Well happy Sunday everyone!

Prior to starting my series on Singapore, I shared a few images I had collected from around here in East Tennessee.  That was from very early on in the lockdown period and of course I had no idea at that point just how different this year would look from any previous!  Well, this week Picture of the Week returns to the United States so that I can share more images from what I’m now referring to as the “COVID days”, and frankly I think we’ll be staying here a while.  Not for lack of travel images, I was actually in India back in March and have images to share from there, but sharing local images seems truer to the season that we all find ourselves in today.  Additionally, as I’ve been exploring around my home, I’ve realized that this area gets quite neglected in Picture of the Week, and where better to be centered, than home.

Like most everywhere else, during the lockdown period at the beginning of the COVID days, all the national and state parks in Tennessee closed.  On some levels I get it (though if I’m honest, only partly), but being locked out of all the parks really took its toll on me personally.  Here in East Tennessee we had a TON of rain during that time frame, and I just felt trapped, with no where to go to “escape”, even for just a little bit.  Once I got my head out of my rear end, however, I decided to start exploring *new* places in the area, and as such, discovered some real gems.

One such place is the Citico Creek Wilderness area.  Though definitely less refined than the state and national parks, this wilderness area is beautiful in its own right.  I grew up hearing about people going fishing in Citico, but I can’t say I’ve ever spent much time there.  Holly and I spent a nice relaxing afternoon there, and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring around this section of the river (in the distance, you can see some dogwoods still blooming, which dates the picture).  On the way out, we found another blessing, and that’s the red trillium pictured below.  This particular trillium was special, in that it was the only red one in a huge patch of white ones, and I’d never seen a red one of this variety before!  We later stumbled on an entire patch of the red ones!  By the time we found these I had given up on getting to see trillium this year, because the only places I knew where to find them are all inside the parks, which were closed.  Turns out they grow everywhere around here – who knew? – you just have to know where to look!  🙂

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Citico Creek
Citico Creek Wilderness, Vonore, TN 37885, USA

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