tell of up here! I'm a little spooked. Nothing
is harder to see than a snake in the grass.
Hay Meadow is starting to look better.
road to the pond. All the fence line and the corral had to be cleaned up...
and people complain because they have to weed eat around a few trees in the
little self portrait reflected off my dirty truck window.
weed eating, at least my mind can wonder a little bit as I go. Until I run into
the inevitable old electric fence wire hidden in the grass and have to spend
the next 10 minutes untangling the mess! Arrrggg!
help keep down the grass in the pastures I let Lucy Lowe of
Outfitters, keep her Llamas in the Hay Meadow. They are really interesting
and sweet animals (at least Lucy's are!). This is Ace. He is the friendliest of
the gang. He'll come up and let me pet him.
one, TopHat, is half Llama half Alpaca. If you haven't heard of Alpacas before,
you can read more here and
Here's the whole herd. There's 9 in all. Every few days Lucy comes to take a
few on a trek with her
business. Llamas are the only pack animals allowed in the Great Smoky Mountain
National Park. They don't have hooves, instead they have soft splayed footpads.
They also are good on pastures because they won't eat the grass down too far
and they don't eat that much. In our area an acre can support 7 Llamas whereas
an acre only support 1 horse.