The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Underground Bluegrass!

No, not illicit music played in some questionable bar, but rather bluegrass music played  333 feet below the surface at Cumberland Caverns near McMinnville, Tennessee.  These caverns have hosted a series of concerts named "Bluegrass Underground" since 2008.  Many of the top bluegrass performers have appeared in this venue.  We finally were able to attend a performance on July 9, 2016.  For this performance, two groups played, The Molly Tuttle Band and The Boxcars.

Waiting to get into the venue

This is a real limestone cave with stalactites, stalagmites and even a waterfall.

But how many caverns have a large crystal chandelier?

Cumberland Caverns Volcano Room, home of the Bluegrass Underground series

They even have a "merchandise" table.

The Molly Tuttle Band

Adam Steffey of the Boxcars playing as guest mandolin player for one song

The Boxcars

A short video of clips from the concert

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Still that Jack Built

We've been spending some time in Manchester, Tennessee.  We decided that it would be interesting to tour the Jack Daniels Distillery in nearby Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Before taking the tour, we had reservations for lunch at Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House Restaurant in Lynchburg.  This location was a boarding house started in 1908, but now owned and operated by the Jack Daniels Corporation.  The restaurant serves family style meals in several dining rooms where people are seated together around large tables.

One of the dining rooms

The distillery is celebrating its 150th year of operation.

Because of the possible presence of alcohol fumes in many of the production areas, photography was often not allowed.  Therefore, most of the images were taken outside.

The Visitor's Center

The limestone cave that supplies the iron-free water used to make Jack Daniels whiskey

The office used by Jack Daniels

Various stops on the tour

One of the small older aging warehouses

The whiskey is typically aged 4 to 6 years before tasters decide that barrels are ready to be blended for the final product.  The charred oak barrels are only used for Jack Daniels once and are then sold for other uses, including being sent to Scotland for Scotch production.

Reelfoot Lake

After Piney Grove campground, we spent a week at Reelfoot Lake State Park in northwestern Tennessee.  Reelfoot Lake is a shallow lake which filled a depression created by the large New Madrid Earthquakes in 1811-12.

There were several ducks with ducklings at the edge of the lake.

Sparrow with a snack

A Great Blue Heron

This turtle was crossing a nearby lawn

Blue Dasher dragonfly

Unidentified dragonfly

A black snake quickly crossing the road

A Great Egret

American Lotus blossom

Piney Grove CoE - June 2016

After our visit to the Tiffin Service Center, we spent several days relaxing at the Piney Grove CoE campground on Bay Springs Lake in northeastern Mississippi.  I had recently received a new Canon DSLR camera body that I needed to get familiar with,
so here are just some images from near our campground.

We found that this old tree stump showed the tenacity of living things.

Our "home" at Piney Grove

Widow Skimmer dragonfly

Bug on unidentified flower

Meadow Beauty


Another Widow Skimmer