Friday, May 31, 2013

Owl Fledglings

A couple of years ago we were able to finally identify an odd call we had heard in the dark from our porch. It was the sound of barred owls, giving long, raspy, rising whistles. This year when we started hearing it from our porch, we knew that it was the owls. But we recently learned that it is actually the begging call of the fledglings. We can locate two with our ears. Here is what we hear. You will need to scroll to the bottom of the linked page.

We hear this day and night.

Here is our mama. I think she is stunning.

This is one of the fledglings. Note the difference in tail feather length. They definitely flutter-fly like babies but these babies are pretty much the same size as their mama.

It is such a joy to have these large, beautiful birds in our yard.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Unique Antiques

On our day trip to Coffee State Park, we spent about an hour exploring shops on Douglas, Georgia's main street. There were several antique shops. One shop specialized in old jukeboxes and the 45 rpm records that went in them. Now that is a fairly specialized focus for a shop!

Departing from their focus, however, they had on the sidewalk out in front, a purple client chair from a tattoo parlor. It was a reclining chair much like a dentist chair, with the lower part  covered in tattoo samples. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


The Saturday that we were at Coffee State Park, the local chapter  of the National Wild Turkey Federation was having a shooting sports training event for youth. We had never seen a portable b.b. gun range. It inflated much like a bouncy house. 

This is where the trainer and the youth stood for the target practice.

It was the second year of the annual event and the man running this booth said he had had about 50 youth come through. 

In addition to the b.b. gun training, there was archery and black powder for the kids to try.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Turpentine History Display at Coffee State Park

In our wanderings through north Florida, we have come across many pieces of Herty cups, the clay pots that were used to collect the pine resin that drained from the catfaces (the v-shaped cuts in the bark) that was distilled into turpentine. This was big business in our part of the South for generations.

At Coffee State Park in Georgia, there was a rather extensive display of historical equipment used in this industry. I was impressed with this one that shows the various collection methods:

Here is a copy of a postcard from 1936, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Not displayed here but inside a cabin was a glass Herty cup. We had neither seen nor heard of such.

This 1906 picture from the Florida Memory collection of historical photographs and sound recordings of interviews, shows people near the town of Eastpoint in an area that had been terpentined. (The photo is credited to the "Brown Family."

This one was taken a few months earlier of a booming distillery in Chipley. No credit was listed on the site.

There are photos of the industry in the collection that predate these.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Nature Hike at Coffee State Park

To explore Coffee, we chose as our trail one that started with a mile-long board walk through the swamp. The tannic waters running beneath our feet looked more like tea, than coffee. The park is actually named for a Civil War general, not the beverage.

At this spot, a tree had fallen and caused a smaller one to bow.

Look how it remained curved over, but the branches continued to grow vertically into the sunlight.

This is the flower from the tupelo tree that was fairly abundant there. It smelled as it should: like tupelo honey.

We were excited to see carnivorous pitcher plants by a pond.

Speaking of trapping insects, we were interested in these insect traps that we saw in the park. We were told that they were part of some research.

In  drier areas, the wild blueberries held promise of a summer of abundance .

B pointed out the dolphin head surfacing in this log.

We came upon this big, black beetle that was serving as a lunch buffet for ants. 

A little prothonotary warbler was bug-catching as we watched. They have very loud voices and can more often be heard than seen, despite their brilliant color. They hang out where there is water and I hear them down in the swamp across the street from our house. While they are not really shy, they are active and it can be hard to get a sharp shot of one.

There were several trails at the park,  but I think we had chosen the right one for us. The day was warm, but our walk was fairly cool in the deep shade. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

At the Coffee State Park farmstead, there were many penned animals. Because I read the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff to my students, I was interested in the various sizes of goats they had there. Here is the Papa Goat, who is not in the original story.

He has some serious horns!

Here is the biggest Billy Goat Gruff brother.

And the middle-sized Billy Goat Gruff.

And the wee, little Billy Goat Gruff. 

I guess the wicked troll who lived under the bridge had already been dispatched, though we may have seen his remains on a hike later on.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Coffee Farm

On Mother's Day Eve, we went to Coffee State Park in Douglas Georgia for an extended day trip. We had never been to this park and we enjoyed walking around the farmstead set up.

While there were all kinds of farm animals, I was especially taken with the turkeys. Here is the hen.

But look at the striking coloring on the tom.

Here is the turkey's equivalent of mooning, I guess.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Waters of Willacoochee Georgia

We were interested in these signs on a ridge in downtown Willacoochee, Georgia.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eating at Aunt Kate's

Aunt Kate's is a charming little restaurant on the Intracoastal Waterway over at North Beach, north of St. Augustine. The food was good and reasonably priced. Here it is seen from the waterside, from the dock.

They had just had eight inches of rain and the dry road was pretty skinny.

There are photos inside of the property through the years. Apparently, Henry Flagler himself, pulled up and requested that some oysters be prepared for his guests on his boat and it has been a restaurant ever since.
Humor is alive and well there.

"Hey guys, check out the red Hummer in the parking lot!"

"Hey Barney, did ya see that fancy red Hummer?"

"Uh, yeah! I spotted it!"

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mailbox Monday: Iron-Clad Dreams

It may be a mailbox, but it dreams of being a jet!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Lakeland Georgia's Historical Murals

We stopped in Lakeland Georgia to admire their historical murals. They are portraits of real people and real places that were in the town. Most had signs to explain. Here is a sampling.

So real you had to check....

It made for an interesting leg-stretcher stop.