Confessions of a Nemophilist

Calendar August 10-13-2014 6-45-00 PM 2815x2124I just learned that I am officially a nemophilist. I discovered the word via a video posted by a friend who knew it perfectly fit me. A nemophilist is one who is fond of forests or forest scenery, a haunter of the woods. I grew up in a major Southern city devoid of forests but recall, at an early age, taking an aptitude test that indicated I would be happiest as a forest ranger.

Morning Light 1My summers were spent in rural Georgia. My aunt and uncle treated my cousin and me to a vacation each year—one week in Daytona Beach, Florida, and one week in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the Smoky Mountains. Even as a teenager, I thought the Smoky Mountains forests and streams were paradise and vowed one day to live somewhere in the mountains.

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A trail at Jeffress Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway

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A mountain stream near the Blue Ridge Parkway

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residing in a small town near the Blue Ridge Parkway, I am a regular visitor on the numerous forest hiking paths where my love of nature photography coincides with my love of nature.

 

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Nature often presents me with magical moments. I am often literally stopped in my tracks when my heart connects with what I refer to as my source so my camera is always close by.

Sunrise over the Blue Ridge

 

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Bass Lake “Snowball” bushes, Blowing Rock, NC

 

Ironically, our home is in a small development called The Woods. So when people ask where I live, I tell them that I live in The Woods. As I’m writing this blog, I’m looking out at our woods that surround us, grateful for making a choice over 30 years ago to fulfill a dream of living in the mountains so near the forests. And joyful to call myself a nemophilist.

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Reflections in Photography

I am blessed to live in a beautiful area of the country known as the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are a myriad of nature trails throughout the park system, many within 30 minutes of my home. During some of these hikes, I’m often surprised by a sudden reflection of trees or clouds in the water around a path.

 

 

Nimg_0616earby Bass Lake in the Town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, has hiking trails both around the lake and up into the mountain paths. Here are some photos from that path.

 

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At the same lake path, which I’ve traveled hundreds of times, I always encounter something different, but there have been resident swans off and on over the years. I must have taken a thousand photos of them.

 

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Sometimes I add words to my photos from my writer husband’s books. One of his main characters is named Booker Jones.

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Sometimes I’ll encounter a heron.img_6021-001

 

Opportunities for interesting “reflection” photos are everywhere. You just have to be out there and slow down the pace of life. I am an amateur photographer who simply loves to capture beautiful moments.

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A New Beginning

sunset-on-a-mountain-trailThings change. Often for the better. Digital photography has enabled me to do what I love best. Take photos, mostly of nature, and share them. Some of my photos have made their way into calendars, book covers, and journals. This one was in the 2017 Blue Ridge Parkway Calendar.

This pastoral moment made for remembering occurred on a trail walked many times. The late autumn day was brisk, and the intent was to hike from Flat Top Manor (milepost 294) to the Moses Cone Cemetery and its mountain meadows. En route, not far from the Parkway stone underpass, however, an over-the-shoulder glance revealed breathtaking expressions of light and landscape. The photo was one of 99 quickly taken that afternoon to preserve the sunset. The point of view reflects a glorious timelessness that I felt deeply at the moment of capture.

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