We happened upon the pasture above during the golden hour—just before sunset—on a heavily overcast afternoon. The way the sun was hitting the muted winter landscape and looming clouds caught my eye, and I pulled the car over to take a few photos. The girls were with us, so I only had a few moments with my camera before someone piped up from the back seat that it was time for dinner. Tout de suite.
Later that night, as I reviewed the photos, I noticed I had captured the light and color of the valley but missed a few details that could have made for interesting focal points. So I headed back to the same spot the following afternoon to take more pictures. The light wasn't as spectacular as it was the previous day, but I did nab those additional details I was pining over in the photos below. (Don't be afraid of the do-over!)
Below right: I've been fly fishing a few times in my life and have caught exactly two things: 1) myself, managing to wrap the line around my neck, and 2) a rare and highly prized golden trout. I haven't been fishing since I caught that golden trout in Wyoming. You should quit while you're ahead, right? But the Watauga River looked so inviting on a mild winter afternoon that it made us want to grab fly rods and wade in. (And re-read A River Runs Through It for the 100th time.) We didn't get a chance to fish on this trip, but it was fun to watch the fishermen as we strolled the path along the river. (Cricket has been practicing her casting with a plastic toy fishing pole ever since.)