Sunday, April 29, 2012

In the Sand Box

As a kindergarten teacher, I am very familiar with the merits of playing in sand. Our schoolyard has a large sandbox with a roof that provides protection from rain and sun. It is a favorite spot on the playground.

Recently, B and I went out to the local sand festival that was held in a pavilion at a shopping center.

The sculptures were large and impressive.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Garden Soup

I made up this soup recipe that simmered in the crock pot while we went out to try the new camera. (The picture was taken with the old camera since the battery was recharging on the new one.)

We grew the tomatoes, the kale, the carrots, and the peppers. It was pretty tasty on an unusually cool and windy April Sunday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Celebrating the 1000th Post

So Sunday was the 1000th blog post on Our Nature. My how time flies when you are having fun! And this blog has been so much fun.

I celebrated by buying myself a new camera. I had been considering it for some time but was not sure what was right for me. I ended up with a Canon SX40 that is still a point-and-shoot but has a nicer zoom: 35x compared to my older one with 12x. It also has 12 megapixels compared to my older one with 7.1. And for the record, Sam's had the best price by far.

I am still learning how to use it but I have hopes that it will make for improved blog pictures as well as family and school portraits.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mailbox Monday: Marvelous and Amazing!

So out in the middle of nowhere, here was this colorful mailbox!

Did I say "colorful'? It was amazing!

It might possibly be a memorial.

Besides the mailbox, there was this birdhouse pole.

A closer look reveals the flames on the birdhouses.

There were even "flame" lights running up the power pole.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Trough

B noticed this trough on a porch at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement.  

 It was made from a single log, but he was unsure of the kind of wood. It was probably six feet long or more. That took some work with hand tools.

He pointed out to me the size of some of the growth rings. 

That was a lot of growing going on!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Peacock Was Strutting His Stuff!

Once the peacock at Panhandle Pioneer Settlement came out of the shelter, here he perched in all his glory.

He turned for us to get the full effect.

I read that the peafowl are native to India and Burma, with slight differences between the two. This male is an Indian as it has blue feathers on much of its body. 

Looking closer, the skin is also blue on the head.

There is ongoing discussion on how the  peacock came to have such a magnificent tail and exactly what purpose it serves. Some are convinced it is to attract the female. The peahen that he may have been displaying for seemed unimpressed. However, it did appear that he was using it to corral her. 

I was amused that the chicken wire framed many of the "eyes" on the feathers. (You will have to click on the picture below to see that.)

I also read that the raised tail feathers  can direct sound to the male's tiny ears much as a cupped hand can for humans. 

I did not expect to find these feathers revealed when the long ones were lifted.

Any way you look at it, it is an amazing animal!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Calling Foul

At the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown, we enjoyed watching the large assortment of birds in the fowl pens.

There were guineas, chickens of many varieties, turkeys, pheasants, quail, and peacocks. I had to work around the chicken wire for my shots. Some were more successful than others.

The pheasants were gorgeous, but it was the peacock that stole the show.

More in the next post!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Panhandle Pioneer Settlement

We were invited to meet friends at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown, Florida. We had never been and will now recommend it as a place well worth visiting. A number of restored buildings have been relocated to the site and now serve as a living history park.

Some of the restorations are more period-correct than others.

The Methodist church was built as recently as1940 and was  once in the community of Red Oak.

A sign related that all of the furnishings, save the piano, are original. The first thing I noticed as we stepped inside was that it smelled like my grandmother's house.

The altar cross is beautifully hand carved.

I can remember when paper fans were a part of a Sunday service. The ones in this church had plastic handles; ours were wood, very similar to tongue depressors. As with these, the backsides were printed advertisements, often for funeral homes or hardware stores.

The little cemetery had actual graves, covered with cockle shells. I do not remember seeing this practice before.

An effort had been made to create little gardens around the property.

 Many of the buildings were locked, but we saw enough. We always enjoy looking at old hand tools.

This picture below was taken from inside the jailhouse. It was a single room and built by two men that ironically ended up  being the first ever to be incarcerated within its walls. They were arrested for horse trading without a license and spent 24 hours before being released.

There were several more buildings that I did not get photographed, including a blacksmith shop, a post office/store, a doctor's office and a cobbler shop.

Our last few minutes there were spent rocking on the spacious porch of the main building that contains a meeting room. It was oh-so-pleasant!