• Kathryn Solee


“The sun after the rain is much beautiful than the sun before the rain.”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

This week has been rainy. Those wonderful slow soaking spring rains that keep everything vibrant and green. However, it makes it challenging to get outdoors.

Monday – North Carolina Arboretum

On Monday, the sky remained overcast with heavy clouds that could release a shower at any moment. However, dogs and I were ready to take a chance, so we headed to the North Carolina Arboretum. The main parking lot is under construction. For a change, we went up to the greenhouse parking area – somewhere not part of our regular path.

Never before had I seen the purple flowers that hung delicately over the arbor to a small garden. Let alone being able to capture the perfect raindrop.

The greenhouse connects to the Carolina Mountain Trail, with the lower portion a favorite for the dogs and me. The dogs enjoy a little splish-splash in the stream while I enjoy the peace.

Perhaps the advantage of hiking with dogs is their senses are more attuned. Today they were both fascinated with something in the distance – it was a family of squirrels.

The rain came to interrupt our interlude with nature, but not before we had our fill.

Tuesday – Biltmore Estate

It was still drizzly on Tuesday, but we had a 9:00 a.m. pass holder reservation at Biltmore, so off we went and so glad we did. Given the chance of rain at any moment, we stayed in the rose garden. Glad we did because the rain came.

Thursday – Biltmore Estate

The sun played peekaboo all day but decided to embrace us from the moment we left the car in Antler Hill Village until our return.

Today, my mother joined us by telephone as we walked the Lagoon Trail along the French Broad River. The stay at home directive has been a challenge for her. Even at 90, she is very active and used to going out every day. As we walk, I describe what I see, the people we pass—the well-behaved dogs, and those that aren’t. If there is something of specific interest, I’ll send a quick photo she’ll pull up on her computer.

Biltmore practices sustainable farming, so there are crops through the estate. Now I haven’t been in a wheat or barley field in years, but Mother still manages the family farm in North Dakota, So as we approach a grain field with “beards,” I’m not sure if it’s wheat or barley. Mother identifies it in a flash – winter wheat.

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