Monday, October 8, 2007

The Barefoot Ranger (Arthur Woody)

It was another beautiful weekend in north Georgia. We camped up near Suches, GA a place also know as "The Valley Above the Clouds" about a mile from the Appalachian Trail. Intending to just make a short trip into town for supplies, we decided instead to take a ride further north and check out some of the local scenery.

My husband had already been up this twisty winding road on his motorcycle and had camped at T.W.O. (Two Wheels Only) a roadhouse and campground for motorcycles and their riders. Previously, I had only heard about the place. When we pulled up, the parking lot was full of bikes and the lunch counter was serving the best lunch that could be had for many miles around. We only stayed long enough to split a cheeseburger, smoked BBQ sandwich, order of onion rings and have a short chat with one of the riders. Then it was back to the road in our Jeep (which we had to park across the road since it had 2 extra wheels).

We happened upon this beautiful spot that almost took my breath away. I pulled over to take photos and saw an older woman walking the fence line along the lake. We said hello and told her how we just had to stop to take it all in. Turns out, she is the great-great-grand-daughter of Arthur Woody (one of the first two National Forest Rangers in Georgia and the first of the Blue Ridge District.)

We had a nice long chat and she invited us to drive around the bend and park near the old family home and take more photos from the other side of the lake. Since I only had my small point and click camera with me, I thought these photos would lend themselves well to a little Photoshop experimentation I've been wanting to try.

It wasn't until we got home and I did a little research on "Ranger Woody" (aka "Kingfish") that I realized he was instrumental in shaping the beautiful north Georgia mountain area and making it was it is today. He facilitated the transfer of land to the National Forestry Service, planted trees in barren areas that had been stripped of its lumber, reintroduced fawns to the non-existent deer population and even filled the streams and rivers with rainbow trout.

It was pure joy to spend the hour or so with Arthur Woody's great-great-grand-daughter (a retired school teacher, I believe) taking photos and just simply enjoying the delightful company of the kind woman. She invited us to come back any time and I believe we might just take her up on that offer.


I contacted the kind woman who I thought was Arthur Woody's great-great-granddaughter and she explained that she was the granddaughter of Arthur Woody. It was her great-great-grandfather who donated the land for Woody's Gap on the AT. She said I was kind to make her sound younger than she really is. :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mama and her Chicks

I went over to my favorite neighbor farmgirl's place the other day. She was away but the barnyard was full. Look at these adorable chicks and their protective mama. How can I possibly pick a favorite?

You can click on the photo to see a larger version. They are all a little dark because I tried not to blind them with the flash.