Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mount Pilot, as Andy Would Say ...

If the sky is clear and you know where to look, you can see Pilot Mountain from this spot on our road. If you ever watched The Andy Griffith Show, you'll recall the characters talking about "going to Mount Pilot."  Well, there you are.  I digress (somewhat often).

In the foreground of the shot above, the late summer sun warmed this field of wildflowers one Sunday afternoon as all sorts of bees danced among the blooms. It's too bad still photos don't capture sounds; I remember the buzzing was quite loud, kind of like the string section of an orchestra warming up before a performance!  Very nice, so peaceful.

The very next day two very large mowing monsters leveled this lovely field.  Why?  There are no homes immediately bordering it, and as scarce as bees have become in our area, I wish they'd at least waited until the flowers had finished blooming.  I suppose mowing is a ritual of civilized man.  I'm not so sure civilization is all it's cracked up to be - not when a "perfectly good field of flowers" is mowed down at its peak.  Men and their gigantic mowing machines.  I can almost see them snorting and beating their chests as they raced with each other to see who could cut the wider path, etc. (Okay, that made me giggle, admittedly.) 

Lesson d'jour...take time to cherish God's many gifts and blessings, and do what you can to preserve them.  I suppose knocking the guys off their mowers wouldn't be very civilized, but then again .... 

Til next time ~~

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Turtle Crossing

I discovered this little guy/gal hot-footing it across our road just before sunset Monday evening, so of course I had to slam on my brakes for a middle-of-the-road photo shoot.  I know, I know - don't quit my day job.  I tried to get him/her to pose for me, but all I got was a bored turtlish stare.  Since my car was still running and darkness was fast approaching, I took these two photos and decided to help the little critter across the road. After all, the flash on my camera had probably half-blinded the poor thing, at least temporarily, and as much as I like my neighbors, I feared a good ol' boy might squish the turtle before its little pupils could readjust.

Remembering past attempts by turtles to bite my fingers off, I took a deep breath, approached this one from behind and slowwwwly lifted it just far enough for a brief airlift.  Just about the time its little turtle feet cleared the sun-warmed pavement, the diminutive turtle hissssssed with what I imagine was all its might.  Needless to say, the gentle airlift darn-near became a turtle hurl, kind of like a small-scale shot put event!

"Ungrateful brat!"  I said, as I sat him/her down in the grass.  It had the audacity to hiss again!

In any event, I finally got my turtle crossing pictures.  No creatures were harmed in the non-filming for this blog; and only one was hissed off.

Til Next Time ~~                                                                                                                                                 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Around the Bend...

The last weekend of Summer 2009 is winding down.  To say I rejoice at the prospect of cooler temperatures is an understatement.  No doubt the farmers are happy to be finished, or nearly finished, with their harvests, and I am hopeful they have profited nicely.

A glance outside my window this afternoon reveals the rusty red dogwood leaves are ahead in Mom Nature's race to don her dress of many colors for autumn.

The days are growing shorter, too!  Before long I'll be driving home from work in the dark - my least favorite aspect of fall-slash-winter.  My rambles then will pretty much be limited to early mornings or weekends.  Those who know me, really know me, realize that means weekends, thank you very much.

So, folks, just around the next bend is autumn, and I want to savor every delicious sensory gift that comes along with the changing of seasons.  Now that I think of it, I need to see if there are any muscadines left.  I know of a special friend who's never tasted them before, and I plan to remedy that situation!

Til next time...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Inch by Inch

Welcome to Kudzu Forest - just up the road from our place.  Depending on my state of mind at any given time, sometimes I see animal shapes evolving in the kudzu-covered trees, random vegetation and fences. 

I have heard that jelly can be made using kudzu.  Huh?  Does it have fruit of some sort?  Time to Google it!  Please hum for a few minutes.

You're humming, right?  RIGHT?

Okay, I've Google-ized kudzu.  It seems the blossom of the kudzu vine is used to make the jelly, and the flavor is a cross between blueberry and grape.  Well, there you go.  There are kudzu cuisine cookbooks!  Kudzu's been called "the vine that ate the south" and was originally brought here from its native Japan during WWII to help control erosion?  Sounds like a decades-old kudzu conspiracy theory to me.  :)   It grows up to 6.5 feet per week! 

I'm just thinking--the neighborhood dogs might be more careful where they take their naps!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Muscadines Are Ripe...At Last!

Remember the muscadines I mentioned a week or two ago?  They're finally ripe!  In fact, the few pictured above are far outnumbered by those which have already ripened and dropped to the ground.  This tells me I'd nearly missed a photo op altogether.  I'm kind of surprised the deer or other country critters haven't devoured the scrumptious  fruit.  Vickie-1, Critters-0.
Now--if only I could find some scuppernongs.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Little Trucker Syndrome?

Do you ever see something in your rearview mirror that just makes you laugh?  Possibly the owner of the truck pictured above wanted to convey a tough trucker dude/dudette image by adorning the vehicle's grillwork with scary, pointy teeth.  Sorry, trucker person, but I burst out laughing and grabbed for my camera.  After all, up until that point in my efforts to get to work during this morning's drive I'd encountered a closed road, found myself fairly lost on a scenic route detour, and had just found my way to the highway.  Your toothy truck didn't scare me (except, perhaps, for the fact that you were swerving a bit). You might think you're the boogeyman.  Nope, he's in D.C.

Monday, September 7, 2009

All Are Welcome Here!

Sunday morning, I took a short ride specifically to look for something interesting to photograph.  I was not disappointed!  The sight of a riding mower parked in a full church parking lot during worship time just begged to be photographed.  What first made me giggle soon touched my heart.  Someone wanted to get to church so badly they took the riding mower.  Good for him/her!

We've been looking for a local church.  I happen to believe that things do happen for a reason.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Critter Crossing

There are an abundance of critter crossings in the country - impromptu, every one.  I thought these little guys/gals were young turkeys, but they're different colors.  After a quick photo shoot, I returned to my parked-in-the-middle-of-the-road car to resume my journey, where a check of my rear-view mirror revealed them all hurriedly running back across the road. 

I showed my husband the photos I'd taken of the little winged cuties.  Are they turkeys, I asked?  No, they're guineas.  Are guineas chickens?  Nooo, he said. So guineas are guineas.  Um-hmm.  A little internet research confirmed that these are indeed wild game fowl a/k/a "guinea fowl."  According to one article, they are rumored to be good at ridding areas of lyme disease by way of munching on deer ticks.  They're not great to have around bee hives, though, because they'll dine on the bees as they exit the hive!  Well, okay.  I did not find the research overly thrilling or appetizing, but at least now I know what a guinea looks like. 

If anyone should ask "why did the guineas cross the road?"--eh, maybe they don't.  Maybe they forgot to hit a local deer tick bar or something, who knows?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Talking Country" -- Smell the Flires?

Our granddaughter recently spent a night with us, and accompanied me to the "Grill" to pick up dinner.  She met and chatted comfortably with the nice folks who work there.  After a few minutes the little first grader  whispered "Nannum, what does 'y'all' mean?"  I told her it stands for "you all."  She thought about it for a second and matter-of-factly informed me that she didn't "speak country."  Isn't that cute? I told her that "y'all" is southern, not necessarily countryspeak.  Now "flires," on the other hand - that's country!  The photo above depicts a few wild ones.

Catch y'all later!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm Looking Over...

Mama absolutely loved the simple pleasure of searching for four-leaf clovers, and she had a real knack for finding them.  I can still "see" her studying a patch of clover after lunch on a Sunday afternoon.  She'd sit in her little wooden gardening chair and patiently search for that little promise of good luck.  When she'd find one, she'd close her eyes, make a wish, open her Bible to a random page and place the clover inside.  Then she would read the two pages for phrases like "it shall come to pass," "it came to pass," etc.  She said that a wish would come true if something about "coming to pass" could be found on those pages.  I have her Bible now, and it's filled with four-leaf clovers in various stages of preservation.  So is mine!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Muscadines in the Pines

Isn't it funny/sad how often we don't see things that are pretty much right in front of  our faces?  After four years of wonderful country living, a sweet neighbor lady timidly asked my husband if we minded her picking some of our muscadines.  Muscadines?  Where?  Turns out we have a proliferation of the wonderful grapelike fruit. The vines climb high up into a pine tree just as you turn into our driveway.  Fortunately for those of us who aren't 20 feet tall, after reaching the top of that scrawny pine the vines made a U-turn and grew downward.  What you see in the photo are the portions of the vines closest to the ground.  Hopefully by this weekend I'll be able to have a muscadine snack right off the vines!  C'mon over and try some.  G'night, John Boy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Little Magic

During my walk Sunday morning I noticed how the sun poured through an opening in the dense overhead canopy of the woods in front of our log home.  

Seeing the inner woods spotlighted sent my imagination into overdrive.  I could've sworn I heard musical "tinkling" bells and glimpsed tiny faerie ballerinas swirling on broad sassafras or oak sapling leaves.  Some of the little gigglers leaped from branch to branch.  Others played hide-and-seek with leprechauns, while gnomes sang high-pitched nasal tunes and danced hand-in-hand in a wide circle on the thick woods floor.  The dancing and bell-tinkling neared crescendo - until - our cat darted across in front of me, chasing a very real butterfly.  Poof...the faeries, leprechauns and gnomes pretty much vaporized before my eyes.  For a while, though, there was magic in that little spotlighted wooded area.  

Take time to find some magic in your world.  It's only an imagination away.

How Now?

I sure missed meandering around our place today.  Flourescent lighting and concrete just don't inspire me so much and, even though I had my camera with me at work today, nothing grabbed me.  

Here's a young lady who lives up the road from us.  I discovered her and several of her pasture mates enjoying an early evening graze just after sunset.  I only stayed long enough to take a couple of photos because the whole gang stopped eating when I began photographing them.  Such hams!  Well, not hams, literally.  You know what I mean. 

Cows don't seem to have a care in the world.  Oh, if they only knew.  Tsk.