Helton Creek Falls


Just north of Walasi-Yi at the bottom of Blood Mountain, flows Helton Creek. Following a gravel road filled with ruts and rivulets leads to Helton Creek Falls. I’ve been to the falls on a handful of occasions, but only in mid summer. During the warm season, the creek is well behaved and though great to visit, the falls themselves are not awe inspiring. However, during my visit in December, the rain was relentless for several days before the sun came out.

With the sun cooperating, Josh and I drove over the blood to see the the water and hike a little on the Appalachian Trail. As you can see, the upper falls were spectacular. The water flew over the top and thundered into the pool at the bottom. Josh pointed out the sun caught in the mist and we both started shooting.


Just as wonderful were the lower falls. While the upper falls are vertical, the lower falls have a shallower slope. However, they were just as amazing as they roared by. We had better access to the lower falls and I could feel the strength of the water as it flowed by.

I’m glad we had the day together.Getting out with our cameras is always something that we both enjoy. Downtown, in the mountains, or in the forest, we always manage to have a great time.



In northern Georgia, at the top of Blood Mountain is one of the most wonderful views you will see in the area. The mountain is crowned by Walasi-Yi (pronounced Wa La See Yee and means The Big Frog), a small interpretive center and hiking supply store. It’s the only location along the AppalachianTrail  that passes under a roof. The area is also known as Neels gap (originally named Frog Town) and is just thirty miles or so from the beginning of the trail.


Located in front of the store, is a massive oak with dozens of boots hanging from its branches. When I look at them, I wonder about the stories they could tell of the many thousands of miles they have seen along the trail. Some look almost new while others are patched with duct tape and are barely holding together.

If you’ve ever hiked the AT, let us know in the comments.

Georgia Museum of Art

Georgia 2015-04804

I was in Atlanta over the Thanksgiving holiday and had the pleasure of visiting the Georgia Museum of Art. Located on the UGA campus, the museum is small, but has always been a favorite. True to form, the visit was really enjoyable. There were several new exhibits…at least new to me, and as always, their collection of primitive furniture is wonderful. However there was an exhibit of instruments and materials used by American brass bands in the 19th century and a collection of needlework created by early 19th century girls.

Georgia 2015-04794

The highlight was a fantastic display of Japanese Samurai armor and weapons. Each piece was gorgeous and amazing in the artwork and styling. Certainly, I can’t think of any other implements of battle that can come close in terms of beauty.

If you are an art lover and ever find your self in Athens, Georgia. Give the museum a try. I think you will like it quite a bit.


the wee one


What we have here is the newest and possibly the most smiling McMurdo family baby. He is the first of his generation and the son of my niece, Katie.

This is the first trip to Atlanta during which I had the chance to spend quite a bit of time with him. Did I say that he smiles? Maybe smile is not the right word. His entire face lights up. When the edges of his mouth begin to move upwards, his eyes grow wide, his head tilts back, and suddenly you are presented with a full facial, whole body, grin.

But, not in this picture. All of the grinning wore him out and he decided that his MiMi’s chest was the perfect place to lay his head and look at what his Uncle Tim is up to.

be quiet

Be Quiet, Mummy Is Taking a Nap


Be quiet, Mummy is sleeping.

Tuesday, Josh and I visited the Michael C. Carlos Museum located on the Emery University campus in Atlanta, GA.  It's a little known jewel of a museum with one of the best antiquities collections (European and the Americas) that I've seen in the U.S. 

The last time we went, was when the kids were about twelve or so. We had lunch at Everybody's Pizza and then crossed the street to the museum. Unfortunately, Everybody's is no more, but the museum is still there, bigger and better than ever.


Going to the Carlos!


The building was designed so that both the exterior and interior leave you with the feeling that you are experiencing an ancient temple.


Carlos Stairs


The Boy on Stairs


The museum was a great way to top off the afternoon after a day at the Aquarium and lunch at Willy's. You know that both Josh and I were packing cameras every step of the way. It's our thing.

Have a great day folks.