Friday, April 29, 2011

Red Honeysuckle

Red, or Trumpet, Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is both native to the eastern United States and widely cultivated. And they attract hummingbirds, which is why we have one being cultivated at the corner of our front porch.  We've been watching it closely and today the trumpets opened.

Bring on the hummingbirds!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Washington, KY

Washington is Kentucky's second oldest town, established in 1786. Now engulfed by Maysville, it retains a large number of buildings from the late 18th century and early 19th century. Most of what I now know about Washington I got from their web site, which you can access by clicking on the highlighted words. Since I had only time to grab a couple of shots of their 1794 Post Office, I definitely plan to go back. Sure hope the lighting is better next time!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Covered bridges

A pleasurable addition to our Kentucky trip last week was a loop through some northeastern counties to see 6 of the state's 13 remaining historic covered bridges. We started in Fleming County, which has 3 bridges remaining, more than any other county.

The Ringos Mill bridge was built in 1867. It is open to pedestrian traffic only.

The Grange City bridge was built in 1867, also, and while open to foot traffic, has safety issues. It is near the town of Hillsboro, which is itself a treat for lovers of Victorian architecture.

The Goddard bridge, located just off KY route 32 between Morehead and Flemingsburg, carries county road traffic that includes a Methodist church just beyond the bridge. Built ca. 1864, is has been known locally as the "kissing bridge," presumably having been employed by young couples on their way home from evening church services. Interesting to me is that one span of the bridge is uncovered. Was it designed to limit the time those kids were out of sight?

The 1870 Cabin Creek bridge is located in Lewis County near the Mason County line. Badly in need of restoration, it is no longer safe for any traffic. A system of steel girders and lattice was placed inside the bridge for support in 2009 while the State of Kentucky identified funding and placed contracts for the work.

The 1874 Johnson Creek bridge was restored in 2009 and is now open to vehicle traffic, although the highway by-passes the bridge. Picnic tables are nearby, and it is only a short drive to the Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park. It is just off KY 1029 in Robertson County.

Our last stop was the 1877 Colville bridge near Millersburg in Bourbon County. The bridge carries traffic on Colville Road and was restored in 2001. As you can see from the photograph, the sun had finally come out fully, after teasing us back at Johnson Creek.

The loop took maybe 5 hours to drive, including the time spent taking pictures from every angle I could reach. Distractions abound along the route. The town of Flemingsburg has gotten very serious about historic preservation and has a walking tour that tempted us greatly. Maybe someday soon. Quilt barns line much of the route, and guide brochures are available in each county. The town of Washington, Kentucky's second oldest town, is full of 18th century log buildings now employed in commerce and tourism. I stopped just long enough to get pictures of the 1794 log Post Office (seriously!). I'll share later this week. I'm definitely headed back there.

For more information about these bridges and the others, click here and here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rank Strangers

This week I went to Kentucky to visit my father's grave on the 100th anniversary of his birth. I've been away so long that I really didn't expect to see anyone I knew. But I didn't expect to have to spell my name for the hotel clerk in Morehead, especially since my family once was prominent in the county.  So it goes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cryin' for your Daddy drunk

OK, so there is a bit of hyperbole there. I've always loved Lewis Grizzard's line and wanted to steal it. So I did.

Today is the 100th anniversary of my Daddy's birth, which is reason enough for a trip to Kentucky, if not for drinking.

He was a kind and gentle man, and he deserved a better hand than life dealt him.

He hated it, but he eventually had to come down from the mountain to take a factory job. We brought him home to bury him at age 56.

You don't have to be drunk to cry for your Daddy.

You just have to remember.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dogwood winter

The storms that brought death and destruction across the south last night were kinder to us. After dumping nearly 3 inches of rain, the storm front ushered in colder temperatures. Today is cloudy, damp, windy, with intermittent showers and temperatures falling into the 40s this afternoon. It happens every year.

But this year's dogwood winter promises to be short.  Tomorrow's forecast is for sunny skies with a high near 70 degrees, and Monday is supposed to be sunny with a high in the mid to upper 70s. We'll be back to perfect in no time at all.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A walk through the village

Perfect. Not near perfect. Perfect. Deep blue sky was matched by temperatures in the low 70s and low humidity. And the dogwoods appeared right on schedule, approaching their peak as mid-April approached. Here, see for yourself:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring wildflowers

We were busy last weekend and didn't get a chance to go down to Frozen Head State Park for one of their spring wildflower walks.  If you missed them also, we have two more chances this coming weekend. For detailed information, visit their web site by clicking here. Below are some pictures from previous years to whet your appetite.

Blue Phlox

Dwarf Crested Iris



Red Toadshade

Red Trillium or Wake-robin

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quilts Old and New

More than 60 volunteers pitched in to help the Rugby Quilters and Historic Rugby, Inc. hold their first-ever quilt show this past weekend.  By all accounts it was a huge success. Quilts Old and New were displayed in buildings that were mostly old.  Both museum buildings and private homes were filled with quilts ranging in age from a few weeks to more than a century.

There were quilts in the historic 1887 Christ Church-Episcopal,

and in the 1880 Newbury House B&B.

There were quilts in private homes, such as the 1884 Ruralia,

and the historically-reconstructed Onderdonk House, which was originally built by and home to the carpenter/architect who built many of Rugby's original buildings, Cornelius Onderdonk.

The Rebecca Johnson Theater was the site of bed turnings featuring certified quilt appraiser Shari Pierce.

The ladies of the Rugby Quilters are to be congratulated for putting together such a well-received show.  While this was their first, it definitely won't be their last.  They just have to give their tired husbands a little time off first.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April weekend

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? If you live in or around Morgan County, Tennessee, here are some offerings:

The Rugby Quilters and Historic Rugby, Inc., kick off their first Quilts Old and New exhibit at noon on Friday. It runs through 4 pm on Saturday. Quilts will be displayed in historic homes and buildings throughout the village, with "bed turnings" offered in the Rebecca Brown Theater. For more information, visit the Historic Rugby web site by clicking here .

Frozen Head State Park offers spring wildflower walks this weekend and next. Frozen Head is a jewel nestled at the head of the Flat Fork valley. For many years we would walk the trails after work when wildflowers were in bloom, packing a picnic dinner to enjoy trailside. Its many trails are noted for the abundance and variety of spring wildflowers. For more information click here.

The Morgan County Heritage Quilt Trail officially opens at 9:30 am Saturday with a ribbon cutting at the courthouse in Wartburg. An inaugural tour begins at 10, visiting the 18 barn quilts that form the trail's initial offering. Participants will receive a souvenir brochure that will be available only on opening day. Registrants will also enjoy a tea at Grey Gables Bed & Breakfast Inn and admission to the Rugby Quilt Exhibit. To preregister, phone the Chamber of Commerce at (423) 346-5740.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Country Church

It sits beside the road, a wrought-iron fence defining its space. It's Carpenter Gothic, one of a multitude of churches built in Gothic-revival style architecture. Completed in 1887, it has been in more or less continuous use since. Once painted church-house white, it has since been restored to its original Victorian colors. Cedar shakes recreate the original roof.

The interior has seen little alteration.

The painted and stained-glass window was imported from Germany and installed in 1889. The fleur-de-lis patterns on the wall of the apse were painted using milk paint and have never required retouching. The building's carpenter also built the primitive chancel furniture.

A rood beam separates the chancel from the nave (rood is an old-English word for cross) with the Greek letters Chi and Rho symbolically placing Christ on the cross.

The original lighting, imported from England, burned oil and required frequent refilling. It was converted to electricity in the 1950s.

The St. Andrew's Cross medallions on the ends of the pews remember the American Episcopal Church's indebtedness to the Anglican Church of Scotland.

An 1849 Harmonium organ donated by the first Rector and his family provided musical accompaniment for a century. It's thin, reedy sound was both distinctive of this church and easily drowned out by congregational singing. It is now a museum piece, placed in the rear of the church, just inside the narthex.

Christ Church-Episcopal, Rugby, Tennessee, offers one weekly service at 11:00 a.m. eastern, Sundays. The building is also on the daily guided tours offered by Historic Rugby, Inc. Visit the Historic Rugby web site for details.

For an explanation of the church architectural  terms used, click here.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Homemade pizza and a glass of wine. Woodlands filling the space beyond the barn.. Wind chimes playing songs of their own composition. Cats dozing around us. Peace.