Last week was cold and wet. Rain, snow flurries, sleet. Temps in the 20’s at night. With all the gray, wet days it might have been easy to slip into the last of winter doldrums. But I have the cure for blue moods.
As the days progressed from gray to grayer, the buds on my forsythia kept opening wider as though their mission was to compensate for the lack of sunlight.
This week we’re experiencing clear skies and balmy spring weather. And the forsythia is in full glory. I could just crawl in and build a nest right here.
Even so, there’s nothing wrong with being a little blue now and then.
Filed under: Nature
My “little” brother is 45 today. Talked to him this morning before heading to Lake Wilhelmina for some bird watching. Cold and windy at the lake. Brrrr…..
Spotted two bald eagles sharing a tree branch. They must have been huddled together for warmth. Too far away for a decent picture. I am always awed by the majesty of these birds. The usual assortment of ducks were on the lake plus a large number of great blue herons. And, surprisingly enough, I spotted a ruby-crowned kinglet fussing around in some grass on the shore. The real sighting of the day occurred on my way home when I stopped on the river bridge to check out some ducks on the water. As I focused in with my binoculars, I was amazed to see this odd fellow swimming along with a female counterpart.
The Hooded Merganser isn’t very common in this part of Arkansas. Definitely the first time I’d seen one. What a treat!
These are some interior shots from Historic Washington State Park taken on December 6, 2008, at the 22nd Annual Christmas and Candlelight.
The taverns are the most rustic interiors on the tour. The Morrison Tavern Inn and Kitchen is a reconstruction of the original building.
A bowl of dried hydrangea blossoms and greenery on the kitchen table.
A table and bench in the tavern room. Smilax, pine cones and a red ribbon add a festive touch.
A lovely Willow ware collection on display in the kitchen.
The Williams Tavern Restaurant serves a lunch and dinner buffet under chandeliers hung with cedar, pine cones and red ribbons.
Pine, cedar and magnolia leaves are used extensively in the holiday decor along with dried sumac and holly.
This is my kind of Fun Monday. Olive wants us to share fishing tales. She doesn’t care if they are total fabrications or true stories. We just have to write about fish. My story happens to be true.
I very rarely eat fish. I just don’t like the taste. Give me shrimp, lobster, scallops, crab, oysters… I’ll eat them all, but fish I don’t like. However, I love to go fishing. I grew up fishing in Grandpa’s pond and fishing in the creek behind my parents’ house. In my twenties, I lived on the coast of Virginia and Maryland and never once went fishing in the ocean even though it was something I’d always wanted to do.
In June of 2000, I had the pleasure of vacationing in the lovely southern city of Charleston, South Carolina. I traveled to Charleston with a male friend that I’ll call Jerk because that is what the man turned out to be.
Charleston is a beautiful city full of southern charm and friendly people. I highly recommend it as a vacation destination. There are a multitude of plantations and gardens to tour and many historical sights to visit. Jerk and I planned the bulk of our vacation via the Net. We went armed with a list of restaurants to try and I must say the food was superb everywhere we ate. We also booked an entire day of fishing in the coastal waters with a guide service. While sitting at my computer in Arkansas, we made our fishing plans. I tried so hard to persuade Jerk to request a private fishing excursion, but he felt we should save the little bit of extra money it would cost to have the boat to ourselves. Big mistake.
The fishing trip was booked for the fourth day of the seven we spent in Charleston. It was the first cloudy day of the vacation. We arrived at the dock nice and early, met our guide and sat on the boat waiting for the other people who would be fishing with us to show up. Our guide hustled around organizing the fishing gear. The minutes ticked by. Finally, the guide told us if the other folks didn’t show up in the next five minutes we would leave without them. Alas, the Whiners arrived and we set off almost 15 minutes late. But, hey, why should a schedule matter when you’re going fishing, right?
Now, I honestly don’t remember the name of the family who joined us on the boat. It was a husband, wife and two kids. I call them the Whiners because that is about all the wife and kids did all day. I think the husband was the only one who really wanted to fish, but he couldn’t leave his family behind so we all had to put up with the whining. The poles were too heavy, there wasn’t a bathroom on the boat, it was too hot, the bait was too icky and when it began to rain, it was too wet. Thank goodness, Jerk and I knew what we were doing because our poor guide had no time for us. The Whiners couldn’t bait their own hooks, cast their lines, reel in their lines or do much of anything EXCEPT WHINE. The husband tried to help out for awhile then he just gave up and tended to his own fishing. Luckily, I was having the time of my life because I was the only person who was catching any fish.
I caught ten baby sharks and one fish that our guide said was a white fish. (It looked like a pale bass to me.) I was THE ONLY PERSON who caught fish the entire day. It was awesome!
A couple of notes before I conclude my fishing tale: 1. My relationship with the Jerk ended so badly (two years later) that I destroyed all my Charleston vacation pictures. It was a childish thing to do, but it felt right at the time. The baby sharks I caught looked exactly like the one the man is holding in the picture above. Some were bigger and some were smaller. 2. I released all the fish that I caught. 3. It rained off and on until the early afternoon. At one point it rained so hard the guide took us to a public dock on an island where we sat under a large gazebo for 30-45 minutes.
We made it back to our original starting point around 5:30 P.M. As soon as we got in our vehicle, Jerk and I began laughing about the Whiners. I’m telling you. We heard some of the goofiest complaints ever! Both of us had been thinking about the Whiner’s skits on Saturday Night Live all day. We returned to our hotel to clean up and rest an hour or so before eating a scrumptious meal and embarking on a night tour of The Battery . It was a perfect day. Neither the rain nor the Whiners managed to dampen my spirit or ruin my first time to fish in the ocean!
Filed under: Nature
My lovely neighbor, Mrs. M., will celebrate 83 years of life this month. She is a wonderful person who loves flowers and gardening as much as I do. She bemoans the fact that she can’t work outside as much as she could in her younger years, but she still maintains some beautiful flower beds. My birthday is also this month. I tease Mrs. M. relentlessly about only being 14 days older than me. She loves it. We get together to celebrate our birthdays every year and we always exchange gifts.
My tiger lilies are exceptionally beautiful this year; at least I think they are. I took a gazillion pictures today and the shots below are my favorites of the tiger lilies. I want to have one or some of these pictures matted and framed for my gift to Mrs. M. My problem is, I can’t make up my mind. This is where you come in. Which shot or shots do you like best? I was thinking I’d have three 4×6 pictures matted in one frame. But I can’t decide if that would be best. Maybe I should stick with one 8×10 or maybe three 5×7’s in separate frames. Again, what do you think? I really will appreciate your opinions! I inserted my mom’s comments to get you started.
Too much sky, not enough flower although I like how you captured the sun shining through the petals. It’s a little too dark.
The petal details are nice, but you cut off the stamens. I can see your propane tank in the background.
Hmmmmm…..I like this one alot.
This is nice. It looks like the petals are on fire. I like the buds in the background.
This one is real good.
I like this one, but I like the single flowers better.
The Prytz Family wants to see our walls for this Fun Monday assignment. I have some lovely white walls in my home and those that aren’t white are a pale shade of brown called sycamore bark. The color has absolutely no resemblance to actual sycamore bark, but there you go.
I tend to drift during the month of June. No schedule. No bells. No students. No structure. I do, however, eventually get to the point which is my front porch. A lovely place to drift with virtually invisible walls.
Yikers! Not invisible and rather hard on the eyes. Let me try again.
Ah……much better. I had to open the door and zoom in a bit. A view from the west end of the porch which is also the front entrance to my house. And now for those invisible walls…..
Idyllic. Can’t you just feel yourself relaxing and drifting……..
Kick back and watch the birds at the feeders and squirrels running along the fence. How about a glass of iced tea?
You gotta admit…..I have a whole new meaning for just sitting and staring at the walls.