Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bobcat!

The mascot for the school where I teach is the bobcat. I went many years without ever having seen a bobcat in the wild but in the past decade or so, B and I have spotted several down at the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. 

At Thanksgiving, we went down there with our "kids" who were all in town. We were just telling those in our truck that we have seen bobcats out on the sand spit, when.....
there was one!




It sat in the late afternoon sun, posing for us for quite a while.


Then moved on.




What a pretty kitty!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stay Out of My Drawers!

And out of our house.

It happened again. Our house was broken into.

This time, they took wrapped Christmas gifts, B's anniversary watch and not only my jewelry, but the drawer it was in! I now have an antique two-drawer chest with only one drawer.


Before, they took the jewelry box and all of its contents from the same drawer. I had not replaced the box and was just using cardboard and tins to hold items that I had bought after the other daily wear things were stolen. The last time, they had not bothered with my Christmas jewelry and fall things that a kindergarten teacher likes to wear. This time, all of that was in the drawer and lost, save what I had on that day: a snowman pin and earrings.

This all happened on 12-12-12. Wasn't that supposed to be a lucky day? I guess the lucky part was that they did not come in armed when we were home. It was mid-morning. And other than the thefts and destroying the doorway, they did not make a mess.

We refused to let the Grinch win. I was able to reorder the gifts taken and they arrived on time. B is working on the door repairs to shore up the results of two forced entries. I think it will look better than ever when he is done.

Yesterday, we learned that a neighborhood eighteen-year-old has been arrested and charged with two burglaries in our area and is suspected of others that occurred in a short period of time, including ours. It is all just too sad to see a young man with so much--their house is certainly nicer than our modest one--turn to crime, engaging in the destruction of others' property. His family must be heartbroken.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Big Weekend

It would seem that at least for now, the blog is usable again. Yay! Thank you for the kind comments of encouragement. I have begun to be inundated with spam comments. So to help prevent that, I have adjusted an option that will also disallow anonymous comments. I rather regret that the two seem to have to go together as I have enjoyed all comments that relate to the blog, but all these ads have really gotten out of hand.

So, the big weekend is finally winding down. And I must say, it is really quiet here at our house tonight.

On Friday, I took the day off from school and B and I drove down to Gainesville. Our first born graduated at the University of Florida as a PhD. Thank you, Lord!



We could not be more proud. His wife and their nine month old son were there to celebrate with  us. Our younger son was able to come from Missouri where he is in graduate school to see his brother hooded. The father-in-law also came to show support.


We all came back to our house for the weekend. It was such a gift to be all together again.

Then on Sunday morning, our grandson was baptized in our church. It was a ritual of promises made to raise him in a Christian home and within a church. He was just too sweet in his little, white bubble suit.

Life is very good here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Full

Apparently, I have hit the wall. It had not occurred to me that I would have a space limit with Blogger, but I seem to be there and until I can figure out how to work with this, this blog will be in a holding pattern. Please check back later this month. S of SNB.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bear With Us

We have just returned from western North Carolina where we enjoyed a quick, extended weekend. As we wandered in and out of shops in the town of Hendersonville, we could not help but notice the life-sized bear sculptures.  This one was outside the ice cream shop.


This one in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts was near the Mast General Store.


This one, with the tools of a goldsmith, was outside the jewelry store.


This one was outside an antique shop.



And this one was outside a sports bar.


 I am sure there were more that we missed, but this gives a sampling. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

If You Come to a Fork in the Road....

Our son used to joke, "If  you come to a fork in the road, take it!"

As we hiked on a Sunday, the fork we came to was in a pine.


Pines aren't known for branched trunks, so it caught our eyes.




Monday, November 19, 2012

Mailbox Monday: Go, Go Gadget Plow


It is an illusion. The fence behind the mailbox is not actually connected to the plow,  but it looks to be and reminds me of Inspector Gadget's extending arm. If it were so, it could make for a shorter walk to the  mailbox and newspaper box, which might be convenient on snowy, winter days on this North Carolina hillside.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An Interesting Pair of Gators

It was a reptile afternoon on our drive to the lighthouse. We saw two snakes in the road, two bigger than plate-sized turtles and eight gators at the refuge.



As with the last time we were down there, the setting sun set the grasses ablaze and it reflected in the water. It was hard to miss these two gators enjoying the last of the day's rays. The one on the right was a true monster: a huge gator. The one on the left was partially concealed in the grass, so it could have been as large as the other.


Here is a shot zooming in closer.


At home, looking at the pictures on the computer, we made two more observations. 


The monster had bloody spots around its mouth. It could be that a) it had recently been to the dentist and had some teeth pulled, or, b) it forgot to wipe its mouth after dinner.

And check out the claw!



The second observation was that the other gator appears to have only one eye---its right one. If you click on the picture, it should enlarge for you to see it better.


Sometimes when the tide is out, the gator trails can be very clearly marked. We sometimes can see their foot tracks as well as where they have dragged their wide bodies across the mud.


So you would do well, Reddish Egret, to keep watch. Even gators with one eye will eat birds that stand on one leg.




Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Plea of the Pita

B showed me this pita chip. It seemed to say, "Don't eat me!"


How could you possibly eat a chip like that?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Show-Off Sweetgum

On Sunday, we went to a fundraising event at Birdsong Nature Center. We hiked the woodland trails for a couple of miles. Mostly, we saw early fall colors but this one small sweetgum off the trail in the distance, refused to be missed as it was quite the show-off peeking out from  behind the charred pine. This is one of the early plantations that has long practiced fire ecology and regularly burns areas to better manage their forests.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Storm Clouds Over High Cotton

We took a little wander down some South Georgia dirt roads and came  upon this beautiful cotton field.




The storm clouds were gathering and, on the way home, it flat out poured rain on us.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Maybe Not

"Renew, reuse and recycle" is the catch phrase we know and love. But, "refind" wine?


Was their writer also a sampler?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

In the Pink

So all the talk now is about wearing pink to support breast cancer efforts. Not long ago, we were down at St. Marks when the eastern sky (and even the water) turned pink. It reminded me of a miracle: water into rose'.


The western sky was not so subtle--much more dramatic and tropical in color. Papaya juice flowing all  over the sky and into the marsh pools.


Maybe I was thirsty.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Heat-Seeking Ghost Horse

It has been unseasonably cool this Halloween week, with temperatures starting at forty degrees Fahrenheit.   One day as I was driving my country roads to school, something in the early morning darkness caught my eye. A further glance revealed an old, white, sway-back  horse standing on a small mound of earth on the far west side of the pasture. It stood there as if it knew that that would be the first piece of ground where the sun would shine as it rose, and it had claimed it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Picking Our Puddles

B and I like to wander. Often our little trips wander down dirt roads. During wet seasons, we try to gauge just how wet our chosen road is likely to be as B's truck is a standard pick-up and does not have four-wheel drive or a wench or any of the equipment that might be needed should one become stuck in the  mud. But sometimes, we get  surprised and I guess that is part of the charm of wandering.  It seems that often the deepest puddles are where the road is the most narrow. 



After this little investigation, B decided to turn around. 

A couple of weeks ago, we were wandering through the National Forest using two maps to guide us through the maze of numbered roads. After going parallel to a major U.S. highway for some time, the road gave way to one puddle after another and, finally, got so narrow, we determined we could no longer travel to the road that would take us back to the highway. We turned around and met a couple on an ATV. They informed us that the road was no longer maintained to the crossroad and that only ATVs use it now. The maps were out of date. Felt like we dodged a bullet on that one!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

St. Marks in a Reflective Mood

We made an escape down to the lighthouse one evening to soothe a little soul. It turned out to be one of those beautiful fall evenings when the light is right and the temperature is pleasant. We started on a short hike down one of the dikes; but we didn't get far before I was done. The breeze was nonexistent, so the biting bugs were pretty bad: mosquitoes, no-see-'ems, and yellow flies. On the way back to the truck, I took these first two shots, while shooing the biters.



The sun was low on the horizon and it seemed like every blade of needle grass in the marsh was illuminated.


I am thankful to have been there to see the glory. 

I returned with my soul refreshed.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tiny White Moths

We came across a hatch of tiny white moths on what (I'm pretty certain) was a loblolly pine. Because of their size, I assume the term "microlepidoptera" is an accurate description  for them. There were more than a dozen of these little guys clinging to the bark, probably hoping not to be noticed.

I struggled to get a decent picture of them--- and all but failed as clearly as their attempt to not be noticed.


B noticed this one moving on the ground: it was being carried by an ant.


I came across tiny, white moths once before many years ago. We were camping at Vogel State Park in the mountains of north Georgia. As the evening cooled, I had donned a long-sleeve, white silk pull-over. Dozens of tiny white moths began to gather and were drawn to the light of the lantern, and then to my top. It was kind of magical as they fluttered and lit on the shirt. I have to wonder if it was the whiteness reflecting the lantern light or if, perhaps, they could detect the silk worms that had made the fibers.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lost Aquatic Creature

As we walked along Lake Seminole, B noticed this burnt log in the distance.


I thought it looked like a common or red-breasted merganser (duck), hurrying away.


B thought it looked more like a seahorse.


Either way, it was lost in the woods! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Hair of the Dragonfly

As we sat on a dock on Lake Seminole, I noticed this dragonfly. Sometimes, I can't get my camera to see what I see. And sometimes it sees what I cannot until I put the image on the computer, such as the hairs on the body of this dragonfly.   For once, the camera focused where I asked. Auto-focus is truly a mixed blessing.



B and I only recently learned that some dragonflies also migrate south in fall.