Thursday, Saint Patrick’s Day, I went out into the green. After spending an hour or so in the Sevier county Jail I headed south along the Dolly Parton Highway out of Sevierville, camera in hand, looking for photogenic countryside. The weather was glorious, temperatures in the low seventies and a royal blue sky. Every tree, bush and shrub was busily spitting out glistening green leaves; everywhere early Spring flowers were popping up, searching for early season bees. The gently rolling fields wore fresh coats of bright green. Given east Tennessee’s fickle weather, all this precocious botanical business may well be stilled by our inevitable late March freeze.
I hadn’t travelled the highway in five or so years and the first half dozen miles were now infected by ugly suburban sprawl: McDonald’s cheek by jowl with mini-marts, tattoo parlors and strip malls. It wasn’t until I was almost twenty minutes down the two lane road that the first simple, white country churches and weathered, rusty red roofed barns began to sprout along both sides of the highway.
Finally free of the tentacles of Sevierville, I stumbled upon a scene I had last photographed “back in the day”. In late March of of 2006 I took this photo with my Panasonic DMC FZ5:
I thought I’d taken more photos of the scene, but apparently not; only two appear in my photostream. This trip, however, I was much more impressed with the locale. Here’s a shot I took with my relatively new Nikon D5000:
After so many years of driving through east Tennessee with a camera, one of the joys for me is re-discovering a forgotten location. The little bit of faintly familiar Sevier county depicted above gave me about an hour of bliss as I slowly snapped my way along a narrow, curling country road stretching from the highway east to the base of the mountain visible in the above photo. Here’s the set of all the photos I posted from my St. Paddy’s day jaunt.