Walking with Grandsons

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Few things make me happier these days, than being able to enjoy times together with family. Daughter Amy is visiting now with her two sons Stephen (right) and Daniel (left). Today, they went with me on a nice walk in the woods near our home, along the Smith River. As we walked and talked, my camera eye spotted lots of interesting colors and patterns you can see below. The trail we walked along the river reminded me of all the interesting sights these two young men will see during their walk down the path they are on, so long as they look around the next bend and experience unknown adventures. Shorty, Stephen will be in the U.S. Coast Guard, and Daniel will enter Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Exciting times for sure for these two guys, and I’m vary thankful to have spent time with them today “in the woods.”

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Rocks Along the Trail

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There’s a short hiking trail near our home in SW Virginia, that runs along a portion of the Smith River Dam, managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. The trail is just one of the many recreational benefits of living so close. My aging legs and loss of some flexibility makes me move much more carefully and slower than I once did, but no matter, I still like to walk these type trails, Leki Hiking pole in hand. What’s most interesting to me, other than the river, are the rock outcrops that are exposed along the landward side of the trail, with the river flowing just below on the opposite side. Here are several examples of what I saw the day I was there.

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Smith River Colors … and a Bee

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One great aspect of living where we do in Henry County and Martinsville, Virginia is the tremendous outdoor recreational activities available. The Smith River lies at the center of that. Trout fishing, canoeing, kayaking and trail hiking along its banks are very popular with visitors and residents alike. I decided the other day to take a look at a river access point near our home, and found some nice colors awaiting. I was especially happy to see the yellow colors in the river itself, as a result of seasonal changing river vegetation I’d not seen before. So, I wandered about the bank looking for possible photo compositions.

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Later, I spotted some flowers still in bloom, given the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having. And on one flower sat this lone Bumblebee, most likely feeding one last time before going to places unknown to me, perhaps Bee heaven. It made for a great photo.

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Frosty Morning Walk

I decided to take a morning walk before the temperatures warmed up a bit, and was rewarded by some nice “frosty” scenes. The frost covered picnic table near the Smith River in SW Virginia made me wonder how many folks had sat there when fish were biting and the water was warm. Sort of a lonely scene now, but nice regardless. I also liked the “steam” coming off the river with a sun flare in the upper left of the composition. Lastly, ice crystals in the wet ground were another reminder that its cold outside.

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River Views

We live near the Smith River in SW Virginia. It’s a beautiful river, famous for trout fishing, kayaking and other recreational pursuits. When I pass along the river, or above on a highway bridge in this case, I like to look for interesting views. Here are three to hopefully make you wish you could dip your feet in the cold water, during these hot summer days.

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Along the Smith River

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The Smith River in SW Virginia is not a large body of water, but historically it’s persistent, and today is a favored spot for fresh water trout fishing, thanks to the efforts of environmental groups to keep it clean and healthy, and also due to the efforts of governmental agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers who keep river levels reasonable, thanks to frequent water release from a large dam. When I walk along the river on a hot, humid day, the water temperatures being low, keep me cool, and the refreshing smells around me remind me of just how wonderful nature is. Appreciate what we have, that’s my motto. I even spotted Mr. Groundhog watching me as I passed by.

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