Turning Misfortune into Opportunity: A Photographic Journey

Val in Real Life

Each April I return to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont for the spring photography workshop led by the fabulous Bill Lea. While it’s largely a family reunion for me and I love spending time with people who constantly inspire me, I also look forward to honing my photography skills when I’m there. At the Tremont workshops (both spring and …

Postcards from Real Life: Why?

Today I head off yet again to my home-away-from-home, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. This trip marks my final class in the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification program so as of Sunday I’ll have officially graduated! One of the most frequent questions I get about the program is why I chose to do it. Well for one, I’m a …

Autumn in Elkmont

A few weeks ago I took the boys to the Smokies for a long weekend and it was simple and blissful. It wasn’t a trip highlighted by outrageous adventures with stories we’ll be telling for years to come. It was a trip of relaxation, rejuvenation, exploring, and one subtlely wonderful moment followed by another. We were treated to the crisp …

Memories of Trees

So the good folks over at Boots N All have been issuing weekly Indie travel Challenges all year. For all of my good intentions, I’ve yet to get a post submitted…until now. Last week’s challenge was to simply to pick five travel photos to share. As you can see in the challenge post, the author chose images from some obviously …

Going Solo

I know you parents out there feel my pain. As rich as our kids make our lives, sometimes you need a little adult time. And when you spend as much time together as we do in our roadschooling pursuits, that becomes the understatement of the decade. I’ve alluded to my July solo trip to the Smokies in recent posts about …

Postcards from Real Life: Requiem

Back in July, yours truly headed off to the Smoky Mountains for a couple of weeks of solo exploration. It was a much needed mental reset. I spent part of that self-restoration time shooting this tree as the fog rolled through Cades Cove after a storm. Standing in a field on Sparks Lane at dusk, I was treated to a …