Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Atlanta Braves Grand Slam-Phillies Fans Reaction

Even if you don't know one thing about baseball, you should watch this video that I have here for you!  The Atlanta Braves played the Philadelphia Phillies last night.  The Phillies were ahead in the 9th inning and Dan Uggla came to bat with the bases loaded.  When the batter hits a HOMERUN with the bases loaded, that is called a GRAND SLAM, and it scores 4 runs!  That is just what Dan Uggla did!!!!  (Four exclamation points there.)   The Philly fans were taunting Dan Uggla while he was at bat and this video of their reaction to the homerun is priceless!  HA!  I love it!  Anybody from Philly might not find it so amusing!  The final score of the game was 9-6.   GO BRAVES!!!
 Oh dear, I just looked back at this blog and it says you can't see it on here...never mind, you can find it, it's out there. Watch it if you get the chance!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Morning Has Broken

"Morning Has Broken" is a hymn that is in the Hymnal in the Episcopal Church.  You might remember it was a hit by Cat Stevens if you know anything about music or if you were alive in the 1970's.  Many people think that he is the author of  this song as he is so closely identified with it, but he did not write it.  In 1931, an English poet and children's author by the name of Eleanor Farjeon  was asked to write the lyrics to a beautiful melody from Scotland called "Bunessan".  (Please, I hope no one takes offense...if it is Irish/Scottish/Welsh...I truly love this tune and it matters not from whence it came, it makes a lovely hymn and I am happy that it was made into a well received pop song.)
She wrote the words being inspired by the beauty of the English countryside, from Alfriston in East Sussex.
We sing this song at our church and I have a special fondness for it as I asked for it to be played at our wedding, also from the long ago time of June of 1983!
Hey! For people of the USA, tomorrow on April 15th, Arby's is giving away FREE curly fries!
Also, at Hard Rock Cafe, if you go after 5PM and sing a song in its entirety in front of the whole restaurant, you will be awarded a FREE entree! I cannot imagine how much booze you would have to give me to make me stand up in front of people and talk, let alone sing! This is in honor (or to make the day a bit easier to bear?) of it being the last day in which to file your income taxes! That is what I heard on TV  but I think it is really in honor of my birthday tomorrow! That is the real reason, I am sure of it! 
Okay now, think of me when you are eating those curly fries!
  Who loves ya, baby? (This is also a quote that is a blast from the past...anybody remember who said that?)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Arabia Mountain- Amazing In April!

The wildflowers on Arabia Mountain are at their peak just now.  My husband, Richard, loves to take photos of them and he allows me to share them here with you.  Enjoy.

The bright red Diamorpha is a joy to behold but incredibly the plant blooms with a tiny white cross-like flower in the Spring. Gorgeous!

JOY! Before I knew what these were called, I used to call these "joyflowers" because they gave me such joy! They are called SANDWORT.  ("Wort" is an Old English word which means "root", something I learned in my reading...I am not a botanist or a linguist!)
Can you see the white blooms on the Diamorpha, the yellow of the Hairy Groundsel and the spring greens of the trees?  Beauty in lots of colors!
In this photo, you can see a closer view of the Hairy Groundsel. It was bright yellow in the sun!
What a delightful name for a flower! These are Sunnybells!
My husband and I truly love walking at Arabia Mountain. The view on the horizon, the clouds, the wildflowers, the pools of water, the trees...even the rock itself  is a different color depending on how the sunlight falls upon it.  I just met a woman on a walk at Panola Mountain and when I asked her if she was familiar with Arabia, she told me that she had "trained" by running up the mountain. I suggested that she might want to go back and LOOK at what she must have missed! There are lots of paved trails but Arabia Mountain itself...I am sorry, but I think this is something special and should be treated as such.
Even though Arabia Mountain was heavily quarried for many years, the wonder of Nature is taking it back but only for those who have the eyes to see it!
Toadflax - Very hard to photograph, the color is a gorgeous shade of lavender!

It is as if these flowers are blooming on solid rock, but of course, it is just a very small amount of soil that has collected on the rock that supports this plant, the magnificent Diamorpha. (Elf orpine it is called but since it is Diamorpha smalli, we have always called it Diamorpha!) 
  Hope you liked this hike with us at Arabia Mountain.  All of these photos were taken late afternoon on April 11th.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
(I have so many posts that I have in mind for you, but as always, very little time to compose my thoughts!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Birds and Butterflies at Panola/ Sunnybells at Arabia!

After my hike at Panola Mountain on Saturday, I was the only one from our hike who went on the bird walk at Alexander Lake!  But you knew I would, didn't you??  (In defense of the other hikers on this day, many of them came from some distance away and some had other commitments that could not be changed at the last minute.  Me, I had TONS of housework that needed doing, but hey, it wasn't going anywhere, was it?)

There were a total of five us on the bird walk including our guide, Phil. (The other folks didn't know about the first hike, but they expressed doubt that they could have done it. ! They have no idea how easy it is!)  The most wonderful thing, one of the guys, Jack, had brought a gigantic scope on a tripod to see birds!  We were able to get to some wetlands that they have on the Power of Flight area at Panola Mountain. It is an open meadow where they have worked for years to get it back into a natural state. (This is same spot where I did the wildflower planting and grass seed collecting this past September.) Phil said that we must have heard and seen at least 30 species.  Not bad for two o'clock in the afternoon!
Two birds that I have never seen before were at the wetlands...a blue winged teal duck and a semipalmated sandpiper, both so lovely that I said that I wished that could do a painting of them! Sorry I could not get a photo of the birds for you but we saw butterflies too!  I found a video for you. Most of these photos were taken at the Power of Flight area!
   I took this photo of the dogwood blooms against a blue sky on Saturday...
And Richard took this photo the next day at Arabia Mountain! They are Sunnybells!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Panola Mountain Hike - PERFECT Day!

Saturday, the 5th of April, was a lovely day.  In Georgia, we can go from winter to summer in a heartbeat but Saturday was a true Spring day, the high for the day was about 67 degrees.  A wonderful day for a hike through the woods and up Panola Mountain!  Our hike was from 10 AM until 1PM.

The dogwood trees were in full bloom and were blooming all through the woods.

 Ready?  Let's go!  This is at the very beginning of the hike which must be led by a guide, as Panola Mountain is a protected state park, and a National Natural Landmark.  Our leader was Phil Delestrez, who is also the Resource Manager at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge.  (If anyone remembers Rutledge from my blog, I have mentioned it before, that is where my Dad lives...not at the park, mind you, just in the same area...Rutledge, Georgia!)  It was great to have someone so knowledgeable about trees, geology, birds, dragonflies, butterflies, and wildflowers as our guide! I think that any readers of  my blog might guess that I pestered poor Phil with all my questions!
 So many trees, and can you see that they are almost all hardwood trees in this area...this was about the only spot where I could see the sky, there were just that many trees! 
 Anybody remember this same photo from a few weeks back?  I miss my son holding up that tree on the left! (Wish you could have been on this hike, Christopher!).  What a great bunch of folks on this hike! In fact, if you look over on the side of my blog, my newest follower is Sherri and she was one of those on this hike! Thanks, Sherri!  Hope to see you again on this trail or at Arabia Mountain!
This lake is just at the base of Panola Mountain and you should have heard the birdsong here! One bird's call sounded like "Sweet, sweet, sweet...I'm so sweet"!  Phil told us what bird that it was...but I can't remember the name! Never mind, the bird's song was lovely to hear.

Here we are hiking up the mountain.  Sherri, isn't that you just behind Phil? Bless you, I must have been quiet when I was taking photos.  Too bad that I didn't take many photos, right?  HA!
As we were hiking on the mountain, I looked down and noticed...how can I put this, something that I did not want to step upon!  "Uh, Phil, what animal dropping is this", I said, one of many questions from yours truly!!  Phil, turning around to see, was quite happy that I noticed this and telling us that he hoped not to freak anybody out...picked up the animal droppings and proceeded to pull it apart (with his bare hands!) He told us it was coyote scat and he could tell that it was mostly fur, bones and he even found ONE whisker (a feral cat, was his guess).  For me, it was like being on a hike with David Attenborough (but one with a bit of a Chicago accent!): it was perfectly fine with me! Tell me more!  I want to know everything!
The sandwort (white flowers) were dazzling in the sunshine...
 As were the red diamorpha which now have these lovely white blooms!  Look how thickly they grow in this protected area of Panola Mountain!

One of the MAIN flowers that I wanted to see was the Atamsco lily, which unfortunately, was not blooming just yet...but wait, I told you it was a perfect day...

One brilliant white Atamsco lily in the bright Georgia sun, so very happy to see it that I could hardly hold the camera steady!

We saw this Fulcate Orange-Tip Butterfly on this hike! (Richard took this photo last year at a butterfly hike on Panola Mountain.) Richard couldn't go on this hike with me, which was a shame because he would have loved it!

As our hike neared the end at 1:00PM, Phil told us that he was going to lead a bird walk at Alexander Lake (also part of the Panola Mountain State Park) which would last from 2PM until 4PM and would anybody be interested in going to that?

Dear reader of my blog, what do you think that I said?   You will find out in a future post!

Photo: Now that's what we're talking about!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Asbestos Awareness Week

Heather Von St. James is a remarkable woman who works to promote awareness of the dangers of asbestos which causes mesothelioma.  Heather was diagnosed with this disease at the age of 36, just after the birth of her baby (her daughter was only 3 1/2 months old.) You might be surprised to find out that asbestos is not banned in the USA. (It certainly came as a shock to me!)

April 1-7 is Asbestos Awareness Week.  Won't you please take a few moments and see and hear the story about Heather Von St. James?  You may find it  just here.  Once there, be sure to click on her lovely photo to watch the video.

 She has such a positive attitude that it reminded me of a story that I have had on my blog before...

Lots of starfish are washed up high and dry on a beach and a woman  begins to throw them back into the ocean. A man sees her and says, "What are you doing, are you crazy, there must be hundreds! You can't make any difference, there are too many!"

She picks one up and throws it into the deep water and said, " I made a difference to THAT one!"

Heather, may God bless you for sharing your story and I wish you the best of everything!

Looking at life through rose colored glasses, the best way to view it, I believe!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Wildflower Hike At Panola Mountain!

Tomorrow will be another hike for me up Panola Mountain!  Just in case my photos don't turn out very well, would you like to see what was blooming on Arabia Mountain on April 5, 2013?  These blooms will be very similar on Panola but they might not be as far along this year since we have had a much cooler Spring than last year...still, it should be nice!

This is a scheduled Wildflower Hike, so I will be most happy to hear about all the flowers that are blooming. There might not be as many blooming as they normally are this time of year, but that is okay with me, the bright red diamorpha, the lovely white sandwort (I used to call them joyflowers before I knew the name!) and the bright yellow blooms of the hairy grounsel will make me very happy indeed.
It is supposed to be a beautiful day and I will be looking at the sky too!  I really love these monadnocks. When I am there, I am in my element and the time passes by so quickly.
Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend too, doing what you love!
(I have so many posts that I am working on for you. So many things to tell you and so little time!)