Christmas Heritage

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

walking in a winter wonderland
After the lights went out on Christmas afternoon, the Three Indian Princesses went out to play in the snow, and I convinced The Deer Hunter to hike up the creek with me.

I’ve written about the old logging roads and trails that criss cross the acreage around my house before-if you missed it you can read about them by clicking on the following:

I’d Like To Wander Back

Springtime Hiking In The Mountains

Treasure Hunting In Appalachia-Touch Of The Past

walking in the snow

The scenery was breath taking-there were intricate arches to walk under all along the way. Made me wonder if an earthly being could create something as spectacular.

white christmas
In many places the snow had weighted down the trees till there was little trail left to walk in.

Pine beetle damage in Appalachia
Funny how the white makes things stand out more than normal. The dead pines that have been ravaged by beetles stood out like they were finally able to get someone to pay attention to their plight.

And squirrel nests stood out like dark balls against the snowy skies.

There were icicles galore-some over a foot long.

Pinhook in the snow
When we peeked over the next ridge into the Pinhook Community-it looked like a Christmas Card.

snowy trees
And the view from the ridge across from our house-made it look like we lived in a forest of flocked Christmas trees.

building a snowman
By the time we got back home, the girls had tired of sledding and had built their very own Snow-lady named Patricia.

snow lady

After we told them how much fun we had on the hike, they wanted us to go back-of course right then. We convinced them to wait till the next day. Drop back by tomorrow to see our 2nd hike-and to see the mysterious tracks we found on the way.


p.s. Here’s a mystery to tide you over till tomorrow. What made the hole in the tree? It’s about 15-20 feet off the ground. We have lots of red headed wood peckers here-but they don’t typically make holes like that.

mystery hole



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  • Reply
    January 2, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I can only imagine how peaceful that walk was. So quiet with only the crunching of the snow underfoot.
    We had snow here on Christmas night. It was the first snow on Christmas since 1947.
    I want it to snow enough to build a Snow-lady. And I’ll name her Patricia in honor of the three Indian princesses.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

    What a great name for the snowlady!!

  • Reply
    December 29, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Snow is so beautiful in the winter and we sure have had a lot of it thus far. I enjoyed looking at your pictures.

  • Reply
    Brian P. Blake
    December 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Dear Tipper, What a lovely album of Appalachian winter! Now the “Sunset Blakes”, who were always westering, sit here snug in suburban Connecticut. We envy your snow-laden mountain trees and drifted trails, as white and silent as if God had chuckled and tucked His people protectively under his beard.
    We read this poem I wrote, on Christmas Eve.
    “Now is come the longest night
    The year wheels in the sky.
    The Lord is come to Earth this day,
    Sin and darkness fall away.
    Rejoice! Beware! Of light so bright!
    God is nigh.”
    Our Viking forefathers thought of the winter solstice as the “wheel” of the year, and “wheel” in Old Norse is “iul.” Happy Yule-tide!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    December 28, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Tipper–Nice post and there’s unquestionably something especially beautiful about a soft snowfall which clings to everything. There are two possible solutions to the hole. I suspect B. Ruth is right, that it was made by a pileated woodpacker. Incidentally, that beautiful bird and its raucous call as it flies from one tree to another, gives it one of my favorite monikers for critters–“Lord God Bird.” It comes from African-Americans in parts of the South hearing it and saying “Lord God, what was that?” The bird is also known as an Indian hen.
    Another option is that squirrels made the hole. They will sometime gnaw on wood and love to get into hollows in trees.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    December 28, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for sharing those beautiful
    snowy pictures. Miss Cindy has my
    thoughts too about “Winter in the
    Mountains,” a fortress of solitude
    being off the main road a fer piece. As far as the hole in the
    maple tree, it looks like honeybees and a beetree, the way
    its cleaned round the edges. When
    I was younger, I found beetrees in
    maples on our mountain hollar.
    They can’t work unless its above
    32 degrees (kinda like me)…Ken

  • Reply
    December 28, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Oh Tipper, it is gorgeous! I adore the snow if I don;t have to drive…THAT scares me. That hol looks so smooth and precise…curious to hear what made it.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 28, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Oh Dear…
    Bradley I haven’t thought of that song and its many versions in years…Now have a brain song in my head I can’t get rid of! When I read it I had to finish it with the chorus:
    Hee,Hee Hee,
    Little Brown Jug,
    don’t I love thee…..
    Now it’s going round and round in my head! LOL
    Hey Tipper, Get the boys to sing and play the many verses online for us on video?…My Daddy used to sing it to us to keep us occupied on a road trip…

  • Reply
    Wayne Newton
    December 28, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Tipper, your fotos and description make me yearn for when I could get out. Thanks for the beauty you send our way.
    It’s 5 degrees here, but the roads are mostly clear now. the valley below me is a wonderland.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 28, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Beautiful! Certainly a winter wonderland. I’ve been in since it snowed on Christmas day so yesterday, Monday, I shoveled the driveway in anticipation of going out today. We will see! If I get out I will probably have to walk part of the way back in. My driveway is fairly long and does not get any sun.
    This is winter in the mountains! I love living here even if it is sometimes inconvenient. I think it is the most beautiful and peaceful place on this earth!
    Don’t mean to one-up you, but……wait for it….I have icicles 2 feet long hanging from my house! lol
    Not a clue what that hole in the tree is.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    December 28, 2010 at 6:37 am

    What an enjoyable afternoon you had and thanks for taking us along.
    I’m guessing an owl also on that hole in the tree.

  • Reply
    December 28, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Everything looks so cold and pretty. You almost make a person wish they were there the way you describe it.
    In your last blog on Christmas that video really caught my eye. Funny how things can have a chain reaction in the mind. When I saw that bob-tailed dog playing in the snow I thought back to when I was little and my Granny would play songs for me on the piano. One song I remember was ” The Little Brown Jug”. The lines went something like:
    Me and my wife and a bob-
    Tailed dog crossed the creek
    On a hickory log,
    My wife fell in and she got
    But I saved my little brown
    jug you bet!
    I rewound that video again and again to see that dog! We have a Jack Russell and she’s mostly white. Her name Is Tubby and its a good thing because she is fat.
    Don’t know what made that hole in the tree, but whatever it was ,it had a nice place to go because the weather out side must have been frightfull (to paraphrase an old song).
    Stay warm!

  • Reply
    December 28, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Oh, those pictures make me homesick. We don’t get any snow in this part of China. It’s just dry and very cold. Thanks for reminding me how pretty the mountains are in snow! I’m afraid the Christmas pictures on our family blog won’t be nearly as pretty. (TwoSquareMeals)

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    December 28, 2010 at 4:37 am

    dont you love how the snow makes everything sparkle, and look pure. and the blue skies… well there arent words to say what blessings we have around us.. if we just take the time to see them.
    i adore snowmen.. dont think anyone is too old to make one 🙂
    so glad you were able to take a nice walk together…
    sending big ladybug hugs and blessings for the new year ahead

  • Reply
    Elizabeth K
    December 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Gorgeous pictures, looks like a winter fairy land! No idea what could have made that hole, I’ll be interested to find out.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    December 27, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Hi Tipper, Just back from Christmas in Mississippi with family. What a welcome back….about 8 – 9 inches of snow. Since we live about 3/4 mile off the main road, I was worried about getting to our house but we made it….that snow is deep. Our little dog just about disappears in the deepest areas. Well you sure got your wish for a “WHITE” Christmas. We had snow over at my moms, but no accumulation. Enjoyed the photos. By the way, I’d say that is a pileated woodpecker home. We have a similar one on our place, but its not as light colored as yours.
    Best, Al

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    December 27, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Beautiful pictures, Tipper! I haven’t ventured beyond the birdfeeder, things are so slick around here.

  • Reply
    December 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Wet snow is very pretty when it first falls but I hope you don’t get a lot of it!
    It looks like you have a pileated woodpecker. They are something to see – huge and loud!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 27, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Beautiful pictures…..
    It looks like that hole is way up in the top of a tree…I believe it is a Pileated Woodpecker (Peckerwood)..our largest woodpecker…We have them here and they can get very noisy if startled…We had a nesting pair this summer and their antics around and around the tree during courting was so funny!…They love to fly down and make waste of the stumps of the Long needled pines, that we had the loggers cut due to the pine beetles.To see the stumps you would think someone took and axe and chopped at it, leaving long splinters everywhere..It doesn’t take long for them to decompose when they have the help from the Pileated woodpeckers…..Seems we have an increase in all woodpeckers due to the infestion of beetles here…
    We didn’t get as much snow as you’all but it was pretty just the same…Thanks Tipper,
    PS: Last summer a Downy Woodpecker drank sugar water from our Hummingbird feeders…Seems like a long time ago now…LOL

  • Reply
    December 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I never saw a hole shaped like that in a tree. Your view outdoors looks much like the one we see every day, minus the buildings, of course. At M-in-L’s house, “up north” there were several feet of snow, and big banks. My granddaughters had fun sliding down the mounds of snow piled up by the house.
    Glad you enjoyed your winter weather!

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    December 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I think it is a pileated woodpecker nest hole.

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    December 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Just BEautiful!!! I haven’t ventrued out much. I dont’ have any good snowboots!! I remember that I need some til it snows. lol!! that is just the neatest hole! I’m anxious to hear what people think about it.
    Have fun.
    Patty H.

  • Reply
    December 27, 2010 at 11:52 am

    That looks like a fairly large hole. Good mystery Tipper. Just based on how large the hole is and that it isn’t above a lake or pond, I’d be guessin’ an owl lives up there. Your Christmas looks like it was a wonderful time. Stay warm.

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