Thoughtful Thursday Anna Ruby Falls, Georgia

Anna Ruby Falls photo by Maria Vidaurre

There’s something to be said about slowing down and spending time in nature. This past fall I was fortunate to take a hiking trip to northern Georgia with my husband. One of our visits was to Anna Ruby Falls which is in Unicoi State Park, located just outside of Helen, Georgia. It was a stunning drive to the falls as we drove on the windy road through the forest with accents of mother nature’s foliage of yellow, orange and red leaves glistening in the sunlight.

The hike to the falls is about a half mile on a paved path. Officially it’s .4 of a mile, but my Garmin and phone tracker showed it was a bit more. Nevertheless, it was a majestic hike the entire way as the path followed the creek and you were serenaded by the flowing waters. The path was a little steep but there were plenty of benches along the way to rest if needed.

James H. “Captain” Nichols was a Civil War Colonel who retired and moved to Nacoochee Valley in 1870. Even though he had been promoted to Colonel he was reverently referred to as “Captain.” While out horseback riding one day, Nichols discovered the falls and named them after his daughter, Anna Ruby.

The falls are made up of Curtis and York Creeks that run down the steep slopes of Tray Mountain in 2 falls. In the photo above Curtis Creek Falls is shown on the left and drops 153 feet and York Creek Falls is shown on the right and drops 50 feet. These 2 falls combine to create Smith Creek which is what you see when walking on the path.

I hope you enjoyed this little travel tidbit. Anna Ruby Falls was a beautiful place to visit and I hope you’ll be able to visit it too!

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“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu

All photos were taken by Maria Vidaurre

Thoughtful Thursday – The Magic of Autumn

Photo taken by Maria Vidaurre

Summer is officially coming to an end on September 22nd as we welcome the Autumn Equinox. Here in South Florida, we don’t really experience a change in scenery. The weather cools a bit but there is no major change in season visually.

This was a photo I had taken while hiking 10 miles on the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia with my husband. The air was cool and crisp on the morning we embarked on our hike and the scent of wet leaves permeated the air. Mother nature had graciously painted a stunning canvas of yellow, red, orange and brown for us to enjoy. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking on the trail.

It was a magical hike where I found myself again and remembered what I was made of. There were parts of the trail where I had to dig deep to find courage and endurance to push on. One section had a small brook covered with leaves which were very slippery. Even though I was super careful, I ended up taking a fall but luckily it was nothing major and just ended up with a bruised knee.

The most treacherous part of the trail was a section that was covered with large boulders from an avalanche that wobbled and moved as we crossed them. This part slowed us down considerably and the sun was setting soon.

To say the least, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting stuck on the mountain, at night, out in the cold. I much preferred my warm bed that was calling my name back at the lodge. So with all the grit and determination I could muster, I forged on to reach the end of our hike.

As the sun started to set in the horizon, the temperature began to drop pretty fast and darkness was setting in. Just when I thought we wouldn’t make, we came to the end of the trail. I was so happy and soooo relieved. We did it 😅

Looking back on our hike I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. It was quite the adventure and I loved every minute I spent with my husband. Time on the trail renewed my energy and sense of wonder. It was a great recharge for my mind, body and soul.

We’re going on another hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail this fall but it will be at a different section of the trail and a shorter hike. Really looking forward to seeing all the beautiful colors again!

What do you like most about autumn?

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“Notice how autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” ~Freidrich Nietzsche

Photos taken by Maria Vidaurre

Autumn Solstice Mandala

This is another mandala I created. It represents the beginning of autumn, when there’s still a lot of green but just starting to change color. I created this on 8″ x 8″ 140 lb, Cold Press water color paper. I used watercolor paints, colored pencils, pen and acrylic paint pen for highlights.

I really enjoy creating these mandalas and hope you enjoy it too. It’s available for purchase in my etsy shop: FlowingWatersArtShop

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