Sunday, July 25, 2021

End of July in 2020...

 Hello, friends!

July 2021 will soon be over.  Not much time lately to get out so I thought I would show you some photos from this time last year...

 We were at  Alexander Lake at Panola Mountain State Park and there was still a mist over the lake.

The sun was rising quickly and you might not recognize this bird in the bright light but it is a  Great Blue Heron. It is a beauty. 
The Great Egret.  Richard took this photo from some distance away, so it looks smaller than it really is.  If you read about this bird, it says that it lives along the Georgia coast.  How lucky that it also lives on some Georgia lakes too!
You have seen photos of the sun streaming upon the trail at Panola Mountain State Park...but you don't mind seeing it again, do you?


The Purple Passionflower is a native flower here in Georgia.  We were so happy to see this blooming right beside the trail as we walked. It is the host plant for the Zebra butterfly and the Gulf Fritillary butterfly.   Hey! Speaking of the Gulf Fritillary....





Gulf Fritillary!  You can recognize it very easily by that fake "eye" on the wing! See it?  Also, the other side of the wings look almost silvery in bright light, like a mirror.  
Sad to say, we will not have those bright orange flowers this year- the Mexican sunflowers.  We just had too much rain and I was not able to get them to grow like they normally do. I will miss them.
They would grow over 6 feet tall. How I loved going out and taking a photo from below with sky behind them! AND seeing all the butterflies enjoying them!







Monday, July 12, 2021

"Nothing Could Be Finer"

 












































Hey there, July! Nothing could be finer!
Thought you might like to see some nature in my own yard!
The yellow flowers are wildflowers and are called "whorled sunflowers".  As far as we know that is what they are, they just came up and Richard encourages wild things around him...after all, he married me! HA!  
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Hey! I just learned something that I want to share with you. And this might come in handy if you should be in a quiz with your friends sometime! Which world sporting event trophy was stolen in 1966 and later recovered by a dog named "Pickles"? The year 1966 should give you a very good clue as that was the year that England won the World Cup!  So, of course the answer is "The World Cup.  The owner of the dog, David Corbett was given 5000 pounds and with this money, he bought a house in Surrey. (Let me just pause here and think of buying a house in Surrey, England for 5000 pounds.)  The dog, Pickles died in 1967, just one year after the great attention he received. Does everybody in England know of this? I only just learned of it.  Hey, I am American, I can't know EVERYTHING about great British history! HA!

Of course, I wanted England to win yesterday in the Euro final but it was not meant to be.  Looking forward to the World Cup next year!
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"Nothing Could Be Finer"!  Of course, you know that song, don't you? It was written by Gus Khan (lyrics) and Walter Donaldson (music).  Please say you remember me telling you about that great film about Gus Khan where he was portrayed by Danny Thomas? And Doris Day played the wife? The film was "I'll See You In My Dreams".)   Now, the song was written in 1922 AND it made its debut on Broadway and was first performed by William Frawley! Yes, William Frawley who was "Fred" from "I Love Lucy"!  I read that he sang it on "I Love Lucy" also and do you know, I even remember it! (Oh yes, I do believe I know every single episode of "I Love Lucy"!)  Oh I do have more I want to say about Lucille Ball but that will have to wait for another post, another time... I need my beauty sleep!  



"It Had To Be You"... Go to just after the 2 minute mark for the song. Lyrics by Gus Khan! Genius lyrics, "with all your faults, I love you still". Gotta love that!




Sorry, my friends, I cannot find a good enough version of "Nothing Could Be Finer" for you! Go and see that film "I'll See You In My Dreams"! The actress who sings "Nothing Could Be Finer" does a great job!






















Sunday, June 27, 2021

Far From The Shores of England

 



Hello, everyone! I am waving here to you from a photo from Eastbourne in England! Of course, it is from years ago...2015, to be exact.   We are not able to visit the UK at this time, sad to say. So, I hope you don't mind me sharing a few photos with you. 

We also visited Lewes (it is pronounced "Lewis") and there is a castle there! Of course, we wanted to see it even if it was a very cloudy day. (That's Richard you see!) Near to the castle, we also saw the Southover Grange Gardens.  Even in October the gardens were still lovely. Who is that mysterious woman loitering around that doorway? Ha, that is me! I bought that purple raincoat that week because I needed it! (You know I still have it. I keep clothes for as long as I can! LOL.)


We remember being very pleased to see these bright orange flowers blooming in Lewes.  They are Mexican sunflowers! The very same kind that we grow in pots here in Georgia for our butterflies!  I know I am showing you photos of England but here...look at this photo from our yard from one of our summers...
                                                        See? Same flower!

Sometimes when we are in England, we even get to see London! Richard snapped this photo from the taxi. I hope you recognize it! It is now called "Elizabeth Tower" and even though I know it is really the bells that are "Big Ben", I still think of it by that name, don't you? I adore the Houses of Parliament. When I first saw them in 1981, they just took my breath away, just stunning. (And they were very dirty then, they are golden and sparkling now.) "My London Lights", I hope to see them again soon!
St. Paul's Cathedral.










Wish I could be walking on this beach.  I can just smell the salty air and hear the cry of the gulls...








A song for you?  You know I will always have one! Take care, my friends, both in America and the UK and to my blogging friends around the whole world! 



Sunday, June 6, 2021

I Just Can't Help Believing (Brasstown Bald)

 


This is not a photo of an old lady hailing a taxi, this is me with my tag showing that I have paid admission for Brasstown Bald. (Highest point in Georgia at elevation of 4,784 feet.) My husband and I hiked to the top on a nice paved trail that is only 1/6 of a mile but it is quite steep! We BELIEVE that we can still do it! (There is a shuttle that runs from the parking lot if you can't make the short hike.) Can you see that tower at the top of the mountain? That's where we're headed!

The trail can be quite busy but the day we were there, it was very quiet, just leaves rustling and birds singing...


 






Look, we've almost made it!

Once you climb that short distance to the flag, there are steps up to different levels. It is really like being on a ship at sea, but instead of water, it is trees as far as the eye can see...










There is the tower that I showed you! You can't climb up that,  I would if permitted to do so.


Not only are the mountains gorgeous but the clouds on the day that we were there were very nice too.


We were up there with the birds, I am telling you! (See how it looks like a ship?)  That's me with my hiking bag trying to ruin the shot! (We're not certain what kind of bird this is, we will have to do more research.)






Look! We can see our car from the top! There are only 3 vehicles in the parking lot. Told you it was quiet! (Our car is the one near the white van.)  Richard is very good with a zoom, don't you think?

Interesting for us, the leaves on the trees were a light green, as in early Spring. In our area, the leaves have been out for some time and full and dark green now.  It is that much of a difference between the Atlanta area and the North Georgia mountains!




Brasstown Bald is near the town of Hiawassee. It is on Lake Chatuge and there is a botanical garden there called Hamilton Gardens. You know we had go there!


We just saw the last of the rhododendrons in bloom. There are 1200 rhododendrons in the gardens! (Their peak is from the last two weeks of April through mid May.)  Even though we missed the mass of the blooms, we were very well pleased to see the lovely TREES along the trails there.  A truly lovely spot.





The Lakeside Trail was very nice in the trace of a misty morning.




If you can remember the beginning of my post, the tag that I have around my wrist says "Let's Go FIND Outdoors".  Let's do that, people!
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Found a great video for you.  B J Thomas with Vince Gill.

Hope you like this as much as I do! (I keep humming this to myself.)



Sunday, May 30, 2021

B J Thomas (1942-2021)

 As many of you know, I appreciate and write about songwriters but what you might not know is that I also greatly admire talented singers. We just lost a very good one- B J Thomas.  He died of lung cancer which was just diagnosed at the end of March of this year.  If you look at his website, it states that he didn't write "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" but he defined it.   His official website is just here.  I urge you to visit it!  Not only was he a great singer but a really nice guy. I loved how he would call so many of his friends, his "brothers". We need more people like B J Thomas in the world, spreading love and music with a positive message.  

B J Thomas went through a rough patch at one point in his life but he credited his wife for getting him back on the right track.  It is his wife and daughters and family that I am thinking of at this moment, along with his many friends around the world. 

Enough of my words, let's hear B J Thomas singing "In The Garden".



 "Most of All"





"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"


"Rock and Roll Lullaby"



"Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head"  (From the film, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid")

The lyrics to this song were very helpful for me in 2020.  The positive message will be for all time.  (Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. It is the B J Thomas vocal that stays with you.)





Billy Joe Thomas (BJ) was a big admirer of Elvis.  It seems that I remember reading that BJ took over the rest of Elvis Presley's concert tour in 1977 after Elvis died.  Writing this post, I tried to research this and can't find that anywhere, perhaps someone could tell me if this is so?  I read a great interview where he talked about driving from Texas to Graceland in Memphis in the 1960's and when he got there, he simply told them, "I'm here to see Elvis".  (Elvis wasn't there, he was in California at the time filming movies but nevertheless, B J was invited inside for sandwiches made by Minnie Mae, Elvis' grandmother.  A different time, the 1960's.) 

 

B J Thomas, rest in peace, my brother.







Sunday, May 16, 2021

Remember That ONE Time (Runnin' Down A Dream)

 



The Eastern fence lizard is a very common lizard but when you happen upon it as you hike, it seems a very extraordinary creature, indeed.  This photo was in very bright sun but the bronze coloring was quite beautiful. They can also be called pine lizard for their preference for pine trees which is what you see here. Notice the long legs, it is believed that this is an adaption within the last 70 years to the introduction of the imported fire ant, which can kill the lizard within one minute.  ("Take that FIRE ANT, I will just grow longer legs and get away from you!"  There, you didn't know I can read the minds of lizards, did you?)



These photos were taken at Panola Mountain State Park, which is not too far away from us, luckily. I think the hikes up the mountain have started again, so I hope to be able to go on one of those soon. If you remember, Panola Mountain is a guided hike only, and you can only climb it with a group and an employee of Panola Mountain. (Of course, there are great trails in the park that do not require a guide and are open from dawn to dusk. We take advantage of them! So many trees!)

Anybody remember that I did a moonlight hike climbing Panola Mountain once? It was magical! The moonlight lit up the granite of the mountain and it felt like I was walking on diamonds....ah, am I too old to walk that in the dark now? Oh well, at least I did it that one time!

Just that one time...can you think of something that you have done once or seen once that you will never forget? I am thinking of a place too...Lake Tahoe. Just once in my life, I saw it and I will never forget it, the color of that lake, such a gorgeous color. I was in a group and I asked if we could drive over the California state line just so I could say I had been to California! (Lake Tahoe is partly in Nevada and partly in California.) Lately, Richard and I have enjoyed watching some TV shows that were filmed in Spain and we have had fun looking up the locations and learning about them. We have never been to Spain but in my mind...that's another thing! 
















Of course, we have our own window on the world into our back yard! Richard took these photos of the female cardinal feeding one of her young. The male cardinal (the bright red one) will also feed the babies! We see this scene every year, the little birds fluttering their wings for food, we never tire of it. The cardinal itself, very common but just like the lizard, quite extraordinary.


Runnin' Down A Dream by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. 
Enjoy.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Interruptions (Porlock) - Happy Trails!

 


There are things that seem to disrupt my inspired creativity these days...


Do you all know the poem "Kubla Klan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge? I bet you do.  The one that talks about "a stately pleasure dome" and "the river Alph" and "Xanadu"?  The full title of the poem is "Kubla Khan: or A Vision In A Dream". You see, the poem came to him after a drug induced dream in the year 1797.  The next morning when he set about to write it all down, he was interrupted by a visitor from the neighboring village of Porlock. Sad to say, he just could not get back into the rhythm of it and was not able to fully complete it as he wanted. He wrote down what he could and was unhappy about it, as it was not as he originally envisioned and only showed it to friends. Coleridge left it unpublished until his friend, Lord Byron persuaded him to publish it in the year 1816.  Therefore, if one has a "visitor from Porlock" or just "Porlock" it means that someone or something has interrupted one's inspired creativity!

Now, I have TWO things that make me think of the word "interrupt"...one is quite lovely and the other is quite silly.

I know you are all dying to know my examples!

Okay, here is the beautiful one..."Interrupted fern".

Ferns are so beautiful! I have spent quite some time trying to identify ferns recently. You might think that this would be a simple thing, but that is not the case. Georgia has a great number of native ferns and they are just as difficult to identify as oak trees! The interrupted fern is not one that I would see here in Georgia but the sound of it pleases me, I can't say why that is so. (The interrupted fern is called that because there is an "interruption" of fronds in the middle.) 

Now, for the silly one... it is a knock knock joke!

"Knock knock".

"Who's there"

"The interrupting cow".

"The interrupting cow, wh...."

"MOO".


HA HA! Silly but funny.  And not a bad joke for children, you can teach them some manners at the same time.


Happy trails, my friends!