Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Arabia Mountain - Mind Your Step!


September is the month for the yellow daisies on our local monadnocks! They have been gorgeous! Now, I know that I call these yellow daisies and so they are called but they are really related to the sunflower family!

(Heliantus porteri, look it up!)

But hey, they are yellow and look like daisies, so Yellow Daisies they will be.

Recently, Arabia Mountain's Yellow Daisies were named as one of the 5 Natural Wonders of the US To Experience In Early Autumn! (According to Forbes Magazine.) You may read it just here.  See, I have been telling you all how astoundingly beautiful they are! The United States of America is a big country!

Now as pleased as I was to find out that the wildflowers were mentioned, it also made me squirm a bit when I saw that it was titled "Hike Through Vibrant Daisy Fields In Georgia".  Oh dear, let's talk about why that shouldn't have been worded that way, shall we?

These yellow daisies are not like fields of flowers in open land with solid soil beneath, no, is not like that AT ALL. The "rock" mountains have bits of soil that collect on them and it is just that little bit of earth that will sustain the daisies. So, it goes with all the plant life on the monadnocks. (Monadnock is a native American name for the rock juts up from the rest of the surrounding countryside.) If you look at my photos, you might see some dead trees. At one time, my photos showed all the tall pines at the base of Arabia Mountain, but after a few years of drought, many of them have died. (Some of them have fallen over, you should see how little soil the trees were in!)  Also, there are solution pits on Arabia Mountain which support some very rare plant life.  (You all must remember my photos of the "red stuff", the beautiful plant that grows in the solution pits. It is most important that one does not step into the solution pits! It is so very easy to go around them! When we have had rain, they might have water in them but if not, they are very sandy. Stay out of them, wet or dry!  Keep dogs out of them too! I can't tell you how disheartening it is to come upon a solution pit and see the "red stuff" (the diamorpha" beginning to grow but there will be one giant footprint (or several) that will be completely bare and THAT will be where someone put their great big feet into the solution pits!  Now Kay, I tell myself, they didn't know, they didn't realize how very important it is to watch where they step! They should know, the good folks at Arabia Mountain have put up signs all over the place! And if they know how to read my blog, they should know!

AND if you listen to Ranger Robby Astrove (my hero) they will know too!

Oh! I found a wonderful link for you if you want to know more about the geology of Arabia Mountain, you can find it just here!

Okay, I guess I will get off my soapbox now.  I have such a deep love and respect for this area and I can't tell you how special it is for me and my family.  It was quarried heavily at one time and there are spots where you can see this quite easily. The "stone sofa" in my last post, for instance!  I want everyone to appreciate the natural beauty of this area and to practice the rules of "Leave No Trace"!

One last one really knows why it is called "Arabia" Mountain but I have read somewhere that it is believed that some of the men from Scotland who quarried here, said that in the heat of summer, the mountain was "hotter than Arabia" and began to call it that. That dry British humour (ha ha spelled it the way they do) is familiar to me. Just as familiar as the Yellow Daisies on Arabia Mountain! Hey, I am Georgia Girl With An English Heart!

Sept. 30th last year, I was in Eastbourne, England! Take care, England...I'll be back as soon as I can! Love those pebbles on the beach there too! (Oh, I just saw that there will be a TV series that will be broadcast on PBS and it was filmed in is called "Flesh and Blood". Gee, I hope tourists won't swamp it too much due to that TV show. I will have to get back on my soapbox again!) HA!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Zebra Longwing Butterfly/ Beautiful Dreamer



The Zebra Longwing butterfly has been most enjoyed in our garden this year. This is what I have learned about it: it is one of only a few types of butterflies known to feed on pollen (and nectar.)  It can live up to six months whereas most butterflies only live up to one month. It is the only known butterfly to establish colonies. Found on the tips of plants, it will return to the same spot every night. I read this sentence..." It is possible to pick it off its perch and return it later to the same spot."  That made me think of the song "Beautiful Dreamer".

First, let me find a video of it for you...

Isn't that a pretty song? Now the video I have for you is Clint Walker singing must be from his TV show from the 1960's, "Cheyenne". Anybody else remember that? Wasn't he good looking? He was more known as an actor but he is in tune and I liked this video much better than the other more polished singers who had done this song.

"Beautiful Dreamer" was written by Stephen Foster. (1826-1864.)
He wrote more than 200 songs! You might also know "Oh Susanna", "Camptown Races" and "Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair".
You can see from the dates above that he only lived to be 37. It is possible that he committed suicide. Whether by his own hand or not, it is sad to know that he died so very young.  At the time of his death, he had a bit of paper in his wallet with these words written on it:

 "Dear friends and gentle hearts". 

Doesn't that make you wish that he could have lived longer and written more songs?
"Beautiful Dreamer" was published after his death so he would never know how popular it became.
Many of his songs were used in the early days of film making as the copyright would have expired on them and therefore no monies would have to paid to anyone.
(The song is most familiar to me from the Loony Tunes cartoons. Can't you just hear Bugs Bunny singing it? Or is that just me?) 

Well, my dear friends and gentle hearts, I do hope that you are all doing well these days. These are trying times but we must press on!
Please let me know how you are all doing!
Take care.

I have shown you the Yellow Daisies that bloom here in September.
This photo is from Sept. 23 at Arabia Mountain! No daisies were hurt in the making of this photo! (Please not step on any daisies or into any of the sandy solution pits on the mountains. There are precious plants that are depending on this! Walk only on bare rock, please. Stay on the GRAY!)

P L E A S E !

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Heat Wave/Cold As Ice


Ice cubes! We might be the only ones who still use ice cube trays. When I was a kid, the ones that we had were the metal kind. Remember? You pulled up on a lever and bits of ice would fly all over the place? (Maybe I was just too little and didn't know how to do it but that is my memory.) Somewhere along the way, these plastic kind came out and those were much easier to use.  Guess what I just learned?  You know I am always fascinated to learn the history behind inventions. (Even ice trays, you are thinking? Yes, even that!) I hope you remember the singer, Linda Ronstadt? Well, it was her grandfather who came up with using plastic for ice cubes trays! It is called the flexible ice cube tray and his name was Lloyd Groff Copeman. He had over 700 patents to his name! You may read more about him just here! He noticed that he went on a walk on a wintry day and the ice just fell off of his rubber boots...that was the idea behind his invention!

So, you don't have come up with something brand new, just something that is out there and can be improved upon. ( Now, I do know that the majority of people use the ice makers that come in their fridges but ours stopped working years ago!) Now, let's just talk a bit about color, shall we?  For years, I used plain white ice cube trays.  They were perfectly adequate but when I saw that bright red and the bright (what color would you say...teal, dark turquoise?) I knew I had to have them both! Those two colors together just make my heart sing! (I truly do have a thing about color.  By the way, the cherry tomatoes and banana peppers that you see on the counter behind the ice cube trays are also very colourful (there, don't underline it and tell me I am wrong, the Brits spell it that way!) That bright red and light green together...I do so wish I could paint them! (Of course, I would then eat them! So wonderful when you grow them yourself!)

What song? A Linda Ronstadt one, of course! HEAT WAVE!

That's a good one to think about when you are talking ice cubes, right? Take care everyone and remember to appreciate all the little things in life!

Oh okay, you know you want one more...COLD AS ICE!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Otis Redding

 Thanks very much for the birthday wishes for my husband on my last post!  Today (Sept. 9th) would have been the birthday of a fellow Georgian, Otis Redding.  Sadly, he passed away in a plane crash at the age of 26 on Dec. 10, 1967.  "Sittin' On The Dock of the Bay" was recorded just days before his death.  Written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper, it was the first posthumous single to reach the top of the charts in the USA.  So, not only did Otis Redding have that incredible voice, he also was a songwriter! (You might first think of the great vocal from the amazing Aretha Franklin when you hear the song "Respect" but it is Otis Redding who wrote it!)  

"These Arms of Mine" is the video I have for you.  Amazing song written and sung by the one and only Otis Redding. This was written in 1962. Once at the sunflower festival that I liked to attend with my Dad,  a band did a cover version of this song.  Everyone was loud and chatting away but when this song began, they all went quiet and listened intently to the music and the words. Hope you like it too.

Otis Redding   Click on his name and that will take you to the official Otis Redding website.  Well worth a read, I promise you.  I have told you before, I admire songwriters very much but I like nice guys even better!

Monday, September 7, 2020

The Shadows (Happy Birthday, Richard!)


Do you play the guitar? If so, you will most certainly know "The Shadows"! They were the backing band for Cliff Richard from 1958 until 1968 and they have performing since that time on their own! (Cliff Richard? Very well known in the UK.  In the USA, you might remember his biggest hit, "Devil Woman" from 1976.)

I found the above video celebrating the 60th anniversary of the song "Apache", one of their biggest hits. I enjoyed this video so much, I wanted to share it with you!  The photo of the Shadows guitar songbook belongs to Richard and is in pristine condition! It is not for sale, I am just always amazed at how well Richard takes care of his things! (It is from 1964.  I saw a similar one displayed at a museum in London!)

From my post title, you can see that it is Richard's birthday! Isn't he clever to arrange it on a holiday? (Labor Day today in the USA.)
Not only that but our weather is gorgeous just now! Amazing! We have some kind of dry air that came from somewhere, we hardly ever have it, it means that the temp feels just as it says it is, rather than 10 degrees more! (Out in Colorado, I am feeling for my friend, Louise and my sister, Pam...their temps were in the 90's yesterday and for tonight, they say the temp will go down in the 20's. A 70 degree drop...I can't believe it!)

So...Richard's birthday. I hope that you all enjoy the photos on my blog, I am able to use many of his great shots! We are planning on a long hike today.  That is what we love to do!  In the evening, I think that he will be playing the guitar! There is a song that he is "Romance", I really love it.  I am hopeful that I can get him to play it one day and I could have it here for you. In the meantime, I found someone else playing it for is really lovely. (As good she is, Richard's is even better, honest it is.)

Hope you all have a lovely day too!  Take care, my friends.

Look!  Here is a photo that I was thinking is from 2010.  It is on the seafront from Eastbourne!
Happy Birthday, Richard! (This is ONE photo that was taken by me!)