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On March 1st of 2015, the Alcoa Ridge Runners took a stroll for two and a half miles up the Little River Trail in the Elkmont area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They went to see the snow melting and icicles clinging to the bluffs and rocks along the river bank. After passing among some decaying houses which were once part of a well to do private vacation village before the park was chartered, the wide gravel way closes in on the river to the left, flanking Curry Mountain to the right on its way to the junction at Cucumber Gap Trail.
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It was so warm (relatively speaking), yet indeed some wet slogging conditions. We tried to get up on the ridge earlier when there was a few feet but the roads were impassable.
I have been painting on the outside of the House of Blue Flowers for the past three days. I have also prepared the gardening beds with fresh dirt and mulch. They are ready to go, as soon as some sets harden off. I usually put in around April first, but spring came late this year so it might be as late as the seventh. We'll just have to see the signs to know exactly when. The dirt is black. I am ready to see some greens.
When the ice came, it tore down a lot of dead wood. I had to get that off the lawn quick. It was a lot of cleanup, but it got done before the grass began to green up. It made the tasks to follow much less urgent. I had time to go around and pull weeds, work in new soil, and get things ready so that I could begin setting in after the last killing frost, which happens tonight. I am one of those old fashioned gardeners who go by the signs. Get that hubby of yours under the hat and in the boot. Time is wasting...
I went out there while it was butt chillin' cold. I had to take off my coat once that rake touched dirt and the sweat started flowing... It is now in the 70's during the day here. Tonight, redbud winter ends. Over the weekend, I will work in the fertilizer and bug stops. By next week, the sets, now hardening off in the tray, should be thriving in their new homes in the ground...
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