Places – Some Place New

Written and posted in response to The Daily Post prompt: Places.

My entire life has been driven by the desire to see over the next rise, always looking to see what secrets and surprises the next “place” had to offer. This is natural for me—fascinated with all things natural: animals, plants, rivers and streams, hills and mountains, new vistas, towns, people and history. Every new place offers the promise of new discoveries; new friends.

As I have grown older, I have learned that the next “place” may be very near in a hidden corner not previously explored. I will go as far as I can, but I do not have to go beyond the horizon to make those precious new discoveries—I just have to look more carefully around me.

Two examples

Just yesterday, working in my yard, I discovered a new little creature—“new” in the sense that I have not seen one of its kind on our property or in Tennessee. Not new to the world, not new to Tennessee, even new to me, but new to me here sharing my piece of this earth. The creature is an eastern spadefoot toad. I observed it, photographed it, documented my experience, and returned the creature to its place in the world.

An Eastern Spadefoot Toad, found in Grundy County, Tennessee.

An Eastern Spadefoot Toad, found in Grundy County, Tennessee.

The spadefoot gets its name from a sharp, hard “blade” on its hind feet that allows it to dig backwards, into loose soil. This one was about six inches deep in an area I needed to dig to fix a pipe. It probably spent the winter there. (Expect more on this creature in a future blog.)

On another occasion, while driving around the area, I discovered—what others had known about—but was new to me. It is a blue hole, not five miles from my home, in a secluded cove just off of a busy highway. Water flows up from the deep recesses of the hole and into a river that immediately disappears into a cave. The river emerges about one hundred yards farther down the mountain side and continues to wind through the valley—eventually to the Tennessee River. It turns out this blue hole not only flows with water, but with history and legend. (Expect a future article on the blue hole, too.)

Blue Hole at the foot of the Cumberland Plateau in Grundy County, Tennessee: water rises up in the blue hole and runs into the cave in the background.

Blue Hole at the foot of the Cumberland Plateau in Grundy County, Tennessee: water rises up in the blue hole and runs into the cave in the background.

So for me, the “place” I want to be is anywhere I will have a new experience or the possibility of learning something. Do you know of a “place” for me?

About/Contents Entry
What Place do I want to be–learn where and why.

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11 Responses to Places – Some Place New

  1. Pingback: Renaissance Musings Table of Contents | Renaissance Musings

  2. axelan says:

    Rabn into my own version of a “blue hole” while fishing with my uncle in War Eagle Creek in the early 1960’s. What I always recall about the incident was a close call with a very large cotton mouth while going after a left behind minnow bucket. Your article and the picture drew up the rest of that long forgotten memory. Thanks Jeff, and thanks (RIP) Uncle Garland!

  3. merlinjr01 says:

    Glad I could shake out a treasured memory. Write down the whole story and I would love to have it as a guest blog here.

  4. Donna says:

    I look forward to the article on the Blue Hole looks interesting.

  5. Great photos ~ love your shot of Twin Lights! ♥

  6. merlinjr01 says:

    I appreciate your comment. The twin lights of Navasink were from my days of collecting lighthouses. That was fun.

  7. Pingback: The Blue Hole at the Headwaters of the Elk River, Tennessee | Renaissance Musings

  8. Pingback: The Eastern Spadefoot Toad – Memories Stirred | Renaissance Musings

  9. Jan says:

    Visit Bluebell Island which is on Elk River near the Tyson Hatchery at Pelham, TN, & post photos, please. The bluebells should be blooming about now.

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