Great Smoky Mountains National Park Blog by Richard Weisser of

The days grow short and Summer wanes.

The days grow short and Summer wanes by Richard WeisserThough the heat belies and feigns,
The days grow short and Summer wanes,
Too soon for some, the days flew past
But for me Fall draws nigh at last!
         (R Weisser 2014)

Some folks look forward to Summer. They long for hot, sunny, lazy days lounging by the pool or on the beach.

For others the snows of Winter provide the backdrop for sports and strenuous outdoor activities that warm the body and invigorate the soul.

And there are those that prefer the explosion of Spring blooms with the promise of renewal and a fresh start.

But I am a Fall person. And although we are now experiencing the hottest weather of the year, the calendar cannot be conquered. As we race towards the equinox I can already discern that many of the Summer tones are becoming more muted.

I look forward to the sound of freshly fallen colored leaves crunching beneath my hiking boots and the perfume of late wildflowers in the Autumn air.

I love the chill of the early Fall mornings that is mitigated by dryer, sunny afternoons the present the ever changing palette of hues in a different light every hour of every day.

I can think of no greater pleasure than to be on a trail in a remote area, out of range of everything modern and distracting, drinking in the ancient energy of the planet and refreshing my being with the tonic of the Autumnal forest.

Although I have a few weeks yet to wait, I am ready!

And I really need it!

Photo: Andrews Bald in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by Richard Weisser and

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8 commentsRichard Weisser • September 07 2014 06:41AM
The days grow short and Summer wanes.
Though the heat belies and feigns, The days grow short and Summer wanes, Too soon for some, the days flew past But for me Fall draws nigh at last! (R Weisser 2014) Some folks look forward to Summer. They long for hot, sunny, lazy days… more
To splash o’er craggy staircased traces!
Adeste swirling shrouds of lace, And swathe in cobalt velvet grace Each crest awash in Heaven’s dew Each trough collects the residue Dispatched at once to distant places, To splash o’er craggy, staircased traces, As tonic courses through the veins… more
To traipse afoot through copse and hell!
To traipse afoot through copse and hell*, As toes go numb and ankles swell, The throbbing legs chastise the brain, Can all this “fun” be worth the pain? (R Weisser 2014) On paper it seemed like a reasonable plan. A fourteen mile hike from… more
What is snow, after all, but frozen water?
Through sluice the rushing torrent churns, The turbine squeals, the pulley turns, As wheels and belts lurch to and fro, All pressed to life from melting snow! (R Weisser 2014) Winter storms can be disruptive and dangerous But they are… more
And Fall defers to Winter’s reign!
On muted crimson frosted peaks ‘Neath tousled wind blown umber sheets, ‘Tis time for rest as dusk now wanes, And Fall defers to Winter’s reign! (Richard Weisser 2013) It's that time of year again! As the last vestiges of Fall… more
The siren tempts from painted hill
The siren tempts from painted hill Blows windy notes and whistles shrill, To precipice the prey is lured, Most pleasant snare in all the world! (R Weisser 2013) As the North winds deliver the first hints of winter, the mountains put on their… more
Drenched by gold and crimson drops!
Drenched by gold and crimson drops From high upon the mountain tops, Sweet feathered, wispy, blazing strains Deluge the hills with Autumn’s rains! (R Weisser 2013) It’s the middle of October, and the evidence of Autumn is working… more
Our responsibility to preserve parks for future generations.
Over the last few years, our National, State and local parks have fallen victim to budget cutbacks, lower visitation, and abject neglect. For whatever reason, parks appear at the top of the list of nonessential government services and as a… more
Along the washed-smooth stones of time!
A chant of splashing, tumbling prayers, O’er gold-green beds and rocky stairs, The stream recites the ancient rhyme Along the washed-smooth stones of time. (R Weisser 2013) Constant is the baseline for change. Though technology seems to… more
Notes from a Smoky Mountain Daydreamer!
To walk the weather beaten trace. ‘Cross rushing stream, past rocky face, The woes of worldly stress dismissed And melt away into the mist! (R Weisser 2013) I have made many trips to my beloved Smoky Mountains. There was a time when I would… more
Testing our Mettle on a Daily Basis
The Sirens’ haunted chilling shrieks That beckon from the craggy peaks. Away from sheltered succor lure To summit from the valley’s floor! (R Weisser 2012) Why do we climb mountains? Common sense suggests that the rewards do not… more
Amicalola Falls State Park
Amicalola Falls State Park is one of the most popular destinations in the Georgia State Park system Amicalola Falls drop 729 feet from top to bottom, earning the distinction of being the tallest waterfall in Georgia. The name "Amicalola"… more
Autumn is here … for now!
The fireworks fizzle fast from sparks To embers on a cold stone hearth, If you miss the show let’s be perfectly clear: You’ll have to wait until next year! (R Weisser 2012) Yes, Fall is in it’s full glory right now. I love… more
It's Autumn and the Great Smoky Mountains are calling!
The ancient craggy guardian By age without comparison, ‘Twas old and aged as Alps were born And towered when the Rockies formed (R Weisser 2012) Did you know that the Appalachian Mountains are considered to be among the oldest peaks on… more
The black bears of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
As dark voids ‘midst the twigs and leaves Devouring mast of shrubs and trees, The black bears soon in den will lie, And fat they’ll sleep ‘till Spring draws nigh! (R Weisser 2012) The black bears of the Great Smoky Mountains… more
How do you find refreshment?
O’er tumbled rounded ancient rock With viridian velvet garments flocked, The spirit baptized, the soul redeemed, In the frigid splashing mountain stream! (R Weisser 2012) When the heat is turned up, and our energy seems to be ebbing with… more
Weather anomalies and the delicate balance of life.
In downy tufted cushions lain To soften Summer’s torrid strain, Refreshing respite, sweet relief In mountain-shaded groves of heath. (R Weisser 2012) It’s been hot the last several days. “Record-breaking” heat in many… more
The native Flame Azalea in the southeastern Appalachians.
As Moses tended Jethro’s flocks Ablaze it beckoned from afar A burning bush amongst the rocks, Never consumed and never charred! (R Weisser 2012) The native Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) puts on a spectacular show in the… more
Fall is fleeting. Take time to enjoy it!
O’ take me to my mountains Where crystal rivers flow And tumble past electric leaves That emit October’s glow. Sweet smells of Fall’s disrobing Awaiting Winter’s blasts 'Tis nature's hued full glory That merely weeks will… more
Where do you go to get away from it all? For me, it's sitting beside…
There’s a place that beckons us and seizes our thoughts. And try as we might to ignore it, it calls to us during our hectic lives and interrupts our busy schedule. It’s the stuff of daydreams and idleness yet we cannot push the… more