Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain

My Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Big balanced rock

Big Balanced Rock. Probably got this way from the upheaval of the Flood.


Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Big balanced rock marker

Yesterday, I hiked Balanced Rock Trail. There’s a little balanced rock and a big one.

Hi Everyone!

Yesterday I took my little Nikon d7000 out when I was hiking on the Rainbow Mountain trails.

My purpose was 3-fold:

  1. Get exercise doing something fun–hiking
  2. Gather photos for a blogging about the trail
  3. Learn how to use my camera better

The exercise is pretty obvious.  I get a nice workout walking and climbing over the boulders on the upward steep.  It’s a wonderful time of year to hike because the temperatures are lower, so I don’t have to worry about the stifling humidity.

I just love taking photos for my blog.  I probably like that part of blogging more than writing.  Writing takes work.  Photographic people, landscapes, and old houses is just play.  I’d love to be a photographer for Nat’l Geographic or Southern Living.

Speaking of photography, it’s a wonderful time of year for taking photos on the trail.  The leaves are just now beginning to change, but the foliage is still pretty and lush for the most part.

My favorite part of photography is composition.  I’ve had enough art classes to be confident in my use of composition and color, but my DSLR camera still has been baffled.  I understand that the three major points of photography are aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.  However, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around aperture.  It seems so confusing that the lower the f-stop, the larger the aperture.  Yesterday, I took 3 pictures of the same object using 3 different f-stops (Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 lens):  22, 10, and 4.  Now, I think I get it.  An f-stop of 4 let in wayyyyyyyyy too much light.  22 left my shots underexposed, and 10 was just about right for clicking in the woods.

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Madison park bench

Park bench with “M” that stands for the town and county of Madison.


Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; forest leaves

Pretty leaves reflect God’s intricate design.


Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Balanced Rock, boulder

Pretty forest berries. I don’t know if they are edible and don’t plan to find out.


Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Tree with Rainbow Mountain Balanced Rock marker

These are poke berries. Now, I know these guys aren’t edible. You can boil the leaves, however, to make a poke berry salad.


Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Second tree with Rainbow Mountain Balanced Rock marker

The leaves are just barely changing colors.


Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; View of Huntsville, Alabama

Pretty view toward Huntsville.


Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; View of Madison County



Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Forest leaves

Hunting with a Coke, Popcorn, and a Good Book


When I was a girl growing up in rural south Alabama, hunting was a very big deal. With the acres upon acres of woodland and plentiful creeks, Choctaw County was (and still is) a hunter’s paradise.

Deer hunting was a favorite hobby for the men and boys where I lived, and my brother David was no different. He would take down one or two of Dad’s shotguns and head to our woods in search of the perfect row of antlers. For those who know more about guns than I do, the guns may not have really been “shotguns.” That’s just what I call all of those metal weapons that are long and have wooden stocks. It could have been twenty-two rifles for all I know.

Anyway, I used to like to go hunting, fishing, or whatever else my brother used to do. Except my idea of hunting was vastly different from his. I would tag along with Dave, but my weapons of choice were a coke, a bag of popcorn, and a good book. Oh, I’d pulled the trigger a couple of times, just to see what it was like. But the kick would hurt my shoulder, and I didn’t aim at some little animal. My favorite thing to do was to go out in those wonderful crunchy leaves and find shelter from the cold November wind in the hunting house. Or whatever they called the little shack with a small window where you could watch for wild game.

Dave would amble through the woods, searching for deer, and I would while away the hours with my good book.

I don’t remember him killing anything when I tagged along. Maybe I made too much noise. But those were some of my favorite memories of growing up, and I start recalling those memories when the temp drops and the trees shed their leaves.


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The Substitute Teacher was Mean as a Snake and Southern as They Come

Wheeeee!  One little leaf goes fluttering to the ground.

Wheeeee! One little leaf goes fluttering to the ground.

Today is a very cool day in north Alabama. The sky is crystal clear, the sunshine deceptive. Yesterday, a blustery artic wind blew in from the north and shook the leaves of the ancient oak trees outside of Princess Buttercup’s school, where I was working as a substitute for her class.

The wind would blow, and the leaves pelted the windows of the old school building. I finally figured out how to use the remote control to get the heater working.

The kids were very sweet, good, and respectful. Buttercup goes to a good school.

Being a sub is no easy job. The teachers have their schedules down to a science: how to teach that many subjects within the allotted time. I did my best but was far behind schedule. I think we did just three subjects! Not to mention, I had to explain some math concepts, and math is not my best subject. Poor kids.

I remember having subs when I was growing up in rural Alabama. It was a tricky proposition. You never knew what kind of sub you were going to get. Sometimes they were push-overs. Sometimes they were strict and stalwart as wooden sticks. But it was always nice to have a change of pace from the regular teacher.

Mom tells about one of our relatives that used to substitute for her high school class. This was when Mom was a girl, growing up in Jachin. The kids would always manage to get this substitute to talk about “the Yankees,” no matter what subject they were on. I think the lady’s father or grandfather must have fought in “The War.”

Interestingly enough, I got the lady’s daughter as a teacher when I was in the fourth grade. It started off when the school year began and we got some fresh-from-college teacher named Miss M. Miss M was very young and very new at teaching. She barely tolerated our class, and by Christmas had decided to call calf-rope. (That means that she decided to call it quits.) I think my class got to her. The last thing we ever heard was that she had decided to go to graduate school. She probably decided to go to grad school in something completely different and to her liking such as—who knows what…political science, maybe?

That’s when Mrs. S, our relative and a divorcee with a young son, stepped in. She was mean as a snake and southern as they come. I thought that she would be nice to me, since she was a distant relative. But not so fast, my friend. She treated me with the same unshakable firmness that she doled out for the rest of the class. Like an Army sergeant, she called us all by our last names.
One day when she was calling out names while passing out graded papers, I spoke up and asked her, if she pleased, to call me by my first name. Her eyes burned with the fire that surely came from her Confederate forefathers. “I will not!” she said and contemptuously handed me my paper.

Somehow I made it through the rest of the year. That was the only year that cousin Mrs. S taught at my school. The next class had a luckier time, getting a new teacher who stayed all year.

I, however, enjoyed substituting yesterday, and I hope that the kids enjoyed it, too. I don’t really have a picture to go along with this blog, but I do have pictures of pretty fall leaves that I’ve taken. Hope you enjoy!










Leaves falling all over the road before the cars can chase them off.  Small Alabama town.

Leaves falling all over the road before the cars can chase them off. Small Alabama town.

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