Light through the trees

imageDo you ever just go outside and discover something beautiful. We now live in Asheville, North Carolina. Our home is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway on the side of a mountain near downtown. The other morning it was a bit foggy and misty around our home. I was amazed to see this beautiful light shining through the trees in our back yard. Thank goodness I had my cell phone with me and was able to capture the moment. It reminds me again how inspiring and uplifting nature can be.

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IMG_0881After living in Pensacola Florida for 38 years, we have decided to move to Asheville. Being a fourth generation Floridian and having many friends in Pensacola, this has not been an easy decision! We, however, do love the mountains and our grandkids and daughter and her husband are calling! It makes so much sense, but it is hard to leave good friends! We have bought a nice home in Asheville with an incredible view of mountains. So, I know once we get settled, we will love being there.
So, wish us luck! So many people mention the cold there! We are tired of the heat and humidity in Florida.
Follow up: we have lived in Asheville for almost six months. It is hard to believe we have been here that long. Finally getting the home set up like we like it. Meeting new people; back to exercising; enjoying being so close to our daughter and family. We love the mountains and being so close also to our log home. I am still keeping in touch with good friends in Pensacola and working on making new friends. My husband is loving his man cave with his special room to continue his writings.
Life is good.

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the great thing frontthe great thing back
My husband has published his latest book called THE GREAT THING. It is available on amazon. You can search for it using Bob Cook and the great thing. I think you will find it very interesting and thought provoking! It is a different look at the Afterlife!

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Yesterday morning, my husband and I were at our usual spot drinking coffee. We have a bird feeder between us and the golf course. We always enjoy looking at it and watching the birds come in to eat. Normally, every morning we see the same birds. Once and awhile, we will see a yellow finch come in for a visit.
We saw for the first time an Indigo Bunting. It was totally blue and was beautiful. We think its less colorful mate was also there eating with him. He stayed around long enough for us to enjoy him and to take a few pictures. When he left, he left. A friend told me that he had probably taken off from Texas ahead of the storm which we experienced last night. Whatever it was that brought him into our back yard feeder was good for me! Fortunately, all we got from the storm here in Pensacola was heavy rain, lighting, thunder, and wind!

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Spiders Among Us!!!!

spider spider1 spider7 spider8 spider10 spider12 spiders4

Every time we come to our log home in Southwest Virginia, there is something new! This time, unfortunately, there are spiders all over the place! Never seen so many before. I have learned that although I do NOT fear spiders, I certainly do not like them or their webs. They are forming webs all over our cabin, so we have to watch out for them when we go out on our decks! They form webs all over the woods, so we have to watch out for them when we ride through the woods in our Polaris Ranger! I know that they are not harmful, but I do NOT like the feel of spiders or their web on me!! Although, they are beautiful as you can see in the photos that my husband took!

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My Sister’s 75th Birthday

Today, my sister turns the end of the month of September, I will turn 70. It is so hard to believe. Where have the years gone? Anyway, I called her this morning to wish her Happy Birthday. Mine was the first call of the morning! We are currently in our log home in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. She asked if we had gotten any animals on the game cameras that we set out. I told her that we got a photo of a really skinny momma bear and her cub. She obviously was a first time mother. Her cub looked healthy, but she looked like she was giving it all to her baby! (How about that!). My sister commented that we should give her something more to eat…so we put out a little bit of corn and another deer block. We just picked up the camera this afternoon and saw she and her baby chowing down! We will only be here for a month, but hopefully she will get enough to last through the winter months and to continue to keep her cub healthy! Unfortunately, because of all the rain, there does not seem to be many berries or apples on the trees on our property. So, sweet sister, for your birthday, maybe we are helping to fatten up this new momma!

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2013 May Wildflowers 2013 May Pitcher Plant & Others 059 2013 May Log Home Flowers 030 2013 May Log Home Flowers 027 2013 May Log Home Flowers 025 2013 May Log Home Flowers 021 2013 May Log Home Flowers 011 2013 May Log Home Flowers 007 2013 May Log Home Flowers 002 004
I have not posted anything on Word Press for awhile, but thought some might enjoy my thoughts written while on facebook and shared with fellow alumni from the first four classes of  Florida Presbyterian College, now Eckerd College.

My husband and I spent four weeks at our log home near Meadows of Dan, Virginia. We were there the whole month of May. Usually, the wildflowers are mostly gone and we mainly have wild azaleas and rhododendron blooming around our home. This year was entirely different. It was basically cool the first two weeks of May, like having March in May. Incredible wildflowers were all over the mountain side and all over our yard; many we had not seen before. I have just posted a few photos, but from the written description, you will get the names of many we saw!


Wildflowers from Bob & Liboo Woodward Cook

The Smokey Mountains and their foothills is a marvelous deciduous forest. In winters the trees are bare; sound carries for miles; snow lays deep in hollows and everything slows down.

Then comes spring.

The sun begins to shine and the morning fogs & rains water the dormant plants and seeds. Before spreading leaves close the forest canopy, sunshine reaches that damp forest floor and wildflowers explode.

These wildflowers don’t last long. Actually they are called ‘Spring Ephemerals.’

Because of the spring ephemerals, Wildflower National Park is an alternate name for Smokey Mountain National Park. People flock to the park to see those wildflowers. There are many organized tours. HOWEVER, have you noticed that many of us, Fiddler Crabs, now live in the forest? They get to ‘mosey out’ of their front doors and live with these wonders.


Liboo Woodward Cook has been posting on FACEBOOK, about her spring ephemerals:


May 3rd – We arrived in the mountains of Virginia at our log home about a week ago…have so many beautiful wildflowers I could share…it has been a bit too rainy for me most days (and foggy..wonder why they call it Smokey Mts)…but today was beautiful!

We have kept the area around our log home natural…think that has helped! We have native azaleas, rhododendron, mountain laurel, and dogwoods…all of which were here on the property when we decided to build. Our contractor was really conscientious about leaving a small footprint for our home.

Wild Azaleas


I posted an album with a trillium and also something called bellwort! Bob loves taking pictures here. He took some more this afternoon. I posted a beautiful purple trillium this morning! Our place is near the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mabry Mills…in Southwest Virginia



Apple tree blossoms

Bloodroot .has a very distinctive leaf which pushes its way through the frost-encrusted soil. The snowy-white flower

rises above the leaf in a day or two. By this you know

warmer temperatures are on the way. The plant’s name

comes from the red or orange sap that flows freely

whenever its stem or root is cut or broken. Sadly,

unscrupulous persons illegally harvest tens of thousands of

plants every year for their commercial value!

May Apple

Mayapple…Prolific and grows in huge groups on the

forest floor. Its leaves look like miniature beach umbrellas.

Under the umbrella leaves is a shape that looks like a small

apple which eventually opens into a pretty white flower.

 Wild Oats or Bellwort…he flowers attach directly

to the stem. The bell part of the name is an obvious

reference to the bell-shaped flowers. This plants loves rich

soil and moist conditions and can cover a large area of the

forest floor, grouping much like the Mayapple.

 Fire Pink -..not as common as some of the others. Often

found on rocky areas.

Fire Pinks


Wild Geranium


I think the picture of the beautiful cluster of blue

flowers on the rocks shows the Bluet wildflower..


Violet Trillium

White Trillium

Trillium…many different varieties of this..- it is

very prevalent throughout the forest floor. Most common is

the large flowered trillium..often seen in white and shades

of pink. The Trillium with the purple or dark almost blood

red flower is called Vasey’s Trillium.

 I know this is a really common wildflower, but Bob took

a nice picture of one of the many wild strawberry plants!

 Another new wildflower for us…growing by the large

creek. It is called, I think, Great Solomon Seal…The plant

itself was probably four feet tall…flowers on the stem tiny!

 This may be the last “new” discovery for us. I do

not remember the mountain being covered with blooming

tulip trees…gorgeous! (The tulip tree is called a Mountain

Magnolia tree (my cousin corrected me)…

Vasey’s Trillium

Great Solomon Seal


[Liriodendron tulipifera — known as the tulip tree, American tulip tree, tuliptree, tulip poplar, whitewood, fiddle-tree and yellow poplar — is the Western Hemisphere representative of the two-species genus Liriodendron, and the tallest eastern hardwood.]

Tulip Tree flower


“Just when one thinks they have

found every wildflower there is to find

, this one shows up this morning as we

are clearing out broken branches. I at

first thought it was a fungus, but went

to my wonderful wildflower book and it

is Squawroot! It says you have to get

down on your knees to find it, so BOB did and took

this picture. It also says that it is a favorite plant of black bears!”


May 25 –

 We saved the best for the last!! The pink lady’s slipper. We have four blooming. According to the book, these become rarer each year. They are so unique…we feel fortunate to have found them on our property! We tred carefully near them…the book says that people have been digging then up and trying to replant them but they always die…the book won’t even say where they are located on the

Blue Ridge Parkway!

Pink Lady Slipper

These are photos from Bob and Liboo Woodward Cook showing their cabin and some of the spring flowers this 2013 spring season. Oh, this is Photographer Bob with Billie Jean, their granddog, and that was Liboo in front of the cabin.


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A Man And His Dog

A Man And His Dog

W e were recently on a visit to our daughter and family in a town north of Chicago. It had snowed heavily before our arrival (and did again after we left) so my husband and I (from Florida) enjoyed greatly the change in climate, the cold, the snow, and of course, being with our daughter, her husband, and four grandchildren!One very nice thing about their area is the number of dog parks! They have a neat dog (part bird dog) named Billie Jean (a good southern name) who LOVES to romp in the dog park no matter the weather. We went with our son in law and Billie Jean one morning to the dog park. All one has to say to Billie Jean is dog park and she is ready to “load up” in the back of the SUV and head out. It was fun to watch her run and romp in the park and to watch how much fun both she and our son in law have together. What a special bond between man and dog!!visittoChicagoFeb2013 035

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Eagles and More Eagles

2013eagleRecently we checked out some undeveloped waterfront property near our home. We knew that there had been a pair of eagles nesting there a couple of years ago. We walked to the area where they were before and were disappointed to see that the nest was no longer there. We walked further into the property and noticed a large bird flying overhead. We thought it might be an eagle, but were not sure. We walked along the beach. Heading back, my husband spotted the new nest. The male was sitting on it, the female was in the nest. Not only did we see that pair, but noticed another pair flying above our heads. So, there were two pairs on the property. What a thrill. We are so glad to see that eagles are thriving and reproducing in Florida again. It made our walk incredible!

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We will be leaving our beautiful log home in the mountains of Southwest Virginia in a few days. We have been fortunate in many ways. We have been able to spend a whole month here, thanks in part to our wonderful neighbors who take care of our cat, Shadow, while we are out of town. We were blessed to have our two daughters and their families here for Thanksgiving. We have had fantastic weather while here..mostly cool and sunshiny days. We have enjoyed getting outside to walk the creek and the rest of the property that we own. We have enjoyed putting up game cameras again to see what roams the woods around here. As of this point, mainly deer and only at night as it is hunting season in Virginia. We did get a glimpse of two bears.

However what has been most incredible are the sunrises and the sunsets. Despite all the craziness that seems to go on daily in our society and particularly the worries about the politicals parties NOT working together to solve the fiscal cliff and other issues, we are always refreshed and manage to forget the worries that could consume us..reminded by the beauty of nature all around us

 Mountains of Southwest Virginia

Mountains of Southwest Virginia

who is in control.

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