The Boyce Thompson Arboretum is located about 60 miles east of downtown Phoenix near the town of Superior. It has a great collection of regional plants, cactus and trees.
Welcome to North Carolina – or as I often heard it referenced when I lived there North Cackalacky. This was one of those expressions I never understood why, but this virtual travel posting research has taught me new, if irrelevant, information.
Apparently that term that started in the 1960s by soldiers who were sent to army bases in the state, and was used in a somewhat derogatory manner. The Carolina folks however have somewhat embraced the term to the point one person has started a barbecue sauce called Cackalacky.
Speaking of barbecue, Carolina’s is the best! But even in North Carolina there is debate about which barbecue is best – Eastern (coastal) or Western/Lexington/Piedmont.
The Eastern style is more vinegar based whereas the Western is tomato based.
Carolina heaven – where’s the sweet tea.
Ironically barbecue is not the official North Carolina state food, as they have none. They do however have 50 state symbols!
State Art Medium – Clay
State Carnivorous Plant – Venus Flytrap. Native only to a small area around Wilmington, North Carolina, it is now cultivated worldwide.
State Dog – Plott Hound
State Dance – Clogging
1951 – State Capitol 1974 – Tryon Palace 1988 – Three Presidents Statue 2000 – Old Salem Pedestrian Bridge 2003 – Wright Brothers 2004 – Greensboro’s Douglas Galyon Depot 2006 – Doc Watson Highway
The North Carolina State Capitol is in Raleigh. This building dates from 1833, and was saved from General Sherman’s march in the Civil War by the governor of the time, Zebulon Vance, sending a peace delegation to negotiate with Sherman. Legend has it that Raleigh is the only southern city that Sherman came across that wasn’t heavily damaged, although part of it was it was right as the peace treaty as ready to be signed.
The area around Raleigh has had tremendous growth in the last few decades thanks to Research Triangle Park, the largest research park in the United States.
The name, and drivers, behind RTP are the three major universities in the area, University of North Carolina, Duke and North Carolina State University.
It was created in 1959, and has grown steadily ever since, with over 60,000 people now working there for companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco and the National Institute of Health.
The state government areas in the middle of the city are home not only to the capitol and legislature buildings, but numerous museums.
One of the most famous locations in the state is located along the coast at Kitty Hawk. It was here in 1903 that Orville and Wilbur Wright came down from Ohio to escape the cold and test their invention, the airplane.
The site is a National Historic Site, with a full scale sculpture of the plane, as well as markers detailing those first 4 fledgling flights.
From the Ocean to the Mountains
1958 – Beach 1977 – Lake Norman 1988 – Wrightsville Beach 1990 – Coastal Carolina
North Carolina stretches for 500 miles inland from the ocean to the Appalachian Mountains. One of the nicer mountain regions is at Stone Mountain State Park (not to be confused with the one in Georgia with confederate soldiers carved on it).
The Outer Banks of North Carolina has some of the finest beaches in the country, along with giant sand dunes, and an apparent bulls eye for hurricanes to aim for.
1967 – Blue Ridge Parkway 1972 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park 1982 – Joyce Killmer Forest 1996 – Blue Ridge Parkway 2002 – Cascade Falls Hanging Rock State Park 2007 – Collage 2015 – Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is the country’s longest park, running for 429 miles along the tops of the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia through North Carolina.
It’s most famous spot is the viaduct at Linn Cove on Grandfather Mountain, featured on two of the maps above. (photos below from various internet sites)
1973 – Lake Norman 2011 – Wild Flowers 2013 – Outer Banks
Eastern North Carolina has a number of picturesque towns, including Edenton. In the mid 1600s settlers from Jamestown came inland and founded Edenton Colony, making it the first European settlement in North Carolina.
The town served briefly as the North Carolina capital.
1986 – White Water Rafting 1995 – North Carolina Zoological Park 2001 – Airborne & Special Operations Museum 2005 – Pinehurst
The central North Carolina area has a number of cool places to visit including a restored ‘Clamshell’ Shell station in Winston- Salem.
Durham has two classic baseball stadiums; the older one was featured in the movie Bull Durham, and continues to this day to host college games, while the newer stadium is now home to the Durham Bulls.
Seemingly misplaced, the NHL has a team located in Raleigh.
Near the Virginia border is the home of ‘Grave Digger’, monster truck extraordinaire.
At the other end of the state, on the South Carolina border is Charlotte, the states largest city. It is a fast growing city, and financial headquarters to numerous banks. (Photos from Wikipedia)
In the far western edge of the state is Asheville, a bastion of blue in a sea of red in the mountains. Asheville is an artist center. (Photo from Wikipedia)
Lastly we visit Mount Airy – aka Mayberry. This small northeastern North Carolina town was the home of an actor named Andy Griffith, who starred in a 1960s TV show where he was a small town sheriff in Mayberry. It was based on his hometown, and to this date they live off of that reputation. (photo from Wikipedia).
By y’all for now.
Bonjour de la Louisiana. Our trip today takes us to the bayou.
1977 – Bogue Chitto River. This river is 65 miles north of New Orleans in a park with more than 1,000 acres.
1979 – Bayou. Much of southern Louisiana is made up of bayous and swamps.
The residents of these parts are very proud of their alligators.
The bayous have a unique beauty.
1981 – Acadia. This area of Louisiana has the strongest French culture. In Louisiana the counties are known as parishes. Some of the parishes in this area are over 25% French speaking (although not a French someone from Paris or Montreal would likely easily understand).
We passed through this area in 2019, making a stop at the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island.
Acadia is rice growing country.
In New Ibiera is the Conrad Rice Mill, America’s oldest.
1984 – Mississippi River. The river is the economic driver for Louisiana.
Bridges in New Orleans.
Many overseas freighters come up the river to New Orleans to dock and offload.
The tourist sternwheeler leaves for a tour.
Upriver at the crossing from Vicksburg, Mississippi to the town of Delta, Louisiana.
1986 – 1992 – 2001 – Music
New Orleans is music, food and partying.
1990 – Flowers
With the warm weather and abundant rain, Louisiana has amazing flora and fauna.
1998 – State Capitol. While New Orleans is the center of the world for all things Louisiana, Baton Rouge is the capital.
2002 & 2007 – Food
Louisiana is known for food, primarily (photos from Wikipedia)
2003 – Louisiana Purchase (historic New Orleans)
New Orleans was the center of the French owned territory in the new world. The Cabildo is beside St Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter.
The French Quarter is representative of the city at that time (except for all the dive bars).
2018 – Birds
Avery Island, Louisiana has a very impressive bird sanctuary.
Lincoln Park and Garfield Park are both city parks in Chicago that have impressive glass conservatories. This time of year both are having their spring flower shows.
We start with Lincoln Park.
And now it was on to Garfield Park
Garfield Park’s is larger, with more rooms, including an impressive cacti collection.
Dating from the late 1800s, the Carlos Thays Botanicall Garden is a beautiful setting for the plants, trees, sculptures and buildings that make up the 17 acre urban oasis. It is located just off the Plaza italia.
The Montreal Botanical Gardens is one of the finest, if not the finest, botanical gardens in North America. It has a large number of specialty gardens, such as a Chinese Gardens (covered in a separate posting), as well as numerous thematic gardens – including one dedicated to poisonous plants!
Overall the gardens are amazingly beautiful, and well kept.
Audubon Park is located just south of downtown Columbus in a reclaimed ‘brown field’, aka – old industrial areas. The transformation to a nature preserve is amazing.
We were there on a Saturday morning for a ‘Beginning Birding Hike’. Our guide Erika was knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
We started out with the easy ones in the feeders.
While ostensibly we were there to check out the birds, the flowers and plants were interesting as well.
Not to mention twin turtles.
The bees were busy…
Of course I was too busy taking photos to pay attention to what type of bird this was!
As always wandering off from the crowd, who came away with more knowledge about birds than I did.
The boardwalk across the wetlands provided more flower and plant photo ops.
The small, but passionate group was very focused.
And a blue heron.
Despite the heat it was a great way to spend a couple of hours, thanks to the parks and our guide Erika.
A beautiful Saturday afternoon was the perfect time to go for a walk around the neighborhood. Only in this case we chose to go to the ‘Detroit Shoreway’ neighborhood in Cleveland for our walk.
Why – because this neighborhood, and many others in Cleveland, were participating in ‘GardenWalk Cleveland 2019’. We were fortunate enough to meet one of the founders of Cleveland’s, who said they go the idea from Buffalo, New York’s.
The Detroit Shoreway neighborhood is named so from Detroit Avenue, which is the original road from Cleveland to Detroit, and it is located along Lake Erie. Most of the homes in the neighborhood are over 100 years old, with many being exquisitely restored.
For the Garden Walk there were over 80 gardens to see, each with their own unique interpretation! Each had a sign indicating they were participating in the walk, and to guide us to which part of the yard was open (front, side, back)
A morning at the botanical gardens to check out the Chihuly Exhibit (in a different posting) allowed us to see the gardens in full bloom, along with active butterflies.
Just south of downtown Houston is Hermann Park, and the McGovern Centennial Gardens. It is a small, well thought out space with flowers, plants and statues.
The statues featured great Latin American leaders, as well as (strangely) Scottish poet Robert Burns!