Assorted Pics

“A picture may well be worth a thousand words,

but it uses up many thousands of times

more memory on my laptop!”





In the Sierra Nevada WNW of Mammoth Lakes and sitting on the crest of Volcano Ridge at a couple hundred feet above 11,000, I must have spent at least an hour looking almost due west at the beautiful Minarets.  During that time I had the unforgettable pleasure of watching a cumulonimbus develop orographically (mountain uplift).  The nearest ocean water is 155 miles away at the beach on Monterey Bay.  Air from off the Pacific Ocean was moving in and was being forced up the windward side of the Sierra Nevada to a level of free convection, after which it ascended on its own due to a positive buoyancy force – like the air in a hot air balloon.  When air rises it expands and cools.  If it rises high enough, and/or there is enough moisture in it, the dew point temperature will be reached and any further cooling will cause condensation into cloud droplets.  Here in this photo you see it about to reach the mature stage.  The prevailing movement of winds from west to east in this location is responsible for the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada having more precipitation than the eastern slopes.  In fact, the main reason why there is so much desert to the east (leeward side) of the Sierra Nevada is because that side is in the “precipitation shadow” since most of the moisture is condensed out of the air to make clouds on the windward (western) side.  This is from a scan of a 35mm slide taken in July, 1978.

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This Picture Page will contain a hodgepodge of images that are of both a personal and professional nature.   I don’t consider myself a professional photographer; instead, I’m a retired earth scientist who has had (and still has) opportunities to take “pictures” of beautiful subjects.  Some of these images will be reasonably well done and others will not. Family and friends will probably find most of the images  noteworthy but I doubt the interest will extend much beyond that.   I will be sharing many images of mostly natural things and as the collection grows the variety will grow also.  There will be little rhyme or reason to the order in which they are posted. Most will be either my photography or that of my son,  (a real pro), Colin Toney.

Yours Truly,

Tonie Ansel Toney




– looking northward from near the top of Mt. Mitchell –

52. (Above)  Another creation by my son, Colin Toney – looking northward from near the Mt. Mitchell summit parking lot.


-fog in the forest-

51. (Above) Not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway – deciduous trees bathed in fog.  By Colin Toney.

– Looking northeastward from the Parkway near Mt. Mitchell –

50. (Above)  By my son, Colin Toney – a splendid view looking down upon the high Piedmont from the Blue Ridge Parkway.



49. (Above) Image taken from the front deck of our little cabin – facing westward.  The light for the branches in the upper left came from my flash – no match for the light of the low sun on the other side of the mountains (4 miles distant).  The peak to the right of center that resembles a volcano is actually two peaks (officially), Mt. Craig on the left and Big Tom on the right.  Mt. Mitchell is the broad feature on the far left and Balsam Cone is on the far right.

For all butts, big or small.

48. (Above) The Chocolate Moose in Farmland, Indiana is a smoke free restaurant.  Here is their less than subtle suggestion as to what you can do with your butt before you come in for some fine dining.


47. (Above) The Chocolate Moose is a great place to eat in Farmland, Indiana.  The pork tenderloin sandwiches served there are the best I’ve ever had!  It is located on the ground floor at the corner of Main St. and Henry St. in a 112-year-old building; you are looking toward the northwest in this photo.  Farmland is noted, among other things, as the community of my late grandfather Ansel Toney, world famous retired farmer turned kite maker.  Here is a link to the nationally televised Charles Kuralt feature on grandpa:

Essentials for a man when using a chain saw.

46. (above) Chain saws have a nasty characteristic of kicking back.  Daydreaming or hurrying are two things a man must not do when using a chain saw; the work requires steady focus.  This photo shows two items I recommend all men wear when they are doing that work – safety glasses of some sort and an athletic protective cup.

Zoie – October 27, 2010

45. (above)  Zoie Toney admiring “another” cat in our T.V. screen.


44. (above) Me surrounded by my wonderful neighbors in North Carolina.

October In Randolph County, Indiana

43. (above)  This tone-mapped image by my son, Colin Toney, conveys the peace and serenity that I seek in the countryside.

Parkway View in Western North Carolina

42. (Above) October 14, 2010 Autumn display from the Blue Ridge Parkway in the vicinity of Mt. Mitchell State Park.  You are looking slightly south of east down the southern slope to the Piedmont below.



41. (Above) /A view looking westward (downstream) from the bank of the Withlacoochee River as it flows past the famous Stumpknocker’s restaurant in West Central Florida.

Moss On Stones

40. (Above)  Beside the Appalachian Trail approaching Bald Knob (on Roan Mountain) I could not help but notice these 4 foot tall stones covered with moss.  Had either Frodo or Bilbo Baggins jumped into my frame, I would not have been much surprised!

Old Barn – black and white

39.  (Above)  This old barn is behind the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, North Carolina (not far from Boone).




38. (Above)  Looking southward from a position near the top of Round Bald on Roan Mountain near the Tennessee-North Carolina line.  Surely, Julie Andrews is somewhere nearby!  The wonderful town of Spruce Pine is behind the furthest ridge line.



37. (Above) The crushed stone of our driveway at our mountain cabin is being slowly but surely encroached upon by the plant world.  My line-trimmer takes care of some of it but most of it gets pulled by hand.  However, the moss is too pretty to disturb.



36. (Above)  The haziness of this Hoosier summer afternoon is typical.  You are looking at one of the finest crops of field corn and soybeans in all of Indiana.  This is looking southward along the short leg of the L-shaped lane on my uncle Oren Toney’s farm.  You can’t see the soybeans in the distance very well.  Had this been 20 year ago you would have clearly seen soybean rows in the photo but now-a-days the rows are so close one must look up close to see them.  I estimate, based upon my 6′ altitude that this corn has reached at least the 11 foot mark.



35. (Above) My dream of having a home in the woods has been twice-fulfilled, with dense oak forest at our Florida property and the hardwood temperate rainforests of the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding our North Carolina cabin.  In both places we enjoy our blooming plants.  Our Rose-Of-Sharon bushes give us great pleasure in Florida.  Other than pruning, they require no special care.



34. (Above) My wife and I take frequent day-hikes.  The heaviest of our provisions is the water we carry – followed by our camera.  I carry a small day pack for water, rain gear, safety gear, and snacks and my wife carries the camera.  It’s a real good deal.  Were I alone I would not be carrying that camera but a smaller, lighter-weight one.  This photo was taken on a 6-mile hike of a small section of the Mountains-To-Sea trail called the Wood’s Mountain Trail.  It is accessed near Blue Ridge Parkway mile marker 344 at Buck Creek Gap.  If you decide to hike that stretch, definitely carry ample water.

The valley of the Watauga River at Valle Crucis, North Carolina.

33. (Above)  A relatively small stream, the Watauga River, is responsible for the flatness of this land – called a floodplain.  In the Blue Ridge Mountains about the only natural flatland that one finds is due to the combination of erosion and deposition by streams.  It probably goes without saying that the floodplains, even the very small ones, are the favored land for cultivation in such regions for multiple reasons:  1) The soils of slopes are less developed and have fewer of the minerals that agricultural plants need – 2) Soils on slopes are more difficult to work upon and are more easily eroded 3) Soils within floodplains usually contain a wide diversity of nutrients, are deeper, and are finer and less rocky than soil on slopes.

thin curtain of rays in front of the Black Mountains

32. (Above)  I’m proud of my son, Colin Toney (he goes by Kolin Toney).   He was working a seasonal job at Mt. Mitchell State Park during the period he took this picture.  This tone-mapped image from a Blue Ridge Parkway viewpoint shows a small stretch of Seven Mile Ridge in the foreground and some of the Black Mountain Range beyond.  The deep gap to the right is Deep Gap.  We recently learned from Colin that an iphone background application is using this image.  If the air were “clean” the “sun rays” would not appear.  It’s a good thing for us that air is NOT perfectly clean.  Go to the second item on this link to find out why:



31. (Above)  This tone-mapped image, by my son, Colin Toney, exposes an old Chevy really ripe for restoring.  If only it could talk there would surely be a wealth of great stories we could absorb.  For me, the photo speaks volumes about aging.

For more of Colin’s images, go to



30. (Above). Ziggie, the golden girl, is almost a year old (posting date = 6-21-2010) and Zoie (the white girl) is just a little past one year old.  Yesterday, they traveled in this crate for 10 hours (580 miles) from our cabin back to our Florida home.  I left the crate open in the living room last night and though they roamed around and played A LOT last night – this is where I found them this morning.  These girls are my kind of cats!

Lilies of Toe Valley

29 & 28. (Above) These lilies began blooming just about a week ago (posting date = 6-19-2010).  They are above 3000′ on the east-side slope of the South Toe River valley where our little cabin is located.  We do nothing with these – they just pop up from last year’s bulbs.  Notice the “soap bar on a stake.”  Laugh if you like – but I’m convinced that this keeps the deer from eating the ornamental plants.  In many places around the cabin you will find a particular type of soap (named after a season in Ireland) tied on to a stake with a piece of nylon hosiery.  The other effective deterrent to deer eating plants is hair of animals other than their own species.  Fortunately, our two cats love being combed so they provide an ample supply for deer repellant.  Human hair works too.




Crabtree Falls in late spring.


27. (Above)  Crabtree Falls below Crabtree Meadows on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  A 2.5 mile loop hike is well worth the effort to see this 70 ft. waterfall.  This is not the best photo I’ve seen of the falls but the red-shirted person at the falls’ base helps with size perception.

Blue mountains under a blue sky.

26. (Above) I deliberately underexposed the foreground (which is Seven Mile Ridge) in order to show the hazy mountains and the sky as realistically as possible without special editing manipulations.  Beyond Seven Mile Ridge is the valley of the South Toe River which, among other things, handles drainage off the eastern slope of the Black Mountain Range.  State highway 80 twists generally north-south along that valley; I recommend it for fantastic views of the “Blacks.”  I shot this image from the Blue Ridge Parkway near Busick, N.C. (in Yancey County) looking northwestward at a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains I love the most.  The peak on the far left shrouded in fracto-cumulus is Celo Knob – the northernmost of the Black Mountain Range.  It was in 1996 on this mountain that I had one of my most memorable adventures which I will eventually write about in this web-log (see image 15 for an idea of what happened).  My first thought when I downloaded this photo a few days ago was, “This truly illustrates why they are called the Blue Ridge.”

Old man gazing heavenward.

25.  (Above) The classic view of Grandfather Mountain near Boone, North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Though the photo conditions are far from perfect, you can easily see the profile of the old grandfather looking skyward – some say, heavenward.  This view is from the north looking southward.  No such profile is evident from the south looking northward (the side where the Parkway is located) but the rock exposures there are breathtakingly beautiful and if you are fortunate enough to see the slopes in the Autumn, you will never forget it.


24. (above) On our way back up on a 2.5 mile loop hike to Crabtree Falls off the Blue Ridge Parkway we see evidence of the late December 2009 ice storm with wind that snapped many trees in the area.

Florida – the Sunshine State!

23.  (above) Our home in Florida is on the 29th parallel (approximately), 17 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.  I am much more comfortable with the climate than that of Homestead (further south) where we used to live.  I enjoy the cool and cold of the Winter.  This photo was taken in February, 2009.  When it came time for the azaleas to bloom, they did so, prolifically.  For a similar image go to

Altocumulus lenticularis near Mt. Mitchell, N.C.

22. (above)  Altocumulus lenticularis to the lee of Mt. Mitchell (in the Black Mountains of North Carolina).  Notice the contrail of the high-flying jet about to zip over the summit of the cloud.  For a view a few moments later illustrating how quickly these clouds change, go to the following link where you’ll find a further description of these types of clouds.

The Black Mountain Range from Table Rock’s summit.

21. (two images above) The Black Mountain Range of North Carolina as viewed from the trail to the crest of Table Rock.  Mountain laurel is blooming as you can see.  The camera is facing approximately westward.  Table rock is not far from Linville Falls.  Though the hike is steep it is short (a bit more than a mile) but you must drive nearly 9 miles on twisting, rolling, narrow gravel through the forest in order to get to the trail head.  I intend to write soon about this trail. If you want to learn more about the Black Mountains and how you might enjoy them, go to this link:

Table Rock, N.C.

20. (above) Table Rock (North Carolina) as viewed from the Chestoa Overlook (Blue Ridge Parkway).

Rainbow Springs forest.

19. (above) Vegetative beauty engulfs you while strolling comfortably through Rainbow Springs State Park near Dunnellon, Florida.

Lilacs in the spring at our mountain cabin.

18. (above) In my opinion, the lilacs at our cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains are as beautiful, if not more so, than the wisteria at our Florida home.  Their short-lived blooms are glorious.   The photo was taken on the first of May, 2009.

Wisteria in the spring – home in Florida.

17.  (above) At home in West-Central Florida, after four years of waiting, my wisteria finally decided to bloom nicely.  I had made the mistake of pruning it too drastically in the past.  I barely touched it during the last pruning and was rewarded with this response.  Photo taken in early April, 2010.


16.  (Above) As far as I know all of my family got through the stress of the busy Christmas festivities with flying colors but it appears that our Santa succumbed to it.  That’s an empty 1.5 Liter wine bottle he’s holding.  I noticed him out in the driveway early this afternoon as I was helping to bring the outdoor Christmas lights in.  We’ve found a warm place in our attic for him until we bring him back down late next year.



15. (above)  This shows nicely why the Blue Ridge Mountains are named the Blue Ridge Mountains!  The camera is facing south of west.  The most distant mountains are the Black Mountains.  One of its peaks is the highest in the eastern half of the United States, Mount Mitchell.  These mountains are in the Blue Ridge Province of the Appalachian mountain range.  The camera is approximately 17 miles from the Blacks.  The Blacks are near and dear to me; I’ve walked most of the trails within them.  On one occasion I lost the trail I was hiking.  It had not been maintained since a severe ice storm a few years earlier and it became unrecognizable to me near the crest of Celo Knob (the prominent peak on the north end (right side in this image) of the range.  Thanks to my topographic map, flashlight, and compass, I reached my destination but instead of arriving between 7 and 8 PM as I had predicted, I came out of the woods around 2:30 the next morning.  My 10-year-old daughter, Lauren (now 23) was my companion on that hike.  She was a real trooper.  Her mother was too – under the circumstances.  If you want to learn more about the Black Mountains and how you might enjoy them, go to this link:


14.  (above)  As stately as this animal looked when I first saw it, my first thought was of the probable whirlwind motion of its feet.


13. (above)  In late October of 2009 we visited the Orchard at Altapass.  This is what we saw looking southward.  Behind me I was engulfed by the sounds of authentic bluegrass music being performed live.


12. (above)  Between some very old apple trees near our cabin an old-fashioned “sitting room” has withstood many hard Winters.

11. (above) Nearly butt to butt – Zoie (8 months) is on the left and Ziggie (6 months) is on the right.  We adopted these two girls from the Yancey County Humane Society near Burnsville, N.C.  I will be adding images of them showing the various positions they acquire as they sleep.


10.  (above) My son, Colin Toney, shows his creativity with this photo of Lake Henderson which borders the eastern edge of Inverness, Florida.  This is one of my favorite places to sail my little sloop.


9. (above)  This place is but a short walk from our mountain cabin – a favorite daytime hangout for local deer.  This is prettier than any fork in the road that the great entertainer, Johnny Carson, showed me through the years.



8. (above)  Is it just me or is the thought conveyed here both funny and sad at the same time?  This is in Citrus County, Florida.

Reflections on Pepper Creek – black & white

7. (above)   Pepper Creek is not perfectly natural but about as close to natural as any stream I’ve seen in Florida.  With my second daughter and her sons I snapped this photo in late December, 2009.

Zoie’s first Florida Christmas – photo by Terrie Toney

6. (above)  Christmas Eve 2009.  Zoie is becoming a big girl.  It appears she has made claim on either the tree, the gifts, of both!

Descent to the Toe.


5. (above)  In July, 2009, while driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway I snapped this image of the blue haze of the Blue Ridge.  The slope leading to the upper left corner of the photo is that of Mt. Mitchell.  The camera is facing almost due north.

Cello4. (above).  Cello (officially Monticello) was a male miniature poodle who might have been a show dog had we not paid the price to rescue him from that fate.  He was a fine pet.  We loved him and miss him very much.  This photo was taken in April of 2008 as he was relaxing and enjoying the warm rays of the sun on our little cabin’s deck in the North Carolina Blue Ridge.  This deck faces westward and from it we can see, less than 5 miles away as the crow flies, the south half of the Black Mountain Range, the highest peak being Mt. Mitchell.

Monti3.   This has not been a good year for us with regard to our pets.  Monti was a male tabby who was sick when we acquired him.  The vet identified a heart problem where the surgery had a low probability for success and where there was a strong chance that he would not live through it – and if he did he might have been even sicker afterwards.  We made the conscious decision to let him have quality during his life and not risk the surgery, since there was a chance his heart might adapt.  Sadly, it was necessary to have him euthanized on July 3 because he took a turn for the worse and was suffering.

Monti was my favorite pet ever – without a doubt.  In this image he is on the back of my recliner where he loved to drape himself in our North-Central Florida home.


Newly adopted feline girls – Ziggie & Zoie.

2.  Ziggie and Zoie are new members of our family. We got kinda’ yuppy in naming them.  My wife’s first name ends in “ie” and so does mine. Neither I nor my wife felt that we would be “ready” this soon but a few trips to the Yancey County Humane Society Shelter near Burnsville, N.C. (20 miles from our cabin) changed that quickly.  The white Kitten, Zoie, was first spotted by my wife and our son on August 11.  Later that day there was a monumental negative event in our family that could have been devastating.  However, it turned out well and we feel that it’s fitting that we rescued this kitten if for no other reason than gratitude for our good fortune.  When my wife and I went to the shelter on the 27th to see Zoie again we took a real liking to Ziggie, a golden diluted tabby, and felt that  she and Zoie would be  great companions.  So we adopted them both and picked them up on the 31st.  They were not in perfect shape but they were as well as might be expected considering how crowded the shelter was (and is).  They both have upper respiratory infections and Zoie has ear mites and an eye infection.  But they are both responding well to our nursing.  They have been terrific!

z Sugarloaf Stable

New Mexico’s Sugarloaf.

Go to this site for climbing routes on Sugarloaf.

9 comments so far

  1. Valerie Borregard on

    My dear Tony, Beautiful pictures. I didn’t know that you are a cat lover. Me too. I have four cats. Three live inside and one beggar that I feed lives out. Poor fellow was abandoned and is semi friendly. His name is Shirley. I thought he was a girl. Think I love animals more than people!

    Happy New Year my good friend!


  2. Barb on

    Hi Tonie,
    The pics are great as are your descriptions. Colin is talented but so are you. It’s really hard when you lose a pet, they are so much a part of your family and your heart. I’m glad you’ve added to your family and from a shelter too.
    Have a really Happy and Healthy New Year!

  3. Terry (UK) on

    Hi Tonie,I’ve just managed to read most of your website,really great mate,some good pics too.
    We dont have much of that sort of country over here,but what we do have is just has beautiful Snowdonia and The English Lake District,come to mind.
    Best wishes to you and yours,

  4. Lynn on

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and looking at your pictures. What a wonderful view of life you have. No doubt the reason you appreciate your surroundings so much. I am sorry that you lost two of your beloved pets. It is a difficult thing to overcome. I am not sure we ever do. If you have a few minutes please visit my website. There is a section there entitled Pet Loss. You will find information, advice and even telephone numbers if you have times when you feel the need for some support. So the site isn’t a total downer there are also fun stories which you may enjoy.

    Thank you for this. In particular I think the picture of the Blue Ridge Mountains is absolutely spectacular. I have never seen them before. That picture of Lake Henderson is also very special. It makes it so evident how incredible the earth, the sky and the water is. Great site.

    Catlover (from Canada)

  5. Barbara Jones Loveless-Davis on

    Tony, Your site is beautiful. I am a great lover of this beautiful and wonderful country of ours. I am living in New Mexico now (for the last 22 yrs). I am always amazed at the scenery when you travel across this state. I don’t miss south Fl. but I do miss our friends there. I guess that is why I love those reunions. Maybe you will join us for the next one. Look forward to more photos.
    Barbara Jones (Loveless-Davis)

  6. Mike Myers on

    Thanks for the great photos.
    See ya in a couple months.

  7. […] Assorted Pics […]

  8. mghayes on

    Hey, I appreciate so much you marking the names of the Black mountain peaks on one of your photos. I am absolutely facinated by the Black Mountains and have been trying to learn the peak names. Your pictures have been a great help. I still get a little confused about the northern side-Gibbs, Horse Rock and Celo Knob. I have taken pictures from different angles and those peaks look very different to me from each angle. I love your pictures and the fact that you seem to love the Black as much as I do!

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