Okay!! I am finally back to finish this post on Noccalula Falls. Aunty was wanting to see the video of the kayakers so I saved this one for ya'll. There are several versions, amazingly enough, and this is one of the longer ones. It takes a little bit to load but not horrible. Or, just Google "Noccalula kayakers" and you will get a number of results, including several You Tube versions. I think all of the guys were wearing the GoPro helmet cameras and it just about makes me sick to watch when they go over the falls! lol!
So, back to our originally planned broadcast. These photos are more of the back portion of the park and they contain a few features that are unique to the South. The house you see above is a great example of a classic "dogtrot" design and is the basis of the design for my house. Now, I know you are saying, 'your house doesn't look anything like that Annie!' Well, no it doesn't. Not yet anyway. I still hope to add the second part of my house that would allow it to develop into a true dogtrot design. The existing deck would become the breezeway area with a master bedroom and bath, a library/ office and laundry/ crafts room on the other side. As we stood inside the breezeway or dogtrot area, you could feel a much more noticeable breeze within than you could standing outside and that is one of the purposes of this design. When air currents are compressed or force to turn a corner they tend to pick up speed, allowing for more ventilation. It worked because these type houses were very common before air-conditioning. It also allowed you to have the cooking area separated, literally, from the sleeping area thus keeping it cooler. I have gotten a lot of crap over simply wanting this design and that kinda boggles my mind. Anything from, "but you'll have to walk across that opening in the winter!!!!' (like we live in the Arctic and I might freeze solid in 12 feet) to "why do that when you can just run your air-conditioner?" Explaining the green aspect of not wanting to run air-conditioning so much just doesn't work on these people so I don't bother. To me there is also another great function of a house like this: If Jack or I wanted or needed to stay up late or work on something the other could retire to the other side without being bothered by noise or such. Or if he pisses me off enough I could go over there and not kill him.
Many of you might recognize this contraption as a "bottletree" but for those of you that may have never seen one I'll explain. The South has been heavily influenced by the African culture due to the import of slaves in colonial times and later and the idea of demons or evil spirits being captured in glass is one of those ideas. The bottletree is simply the evolution of that idea taken up by white people, I imagine partially just because they are pretty and eclectic, something southerners revel in. Here are a few lines from a story by Eudora Welty that might explain some:
Then coming around up the path from the deep cut of the Natchez Trace below was a line of bare crape-myrtle trees with every branch of them ending in a colored bottle, green or blue.
There was no word that fell from Solomon's lips to say what they were for, but Livvie knew that there could be a spell put in trees, and she was familiar from the time she was born with the way bottle trees kept evil spirits from coming into the house - by luring them inside the colored bottles, where they cannot get out again.
Now, traditionally, blue bottles were considered to be the best for demon capturing but nowadays you see them with all colors. When I was a kid we didn't see bottle trees too much but they have made a comeback of sorts in the past few years as more Southerners have come to embrace, rather than be embarrassed of our eccentric culture. The above example is not one of the most imaginative examples of a bottletree but it's not bad. Much better than the horrible, factory churned, thousands produced in China. Here, you can see some gorgeous examples of real bottletrees and art working off that idea. You do have to scroll down the page just a little...
So, back to the gardens... the koi pond was great. They had planted it well and it was very peaceful. This shot was taken from inside the covered bridge that spans the pond.
And this was taken just outside the bridge. I hope to have similar gardens as this one day. Well, without the covered bridge anyway. Just regular foot bridges for me.
This is standing at the entrance to the gorge below the falls. If you look closely you can see the falls way int he background. I used to love to hike around this area when I was a teenager. Maybe I can talk Jack into going back one day and taking an all day hike. In the fall it is really pretty.
The descent is really steep! and once you get down there it is fairly rigorous hiking in most parts. Lots of boulders and such to go over and around. You certainly want to be in somewhat decent shape and not go alone on this hike but it is very scenic and enjoyable.
So, that's my tour of Noccalula Falls; I hope ya'll enjoyed it! Oh, I don't think I told ya'll how it got it's name? This area was heavily occupied by native Americans before the white man invasion and Noccalula was the name of the beautiful daughter of a local Cherokee chief. According to legend she fell in love with a brave and courageous (and unfortunately poor) young man in her tribe but her father promised her in marriage to a chief of a neighboring tribe. In despair, after her true love was banished, she threw herself off these cliffs to her death rather than marry another man. I know this sounds like a number of other "legends" of lost loves but this one has some facts to back it up and may actually be true, at least in part. The plaque at the falls gives a more detailed account.