Friday, March 29, 2013

SCONA LODGE ARTIFACT DISCOVERY

I had to get out of here and find some pretty water.  The day was overcast and the threat of rain was present.  I didn't care.  If one plans one's life totally around the weather - he won't accomplish anything.  My anything is piece of mind.  The Gheenoe was hitched up and Shade and I were on our way.  The roads were dry and not a drop of water fell from the sky the entire way to Chilhowee Lake.  I decided before we left that I was going to dig out some forsythia from the Scona Lodge shoreline to compliment the roses I just planted.  
The overcast sky offered no soft light that allows beautiful scenes to be captured in picture form.  Chilhowee Lake needs no fantastic light to make it beautiful.  That lake is gorgeous in any light at any time of year.


The roadway at the bottom of the picture is Route 129.  I will never be able to look at these mountains and not be amazed by the power of a tornado.  Look closely at the shot above.  That's tornado damage.


There are no mud or rock shorelines to taint the natural scene.  The eye falls on beautiful scenery no matter where it tarries.  Gorgeous mountains abound and not one single human dwelling or building of any kind.  This is a rich, wild environment.  I love it!

I left the big camera at home as I intended to do some mountain hiking and didn't want to leave it in the boat so, all the shots on this entry were taken by the SD990 Canon.  It has it's limitations.  Shade needed exercise and I intended to see that she got it.  We would be at the Scona Lodge shoreline soon.

Scona lies just below that mountain in the above photo.

I wanted to tie the boat off on the extreme lower end of Scona's old golf course.  That's where the forcythia grows wild and bushy.  I expected to see the yellow flowers at any second.
I can make out the old ferry landing with it's twin cable towers covered with kudzu.  They stand just left of center in the shot above to the left of that dark green foliage along the water.  I hoped to see yellow blooms to the right of the tree in the extreme right corner in the shot above.  The old golf course continued to the right of that tree for a long way.
The forcythia blooms appeared all of a sudden.  They were concealed by a row of tall grasses and shrubs.

I cut the boat toward the wood floating in the water.  I noticed a thirty or forty inch wide opening to the shore and headed for it.

We touched down onto the shore, I grabbed my small spade and plastic box and headed for the yellow bushes.  Three plants were selected and I dug them out taking care to leave huge clumps of soil on the roots.  I placed them into the plastic box and saturated the soil and roots with water.  I couldn't wait to get home and plant them.  The rain started coming down.  It started as a gently shower but increased to a fairly good downpour.  I took off my coat and sat down under a bush and pulled my water proof coat over my head.  Shade came when I called and appeared delighted to be able to get out of the cold wet rain.   I wish I would have brought my rain suit.  I sat on the log and lifted the coat out to the side to cover Shade.  When I looked down between my feet I couldn't believe what I saw - a golf ball.  I wondered about it for a brief moment, picked it up and wiped the mud off the surface on my pant leg.  I slowly turned it over in my hand.  Look what I found!
I couldn't believe my luck.  This is a piece of history.  Scona Lodge had the name of their golf balls specially imprinted with their name back in the day.  This was a find!  Some golfer smacked this golf ball decades ago and it flew off the golf course and landed out here at the base of the mountain and has resided on this spot ever since.  The amazing thing is that I've searched for memorabilia over here for years and have found nothing.  Today, I'm not even looking for anything and this great treasure presents itself at my feet.   How odd is that!?  

I just can't believe this.  It was resting on the very Southern edge of the golf course.  The shot below is of that area of the golf course as I saw it today.  
Its difficult to imagine that this used to be a manicured golf course.  This place is an amazing spot to allow one's imagination to run wild.
The rain slowed but didn't stop.  If I was going to get the forsythia I had better get at it.  Shade went exploring.
I put the plants into the box and we were headed back to the boat.  The old hand laid stone that held the cliff side back away from the walking path skirting the golf course came into view.  I can remember when I first came upon these stones.  It was, I believe, 9 years ago.  How time flies!  How, indeed, it does.

Another huge cluster of forsythia grew just up ahead adding some happiness to the dreariness of this spot.  Scona - once a bright beacon along the river - now, transformed into a forgotten treasure buried for all time.


If forsythia was an indiginous plant to Tennessee - I would not remove it.  This plant is considered to be invasive and is not an official state plant.  These plants are remnants of plantings here at Scona ages ago and since have gone wild.  The box was heavy as I had a large quantity of soil with the root systems.  I stopped often to photograph oddities and pretty things.  I do that at times, you know.


Nature is so very cool!  Natural art works are everywhere if a person would just slow down and really look - and see.
I'll never get back to the boat at this rate.  The rain has started again too.
 I don't know what the name is of the plant above but, it is a graceful, beautiful thing with well proportioned, perfectly formed leaves.  If it weren't for the rain coming down I might be tempted to get one of them.
I have no luck with the weather when I come over here because its rained on us the past four visits in a row.  That's just the way it is on these lakes situated near or in the mountains.   A rainy day at Scona an Chilhowee Lake is better than sitting home looking out the window.


The plants were loaded onto the boat and we, I was ready to go.  Where's Shade.  "Shade - get on the boat."  She looks at me like she doesn't want to go.  I know how she feels because I share her sentiments.
I noticed a triangular shaped, red, concrete stake sticking out of the ground at the end of the golf course near the shoreline.  Wonder what that is.

It appears to be some sort of marker.  I'll check into it.  Probably insignificant.
Shade was on the boat and I backed it away from Scona and we headed back down the lake.

I looked back over my shoulder toward Scona and upstream at the old ferry landing and forced myself to continue down the lake toward the truck.   Hope you enjoyed my visit to Scona today.  See ya.