Saturday, August 31, 2013

Giveaway Winner/More On Stone Mountain

Sunflower Blowing Kisses or Stifling A Giggle?  Flowers Are So Expressive!
File:Claude Monet 015.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Thanks to all of you who left comments on my post for the giveaway!  I wrote all the names out on slips of paper and put them into a bowl.  (Such a pleasure to write out your names and to think fondly of each one of you.  I sent all of you a special blessing, I hope you felt some positive vibes!)
And the winner is..........
(Louise, send me an email with your full name and address.  I don't have to have your address for the gift-card, but I wanted to send you a note too!)
But wait, I had so much fun doing that, that I drew ANOTHER name!  For this prize, it will just be a LITTLE SOMETHING, but the second name is.....
(So, Tracey, please send me your address in an email also!)

If you get the chance, please take a look at their blogs.  Tell them Georgia Girl With An English Heart sent you!  I have a couple of paintings for you.  The first one is by Ravilious and is a painting of the lighthouse at Beachy Head, in Eastbourne, England. The second one is by Monet and is of the Houses of Parliament in London-my son has this on a poster!  Must have something on this blog to do with England sometimes!

   Thanks to all who left comments on my last post about Stone Mountain...I need to tell you that the newscast was in connection to Stone Mountain being used for KKK meetings and the reporter said that RACISM had taken root there! So unfair to think of Stone Mountain in that way. I think we should know our history but we should celebrate what we have that is beautiful.  Racism is real and serious and I am not making light of it but to forever connect it to Stone Mountain seems unfair. Those men in hoods meeting on the mountain should not stain the mountain, so to speak.   I'll let you know if we hear anything back from the news reporter. Even if we do not, we had to take up for Stone Mountain, something that cannot speak for itself!

Thanks again for reading and commenting on my blog.  I really appreciate every one of you. Hope you have a great weekend and in the USA, have a safe and happy Labor Day!  Must go now, we are going guessed it, STONE MOUNTAIN!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rooting for Stone Mountain

"Not a lot takes root up in that big old rock of Stone Mountain"...these were the words at the beginning of a newscast today from an Atlanta TV station.  Well, I beg your pardon!  I think that WSB needs to start reading my blog, don't you?   (The photo below is from September 9th of last year.)  These are the Yellow Daisies and I can't wait to see them this year.  I have heard that they are already blooming on top of the mountain!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Arabia Mountain-August 24, 2013



 Arabia Mountain in August.  I spoke with a man who has lived next to this mountain for twenty years and he said he has never seen so many wildflowers and so much greenery as he has seen this year!
  See those star-shaped leaves above the moss in that last photo? Those will be blooming soon, that will be the Yellow Daisies! (Really no need to capitalize them but when you see them you will know why I do!)
The little yellow flowers are called pineweed and I LOVE them.  The spiky purple flowers are called blazing star (liatris) and it is a gorgeous shade of purple (you should like it, Mimi!)  That butterfly was the fastest moving thing I have ever seen, Richard was lucky to get that shot of it!  Hope you all enjoyed another walk over Arabia Mountain with us! The header photo that I have right now was taken on the same day, and I am looking toward Panola Mountain.

After we walked here, we then headed over to Panola Mountain...

that will be another post!
 (Richard took all these photos, except for the 3rd one, the closeup of the pineweed, I took that one!)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Antoinette Tuff

Did you see on the news that a disturbed young man went into a school in Decatur, Georgia with an AK47 and was prepared to shoot policemen?  It was a good thing that Antoinette Tuff was employed as a bookkeeper in the front office as it was she who talked the gunman down.  In the beginning of the 911 call, she sounded so fearful yet she handled this so expertly, I think she should give lessons on how to handle tense stand-off negotiations. She had the man get down on the floor and surrender his weapon!  That is how the police found him when they entered the building.
If you listen to this 911 call, there are several stretches that are silent, that is mostly where she was told by the gunman to call the news station in Atlanta, WSB-TV.  I can't imagine how hard this must have been for the 911 operator, not knowing what was happening. My heart goes out to the families of these children at this school, learning of shots being fired, and not knowing about the safety of their children.
 I think it is important to listen to the whole tape of the 911 call and that is why I have it on this post.  
Antoinette Tuff, I am so thankful that you were in the front office that day and I am grateful for your common sense and courage.  Your strong faith in God shows through in every word.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2nd Blog Anniversary And Giveaway!

Tempus fugit!  That's Latin for "time flies".  It's not that I know a lot of Latin, that was the name of our high school yearbook from Rockdale County High School!  Today is my blog anniversary.  I have been writing it for two years now!  Thank you, Meike, for your encouragement in the formation of this blog! I thank all of the nice people who read this blog.  I truly appreciate every one of you.
Having a blog is like having a bridge to other people and other places, and I am grateful for the people and places that I have visited since I began writing my posts.  I hope you have enjoyed my husband's photos! I am grateful that this blog has brought forward another one of Richard's many talents and I am thankful that so many of you have commented on his efforts. 

I think that perhaps a giveaway might be in order.  Please, leave a comment here and tell me your FAVORITE photo from this blog and sometime next week, I will put all the names in a hat and draw forth the winner!  The prize will be an Amazon Gift Certificate in the amount of $21.00.  Ha! I bet you're glad I didn't start this on August 1st! 

That might sound as if I am showing off to ask you what your favorite photo might be, but it really isn't since I am sure that the photo that you will choose will be one by my husband, Richard.  I only pick the best ones for you and they happen to be Richard's!

Thanks again, I love your comments and emails, they truly make my day. xx

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Brown Thrashers


Did you know that every state in the USA has a State Bird? You might not know this if you are reading this from another country.  (There are many state symbols...there are state flowers, state reptiles,  state trees, state get the idea, but almost everyone knows their own state bird.)  The state bird for Georgia is the Brown Thrasher.  I read in one of the descriptions of this bird that it is a dull brown. Well, I don't think so!  It is a beautiful shade of brown,  long and elegant and it can out sing the mockingbird! It's true! The brown thrasher can imitate 1100 different song types!The Brown Thrasher may be hard to see as it likes to scrummage around in the earth for its food and since it is brown, it is usually camouflaged with its surroundings. In the early Spring, we still had some suet in our suet feeder and the Brown Thrashers really enjoyed it, even feeding it to its young.

Notice in the first photo that the adult Brown Thrasher has yellow eyes and that beautiful sleek brown coat of feathers.  Can you tell that the photo below is of the young Brown Thrashers? The young ones have blue eyes and well, you can tell by looking at them that they are younger, their feathers are just not quite the same as the adult yet, even if the coloring is almost there.

Now, can you tell that I love birds?  I do, very much so!  Richard and I are always watching out our glass doors to see what the birds are doing! And also, looking and listening for them on our walks!
  If you are in the USA, what is your State bird? And if you are reading this from another country, what bird would you select to represent where you live? Do tell, I am for the the birds, you know!
Oh! And one of the questions I saw from the National Audubon Society was this: What was the first bird that you remember as a child that made you fall in love with birds?
(You might not be in love with birds yet, but you should be!) I love them ALL!
Gopher tortoise - click to see all state reptiles
Hey! The state reptile for Georgia is the gopher tortoise.  (Love this look on his face, I had a driver's license photo like this once! HA!)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Justin Hayward in Atlanta!

Justin Hayward is performing in Atlanta tonight.  How I wish that I could see him! Richard and I are big fans.  Normally, he would be with the Moody Blues, but this time, it is a solo performance.  Do you know that not only is Justin Hayward a wonderful singer and guitarist but he is also a fantastic songwriter?  When Justin was a teenager playing in a band he was approached by Lonnie Donegan, "The King of Skiffle",  and Justin Hayward signed a contract with Donegan's newly formed production company, Tyler Records.  Any songs written by Justin Hayward before 1974 became the property of  Lonnie Donegan.  Now that Lonnie Donegan has passed away, all the royalties from these songs go to the descendants of Lonnie Donegan.  These songs include "Nights In White Satin", "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Question".  You can bet that our son who is a songwriter himself knows the story of Justin Hayward and Lonnie Donegan.  We have advised him to NOT sign any contracts until he has consulted an attorney!

Now, you may ask yourself if Justin Hayward is bitter and angry due to his songs being basically stolen away from him.  That does not appear to be the case.  Justin Hayward plays the guitar and sings just as perfectly as he has ever done and he does so with a joy that is wonderful to witness!  It is a delight to hear him and even though he might be at an age that many would retire, he seems to genuinely enjoy touring both as a solo act and with his great band, THE MOODY BLUES!
Leaving you with one of our favorite songs ,"Lazy Afternoon"from Justin's solo album, "Spirits of The Western Sky".   Hope you will love this song as much as we do!

Our weather in Atlanta has broken records for the coolest temperatures for this time of year.  Our highs have been in the upper 60's for the past two days, breaking a record on Friday set back in 1892!
With all this rain, I took a photo of this little flower in my back yard.  There, Justin, if you see this post, you will remember this cool rainy day and night. Perhaps you will sing "Rainy Night In Georgia"!   It would be worth all this rain just to hear you sing this song!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Views of Atlanta

See these tall buildings in Atlanta, Georgia? This photo was taken from I-75.  We were there today but it was a very overcast day, so I am showing you this photo from last October! It's funny to see them this closely since we are used to seeing just the tops of them from our trips to Arabia Mountain! 

Ah, here is the view of Atlanta that I am most familiar with...this is from Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves.   I have been taking our son to see the Braves since he was about six years old.   Since Christopher is in his early 20's now, I have been going here for a while! (And I went to MY first Braves game in 1967 when the Atlanta Fulton County Stadium was on this spot!)  By the way, if you ever go to a Braves game, did you know that you can sign up to be a designated driver and they give you a little paper bracelet to wear and you recieve a voucher for a free soft drink?  (All the while, they solemnly inform you that by wearing the bracelet, you will NOT be served any alcohol!)  Hey, somebody needs to be sober!
Our son called us from Turner Field last night and excitedly told us that he was prepared to enjoy the Braves game...just after, it began raining and was delayed for almost two hours! Oh well, that's baseball!  That's life!  You win some, you lose some and some get rained out! (The Braves played and won!)
And hey, you will never guess what happened in the game! One of the bat boys (I am not kidding, if you don't know baseball, this is what they are called) was asked to rescue a...BAT from the baseball field! And I don't mean a baseball bat, I mean a real mosquito-eating winged animal! It must have been stunned, because later they showed the bat flying away unhurt.  YAY! You never know what you will see at a baseball game!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What A Wonderful World

 I see skies of blue and clouds of white...


The bright blessed day...

What a wonderful world!
Wherever you are in this world, enjoy it!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Boardwalk at Alexander Lake-Panola Mountain



There is now a new boardwalk which crosses Lake Alexander!   Richard and I walked on the trail to see this before it was finished, these first two photos were taken at the end of July. This is a new trail that connects with a trail that we are familiar with, the Rockdale River Trail.  After you cross this boardwalk, it goes up a steep hill and loops around with some beautiful granite plutons that are beneath the trees beside the trail. Then, the trail goes up and down (quite hilly!) and takes you to an old barn. The trail takes you right through the barn (which has been cleaned up and is now like a shelter) and it connects with the Rockdale River Trail. If  you take a right, you will come back to Lake Alexander, take a left and you will walk to the South River.  Eventually, the trail will be completed that will take you straight to Panola Mountain itself.  (Or really to the trails there, remember you can only climb Panola Mountain at certain times and that must be with a guide, it has restricted access.)

The above photos were taken as it was being built, but now that August is here...the boardwalk is complete!


There, the new boardwalk! Isn't it pretty?  This should be very popular with hikers and bikers. Can't wait to see this view with autumnal colors.


The sun is setting now, time to go home.  Hope you liked the new trails and boardwalk at Panola Mountain, you can be sure you will see it again!

Friday, August 9, 2013

NIght Blooming Cereus-Pay Attention!

Time for our cactus to bloom!  It is a night blooming cereus and as the name implies, it only blooms at night!  Richard has been able to keep some offshoots alive so we are hoping for some new plants from this one.  We have had this one cactus since 1994 and it is over six feet in height!  Frogs love to be inside the folds of the cactus and we love that we provide that space for them!
Why did I say pay attention in my title?  It is because it is easy for us to sometimes miss a bloom on this plant, we wil go out after the sun is risen, and we will see the bloom almost closed up...we missed the bloom! It hasn't happened often, but it can happen.  It makes me think that there may be other things that we might miss, something spectacular, so we all need to pay closer attention!

Lesson for today: Pay attention, you never know what you might miss!
(These photos with the light are in the very early morning, the flowers close up very soon when the sun is on them!)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Craig Kimbrel/Atlanta Braves

Craig Kimbrel is a fantastic pitcher for the Atlanta Braves.  He is a closer, which means he is a relief pitcher who specializes in getting the final outs in a close ballgame when his team is leading.  It is very exciting to see a pitcher come on in the 9th inning and you are just holding your breath, hoping that he will be able to hold on to the lead so that your team can win.  When Craig Kimbrel comes on, you don't have to wait too long, he almost always gets them out! After winning last night's game, he has 35 saves for the year, the most in the National League!
Craig Kimbrel has a very unique way of holding his body when he pitches...he almost bends completely over and then pitches with a very strong arm and his pitches sometimes are thrown at 100 miles an hour!  There is a good story behind his strange pitch and you just know I am going to tell you about it...
At the age of 18, as he waiting to attend college in the fall, Craig Kimbrel was working with his father, an electrician, putting in some wiring on a house.  Another worker, accidentally pulled over some heavy sheet rock onto Craig and the sheet rock smashed his left foot quite badly, breaking several bones.  Craig went on to college but was unable to pitch with his injury.  However, he decided to practice long tossing the baseball ON HIS KNEES. It didn't take long until he could throw a ball the length of a football field!   
I love stories where someone has turned a negative into a positive, don't you?  Here is what Craig Kimbrel himself had to say about it..." It's kind of weird to say that breaking your foot is the best thing that could happen to you but it seems like it ended up that way. It helped me understand how I move my upper body . Once I started using my lower body, it all came together."
There, isn't that a nice story and NOW you know why he has that very strange way of holding his body as he pitches!  I found a video for you which I enjoyed so very much I just had to share this with you.  Even if you don't know one thing about baseball, you should enjoy it.  And if you know all these pitchers that he is imitating, then you should love it, just like I do! 

The Atlanta Braves! They have now won 12 games in a row and they are way ahead of anyone else in their division!  (The score for tonight's game is tied at 2-2, so I can't be long typing this post, I must watch the game and call my Dad to discuss it!)  They have been great fun to watch and there are other players that I must tell you about, but that will have to wait until another post! 
 Go Braves!

UPDATE: The Braves won! The final was 6-3 over the Washington Nationals, and they have now won 13 in a row!  Kimbrel was the closer but it took him longer to get those 3 outs than usual, so he DID make me hold my breath!

Monday, August 5, 2013

August Beauty At Arabia Mountain

 I wish that I could paint a beautiful picture or perhaps give an account of what I have seen in the most precise words possible so that I could convey the exquistely delicate beauty that I just saw on Arabia Mountain...

 Pineweed was growing all over the mountain and when it blooms, there are tiny starlike yellow flowers at the very top, can you see them in the closeup?  So pretty and you might think that this plant is stiff like a pinetree but it's not, it is soft and it blows gently in the warm August air...

Another flower that was in great abundance was one that we we enjoyed on our last visit and the bees and the butterflies were enjoying it too...the Milkwort or Polygala Curtissii.  I like to call it Polygala when I remember it, but when I can't, I call them, the little purple clover -like flowers that the bees love!

A butterfly with wings like stained glass, can anyone identify it for me?  Here you see pretty purple Milkwort (Polygala) with the bright green leaves of the Yellow Daisy, which should bloom by September.  With all the rain we have had, the Yellow Daisy plants are great in number!
Now, I have told you about the Pineweed and the Polygala and the bright green of the Yellow Daisy plants,  but the star of the show on the mountain for August, has to be....drum roll please.... the MEADOWBEAUTY!  There, you might think that it could not be possible to have such a perfect name for a flower but I promise you, it's true that is its name and it is a beauty.

From a distance, the flowers look white but on closer inspection, they are a very pale pink or lavender and when they grow together with the purple milkwort, it makes for quite a pairing.   The color!  I just know Monet would have wanted to have painted it! (Notice the star- like green plants growing here too, they will be the Yellow Daisies, the future star for September and October!)


I loved the little seed-pods that were beginning to form on the Meadowberry...they were truly lovely, and I told Richard that they were just as pretty as the flower.  Imagine the joy I felt when I saw that Henry David Thoreau HIMSELF had described these seed-pods as "perfect little cream pitchers of graceful form."!
Yes! I agree!  Can you see the little cream pitchers in the photo below? 



This last little flower is one that I saw last year but could not is a bell shaped flower and it is blue at the base and becomes lighter, almost white...can you see it? So tiny and delicate, you must look closely for is a summer bluet also called Venus' Pride, not to be confused with the spring bluet, which  is a single flower (NOT bell shaped)  and is a deep bluish purple...

Leaving you with a photo showing you the milkwort (Polygala) with Panola Mountain on the horizon.  Let's go there next time, shall we?  Hope you are enjoying a beautiful August wherever you are in the world!
Summer bluet, Houstonia pururea
Meadowbeauty, Rhexia mariana
Milkwort, Polygala curtissi
Pineweed, Hypericum gentianodes
Also... Blazing star, evening primrose, St Andrew's Cross, coreopsis, Asiatic dayflower and plant with plastic like leaves that I can't identify!-- Just a few of these but I wanted to note them here.
(Plastic like leaves could be rabbit ears plant in the summer.)