This morning I got up with a determination to see the mountains and woods. I find my personal 'church' in rocks and trees, leaves and sky. Today was a good day for churching. :)
The Great Smokey Mountain National Forest is true wild land - at least beyond the roadway through it and past the walking trails and people areas. This is a really diverse area in both geology and ecology. No surprise that it is the most visited national park in the U S.
I drove east out of Gatlinburg and straight through the park. Speed limit is only 35 mph - which is a very good thing. The road is only one lane in each direction and is always busy with traffic. Luckily there are many side places to park and explore.
There are plenty of hiking trails and campgrounds. Happily I saw at least two 'quiet walkways' - walking trails intended for the mobility challenged (like me:). I strolled about a half mile into the woods on one - I took a lot of photos but won't share them until I get home (the connection here is just too slow and unreliable).
For some reason I was especially keyed in on rocks today - and the lichens growing on them. I know very little about lichens beyond what I learned in basic biology. I find their patterns lovely. I may try an art quilt or embroidery series based on them some time. :)
I realized as I was driving back from the park that going into nature is the only time I am completely present in the Moment. All my senses are engaged and my attention is captured. I wonder if that is why my nature outings feel so spiritual?
I spent the rest of today making more bats - I now have 27 of them. I appliquéd the top and bottom borders on. Tomorrow I hope to add the sides. I think this would be a nice center for a medallion Halloween quilt.