Monday, June 30, 2014

Otis Redding

 Otis Redding was a great singer/songwriter from Georgia who died in 1967 in a plane crash at the age of 26.  Just four days before this tragedy, he recorded the song that went to number one on the charts: "Sittin' OnThe Dock of the Bay".
Otis Redding was discovered after recording "These Arms Of Mine", a song that he wrote himself. The band at the Sunflower Festival played this song last year and spoke about the great Otis Redding.  The song was so good, I just had to search out Otis Redding singing it... I have it here for you.  No fancy gimmicks, no flashy costumes, just pure heart-felt, soulful talent.  Enjoy.
I am sorry that we will not have the Sunflower Festival this year, I will miss it!
My Dad loves music too, he told me one year that if I couldn't find him that he would be next to the bandstand... or in his words, "if you cain't find me, I'll be where the music is!"

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Injured Goose/AWARE To The Rescue!

Here is a story with a happy ending-  In the Atlanta area, a Canadian goose was observed with an arrow through its head.  After many attempts over several weeks, the bird was captured and was taken to a wildlife rehab center, the AWARE Center.  In case you can't see the video I have here for you, I can tell you that they were able to remove the arrow and the bird is now recovering. I told you it had a happy ending! 

Now, this story makes me wonder...1)  What kind of LOWLIFE would do such a thing and 2) how many feeble jokes can be made in the small span of this news report?  Honestly, I truly love good journalism and I think that everything should be reported in a respectful manner.
But hey, what to I know?  Perhaps people are splitting their sides with laughter over all the "goose" jokes.  Oh well.   You can see the news video   just here.

One thing that I was very happy to see about this....I loved that they showed the AWARE Center itself.  It is just beside the area where you begin the walk up Arabia Mountain! Be sure and notice all those pretty trees around AWARE and then realize that all the walks I have taken you up Arabia Mountain have started from the parking lot just beside AWARE!  (Please, if you go to Arabia Mountain, do NOT park in AWARE's parking lot, it is clearly marked, and you can see they do very good work there, let's make sure they have parking spaces, agreed? Okay then!)
So much bad news lately, I was happy to see this little item of good news.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wildflowers Star The Ground-It Must Lead To A Happy Land

It winds along the face of a cliff
This path which I long to explore,
And over it dashes a waterfall,
And the air is full of the roar
And the thunderous voice of waters which sweep
In a silver torrent over some steep.
It clears the path with a mighty bound

And tumbles below and away,
And the trees and the bushes which grow in the rocks
Are wet with its jewelled spray;
The air is misty and heavy with sound,
And small, wet wildflowers star the ground.
Oh! The dampness is very good to smell,
And the path is soft to tread,
And beyond the fall it winds up and on,
While little streamlets thread
Their own meandering way down the hill
Each singing its own little song, until
I forget that 't is only a pictured path,
And I hear the water and wind,
And look through the mist, and strain my eyes
To see what there is behind;
For it must lead to a happy land,
This little path by a waterfall spanned.        
Amy Lowell

Monday, June 23, 2014

World Cup 2014/ Lightning CAN Strike TWICE!

World Cup 2014!   Did anyone else see the football match between the USA and Portugal?  You know I watched it!  I just saw on the news that 22 MILLION Americans watched that game!  It was a shame that the USA didn't win. To have Portugal score with only 30 seconds left!  Still, you must know that I am a true fan of all sports and let me tell you, the game isn't over until it is OVER!
And those last few minutes last for an ETERNITY!)  The USA will play Germany on Thursday, and you know who I will be cheering for!  GO USA! 

My English husband has been pleased to see all the crowds that they have shown us on TV of the crowds in the USA watching the World Cup. (Of course, he would have even MORE pleased if England had done better!)  Soccer (football in the rest of the world) has never been as popular and followed with as much intensity as it is now.  In Rockdale County, we were a little ahead of the rest of the country, because we had the influence of Ben Gross who introduced the sport into this small county in Georgia.  Please click on his name and read about him.  He was an Auschwitz
survivor who was determined not only to succeed in life but also to help and inspire other people.

Ben Gross died ten years ago but I am sure that it would have made him very happy to know that so many Americans are now watching the sport that he worked so hard to bring to Georgia AND that the USA is doing so well in the World Cup! 
We have had some thunderstorms here lately and the clouds that suddenly build up can be quite scary! Just this weekend a man was struck by lightning in Coweta County, Georgia when he was raking leaves with a metal rake. It knocked him clean out of his shoes, he even took a photo of his smoking boots!  He was checked out at the hospital and survived this lightning strike.  Here's the thing, the doctors advised him to be careful, as it is very possible that he will be struck again!  You may read that story here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dewlap On Anole

Green anole.jpg
image from wikipedia

In my last post, when I said that I saw this little guy, I called it a guy since I knew it was a male.  You see the skin underneath the throat is extended?  The anole that we saw had this red throat outthrust in the same way...therefore, a male.  That flap of skin? There is a name for that, it is called a "dewlap".  Interesting, I had no idea that there was a word for that! 

Gee, I have so many things that I could blog about, and I am talking about the skin underneath a lizard's throat!  Here, I have a photo of Richard's threadleaf coreopsis and it has been spectacular!
Take care everyone! Hope you all have a lovely weekend and maybe one day, I will be able to visit all the great blogs that I like to read! 


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Enjoyment of Nature

Today, I had the day off unexpectedly.  You know I went on a walk!  Richard was off too, so we went to Panola Mountain, the Outcrop Trail.  Can you see Stone Mountain in the distance, in the heat haze?  It looks like a mirage.  This was at 8:00 in the morning and it was already very warm, a sign of what was to come for the day.

I wanted Richard to see the De Castro Trail head that I saw on Saturday and for us to walk on the trail together, for as long as we could stand the heat!

That is the river you see between the trees, the trail is quite high here and one little slip...well, you get the picture!  It is a steep slope, there is land in between the trees and the river, you just can't see it. The sun was so bright on the water, it makes it hard to see.  The trees here were lovely next to the trail.  It was as if were in the North Georgia mountains!
Robert de Castro died in 1999 at the age of 91. You may read his obituary here. (Not sure what the 1991 date refers to, perhaps they named their retreat on this property "Kenwood" and that is the date it was built? Again, I am guessing, but I am very grateful for this gift to Rockdale County!)  He donated 120 acres to Rockdale County with the stipulation that the land be used for the enjoyment of nature. This land is on part of the trail that connects all the way to the Monastery. You can see it on the map from my last post.
Look at this sign on the trail, it is on a stone that I am sure is from Arabia Mountain .  If you look closely, you can see the marks that should be familiar to you if you are a regular reader of my blog!  I am glad that this stone was thoughtfully placed here, to honor Mr. De Castro and to also point out the beauty of the rock from Arabia Mountain! And since I have my English heart, you can guess how much it pleases me to see a quote from Dickens!

This is the other side of the rock, the words are on the other side.  See the markings on the right?
And see the bench? It is a long slab of rock placed on smaller slabs of rock, all this same beautiful stone.
Can you spot the anole in the photo above? Richard saw this little guy and it was amazing how closely his color is to the green leaves, this was on the Outcrop Trail at Panola Mountain.  We also saw red headed woodpeckers and pileated woodpeckers.  And the sweetest thing, just before we left, we heard the bird that likes to call Richard's name...we hear it quite often. " Rich-ARD".....sweet, sweet, sweet".  That is what it sounds like to me anyway!  Hope you hear a bird calling your name today!  Here's to the enjoyment of nature!
Nature gives to every time and season some beauty of its own...changes so gentle and easy that we scarcely mark their progress.    Charles Dickens

Monday, June 16, 2014

Arabia Mountain, Panola Mountain AND The Monastery- PATH Trails!

  TRY THE TRAIL! That was the theme for this past Saturday, June 14th!  The PATH trail officially opened all the way to the Monastery!  If you have read my blog before, I have spoken of my love for the Monastery, for Arabia Mountain, and for Panola Mountain.  Now, the Path trails connect all three!  It is really a bike ride, but I can certainly walk large segments of it and you know that I have done so! On Saturday, I made it to the 8 am ceremony and ribbon cutting at the Monastery.  (I took the best photo of two monks standing beside one of the beefy bikers, but since I don't have their permission to show them, you will just have to take my word for it!)

There were all kinds of events planned for this new trail celebration.  There was a booth with the Extension Service telling us of  the top ten trees on the trail, and of course I had to make sure that I got to that one! (I will try to do a post on the trees by themselves: they deserve it.)   They had archery and kayaks at Lake Alexander at Panola State Park and I am happy to tell you that I spent over two hours at that lake and took advantage of both of those offerings! Hey! Who would guess that I could use a bow and arrow?  And I had never been inside a kayak in my life, but KAY CAN KAYAK!!

Before I did those two activities, I walked on the outcrop trail at Panola Mountain, and saw some more Fire pinks blooming!
I love this wildflower!
The early morning light on the trail was lovely.  I had this trail all to myself and I heard nothing but birdsong.
Part of the Rockdale River Trail has been opened for a while, I took these photos back in April.
This bridge crosses over the South River and is the longest bridge on any of the Path trails!
This is the view from the middle of the bridge. Now, you know why it is the Rockdale River Trail!
This bridge is part of the trail, it is over busy Highway 212.  As you walk the trail from the Monastery, you must cross over this highway.  I am grateful for this bridge! Do you have any idea how wonderful and unusual a pedestrian bridge is in this area?  It's like a miracle!
These were the arrows that I shot at the archery event!  Hey, I didn't get the bulls-eye every time, but I was very pleased with this!
Look at what was waiting near my car in the parking lot to say good day to me as I was leaving!
Hey, this guy was just like me...hanging out at Panola Mountain!
(Remember the snake that our friend Steve rescued back in November at Panola Mountain? Maybe this is the same one!)
The BEST part of this new trail, it leads to the peace and serenity of one of my favorite spots in the world, the Monastery right here in Rockdale County.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

For He's A Jolly Good Fellow!

President George H.W. Bush turned 90 years old today. (He is the father of President George Bush).  Even though he suffers from Parkinson's disease and uses a wheelchair, he still jumped out of an airplane to celebrate! What a guy!  He first parachuted from a plane when he was in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  Read about his heroism here. He also jumped in celebration of his 75th, 80th, 85th and now...his 90th!  Again, I say...what a guy!  He IS a jolly good fellow, that nobody can deny!

One thing I always remember about him...he was expected to be seated next to Bill Clinton at some kind of gathering and basically just refused to do so, he wanted nothing to do with him.  Bill Clinton learned of this and contacted Bush and spoke with him. After more time spent together, the two became good friends and they remain so to this day.  There is just something about that story that stays with me.


Did anyone see on the news about the gentleman who left his nursing home in Hove, East Sussex in England and went to the ceremonies in France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day?  His name is  Bernard Jordan, a former Mayor of Hove who served in the Royal Navy during World War II.  What a guy!  I read on the BBC that the folks at the nursing home welcomed him back with a rousing "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow"!   And so say all of us! 

Bernard Jordan
I have a better photo of the British flag but doggone if I can find it for you!  These are some Union Jacks flapping in the breeze on the Eastbourne Pier, it's not far from Hove!
And I just spoke with my father-in-law in England today, speaking of a jolly good fellow!
Lovely to speak with you today, PEEDER!  No, wait, I will say it with my fake English accent...PEE-TAH!!  xx  Hope you have a lovely Father's Day this Sunday, you are the BEST father-in-law EVER! And I hope all your jolly good fellows have a lovely day.  ( And in Bexhill, England, I am thinking of YOU, Henry G.!)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Done And Dusted/Turn, Turn,Turn

I made this as a gift last year, and I have made more as baby presents just lately...but I didn't take photos of them!

Whenever I have lots of things to do, I always think of this expression "done and dusted" once I have finished my tasks!  I love that phrase, don't you?  I have only heard it in England, and I think it is one that we need to use here!    I like to say it at work when I have done something, it makes my co-workers laugh since they have never heard it!  Another one that I like, "don't get your knickers in a twist", is one that is self-explanatory. I think that very often we need to tell ourselves that!  I know that I do for myself anyway, especially when I have lots to do and don't know which way to turn!
I have been very busy lately but never so busy that when I see the goldfinch perched on the hummingbird feeder that I can't run and grab the camera!  The small red plastic "trap-it" that is above the hummingbird feeder holds water and that creates a barrier that keeps ants out of the feeder! It works too! And a wonderful added bonus, there are several birds that come down and drink water from that tiny red cup, the goldfinch being one of them. 
Drink up, little hummingbird!
I hope all of you are getting through the necessary things that you have to do in life but still finding time to enjoy the beauty.  And when you get those things done, tell yourself it is finished-
Done and Dusted!
Hey! You know what song will go with this post? Why, "Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds, of course!
(Pete Seeger wrote the music, but most of the lyrics are from the Bible, from the Book of Ecclesiastes.)  
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fire Pink/Nosy Parker At Panola Mountain


Richard and I saw a beautiful wildflower at one of our walks at Panola Mountain State Park this past weekend that we had never seen before. (I am afraid that I really let out a whoop of delight since I saw it first!)  After we got home, we identified it as a Fire Pink, it is also called a is a Silene Virginica,  in the Pink family (Caryophyllacae). I think you can see that
this flower is notched on the edges (sorry the photo is blurred, it was windy!).  Do you notice that the USA postal stamp chose these PINKS for one of their Vintage Postage Seeds Forever stamps?  I suppose they made sure that they put pink flowers for the PINKS but the color pink is not why they are called PINKS, they are called that due to the notched edging on the flower (for instance, carnations are in the same family of PINKS and you know that they come in many colors!)  It might be easier to think of this when you think about pinking shears! I knew the wildflower that we saw had to be the Fire Pink, since I found a description of it and it said it was "strikingly beautiful".  That description was spot-on.  (As my English in-laws would say!)
Speaking of English expressions, I was amused by this kitten at the Panola Mountain Office.  When I was told his name was "Parker", I had to laugh because it made me call him a Nosy Parker!  He truly was into everything!  I wonder why they have that expression "A nosy Parker" in England?  I have never heard it here but I immediately thought of it for this little kitten! And Sarah, the young lady who works at Panola Mountain agreed that it suits this young male kitten perfectly! (She had never heard of the expression here either.)  Richard doesn't use it much, I must have heard his mother say it...or perhaps I read it somewhere. Anyway, I looked it up and it seems that no one is truly sure of the origin, but they are quite certain of the meaning!
Okay now, be honest, did you know the meaning of the work "pink" in regards to flowers?  And what about "Nosy Parker"? I am sure all my British friends know that one! 
 I must admit that I am a bit of a nosy Parker, and sometimes, I am a dozy old cow!
There's another expression for you!