When hubby and the kids said I could choose anything to do on Mother's Day, I said without hesitation that I wanted the four of us to spend the day hiking around DeSoto Falls in the North Georgia Mountains. Summer posted pictures of her day trip there on Saturday, inspiring me to finally visit the place I'd only written about in a short story but never actually been to.
I left my camera in the car (arg), so thank you Great Georgian Properies(dot)com for this gorgeous shot of the Upper Falls.
As always, I had my pocket-sized Moleskin journal with me, noting the sights, smells and sounds that inspired me as we made our way along a moderately rugged path through the lush forest. The tallest broadleaf hardwoods in the Chattahoochee National Forest towered 100 feet above us, and the glimpses of blue through occasional breaks in the canopy would have looked artificial had I mixed that color and tried to paint a sky on canvas. Nature so pure isn't meant to be captured or reproduced; only enjoyed.
Which is why I was so unnerved when we made our final stop of the day.
After leaving the DeSoto Falls Scenic Area, we drove over the summit and into the valley of Blairsville, Georgia. Nestled at the base of rolling peaks is a quaint cluster of mountain artisan boutiques and country stores. In one, where they sell beautiful, hand-hewn furniture carved from solid wood, one can also purchase this:
I cursed myself again for not having my camera with me, but thank you Jacob K for his Flickr Collection titled Georgia, for capturing these shots!
I'm not an animal activist, but I clearly fall somewhere on the spectrum of respect for animals' rights. Taxidermy had always been an art form I didn't particularly understand or appreciate, but I'd never considered it cruel. Certainly, I understand a hunter's desire to admire the fruits of his game. But after spending a day basking in nature and celebrating the planet and all its glory, seeing those magnificent animals frozen in poses created from someone's cruel sense of humor struck me as nauseating mockery.
The price tag on the bear was $599. The raccoon cost $385. There was actually a nice selection of raccoons to choose from. If the canoe wasn't appealing, you could go with: a seated raccoon trying to open a can of Coca Cola between its legs; a raccoon seated with a paw dug into an open box of Cracker Jacks; a raccoon holding five fanned-out playing cards (a full house with kings and queens -- a winning hand, ironically); or a raccoon dressed in tiny hiking gear and holding a compass. Also available for a mere $181.50 each were canoe-paddling squirrels and squirrels dressed in cowboy regalia.
The good news is those bears, raccoons and squirrels got my writer gears turning. A brilliant idea (if I don't say so myself) for my antagonist popped into my mind and resulted in a scribbled page and a half of notes in the old Moleskin. It's going to be a good writing day today!
Did you see anything this weekend that sparked a new idea or twist for your story?