Saturday, October 28, 2023

Woldhuis Farms - Sunrise Greenhouse, Inc. 10/28/2023

Another trip to Woldhuis Farms, Sunrise Greenhouse. This time to return all of the plastic trays that you buy your flowers and other plants in. They recycle, mostly as trays for people to carry their multiple plants home in. Others I am not sure how they are used or recycled, meaning do I do not know if they use any of them themselves for potting, or send to their supplier for recycle. I will have to ask next time.

Still, worth the effort to have them taken care of in the proper way, and an excuse (like a need one) to take a look around. Oddly enough, I did not buy anything today. Could have, just chose not too.

Obviously there are a lot of mums given the time in the year. Their stock on Halloween colored corn is amazing, along with their other holiday Halloween goods. They are also getting ready with their Christmas items, staging some of them for the swap with Halloween. This place is definitely holiday friendly.

And being friendly, of which all the staff are, this is also a dog friendly place. A bit of an overload for Bubba because he wants to "claim" all of the plant smells, and okay, non-plant smells too.

Here are some photographs for you to enjoy!

P.S. A standard 24 to 70 lens was used without close up rings.

I did not take a photographs of everything, though you would not normally think that of me. I take photographs, plain and simple. They had a sale of their "hard items", or at least that is what I remember them being called. They were 40% off. Items such as some pots, arbors, tin statues, and the like.

Below was a really nice gardening cart that I would a have liked to have bought for my bride Christi. I did not see this on sale, or I would have seriously considered buying.

So, my bride and I have been trying to photograph Bubba for as long as we have had him, unless you can really bait him. He just refuses to look at you if you have a camera in hand. Our Bubba sitter did not seem to have a problem taking his photographs while we were in the Smoky Mountains on vacation. Figures.

Did I say I like coneflowers? On some of these next photographs you get to play, "find the focal point".

Woldhuis Farms
Sunrise Greenhouse, Inc.
10300 E 9000 N Road
Grant Park, Illinois 60940


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Thursday, October 5, 2023

Wes' Excellent Adventure VIII

Another road trip to cleanse the mind and body. This nine day trip started toward Calera, Alabama, then over to the Smoky Mountains, back to Columbus Indiana, and finally home.

Our first stop toward Alabama was in Bowling Green, Kentucky. While there we stopped at the Lost River Cave. Christi took the ride, I stayed near the visitors center because of my bad foot. The photograph above is of a mural on the wall of the visitors center.

I highly recommend a visit. This is a very nice place, whether you are driving through Bowling Green, or stopping for the night.

This next photograph is of the touch panel on our car dashboard. Lots of touches and swipes. Looks like people and with an orgy goin on at the left . . . lol.

Found a Jack In The Box on the way to Alabama. They closed up around our neck of the woods.

Found our hotel in Alabama. On the way out to drop Christi off at her family reunion, she said "nice flower", and I took a photograph of it because I agreed.

Took a short trip to Peach Park in Clanton while Christi was busy. Another nice place to visit whether you are driving through or stopping for the night. Lots of activity inside. The shop has a little of everything, including a long line for their BBQ food. A separate and not so crowded line was for their homeade peach ice cream, fried peach pies, and warm peach cobbler with ice cream. The shop has a lot of homemade jams and jellies, and local made products. I did not take any photographs of the shop. Just outside in the park.

There was lots of road construction on the way down to Alabama, and a stoppage on the way to the Smoky Mountains. The one to the mountains happened when we started the trip. Knowingly we made our own detour instead of driving further to the state patrol detour. I am glad we did. No traffic. We found a DIY car wash, and along this route we came across this cool looking rounded cornered building, shown in the following photographs.

Have to explain the car wash. While in Alabama I took the car across a dirt road. Was pretty cool because I came across a steep incline hill. Pretty steep. I switched it to lock the all wheel drive, and the car climbed up like it wasn't there. The outcome was a lot of red dust dirt covering the entire car because of the effects of the road. I could not see out of the back window. I should have, but did not take any photographs of that. Too busy having fun . . . 😄

The next two photographs of are different focal points. You will have to enlarge to see. One is focusing through the window on the tree in the background, and the other on the triangle shape in the window.

Once we found our hotel in Pigeon Forge, we were hungry. We very favorably found the "Diner". What a very cool diner, decked out in 50's theme. The food was very good, deserts very large. Here are some photographs.

If you are in the Smoky Mountains, you do not just pass through or stop for a day. So while you are here, please plan on stopping into the Diner restaurant!!!

The first two photographs are of the sunset looking out our hotel window. (Same time frame, different exposures.)

These next two photographs are of sun rise looking out our hotel window. (Different time frames.)

Now, our time at the Smoky Mountains!!!

Made a Crow friend. It was obvious he had been around people. He followed me, staying about an arm's reach away.

The next three photographs were purposefully taken with two different shutter speeds. The first being a slow speed to blur the water falling, and the second and third a faster speed to capture the water falling in it's true form.

There are three churches remaining. This one being the largest and perhaps the most relevant. I could try to describe, however feel I would do it dishonor. So here is one link for you to read up on. Well worth knowing if you plan to visit Cades Cove.

The grave stone in this next photograph is important. Refer to the link I referenced above.

This first photograph was taken earlier in the morning. When we were driving we saw a lot of orange cones placed at the pull offs. We did not understand why until we saw the stoppage on the road . . . people watching a black bear. When it came out time to drive by we took a picture too.

The next two photographs we did not expect to ever happen. There were no cones on the road. As we left the area where the above photographs were taken (photographs above the black bear) there was another traffic slow down. We also saw a park ranger standing alongside the road. We were near a field to the left of us, and a tree line coming up ahead of us. As cars left and we pulled up, I saw a bear in the tree line, heading toward the open field. Then I saw a cub. As momma came out of of the tree line the cub followed, then two more cubs came out. What a cool experience. They kept to themselves, we kept to ourselves, no cars in front of us, no cars behind us, a ranger standing on the road, and a bicyclist who past us earlier. With that we just sat there watching. They came close enough for some good photographs. By that time someone had pulled up behind us. Later another. This was the time for an electric car! Everything quiet, windows open, just watching the bears.

They came under the wire of the fence near my door, then walked in front of the car and walked around the other side near Christi, and continued on their way down the road. As soon as they passed and everything was save, I pulled away. Such a wonderful experience. Have to note, the last cub did look up at me before it went off to be with its siblings. Reminded me a little of Bubba too, always looking for food and who cares who is around

It took us three days to comfortably see the Smoky Mountains. We did not see all of it. We did see deer, turkeys (actually had to stop because a couple cars ahead of us wanted to take pictures of the wild turkeys of all things . . . just come to Chicago I say . . .), black bear, black bear with cubs (Christi has those photographs of mama bear and her three cubs grazing near our car and walking right by us . . . nice to have a quiet electric vehicle 😃 — update, now in blog), and some elk. Lots of water streams. Lots of water falls in various size, which we only stopped for a few.

The Smokey Mountains is an important place to visit, to get away, to cleanse your spirit. That is, if you do not mind a lot of cars at the popular attractions.

When the Smoky Mountains became a national park, people would go for therapeutic reasons. The clean mountain air was healing to them. For that is what all of our mountains with their trees and waters are doing, healing this earth.

Unfortunately our society's need for technology (just not the latest in technology) has industrialized and commercialized the area surrounding the mountains. Pollutions of all sorts has become a problem. On clear 100% days, views can be seen for 100 miles. Often visibility is reduced to 20 miles because of air pollution. The national park intervenes and helps to decide what can be developed around the Smoky Mountains. The goal is to not increase the carbon footprint. If something needs to be added, then something has to be removed so that the problem does not increase.

If you did not know and want to know how the Smokey Mountains became our national park, please read this website:

If you want to know one person's venture into the park, please read this website:

If you ever want to see, or go back to the Smokey Mountains, I found this article from National Geographic to be the most informative on what to do and how to plan:


We knew it would be a stretch to drive the entire trip back home, so we made plans to stop for the night in Columbus, Indiana, then to drive around Brown County State Park that evening. Afterward, home to Bubba!

This first picture is of the Ramp Creek Covered Bridge at the North entrance.

The next couple of photographs show Christi coming up the trail on opposite side if the lake.

This next photograph is for Bubba, to prove to him that there are indeed fire hydrants for him in the forest. Maybe he will come with us next time! lol

Yes, the berries are green in color. Not the usual red that I saw elsewhere.

In all it was a most enjoyable trip. There were many more photographs taken. Many more stops that peaked our interest. Time will not come soon enough to do it again.


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