Friday, June 26, 2015

Birds of a Feather

 
 
Martins (at the Monastery...they always have a nest in the same spot!)
 
American goldfinch


 
Brown thrasher (did you know that every state has a state bird...Georgia's state bird is the brown thrasher!) This bird was sunning itself, spreading the wings out in the sun. No one knows for sure why they do this, they think it could be because it gets rids of insects...I think it is because it feels good to them!


 
Mourning doves
 
 
Richard took this shot of the male cardinal feeding his young...the cardinal's beak is bright orange and he is really pushing that food into the young one's mouth!  See how his head is black? That is where he has lost his feathers...his head is usually red.
 
 
 
 
 We have a large tree in our back yard and birds that are passing by like to perch on the highest branch...this is a scarlet tanager and we were most excited to see it!  They are only seen in this area when they are migrating.




 
We think this was a red shouldered hawk...a young one.  It was on the roof of the house across from ours.  It was such a sight!
 
 


Want to know how to build the best bird bath?  The Audubon Society has some very simple instructions to do so and we love it since that is what we have been doing for years!  Read all about it just  here!  Trust me, our little bird baths are VERY popular.

Do you enjoy birds?  Richard and I love them!

 And if you want to read a very interesting book...you know I have one for you!  "John James Audubon: The Making of An American" by Richard Rhodes is an excellent biography.
 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wedding Blessings




Hey! Anybody remember when I sat on that bench and crocheted the towels for the wedding couple? Well, I finished them and Richard and I attended the wedding this past weekend in the North Georgia mountains and it was beautiful! 

We stayed in Hiawassee and Richard took a photo of the view from our room...


Heavenly!


 Our son, Christopher was in the wedding as one of the groomsmen and he and his girlfriend looked fantastic all dressed up.

 
 
I wish I could show you photos of the wedding couple and all the pretty bridesmaids!  The wedding was beside a beautiful mountain stream and it was all so lovely and green. The colors that were chosen for the bridesmaids and groomsmen were really perfect for an outdoor wedding. I wish I could show you the bridesmaids dresses. If I tell you that they looked like Grecian goddesses, does that give you an idea of the simple elegance of their gowns?
 
There are so many things that I want to say about this past weekend, we were very busy and we did a lot!
One quick thing, the music that the couple chose for the...what do you call it, the song that is played after the wedding ceremony is over and everyone is leaving?  The song that they chose was from the movie, "UP"...it is called "Married Life".  A nice touch, I think.
(I love the clip I found for you here, it is on a classical guitar. Hope you like it too.) 
 
Oh! And as the couple exchanged wedding rings, my eye was caught by the clouds quickly moving across the sky.  To my amazement, two of the clouds formed into a cross.  (The couple are very strong in their Christian faith and this was remarked upon by the Pastor who performed the ceremony.)
I raised my camera to take a photo but I was unable to get the shot of the cloud.  Now, would you have mentioned this to anyone since you had no proof of it?  I wondered if I should...but I did anyway, I told the Groom's Mom and Dad, and I was able to tell the Groom also.  It was such an amazing thing... I have looked at clouds for years and years and never have seen that certain shape, not ever.
Would you have kept it to yourself?  Just wondering...
Remember I prayed for the couple at the Monastery as I finished up the kitchen towels for them, so for me, it was as if God was showing me that he had heard my prayers for this young couple. God bless them! 
 
 
 
 
 
   

Friday, June 19, 2015

Chasing Flowers At Arabia Mountain!



 
 
When we have rain here, we get ourselves to Arabia Mountain as soon as we can.  The water in the pools is crystal clear and the cascading water is lovely to see and hear.  As soon as the water is on the resurrection moss, it turns an emerald green.
 
 
We were very lucky today as we met up with Ranger Robby on one of his hikes up the mountain.  Did Robby really dunk his head into the clear cool water to cool himself down?  Take a look at the great photos that Richard took of him!
 
 
 


HA!  Don't you just love these photos!  Look at that one above, with Robby's hair standing straight up!  Great job, Richard! And way to cool down, Robby! (Please note, no water was ingested in this photo...the water is clear but still really not safe to drink.)
 
The dayflowers were beginning to bloom. 
 
 
The dayflowers will bloom all through the summer...the photo above is from August from a few years ago, just to show you how lovely they are!
 
 
See the close up of the day flower?  There are two petals at the top and one small petal, whitish colored at the bottom. 

The spiderwort is also very beautiful on the mountain, and it is almost past blooming now, but we saw some of these blooming right beside the dayflowers on the mountain today. (Almost everyone calls this spiderwort but we like to call it tradescantia, the botanical name just because we like it.)
 
 
Ranger Robby, I hope you like these photos! I told you that you would see them on a post!  And thanks for telling me that the wild plums that my Dad is using to make jelly this week is called Chickasaw plums.  I love learning new things about flowers and fruit! 
 
Ranger Robby told me today that he considers himself a "Flower Chaser" and I think that he and I have a lot in common.
Hope you enjoy chasing flowers with us!
 
PLEASE NOTE:  All wildflowers are protected and one must not pick them. Robby and I will be watching!  And you know Richard will have his camera trained upon you!
 
 
 

 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Peace At The Monastery

 
 
 
Remember I told you that I was making kitchen towels as a wedding present?  I went to the Monastery on Saturday morning with my bag of crochet work and finished them under these trees!  There had been a 5k run early that morning and they were announcing the winners over in front of the Monastery Gift Shop...it was pleasant to sit there and crochet as I heard the muffled sound of the runners and the applause that greeted the names.  The birds were singing and even though the sun promised to get hot for the day, there was a cool breeze blowing and the shade was...well, heavenly!
I also had some other crochet pieces that I had made in the bag, and I took them out to let the sun shine upon them.  Am I too fanciful to think that the blessed peacefulness of the place could be transferred onto these handmade things?  It is my hope anyway. 

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There is a story in the news this week of a woman who claimed to be African American and was the president of a NAACP chapter.
She has now resigned after her parents came forward with the news that she was their daughter (her parents are white.)  I know that everything reminds me of a book or a movie but I have to tell you about a book called "Black Like Me".  It is a true story of a journalist, a white man, who chemically altered his skin so as to "pass" as a black man.  Why would he do this?  His name was John Howard Griffin and he traveled on Greyhound buses in the South for six weeks in the early 1960's because he wanted to see how the world treated a man of color.  Can you believe it, he actually came to Conyers, Georgia!  One of the best stories was at the bus stop in Conyers...you will have to read the book! The way he described the subtle racism is very memorable.  John Howard Griffin even stayed overnight at the Monastery.  He described it perfectly...that all the worries of the world just melted away as he went slowly up the driveway with the large magnolia trees lining the way.  After all that he had experienced, he was warmly welcomed by the monks.  It seems a shame that all the kids watching the news just now will see this woman who gave "misinformation" about her race and none of them will know of John Howard Griffin and his efforts to "walk in another man's shoes".   

(NOTE: Since I wrote this post, I found another post that I found very interesting.  You may find it here.)



Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.



Sunday, June 14, 2015

Trout, Trout, Pretty Little Trout-Arthur Woody



Richard and I visited my Dad at his campsite at the end of March.
Trout season begins on the last weekend of March.
For as long as I can remember, Daddy has made sure that he is beside a trout stream for that weekend even if it is pouring with rain and it very often is! 

Arthur Woody  was one of the first forest rangers in the North Georgia mountains and it was he who introduced the speckled trout so favored by fishermen.  It is not a native fish.  He also re-introduced white tail deer back to the mountains as they had almost been wiped out by over hunting.  (Of course, we know now that it is best NOT to introduce new species into an environment.  The same thing applies to plants.  Don't get me started on kudzu!)

We walked to the trout hatchery and saw some very large trout and they had a sign telling us all the trout in the streams there and how to identify them.  Now, do I remember them and how to tell them apart? No, not really...I could only think of "Trout, trout...pretty little trout".  What was that from?   A child's poem?  I am happy to tell you, I did think of it.  It is from a funny Bugs Bunny cartoon.

You know I found it for you!  Oh, and this cartoon might make fun of "hillbillies" a bit, but hey, at least you don't hear those notes from a banjo, you know, "Deliverance" style!  (You might guess that that movie is NOT my cup of tea!)


Speaking of fish (how often will you read THAT in a blog?)
I would like to recommend a book:
 "Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish" by G. Bruce Knecht. 
Wow, this book was lent to me by my brother-in-law because he knew I would love it and he was right!  It is a true story of the poaching of the Patagonian toothfish (which used to be called Chilean Sea Bass).  There is also an interesting courtroom trial at the end of the book....just read it and tell me if you don't find it fascinating too!

"Trout, trout...pretty little trout"...if you watched the cartoon, I bet you are singing that now!  It's amazing that the speckled trout that is so well known to the fishermen here is really all because of just that one ranger, Arthur Woody.
   (I have read that Sosebee Cove is one of the favorite trails of Arthur Woody....and you know I have that on my list of things to see!)


Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Beer Connoisseur

Chris Guest's photo.
 

Hey Guys!  Does anybody remember me telling you that our son, Christopher writes for the Beer Connoisseur Magazine?  He is a wonderful writer, good thing he takes after his DAD!   



If anyone is interested in subscribing to the magazine along with becoming a member of the Beer Connoisseur Club, I have a link for you here.     And if you would like to read one of the fascinating and extremely well written articles by Christopher, I have a link to one of them, String Cheese, Jam Bands and Homebrews. 



Christopher will be a groomsman in a wedding for one of his good friends this month.  Richard and I will also attend.  I have the gift for the wedding couple, it is from their Registry, a nice four quart saucepan.  Wait, it's heavy...wouldn't it be nice if I could crochet some soft white kitchen towels to cushion this heavy saucepan in the gift bag?  And then, what if I crocheted some white and pink hearts as a decoration on the bag?  Not much time left before the wedding....will I get this done?  Time will tell!

Thanks again, my friends, for sticking with me!  Life gets a bit hectic at times and I know it is the same for everyone just now.
I appreciate you more than you could ever know.  I raise my glass to you all! 
                               Cheers!




 
 
Our son grew up with the music of Chas & Dave.  I should think "The Sideboard Song" will be the song for this post.
Yes, I think it fits perfectly!
"Got my beer in the sideboard here,
let Muvver sort it out if he comes round here".
 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Gone With The Wind

 
 "The happiest days are when babies come"...that quote is from Melanie Wilkes from the movie, "Gone With The Wind".
I THINK that is the exact quote but like a lot of movie quotes, I often remember them incorrectly.  "Play it again, Sam"...that line is famously quoted from the great movie , "Casablanca" but it was really "Play it, Sam".  It's funny how our memories play tricks on us that way...you can be very certain of something you have seen or heard but when it is played back for you, you realize that you have gotten it wr....wr....wrong.  There, I said the W word,  I don't like that word!  HA!
 
One thing I wonder if you know about the movie, "Gone With The Wind"...it had its premiere in Atlanta on Dec. 13, 1939 at the Loew's Grand Theatre.  You may read all about it here.
Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen were not invited to attend the premiere.  I have read that because of this, Clark Gable also did not want to go.  Hattie McDaniel convinced him that he just HAD to attend.  Now, I don't know about anyone else...but I always liked Clark Gable and that is just a little story that makes me like him all the more.  (Hattie McDaniel won the Oscar as Best Supporting Actress in this movie.  It has been said that she won it because of the snub at the premiere but I invite you to watch her performance.  I think she deserved it.)
 
In Atlanta, there is a very large painting of the Battle of Atlanta from the Civil War called the Cyclorama. When Clark Gable saw it, he joked that it had everything except Rhett Butler.  Afterwards, a figure of a man was added with large ears...it was said that this was in homage to Clark Gable!  It amuses me to think of the roar of laughter from Clark Gable when he found out that this was done!
 
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Hey! Things have been a bit crazy for me recently.  Busy at work, busy at home....busy!  I don't know where the day goes...before I know it, it is "gone with the wind"!
 But I won't think about that right now.  I will think about it tomorrow.
After all, tomorrow is another day!
 
Buildings of downtown Atlanta from the top of Panola Mountain....through a heat haze!
 
In the photo above, do you see the building that is kind of like a stairstep?  That is the Georgia Pacific Tower and it was built on the site of where the Loew's Grand Theatre once stood.
(Sadly, the Loew's Grand burned down in 1978.)
The Georgia Pacific Tower is the main headquarters for Georgia Pacific but there are others who have offices there including the Consulate General of the United Kingdom.