Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Town Creek separates two or more counties in Alabama and the place near the falls has long been a fording spot.


Apparently, as with most fording spots, it worked well when the water was low, and was quite dangerous when it swelled. So there were times when communities were cut off from one another. Hoping for an economic boost to the larger town, a bridge was built around 1923.

This sign is at the present bridge.




Here is the present pedestrian bridge.



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

High Falls, Alabama

Our brother-in-law knew just where to take us when we visited Huntsville: Sand Mountain. We had a wonderful day.

We first went to High Falls Park. Spring had not yet arrived and rain was threatening. It is remote and we were the only people there, until we left and one other car arrived.

According to a webpage, the falls are 35 feet and span to 300 feet during high water times.


It was a lot of water ----and loud---- when we were there. It was spectacular!


Here you can see the bluffs along the sides.

100_3785The rock curves around on the near side where a natural arch has formed, as the water eroded away the stone.


The above was the best shot I could get of the arch.

But our brother-in-law had taken this one from his canoe and generously agreed to let me use it here.

Natural bridge at Town Creek This is another of his shots from the canoe.

IMGP0456 This I took above the falls. The top of the arch is on the right.


Sadly, they tell of people dying each year from falls and dives from the rocks, as it is a popular place in the warmer months.

We were careful to keep our feet only on the dry rocks and to stay within the fencing! It was definitely worth seeing. Thanks, D and D!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More Than Weeds Popping Up In the Garden

100_3740 100_3739

I found this nice chunk of chert spear point while weeding the garden. You can see on the right side of the picture where it was worked (to create the serrated edge.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Riding In Style

We have just returned from visiting family in two southern cities while I was on spring break. It was a wonderful trip!

While picnicking in  a park on Sand Mountain in North Alabama, we saw these on the playgrounds. I can picture a three-year-old having a blast on these.






Cute, cute, cute!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Over, Under and Beside the Water

We took  a supper picnic down to the lighthouse on Sunday. It was a beautiful day and only the pesky sand gnats marred the fun.

Here is a sampling of what we saw:

This large yellow-bellied slider sunning on a stump.


Two phantom shots:

The first is one of two very large soft-shelled turtles that were gliding through the relatively clear water. Only the eye was above the surface.


The second was of some gars.


We met up with a couple of women from Montana who wanted to see alligators. We stopped and pointed out this one that was in the seven foot range. The camera they were using was only good for what we call “alligator pictures” because that is what we used to say when there was an alligator in the picture…somewhere…. we were sure there really was an alligator in there but you couldn’t find it in the picture.

So I took this one and emailed it to them.


After we left them, we went for a hike down to the East River. Along the way, we noticed bobcat tracks coming and going down the skinny path. At the end, was this print in the mud.


I love the tail print where it had whipped around.

Here is B’s boot for size comparison.


So, fairly recently, an alligator had been sunning on that small bit of shore. As we were the only humans around, it may have left only as we arrived.

Our son said it is the St. Mark’s version of a snow angel.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Unexpected Encounters

After a field trip to the state museum here, I was on a park playground with my kindergartners, following our picnic lunch. It was a busy place with children from other schools out enjoying the spring day.

A young woman approached me and called me by name, asking the dreaded question, ”Do you remember me?” I hesitated and she named the school where I teach. Then I noticed she had on a name tag. I did indeed remember her, though she had certainly grown up.

I said, “I remember you well! Do YOU remember what I remember most clearly about you?” She grinned and said she did.

When she was a kindergartner, I used to drive past her bus stop every morning on the way to school. I still drive the same route. It is a two-lane country road over hilly terrain. One foggy morning, I came over a hill and there she was, lying in the middle of the road. I about had a stroke. As I approached, she popped up. I pulled the car into the little church lot that was the bus stop and gave a brief lecture about how dangerous that was and sent all of the kids to the church porch to wait for the bus that morning. These were the same kids who had dared her to do it.

At school, I was still shaking when I reported the incident to the office.

Though she is now in college working towards becoming a teacher of young children, there are mornings when I come over that hill and still see that tiny girl stretched out in the road.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another: Books and Baggage


We finally bought the bookcase that I have dreamed of for years: one that I hope will hold most of our books that are currently all over our small house. Today, if you want a certain book, you may have to go to every room before you find it.

This new one is an unfinished oak cabinet that B has begun sanding and finishing.

However, this large 5’x7’ bookcase must be mounted to the wall for safety; and this requires that we paint that wall before we mount the new case to it, as it is long past due for a fresh, clean look.

After weeks of consideration and some trials, we have decided on what we hope will be just the right shade of green paint, and last night purchased the necessary painting things.

So I have spent  part of this morning, clearing off the wall to be painted, which (of course) already had our largest bookcase on it. So all of those books have to temporarily go somewhere else. In finishing this, I came to the last chore: going through this year’s Christmas cards that have been patiently waiting in a large glass jar. It has not been laziness that has made me delay in this, but strength. I knew that I would find in there my mother’s last Christmas card and note to us.

It was not accomplished without tears.  Her major stroke came on Christmas Eve and adjusting to life without her positive voice and beautiful face is hard.

I have made a promise to myself that the first book on the new shelf will be one in which one of her poems was published.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What the Heck?

Last Saturday it became apparent that something had gotten into our attic over the living-room/bedroom common wall and died there.

By Sunday, it was bad. When B was home from his scout activity, he climbed up in there to find the source of the odor. It took some doing to find a mole buried in pink insulation: quite dead, quite stinky.

Yes, a mole! What the heck was it doing in the attic? They are underground dwellers. That same day, there was a dead one in the driveway. I thought at first they were voles, but none of the pictures I could find online look like these snouted little guys. I didn’t notice the diggers, but I did notice the snout. The claws could have been up under them.

Very odd.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!


I took pictures of each of my students in this plywood stand-up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What Size Is That Bale Anyway?


(There was probably supposed to be a decimal in there.)