Timberwolf Creek Blog

Larry’s very first gallery show!

I’m just bustin, I’m so proud. Larry left me up here in these mountains all alone to get ready for his first big SHOW. I’ll be hanging his photos at Frogs Leap Public House on Tuesday!! They are, in a word, spectacular. But y’all knew that. My big challenge was to write a bio for him. Well, hooray, it’s done! Just about impossible to read the fine print in my (clearly unprofessional) picture, but I’m gonna post the text below.

 

Larry Wright, Photographer

Toni, who owns this restaurant along with her husband, told me I needed to write a bio for Larry.  Well.  Where you start with something like that?!  I suppose we can begin with where he’s from and how he got here.  Geography.  Jobs.  So, “Born in Minnesota, moved to Florida as a young boy, came to Maggie Valley on vacation in 1998 and that was that.”  Larry was the system administrator for the missiles division of Martin Marietta/Lockheed Martin.  Now, he and his wife (that’s me!) have Timberwolf Creek B&B and a little outdoor wedding chapel.  We moved on, from engineers to inngineers.

We like this spelling better.

 

I’m fairly certain that, even back in Minnesota, Larry had a camera slung over one shoulder.  He still does.  I joked that he has sixty thousand pictures on his computer and he gave me an arch look, and corrected me, “More than two hundred thousand, actually.”  Going through old pictures, it’s hard to find one of Larry – he’s typically behind the lens – but when you do, there’s a touch of worry in his smile because you’re holding his camera.

Larry’s style has evolved over the years and it’s a pure pleasure to watch him winnow a landscape down to just exactly the right frame, while he waits with infinite patience for that perfect moment.  Click.

And while you’ll enjoy walking through Frog’s Leap Public House to see all his work, why yes, since you asked, I do have a favorite.  Not really because it’s my favorite image – no more than I could choose one of my children over another – but the story so wonderfully reflects Larry’s unflagging determination to capture an image…  It’s called Mountain Daylilies.

 

It was one of those summer days so beautiful it hurts.  And Larry knew it.  He was packed up and gone, once the sun hit the windows.  Packing up is a painstaking process when you’re dealing with oxygen tanks, back up tanks, regulators, carry bags, and then all that camera equipment.  Off he went.  He was coming back up our road when the afternoon sun picked out the daylilies planted in front of our place, and the blue, blue sky dotted with clouds was being cooperative.  Larry pulled over, and decided he needed the mountain in the background, with that sky.  He noted the sun shining through the flower petals, picking out the center in silhouette, and he laid down on the ground to get it framed precisely right… and then a car drove by – and pulled over!  Oh, no!  Guy with oxygen, lying on the ground!  And ran to help him.  Larry got up, thanked them and explained what he was doing and eventually they drove away.  He got back on the ground, maneuvered back under the flowers, lined up his picture… and then a car drove by – and pulled over.  People are kind.  It was a long, long afternoon.  Larry got his picture.  It’s my favorite.

 

Butternut Squash Soup because Judy asked…

I have a wonderful bride, named Judy. She and John were married here about a year and a half ago, and they recently moved to this area. (Recently, as in 27 days ago.) Judy and I have been having a great time going out and about and exploring the mountains together. One of our trips was to Barber’s Orchard fruit stand (such an understatement to call this place a ‘stand’) where we got apples and baked goods and gorgeous little butternut squashes. Is that right? Squashes? Well, we got more than one squash, ok? I did, anyway. Judy just got one. She said, “What are you going to do with those?” and I told her, “Make fabulous soup.” She asked how and I was almost embarrassed to tell her how easy it is.

Here goes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

I used two, er, of the squash. Cut your squash in half (that’s the hardest thing you’re going to do, today) and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Lay the squash, cut side up, in a roasting pan. I love (love) garlic (love garlic, Love it), so I peeled six cloves for my two squash. Es. Squashes. Whatever. For the squash. Then I peeled and cut a nice sized yellow onion into quarters, and laid a quarter and a clove-and-a-half of garlic into the cavity of each squash half. Then I drizzled good olive oil over the whole thing.

Then it baked for the better part of an hour – until I could poke a fork into the squash and it was like soft butter (or like a baked sweet potato, or -oh wait!  like cooked squash, yeah that’s it).

Next step is to get that stuff into the blender.  You can use a food processor or what have you, but Larry has a monster commercial Vitamix, and that puppy makes some smooth soup.   (And blender drinks, like the pina coladas last night with the fresh pineapple – oh, did I get distracted?)  Ahem.  Soup.  Yes.

If you’ll run a sharp knife around the edge of the squash -just to break the ‘skin’ created by baking- and then score the meat of the squash (not all the way through!) it will simplify spooning it into the blender.

My blender held one squash, along with the quartered onions and cloves of garlic that cooked in each one, plus two cups of good chicken broth and a cup of water.  The whole thing was repeated for the second squash.

Look at that!  Is that gorgeous, or what?

Here it is, blended, with a bit of nutmeg, cayenne, white pepper, and salt.

 

And heavy cream.  The Elixir of Life.  Right up there with butter.  Gotta have it.

 

Two notes:  First, only a little of the cream floated on top, so there is a LOT more cream than you see pictured.  Second, no I don’t have any idea what the measurement was on the cream.  “A generous bit.”  There ya go.

Finally, simmer and stir, simmer and stir.  You’ll have a lovely treat in about half an hour.

Enjoy!

 

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Picnic baskets, they way they oughta be

Ok, I’d like to think I’m fairly intelligent, but have to admit that it took me fifteen years (that’s right, years) to finally figure out that when folks leave here with a picnic basket, it should be a memento of their time in the mountains, not a Made in China purchase. Good heavens. Years.

Yesterday, Larry and I spent a wonderful afternoon with Judy (my bride c. 2012) at the Church Street Craft Fair in Waynesville. Only it’s not on Church Street any more, it’s on Main Street. I think that’s a topic for another day. Anyway. Did I mention that I’m easily distracted these days? Ok. Where was I? Oh yes. Years.

I stepped into a booth and was just transported.  Not that kind of booth.  I mean, I didn’t go into a time warp or start talking into my shoe or suddenly find myself dressed in a cape and a shirt with a big red S on the chest.  Not that kind of transported.  I mean a vendor booth at the market – this one filled with the prettiest baskets I’ve seen!  Each basket was wonderfully detailed and carefully crafted.  Naturally I asked about who made them and the very nice lady in the booth told me that indeed, she had.  When I said that they were just exquisite, she actually blushed.  Clearly she was pleased, but by way of demonstrating my sincerity, I promptly bought all she had in the size I needed.  And I couldn’t be happier about that!

Walking through the remainder of the fair (and what a fair! bluegrass and bagpipes! not at the same time – I don’t know if I’d enjoy that – but the entertainment was great) folks were stopping me right and left to admire my pretty baskets, laced up my arms and held every which way.

So.  No more made-in-china baskets.  Now, when you get a picnic lunch here, you’ll have a hand-crafted basket, lovingly created by a local artisan.  And Miss Laura Ann has burned her initials on the bottom corner of each one: her signature.  All the baskets are different, with painted flowers, or braided rope, but all the ones I got have the curled wood at the top, which the artist told me is called a tulip edge.  I got completely distracted by that, and we had a nice long conversation about tulips vs lilies vs iris.  I probably thought of ‘iris’ because she had a whole row of them worked into one basket in a beautiful blue.  Not quite a violet blue, but more like a periwinkle.  Like an iris would be.  The little Siberian iris, not the bearded ones – those come in oh so many beautiful colors, not just periwinkle blue.  I couldn’t get that one because it wasn’t nearly big enough, but oh I did love the Siberian Iris blue colored tulip edge!  See there?  Distracted.

These are a generous 15×12 and 9 inches tall (plus the handle) and nice and sturdy, so they can hold a healthy-sized picnic lunch, complete with a pie.  I do love finding a whole entire pie in the bottom of a picnic basket, don’t you?  I mean, that could be distracting for anybody, not just me…

And you can take home your hand-crafted Appalachian artwork basket to enjoy for years.  That’s right.  Years.

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Trout Fishing – complete with rod & reel and mini-tackle box with lures $5

This is just a marvelous program – North Carolina Wildlife Resources has a Mountain Heritage Trout Waters program that makes it a piece o’ cake for you to fish for trout while you’re staying with us!  Three miles of hatchery-supported trout stream in Maggie Valley have been designated for fishing within this program, and $5 gets you a three-day license. 

No rod & reel?  No problem!  They have loaners.  And every registrant receives a first-time gift of a mini-tackle box with assorted lures.

All the information is right here, and you can even buy your license online.
http://www.ncwildlife.org/Fishing/LearnResources/Programs/MountainHeritageTroutWatersProgram.aspx

If you’d rather wait ’til you arrive, the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce is just down the road, and you can get ’em there, too.

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Casa Blanca – queen of the lilies

The first of the Casa Blancas has bloomed – I always hold my breath, waiting for these regal beauties.  There’s nothing quite like the pure white blooms, so much larger than any other flower I’ve grown.  And the scent is divine!

I took the photo below this morning, unretouched, and the white of the lily set the blue sky so deep it’s surreal.

Casa Blanca Lily at Timberwolf Creek Cabins, Maggie Valley NC

 

And this – well.  This is another angle that just rocked my little world….

Casa Blanca Lily profile, at Timberwolf Creek Cabins, Maggie Valley NC

 

I’m trying to figure out this whole word-press blog, thing, so bear with me… but I’mpretty sure that you can click the images for a larger version.  We’ll see…

And while this one may have been overshadowed by the arrival of the Casa Blanca, it’s still every bit as welcome.  Say hello to the Gold Band Lily.

Gold Band lily, at Timberwolf Creek Cabins, Maggie Valley NC

 

Still more to come…

 

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Hello, July! The daylilies have arrived!

This is the Saratoga Peach – isn’t she a beauty?

Saratoga Peach Daylily at Timberwolf Creek in Maggie Valley NC

Saratoga Peach Daylily at Timberwolf Creek in Maggie Valley NC

 

New kids on the block – Lilies!

New kids on the block – a nice rainstorm and voila, lilies everywhere!

 

Painting Lilies

Pale Yellow Lilies at Timberwolf Creek Bed and Breakfast, Maggie Valley NC

Palest Yellow Lilies

I don’t know the name of these exquisite beauties…

But I know this:  if you could be in charge of painting all the lilies, and
you had a pure white lily and a bit of gold and cadmium yellow paints,
this would be your masterpiece.

Barely Yellow Lilies, at Timberwolf Creek

 

Lilies and more lilies

It’s time for lilies!
The first day of summer brings us oodles of the beautiful red Monte Negro asiatic lily…

Over the years, I’ve probably planted a thousand lilies at Timberwolf Creek,
and the red ones just blow me away – none more than the Monte Negro.  Enjoy!

Timberwolf Creek red asiatic lily Monte Negro

 

And here she is, with all her pretty little friends…

 

 

Red flowers are such show-offs.  “Look at me!”
I don’t mind obliging.

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Lily du Jour

Timberwolf Creek Lily du Jour, Maggie Valley NC

A close up of Timberwolf Creek’s asiatic lily ‘Butter Pixie’

Today, allow me to present, for your viewing pleasure, the Asiatic lily named “Butter Pixie”. She melts my heart.

Timberwolf Creek Lily – Asiatic – ‘Butter Pixie’

She’s awfully pretty.

 

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