Little Ponderosa Zoo


26112141_1300007923478862_808078793771466895_n
Jack, a kangaroo at the Little Ponderosa Zoo and Rescue.  Photo by Yvonne Rogers

I wish I had some better reason to tell you about Little Ponderosa Zoo and Rescue. But no, I was there, petting animals, taking pictures, looking at zebus and zonkeys and getting spit on by a camel because of a memorial service for animals lost in a fire. I was there at my day job reporting for The Oak Ridger. The zoo’s founder, James Cox told me and other reporters the zoo would not open until spring. But if you want a small zoo with animals you can pet and feed, the place is superb and one of Clinton, Tennessee’s more unusual attractions. Don’t expect it to be big like the Knoxville Zoo, but it is fun.

26047248_1300006663478988_1199042040570801396_n

26047110_1300005300145791_8899381943772151355_n

Advertisements

Bald River Falls in Winter


IMG_0321.JPGI could never create this. I could never make this up.

IMG_0316This is Bald Creek Falls in Cherokee National Forest transformed into glorious columns of ice with a few streams of water still left to remind us of what the falls had once been.

IMG_0318.JPGIt drew crowds, forcing us to walk up the road. After all, we’re Tennesseeans. Ice is a novelty to us.

IMG_0319

But the frozen falls was glorious, and so was the trail nearby. Stay tuned. More wintry photos of Cherokee National Forest. are on the way.

Frost flowers aren’t litter


26231191_1301677016645286_5841089887967823170_n

26112001_1301678886645099_2371429304114258081_n
An ice flower in Loudon, Tennessee. This and other photo by Yvonne Rogers, the best girlfriend ever and not bad at photography either.

White clumps decorate the basses of blades of dried grass. Sometimes I passed them wondering if they were trash.
They’re not. They’re one of nature’s glorious temporary sculptures.
The weather channel calls them “rare and ellusive” in spite of just how many I’ve seen this winter near my Loudon Home. Delicate, spiraling, often with the texture of cotton candy but made of stringy ice. The water from the stems of plans leaks out, then freezes. If you’re in Tennessee or nearby right now, look for them.
26168047_1301668516646136_4148414721012080745_n