Saturday, September 30, 2017

This Is A Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Bright orange butterfly on a bright orange flower is a lovely sight!
Panola Mountain State Park posted a photo of a butterfly today on Instagram and asked for someone to identify it.  You know I had to tell them!  The first photo I have given you here is of the Gulf Fritillary showing the front wings.  The next photo is of the back wings...sometimes, depending on how the light hits it, the back wings look silver, like looking into a mirror but get the light just right and you see all those lovely spots with an "eye" looking at you. Can you see it? Once you see this and recognize it, you will always know that it is a Gulf Fritillary butterfly.   (The "eye" is a defense mechanism. If a predator tries to grab it by the "eye", it might be able to get away! And that eye should intimidate them, it looks pretty big, doesn't it?)

Also, butterflies love this is a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) and we grew them from seed.  They are very easy to grow, just need to water them and care for them daily, that is all!
Worth it though, to get the butterflies to come to us! (The stalk of the flower can be very tall...think of Jack and the Beanstalk and you will get the idea...but the flower is rather small, like the size of a zinnia.)

Bright orange butterfly on a bright orange flower! Wonderful color!
Hope Panola Mountain State Park will see this post!

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Lovers Concerto (Bach's Minuet...or PETZOLD'S Minuet)

Same tune, different song!

Bach's minuet in D (or G) is the same tune for the hit song for The Toys in 1965, "A Lovers Concerto".  I found a video from a singer in England that does a really good cover of this song. 

Now, Bach's Minuet...   reading a bit more about it, it appears that a man by the name of Christian Petzold is the one who actually composed this tune! Well, the things I learn when I am researching things for my blog! You can read all about Petzold and Bach just   here.
Hope you know and love Bach already!

Hello raggedy butterfly, even with some of your wing missing, you are still beautiful and going strong.  Let this creature be a lesson for us!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Yellow Daisy Time!

Want to go on a nature hike?  Sure you do!

  If you have read my blog before, you know that this is the time of year to see the lovely Yellow Daisies!  Just look at them all, aren't they something? Keep in mind,  these are native wildflowers, they were not planted and tended and fussed over, they have come up from seed from the year before...isn't that wonderful?  We have observed these for many years on Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain and Panola Mountain...and we have never seen so many, and not just in the small amounts of soil on the rock but also under the trees and on the forest edge. I found some great info on the Yellow Daisy for you, you may read it just here.
All conditions must have been just right for the Yellow Daisies this year, an early spring with lots of rain is my guess!  But hey, enough of my wonderment and amazement over these beauties, you want to see more of them, right?  
Many of the trees and bushes have died on the mountain from the drought last year...I wonder if this is what happens every decade or so and there is a cycle of death and renewal.  The trees die and then, other plants thrive but then the trees take root and grow again.  There is something comforting to me about that thought, that life works itself out in the best way and everyone benefits.
Yes, that is me talking again and I wanted to show you photos...

Richard, stand over there and let me get a photo of you slightly out of focus! Good man!  (Wait, close your eyes, I won't notice! I only have eyes for DAISIES!)
Richard has been informed that he may only take photos of me from a good distance away...he is a good man and a good photographer!

Look at the close up of this eight- petaled beauty! (Some of them might have only seven petals, but I won't hold that against them, aren't they gorgeous?) And the fragrance is lovely too, if you just take the time to notice.

Not only do the Yellow Daisies bloom at our local mountains and rocky outcrops...but did you know that you may also see them on some of the roadsides? (They only grow within a 60 mile radius of Stone Mountain, Georgia.)  I wonder, do you think it is possible that some might grow in my yard?  What do you think?

These are Yellow Daisies In Our Front Yard!
Please note, no seeds were taken from any of our local mountains for the flowers that you see in the photo above!  It is most important that all the flowers are left to drop their seeds so that we may enjoy this lovely floral display next year and the year after that and so on and so on.  You get the picture!

(There was a sale this past weekend at Stone Mountain Park from the Georgia Native Plant Society. I wasn't able to go but I know they had some Yellow Daisy Seeds for sale!  I would love it if we could fill the Metro Atlanta area with these native wildflowers.)

More photos to come of the Yellow Daisies. Hope you love them as much as we do!

Stay straight in life and if possible, have the beauty of wildflowers beside you!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Loved Life/ Reading About People's Lives! (Obituaries)

"Even though Tom will be greatly missed, he didn't want to be mourned, just remembered as a person who loved life."

The above was something that I read in a small town Georgia newspaper when I was visiting my Dad...I liked it so much that I jotted it down.    I always read the obituaries, don't you?  You are really reading about the LIFE of that person, how they lived, what they loved and enjoyed.  

Most of the obituaries now in the newspapers are written by someone who is in the deceased's family but I remember the obits in the Atlanta newspaper that were beautifully written by one person, Kay Powell.  I found the most wonderful article about her and you may read about her just here.

If you don't know one thing about me, you should know this: I dearly love a well written piece by a journalist.  You might not think that an obituary would come under this heading but then, you haven't read any of Kay's obituaries!

Recently, I wrote a post about seeing Venus early in the morning... the planet shone with a steady light in the sky but then, the sun came up over the trees and very quickly, Venus faded from my view.  It was still there, I just could not see it!  It reminded me of a poem and I wanted to share it with you...

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

Note:  1st Photo of graveyard in Monroe, Georgia, grave of the "Poppy Lady", Moina Mitchell.

Next two photos, from church in Burwash, England.

Poem by Henry Van Dyke.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Funny Story-We All Need A Laugh!

Hey! Want to hear something funny?  I read this on the BBC website today... and I am giggling just thinking about it...
A family in Coventry called the RSPCA (which is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals") because they had found a lizard under the bed.  The RSPCA officer came to their home and moved cautiously to the side of the bed... and it turned out to be a ....dirty sock!  You may see the filthy sock masquerading as a lizard just  here.

I couldn't help but think of the wonderful Jim Henson and his muppets.  Kermit the Frog was really just a sock on his hand, you know!  If you ever have a sock or an oven glove, you can always make a puppet out of it and make people laugh with a funny voice.  What?! You have never done that before? Well, try it!  Ahem...I MIGHT have done that a few times in my life!  

If you know anything about Jim Henson, you should know that he did the voices for Kermit and one of his other first creations, Rowlf the Dog.  So...I have a song for you where they are both singing.  I have given this to you before on a post years ago, but it is always worth listening to again!

If you want to see a real lizard, I have one for you! This one lives near our front porch and he is quite happy there! It is really a skink and apparently, if it loses its tail, it will grow back. That is a handy trick, don't you think?  That bright blue tail, it is really something to see...much better than a dirty sock!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Batten Down The Hatches!

We have no power and the wind is blowing very hard.
The expression "batten down the hatches" is an English expression from sea faring days.  On a ship, the doors were usually left open but when storms were threatening, the doors were closed and then, a rod placed across them to hold in high winds.  I may not be explaining this correctly, but you will forgive me, the winds are whipping against my window with such force, it is hard to concentrate. Since my front door is trying to fly off its hinges at the moment, I can see the common sense of using that metal rod across the door of the ship.  Now, I am in Georgia and this is the first time I have ever experienced a tropical storm, which is what they tell us Hurricane Irma has become now.  Since the wind speed is only 5 miles or so less than a category 1 hurricane, you will forgive me for not appreciating the semantics of the is just all high winds and rain to me.  I am thinking of what it must have been like for those in Key West, Cuba and Barbuda...some of the places the hardest hit.  

We were in England this time last year...I think the photo above is the same church where they filmed the funeral scene from "Chariots of Fire".  I love that movie so much. If you have never seen it, watch it! You will be glad you did. 

Nave, central and principal part of a Christian church, extending from the entrance (the narthex) to the transepts (transverse aisle crossing the nave in front of the sanctuary in a cruciform church) or, in the absence of transepts, to the chancel (area around the altar). In a basilican church (see basilica), which has side aisles, nave refers only to the central aisle. The nave is that part of a church set apart for the laity, as distinguished from the chancel, choir, and presbytery, which are reserved for the choir and clergy. The separation of the two areas may be effected by screens or parapets, called cancelli. The term nave derives from the Latin navis, meaning “ship,” and it has been suggested that it may have been chosen to designate the main body of the building because the ship had been adopted as a symbol of the church.

Now, I will leave you with a song. (You knew I would!)  It is a most comforting song to me and one that I sing in the car when there is bad weather or bad traffic and I feel afraid.  You are welcome to learn it and sing it also!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Sad Day For Country Music/Under The Weather

On top of the dire news of Hurricane Irma on the news, it is also a sad day for country music.  Don Williams and Troy Gentry both died today.  (Troy Gentry of the country duo, Montgomery/Gentry.)  Don Williams is a favorite of my Dad's.  Such a wonderful voice, deep and comforting to hear...
Don Williams was 78 years old.

Troy Gentry died in a helicopter crash, he was on his way to perform in a concert.  Troy was only 50 years of age.


"Under the weather"...the news about Hurricane Irma is scary to watch on TV.     The weather models show the storm marching up through Florida and making its way through Georgia.  By the time it reaches this area, it is still supposed to have 50 miles per hour winds.  This might not sound like much but it can also produce tornadoes and the high winds could blow down trees and power lines. We are told to be watchful.  So...we are really "under the weather". Praying for all in Florida and south Georgia, especially.
(The reports of the earthquake in Mexico and the pictures of the hurricane destruction from the hard to see.  Praying for them all.)


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Venus, Shining Brightly / Madeleine L'Engle

Stepping outside my front door recently,I was struck by the brightness of Venus.   When we had the total eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21st, there was talk on TV about it for months.  It made me many of those who raved over the eclipse have taken any time to view the moon, planets or stars?  You don't have to have any special glasses for that!  (Venus is the closest planet to Earth.  Even so, it is about 25 million miles away!) Just now as I am typing this, the full moon is brightly shining!

I am reminded of a quote by Madeleine L'Engle...

When I look at the galaxies on a clear night - when I look at the incredible brilliance of creation, and think that this is what God is like, then instead of feeling intimidated and diminished by it, I am enlarged . . . I rejoice that I am a part of it.

Wonderful news to me...a new biography of Madeleine L'Engle will be released in 2018, which would have been her 100th birthday year.  It was written by her granddaughters, Charlotte Jones Voilkis and Lena Roy.  

Praying for all those in the path of the newest hurricane, Irma and for all those affected from Harvey.  I don't know who did the video above, but I love their accents and the calm waters.