Saturday, April 19, 2014

Butterfly Hike At Panola Mountain


Beautiful hike up Panola Mountain today...it was a scheduled Butterfly Hike but as it was a very cool rainy day we did not see one butterfly!  No matter, I always want to hike the mountain and I was hoping to see the lilies that bloom there only in the Spring.

The lake at the base of Panola Mountain is a very nice sight at any time of the year, but with all the Spring greens and the dogwood trees that are still blooming, it was truly stunning.
 
Once again, it was a nice group of people and Phil was our guide, the same guide that took us on the wildflower hike!  Thanks, Phil! I will remember to bring a pad and pen on our next hike to take notes so I can remember more of the birds and plants that you tell us about!
The moss was emerald in the rain and the diamorpha  was beautiful with their white blooming flowers.  Remember that Panola Mountain has restricted access so you can see how it grows when it is not trampled upon by large groups of people!
 



We were lucky that we only had a light drizzle.  You can see how overcast it was!
This is called a Fringe Tree and the blossoms are very showy!

Panola Mountain is covered with such a diversity of plants that it is a stunning sight. 
 
I was very happy to see these lilies!  They are atamasco lilies and they are lovely.
 
 
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on.

(This is the last verse of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, written by Julia Ward Howe.) 
 
 
 
Even though we didn't see any butterflies today, this is Georgia and it will be sunny and hot very soon and there will be lots of butterflies to enjoy.  For today, the cool mist and fresh air was wonderful!  Happy Easter to everyone!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Will Sing The Wondrous Story

Thinking of this coming Sunday which will be Easter, I was reminded of a hymn, " I Will Sing The Wondrous Story".    In the Episcopal church, this song is sung to the tune of "Hyfrydol" but in the Baptist church (the church from my childhood), it is sung to a tune by Peter B. Bilhorn (who wrote over 2000 hymns!).  The lyrics are by Francis H. Rowley, written in 1886.  The Rev. Rowley was not only a Baptist preacher but also an author and an advocate for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

This first video is of this song to the tune of "Hyfrydol" which in Welsh means "cheerful".  Sometimes, I think this is sung too slowly but this seems just right to me.  (This same tune is used for some other songs in the Episcopal church, one of my favorites is "Alleluia, Sing To Jesus", another beautiful hymn sung at Easter.)

This second video is of this same song but it is with the tune that I know from my childhood. This is from a Baptist church in Alabama.  Both versions are very dear to me.  I love them both.  After all, I am Georgia Girl With An English Heart, you know!

And the man who wrote the tune, Peter P. Bilhorn?  I was pleased to read that in 1900, he was invited to London to lead a choir of 4000 in  the Crystal Palace!  Queen Victoria also invited him to  Buckingham Palace.  (I believe that these men received the most satisfaction for knowing that their music and words went to the glory of God, but it still makes me glad that they were recognized and appreciated for their musical talents.)

No matter what tune is used, the words are strong and powerful and I have them for you here.
Do you have a favorite Easter hymn? Sing it!

 (I know that tomorrow is Good Friday, and one of the most moving hymns for that day is "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord".




  1. I will sing the wondrous story
    Of the Christ Who died for me;
    How He left His home in glory
    For the cross of Calvary.

    • Refrain:
      Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story
      Of the Christ Who died for me,
      Sing it with the saints in glory,
      Gathered by the crystal sea.
  2. I was lost, but Jesus found me,
    Found the sheep that went astray,
    Threw His loving arms around me,
    Drew me back into His way.
  3. I was bruised, but Jesus healed me,
    Faint was I from many a fall,
    Sight was gone, and fears possessed me,
    But He freed me from them all.
  4. Days of darkness still come o’er me,
    Sorrow’s path I often tread,
    But His presence still is with me;
    By His guiding hand I’m led.
  5. He will keep me till the river
    Rolls its waters at my feet;
    Then He’ll bear me safely over,
    Where the loved ones I shall meet.
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Atlanta Braves Grand Slam-Phillies Fans Reaction



Even if you don't know one thing about baseball, you should watch this video that I have here for you!  The Atlanta Braves played the Philadelphia Phillies last night.  The Phillies were ahead in the 9th inning and Dan Uggla came to bat with the bases loaded.  When the batter hits a HOMERUN with the bases loaded, that is called a GRAND SLAM, and it scores 4 runs!  That is just what Dan Uggla did!!!!  (Four exclamation points there.)   The Philly fans were taunting Dan Uggla while he was at bat and this video of their reaction to the homerun is priceless!  HA!  I love it!  Anybody from Philly might not find it so amusing!  The final score of the game was 9-6.   GO BRAVES!!!
 Oh dear, I just looked back at this blog and it says you can't see it on here...never mind, you can find it, it's out there. Watch it if you get the chance!
 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Morning Has Broken




"Morning Has Broken" is a hymn that is in the Hymnal in the Episcopal Church.  You might remember it was a hit by Cat Stevens if you know anything about music or if you were alive in the 1970's.  Many people think that he is the author of  this song as he is so closely identified with it, but he did not write it.  In 1931, an English poet and children's author by the name of Eleanor Farjeon  was asked to write the lyrics to a beautiful melody from Scotland called "Bunessan".  (Please, I hope no one takes offense...if it is Irish/Scottish/Welsh...I truly love this tune and it matters not from whence it came, it makes a lovely hymn and I am happy that it was made into a well received pop song.)
 
She wrote the words being inspired by the beauty of the English countryside, from Alfriston in East Sussex.
 
We sing this song at our church and I have a special fondness for it as I asked for it to be played at our wedding, also from the long ago time of June of 1983!
 
Hey! For people of the USA, tomorrow on April 15th, Arby's is giving away FREE curly fries!
Also, at Hard Rock Cafe, if you go after 5PM and sing a song in its entirety in front of the whole restaurant, you will be awarded a FREE entree! I cannot imagine how much booze you would have to give me to make me stand up in front of people and talk, let alone sing! This is in honor (or to make the day a bit easier to bear?) of it being the last day in which to file your income taxes! That is what I heard on TV  but I think it is really in honor of my birthday tomorrow! That is the real reason, I am sure of it! 
Okay now, think of me when you are eating those curly fries!
  Who loves ya, baby? (This is also a quote that is a blast from the past...anybody remember who said that?)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Arabia Mountain- Amazing In April!



The wildflowers on Arabia Mountain are at their peak just now.  My husband, Richard, loves to take photos of them and he allows me to share them here with you.  Enjoy.





The bright red Diamorpha is a joy to behold but incredibly the plant blooms with a tiny white cross-like flower in the Spring. Gorgeous!

JOY! Before I knew what these were called, I used to call these "joyflowers" because they gave me such joy! They are called SANDWORT.  ("Wort" is an Old English word which means "root", something I learned in my reading...I am not a botanist or a linguist!)
 
Can you see the white blooms on the Diamorpha, the yellow of the Hairy Groundsel and the spring greens of the trees?  Beauty in lots of colors!
 
In this photo, you can see a closer view of the Hairy Groundsel. It was bright yellow in the sun!
What a delightful name for a flower! These are Sunnybells!
 
My husband and I truly love walking at Arabia Mountain. The view on the horizon, the clouds, the wildflowers, the pools of water, the trees...even the rock itself  is a different color depending on how the sunlight falls upon it.  I just met a woman on a walk at Panola Mountain and when I asked her if she was familiar with Arabia, she told me that she had "trained" by running up the mountain. I suggested that she might want to go back and LOOK at what she must have missed! There are lots of paved trails but Arabia Mountain itself...I am sorry, but I think this is something special and should be treated as such.
Even though Arabia Mountain was heavily quarried for many years, the wonder of Nature is taking it back but only for those who have the eyes to see it!
Toadflax - Very hard to photograph, the color is a gorgeous shade of lavender!

 
It is as if these flowers are blooming on solid rock, but of course, it is just a very small amount of soil that has collected on the rock that supports this plant, the magnificent Diamorpha. (Elf orpine it is called but since it is Diamorpha smalli, we have always called it Diamorpha!) 
  Hope you liked this hike with us at Arabia Mountain.  All of these photos were taken late afternoon on April 11th.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
 
(I have so many posts that I have in mind for you, but as always, very little time to compose my thoughts!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Birds and Butterflies at Panola/ Sunnybells at Arabia!



After my hike at Panola Mountain on Saturday, I was the only one from our hike who went on the bird walk at Alexander Lake!  But you knew I would, didn't you??  (In defense of the other hikers on this day, many of them came from some distance away and some had other commitments that could not be changed at the last minute.  Me, I had TONS of housework that needed doing, but hey, it wasn't going anywhere, was it?)

There were a total of five us on the bird walk including our guide, Phil. (The other folks didn't know about the first hike, but they expressed doubt that they could have done it. ! They have no idea how easy it is!)  The most wonderful thing, one of the guys, Jack, had brought a gigantic scope on a tripod to see birds!  We were able to get to some wetlands that they have on the Power of Flight area at Panola Mountain. It is an open meadow where they have worked for years to get it back into a natural state. (This is same spot where I did the wildflower planting and grass seed collecting this past September.) Phil said that we must have heard and seen at least 30 species.  Not bad for two o'clock in the afternoon!
Two birds that I have never seen before were at the wetlands...a blue winged teal duck and a semipalmated sandpiper, both so lovely that I said that I wished that could do a painting of them! Sorry I could not get a photo of the birds for you but we saw butterflies too!  I found a video for you. Most of these photos were taken at the Power of Flight area!
 
   I took this photo of the dogwood blooms against a blue sky on Saturday...
And Richard took this photo the next day at Arabia Mountain! They are Sunnybells!
 
 
 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Panola Mountain Hike - PERFECT Day!


Saturday, the 5th of April, was a lovely day.  In Georgia, we can go from winter to summer in a heartbeat but Saturday was a true Spring day, the high for the day was about 67 degrees.  A wonderful day for a hike through the woods and up Panola Mountain!  Our hike was from 10 AM until 1PM.
Perfect!




The dogwood trees were in full bloom and were blooming all through the woods.

 Ready?  Let's go!  This is at the very beginning of the hike which must be led by a guide, as Panola Mountain is a protected state park, and a National Natural Landmark.  Our leader was Phil Delestrez, who is also the Resource Manager at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge.  (If anyone remembers Rutledge from my blog, I have mentioned it before, that is where my Dad lives...not at the park, mind you, just in the same area...Rutledge, Georgia!)  It was great to have someone so knowledgeable about trees, geology, birds, dragonflies, butterflies, and wildflowers as our guide! I think that any readers of  my blog might guess that I pestered poor Phil with all my questions!
 So many trees, and can you see that they are almost all hardwood trees in this area...this was about the only spot where I could see the sky, there were just that many trees! 
 Anybody remember this same photo from a few weeks back?  I miss my son holding up that tree on the left! (Wish you could have been on this hike, Christopher!).  What a great bunch of folks on this hike! In fact, if you look over on the side of my blog, my newest follower is Sherri and she was one of those on this hike! Thanks, Sherri!  Hope to see you again on this trail or at Arabia Mountain!
This lake is just at the base of Panola Mountain and you should have heard the birdsong here! One bird's call sounded like "Sweet, sweet, sweet...I'm so sweet"!  Phil told us what bird that it was...but I can't remember the name! Never mind, the bird's song was lovely to hear.

Here we are hiking up the mountain.  Sherri, isn't that you just behind Phil? Bless you, I must have been quiet when I was taking photos.  Too bad that I didn't take many photos, right?  HA!
As we were hiking on the mountain, I looked down and noticed...how can I put this, something that I did not want to step upon!  "Uh, Phil, what animal dropping is this", I said, one of many questions from yours truly!!  Phil, turning around to see, was quite happy that I noticed this and telling us that he hoped not to freak anybody out...picked up the animal droppings and proceeded to pull it apart (with his bare hands!) He told us it was coyote scat and he could tell that it was mostly fur, bones and he even found ONE whisker (a feral cat, was his guess).  For me, it was like being on a hike with David Attenborough (but one with a bit of a Chicago accent!): it was perfectly fine with me! Tell me more!  I want to know everything!
The sandwort (white flowers) were dazzling in the sunshine...
 As were the red diamorpha which now have these lovely white blooms!  Look how thickly they grow in this protected area of Panola Mountain!

One of the MAIN flowers that I wanted to see was the Atamsco lily, which unfortunately, was not blooming just yet...but wait, I told you it was a perfect day...

One brilliant white Atamsco lily in the bright Georgia sun, so very happy to see it that I could hardly hold the camera steady!



We saw this Fulcate Orange-Tip Butterfly on this hike! (Richard took this photo last year at a butterfly hike on Panola Mountain.) Richard couldn't go on this hike with me, which was a shame because he would have loved it!

As our hike neared the end at 1:00PM, Phil told us that he was going to lead a bird walk at Alexander Lake (also part of the Panola Mountain State Park) which would last from 2PM until 4PM and would anybody be interested in going to that?




Dear reader of my blog, what do you think that I said?   You will find out in a future post!
 

Photo: Now that's what we're talking about!