Townsend, Tennessee, is a quiet, rural community along the border of Smoky Mountains National Park.  It has only a single streetlight - a testament to the fact that it's much less busy, with far less traffic, than other towns near the park.  There's one grocery store, one hardware store, a post office, several churches, a few banks, and many timeworn barns and other artifacts from a history of rural life - as well as many private residences of diverse style.  All of this is nestled in a very beautiful valley surrounded by the foothills of the Smokies and underlain by a hidden network of limestone caverns.

I moved to Townsend in July of 2010.  Some have questioned why I would be attracted to a sleepy town with so little activity, but I think that the photos on this page should answer that question beautifully.  With the exception of a few late afternoon or evening pictures, most of the shots featured here were captured between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m.  All were taken within no more than a short drive from my home.


























Townsend is especially distinctive because of the fog that envelops the town nearly every morning during the spring, summer and autumn, giving the place an enchanted quality.  This is easily one of the foggiest locations in America.  The local boundaries of the fog are strangely well-defined and predictable from day to day, and it rarely strays into neighboring areas beyond the borders of Townsend.  Still, every morning looks different, depending on the density of the fog and the quality of the light from the rising sun.





































On the Foothills Parkway, a national scenic road not far from my house, I can easily drive up to an elevated lookout with a view over the top of the fog mass, which oftens fills all of the hollows of Townsend like a huge, white glacier:





















On mornings when the sun rises in a clear eastern sky, the light and the fog interact with dramatic results, and even an otherwise unexceptional scene may suddenly take on a mesmerizing, surreal quality:














Townsend's back-roads traverse some of its most scenic areas, and often prove to be quite photogenic themselves:




























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