Thursday, January 21, 2010

Warmth and Friendship

Great Blue Heron stands in front of a curtain of local wetland grasses

Last week I receive an e-mail with the subject line "I've gotta get outta here!" or something to that effect. My Sunny Side Up pal, Eve, was going stir-crazy. We agreed to meet Tuesday so I packed up my kit, loaded up my iCar and headed East. Eve's new house is only 30 minutes from mine, and it's a stunningly beautiful drive through hills and past waterways, up a small mountain with views of paradise. Our plan was to meet for bird watching and photographing, our ultimate goal being Lake Guntersville State Park in search of bald eagles.

After touring Eve's house and substantial (and beautiful!) grounds we piled into her car and headed down the mountain toward water. First, we pulled off onto a parking lot area next to Lake Guntersville. There we saw gulls and coots in abundance as well as several great blue herons. We both chased them like photographers from National Geographic, trying to get interesting shots of these common birds. Well, okay...we weren't quite that dogmatic in our pursuits but sure had fun!

A lone gull claims this post way out in the shallow waterway

We spied this plant growing on the water's edge. Cotton? Can anyone ID this plant?

We fixated on a single heron perching on Guntersville's "Bridge to Nowhere." Clearly, we couldn't get to him and he never felt threatened. I love this shot with the coot coming through the center just like a boat through a drawbridge. Cute coot!

Another angle

As much as we enjoy herons, coots and gulls we were after eagles after all, so Eve suggested we take in a few funky shops and one antique mall before heading up the mountain. It was there that we found birds galore...! Not quite eagles, but we sure had fun...and we spent a little money!

Birds on top of birds

Birds on canvas, both a Robin...

...and a bird of blue

The next shop we went to was an amazing cottage filled with all manner of funky things that I fell in love with, AND ...I spied THIS on a shelf! Anyone recognize this cute business card? With that cute, precious pup? This is EVE's business card proudly displayed beside baskets of her cards that she sells! Yay! How inspiring! Her phone number was smudged out out of respect for her privacy BUT if you're interested in her cards contact her via her blog, Sunny Side Up.

A basket of Eve's cards gently glows as sunshine from a nearby window bathes it in light

Kala's Cottage is the name of the store. She carries amazing products, such as these locally-made vinegars of all variety. I'm a vinegar NUT and was tempted...sorely tempted!

After strolling through two funky shops and one huge, rambling antique mall Eve and I realized that it was already early afternoon and it was too late for eagles. That's okay - we'll just have lunch instead! She suggested The Rock House and it was perfect, with some of the best chili I've ever had. This is the ONLY photo I have of Eve...and she's out of focus (!), which is PERFECT! This shows just how "out of focus" our day together became. Originally, we were seeking eagles but instead we ended up simply spending time together laughing and exploring and chatting and just Being.

Before heading home I sat at Eve's comfortable kitchen table in her lovely home sharing time with Eve and her mom over a glass of wine. Our birdie bounty was lovingly caressed and handled and adored; we were extremely pleased with our day. Morgan, Eve's precious daughter, shared tales from school. We four gals talked like we'd known each other forever. Eve and I both thought it funny that we didn't even think to photograph each other and "plan" our blog posts. The day happened just as it was supposed to. It was Perfection.


Di said...

What is it about birds that keep us so captivated? A very nice blog... came here via Blotanical. Diana

Eve said...

Hello good friend! This couldn't be a more perfect reflection of our day! Your pictures are perfect! I'm still trying to get my post together but will soon!
What a great time we had and I can't wait to do it again!
Thank you for plugging "Pets and Petals". You're too sweet!

Eve said...

PS the out of focus picture of me in front of that beautiful restaurant is perfect! I look full don't I!!!

Anonymous said...

It does sound like you had the perfect day. By exploring outter nature, you found the joy of your inner nature. Tis a secret we can all learn from.

Nice to see a few photos from eve's collection too.

I like seeing birds up on the pilings. The gulls often play king of the mountain on them.

Keep feeling fresh and New.....

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

What a fun outing you two had! I wonder if your plant is a beach pea of some sort? I don't know cotton at all (doesn't grow well in Nova Scotia, oddly) but the seedheads suggest a legume to me.

Bo Mackison said...

Sounds like a perfect day, eagles or no. All those birdies were plenty.

Daniel Spurgeon said...

I'm glad that ya'll could get out and play outdoors! I feel like I've been cooped up all winter! :) It looks like ya'll had a great day!

CE Webster said...

Sometimes if we let things happen and forget about "plans" we can have the best time. Sounds like you had one of those days.

Anonymous said...

I want to tag along on your next adventure. It sounds like such fun.
The pod looks like milkweed to me Debi. Do you get it down there?

The Garden Ms. S said...

A day of laughter and adventure - and shopping! Love the canvases of the birds. I have such a thing for robins.

BTW: Vinegar has never looked so good :)

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Thanks all for your nice comments!

Patti - I should have taken a wide shot of the photo with Eve in it for comparison. It was quite tall, like 3 ft. and all splayed out with these pretty open seed pods and little tendrils beneath each pod. I've grown milkweed and it's not that, but it's not cotton either. We just didn't know. BUT, I have a TVA source who just may know! Why didn't I think of him sooner? Hmmm...I owe you a lengthy e-mail. Stand by...

Deborah Carr said...

What a delightful day. Makes me wistful for summer escapes and long rambles.


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