Friday, September 27, 2013

Native Wildflower Restoration

September 28th is "Your State Parks Day" in Georgia!  Tomorrow, for this one day only, all the state parks will allow you to park for FREE!  It's a great time to get out and enjoy all of the state parks and if you are in Georgia you should try and go, beautiful weather has been forecast for the entire state.

In conjunction with this day, they are asking for volunteers for different service projects.  At Panola Mountain State Park, they have asked for folks to come out in the morning and plant wildflowers in a large field within the park.  Would I like to do that?  What do you think?  You know that I will be there! All the wildflowers will be from Georgia and beautyberry should be one of those that we will plant, as it is native to this area.  Wish me luck!

What are your plans for this weekend, do tell!  Hope it will bring you as much joy as planting wildflowers!

Not sure of the name but this wildflower is growing at Panola Mountain State Park right now!



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Arabia Mountain/September- Yellow Daisies


 Can you spy the yellow daisies just as you are beginning the walk up Arabia Mountain?  I wish you could know the fragrance of these in the early morning, light but oh so sweetly fragrant! As you begin this walk, it is a bit of a climb and then it levels off and you are surrounded by many pine trees and at this point, you may ask, "Is this the mountain?".  The answer is yes, certainly, but if you look closely you can see that very much of this has been quarried but that nature has taken over beautifully.  YOU MUST KEEP GOING. (If for health reasons, you are unable to continue...DO NOT DESPAIR! Look around you at the great natural beauty! I took this photo below of Richard at the very beginning of the walk, just as we came out from under the trees at the entrance.) Now, follow the stone cairns that are there for you, and you will be rewarded by the monadnock of Arabia Mountain rising before you, just around a stand of pines which is about 1/2 mile from where you have parked your car....
There were masses of these gorgeous yellow daisies all over the mountain. Could the sky really be that blue? It was!

Arabia Lake was sparkling in this sun, can you see the blue lake through the trees?

The boardwalk at the base of Arabia Mountain is beside a busy road, Klondike Road which leads you to a shopping mall and busy Interstate 20 which is always packed with traffic. You would never guess that you are only a few miles from this kind of natural beauty... Of course, those of you who read this blog know all about it!

 Hoping that yellow flowers will one day mark your way as they do in September on Arabia Mountain. (Please understand that these yellow daisies are in just a very small amount of sandy soil that has collected on solid rock!)  Life tries very hard.  Never give up, never surrender! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"I've Been Good To You"- Smokey Robinson, Tom "T-Bone" Wolk and Daryl Hall

From my last post, I shared a clip of the Beatles on a TV show from England in the early 60's.  One of the songs, "This Boy" was written by John Lennon and it was said that he was influenced by a song by Smokey Robinson, "I've Been Good To You".  I am happy to tell you that I found a great video of Smokey Robinson with Daryl Hall singing this song and I have it for you here!   The video is taken from a TV show called  "Live From Daryl's House".   So happy that I found this! (This has been around since 2007 and was first offered as a free monthly web show, "playing around with friends and putting it on the Internet", is how Daryl Hall described it.  (Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, remember them?)

In this video, you will see the absolute joy and thrill that the musicians have to be in the presence of the great Smokey Robinson.  Watch it, you will see what I mean!  You can tell they are all big fans.  One very sad note, the man on the guitar who is seated between Smokey Robinson and Daryl Hall is T-Bone Wolk and he was the bassist for Hall and Oates .  T-Bone Wolk passed away, quite unexpectedly at the age of 58, in 2010.  Daryl's Hall last album was dedicated to his friend.

Leaving you with a photo of my handsome son...I keep listening to The Sevens!  I really like their music and hope they are able to put their songs on a CD one day!  Yes, I spend a lot of time listening to music on YouTube but time spent with music is always a good thing, provided the music is good!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Morecambe/ Beatles With Morecambe & Wise-Feb. 12th, 1963

Please, if you can, read this post.  It is by Julie from her blog, Home Jules and the post is about Morecambe in England that she visited in August.  The pebbles on the beach make me long to hear the stones crunch under my feet again on an English beach!  Morecambe is very well known for the dangerous mudflats that are there and there is an interesting link about it on Julie's post...

 Also, I had no idea that they have a statue of Eric Morecambe doing his little skippy dance! (Eric Morecambe from Morecambe & Wise, if you remember the video that I had on here before showing them in their famous Breakfast skit, with their movements to "The Stripper", so funny!  Eric Bartholomew was his birth name, he took his name from his place of birth.)   I wondered why the statue of Eric Morecambe had binoculars around his is because he was a great bird watcher! They even have a bird "hide" nearby which they have named after him.  You may read about it at this RSPB link.  (RSPB- The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.)   I had never seen a hide until I saw one in England...they are wonderful, you truly can "hide" in them, and the birds cannot see you, but you can see the birds.  (You might have seen them in the USA but perhaps they are scarce in Georgia!)

Now, after looking at quite a few videos of Morecambe & Wise, JOY OF JOYS, I found something that I truly have wished to see for many hear the BEATLES without tons of SCREAMING girls!  I have it here for you and I would love for you to listen to it while you look at Julie's post.  The harmonies are just so perfect and their voices are so beautiful to listen to...the songs are "This Boy", "All My Loving" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand".  They even sing a song with Morecambe & Wise at the end!  And they are so young and joyful and so obviously THRILLED to be on this show with Morecambe & Wise!
I notice that many people don't see the beauty of Morecambe but the natural beauty of it really is appealing to me and I think that I would like it very much.  Thanks, Julie for letting me visit it with you!  I hope you will like the post on her blog as much as I do and I hope you enjoy this Beatles clip...  Thanks to all who left such wonderful comments on my last post!  I think my son's concert left me in such a state that I have been unable to concentrate very well!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ladies And Gentlemen...THE SEVENS!

Very excited to tell you that our son, Christopher is in this band! They call themselves "The 7's" and they are just GREAT! Richard and I just saw them in another performance last night, Sept. 13th, and I hope to have some of the songs from that concert but for now, I have the song "Like A Twig" which was recorded back in July.  (I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song...Christopher and Tim wrote the song together but I think that Tim told me last night when he heard me singing it as we left, "Your son wrote that melody!"  Oh, wait, was that another song?...Hmmm...I can't remember, they are all catchy tunes!) Could they be the next great songwriting team?  Let's hope so! 

Now, Richard took this video with just our little camera, but I love how he tried to get all the members of the band in the clip...even though it was so incredibly dark at Smith's Olde Bar!
 (Jim is on drums, Wes on the bass guitar, Christopher, with the red guitar and and Tim, with the blue guitar. ) Keep in mind this video was from the very first time they had EVER been on a stage as a band!!  I think that they did a wonderful job, I thought they sounded very polished and professional.  (Richard even moved the camera over towards the end of the song to show me enjoying the music, but it is so DARK, you can't see me, which is always a good thing, don't you know.)
The Sevens could really use your support.  If you are on Facebook, please go to their Facebook page and "LIKE" them!   And tell your friends too!!
I am thanking you in advance. My blogging friends are just the best and I appreciate you more than you could ever know.
You will hear more about The Sevens from me , I PROMISE!  :-)
Also, more to come about Arabia Mountain, Panola Mountain and the crazy squirrels in my backyard!  Whoa, I don't know if y'all can stand the excitement!
Richard just had a birthday he is from last year with our son, and I took this photo on top of Arabia Mountain. My favorite guys on one of my favorite places on Earth! (I am going to tell C. that he needs to SMILE more while he is on stage.  He has THE most beautiful smile, don't you think?)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ALIVE: The Story of the Andes Survivors

Did you hear about the man from Uraguay who was rescued from the Andes Mountains?  He had survived for four months on mostly raisins and sugar.  You may read about it here.   I  remember reading that it was purely by chance that he was found, there were officials there recording the amount of snowfall when they found him. This reminded me of a couple of books that I wonder if you have read...

"Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors" by Piers Paul Read is a book about the young rugby team from Uruguay who crashed in the snowy Andes Mountains on Oct. 12, 1972.   You might have seen the movie made about this, with Ethan Hawke in one of the starring roles.  Now, if you have not read the book, I recommend it.  Out of the 45 passengers and crew on board the aircraft, only 16 survived, and due to the harsh conditions, it is because of cannibalism that they were able to survive.   The  British author, Piers Paul Read, interviewed the survivors and wrote this book not long after the rescue. 

"Miracle In The Andes: 72 Days On the Mountain And My Long Trek Home:
If you have seen the movie, "Alive: Miracle In The Andes", and you admired the leadership and determination of Nando Parrado (portrayed by Ethan Hawke in the movie), then you should read this book by Nando Parrado, co-written with Vince Rause.  In the first book, by Piers Paul Read, the emphasis is on the shared Catholic faith of those aboard the flight.  In the second book, while trying to keep a very respectful tone, Nando Parrado makes it clear that it was the thought of keeping himself alive that was the driving force behind his will to make it out, having already lost his mother and sister in the crash, he could not bear the thought of his father losing everyone in the family.

One thing I must tell you, someone loaned me a paperback copy of  "Alive" by Piers Paul Read during the weekend of March 12, 1993, and it just so happened that that was the weekend of the "Storm of the Century" when we had almost blizzard like conditions in Georgia. I remember that the wind had driven pine needles into the snow so deeply, it looked bizarre, I had never seen anything like it, before or since. This was the kind of snowy weather that we experienced for the two days that I read this book. To hear the fierce wind blowing and to look out and see the sudden swift snowfall made the book even more real for me.

These snowy photos are from the Monastery after one of the most beautiful snows we have ever had in Conyers, from Feb. 13, 2010. 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Painted Bunting

It was a close race, but only four birds could fly away with the coveted Egret. The Atlantic Puffin, Western Grebe, Hermit Thrush & Painted Bunting each won their respective categories in Audubon's Avian Awards. Learn more about the achievements that helped them win your vote: [Photo: Larry Smith]

Isn't this a magnificent bird?  If you have had any sightings of a painted bunting, please let me know where you have seen it, I will try to get there as soon as I possibly can.  Thank you.

In the meantime, hummingbirds are buzzing outside my window and a goldfinch is a constant visitor.
 I love birds and I love butterflies too, even one with an injured wing. (It could still fly, by the way, we should learn from it.) 
Take care everyone, hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.
Look for beauty everywhere!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fragile Reverence/Uniqueness Of Life

My posts about the mountains (monadnocks) in this area- Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain, and Panola Mountain- have been from someone who stubbornly keeps insisting that they are unique and beautiful and that we should appreciate their great natural beauty and take the joy of them into our hearts and our everyday lives.  Recently, Jeff Nix from Friends of Panola Mountain had a wonderful link to "Mountain In The Shadows: A Cultural History of The Lands AroundPanola Mountain State Conservation Park" by Ryan D.  Hurd.   It gives you a great detailed history of Panola Mountain, and I am so grateful to have found this!   What Mr. Hurd says of Panola Mountain in the conclusion, is the same way that my husband and I think that the other two monadnocks should also be respected and loved. (Even if some of the memories associated with Stone Mountain have been negative...KKK meetings and setting cars on fire and driving them off of the mountain.  Arabia Mountain, heavily quarried, and used as a dumping ground and a playground for drunks for decades. Painful to think of, but those were the activities of mankind, and NOT nature!) 

You see, by observing the nature of these mountains, you notice more and more and come to love every single bit of nature that you encounter... always appreciating the "wild-ness" and "uniqueness of life", no matter where you are in this world.  (The following is in the conclusion written by Mr. Hurd.)

Then there’s the mountain itself, rising over the hills in quiet grandeur. Throughout its history, people have climbed its steep slopes not as part of their everyday chores – but perhaps for a view above the never-ending canopy of trees, or a ceremony during the setting sun and rising moon, or simply for a moment’s peace as the children sleep before dawn breaks. Panola Mountain represents all that is sacred and non-ordinary in nature. The twisted, shrunken trunks of the juniper and the delicate blooms of the tiny dwarf stonecrop re-awaken us to the fragile reverence we hold for the uniqueness of life. We should pause with that thought, and then make sure we take it back down the mountain to our everyday lives. Because wild-ness here at home, in our front yards, and in the streambeds that run through our neighborhoods.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Stone Mountain/Walk Or Ride To The Top?

Stone Mountain on Saturday and the Yellow Daisies were just beginning to bloom at the base of the mountain but as we climbed higher, it made quite a difference in the blooms.  In the photo above, this is close to the halfway mark and the blooms were incredible!  The fragrance is such a light scent, quite wonderful but I don't think that many people noticed it.  In fact, there were lots of people climbing the mountain but we only saw a handful stop and admire these flowers. We can't understand it.  I told Richard that perhaps it is because it is mistaken for bitterweed which is very common and grows in pastures.  Sure enough, we saw a comment to this effect on Facebook.
You'll never guess what we saw in the Confederate Hall, the building at the base of Stone Mountain...they have a display case and since there is a sky lift to the top of Stone Mountain, there is a small sign showing sky lifts from around the world and one of them is...

From Beachy Head, which is in Eastbourne, England!
We were surprised to see this! All the other sky lifts shown were actual sky lifts. We think that this was used at Beachy Head as the lighthouse was being built.  Was it ever used for tourists as a sky lift? I don't believe so, but I could be wrong. You can see from the photo above that the men are just holding on for dear life, it looks to me that they are the workers who have been working on it.
This lighthouse is no longer used, but it is still there at Beachy Head and it makes for a lovely photo!

Oh, and when we are at Stone Mountain, do we take the sky lift to the top?  NEVER!