Monday, February 28, 2011

Primary Colors

Felder Rushing and his bottle tree

After Bo's comment I decided bottle trees needed to be shown. Felder's is small, above. They can be huge.
Google Bottle tree images and you'll be amazed!

Primary Colors

My mom has a bottle tree in her front yard. Beautiful, as it catches the light and turns it into rainbows when the sun is "just right." Dangerous, when the winds come off the lake like a tornado. Wintery and stormy times she carefully removes each bottle and lines them up on the porch in their safe place. I love her bottle tree as much as the neighbors detest it. She's a free spirit and simply laughs. We are both considering the use of bottles as edging for our landscape beds. Felder Rushing does it. I also just read an article in Alabama Gardener magazine about it. According to the article, this method of edging was used on southern plantations long ago. Therefore, we're simply keeping this charming southern custom alive.

This is another random, big yawn blog. Fair warning.

Oh, and speaking of blogging I found a magazine devoted to blogging called Artful Blogging while the Hubs and I were sipping coffee at Barnes & Noble yesterday. Flipping through I delighted in the creativity of the bloggers out there. Wish I had an ounce of their creativity. Artists of all kinds, gardeners, chefs, etc. I would have purchased the magazine for grins but it was $15! Holy schmoly! I carefully placed it back on the rack and backed away.

The current Project Du Jour at the GHT household is Simplification. You know those boxes one carts from place to place, year after year? Dust covers each surface and the bottom is saggy from moisture? Brittle packing tape wrapped and re-wrapped, breaking away at the seams? Seems we have a whole bunch of these boxes. Inside are old crinkled newspaper pages wrapped around various "treasures." Some things are indeed treasures thought lost, and some were various levels of trash. Each box is a project all its own. The dust has been so thick and filled with Lord knows what that the project made me sick the first day until realizing I needed to wear a mask. I never want this kind of project again.

Another project is journaling. Staying OFF the computer and physically writing down various assignments from my therapist. Handwriting is hard. I can type on the computer as fast as I think. Besides, handwriting is just tedious. However, I've been convinced that it is necessary because my brain works differently when I put pen to paper.

Yesterday I bought walking poles and vow to begin walking again. I've been told these help take the shock off knees and hips with the added benefit of increasing your cardiac workout and whatever by 45%. That's what the box says anyway. Well, except for the word "whatever."

That's enough for today. Enjoy the bottle pic from my mom's sunny beach porch. Just wanted to come back and post something - keep this blog alive until I can find out who I am again!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bald Eagles

The nest through my 400mm zoom

I'd been itching to travel a road never taken and decided yesterday was Road Trip Day. Also, it would be good to take the hubs along as well for it's nice to have a companion when taking adventures. Driving along heading elsewhere a snap decision was made - check out the eagle's nest "just in case" before heading down the road.

Turns out a whole hoard of birders from the North Alabama Birdwatching Society had the same idea. The eagles were out and the chicks, or at least one chick, would occasionally pop their heads up. Originally, there were two eggs in the nest but no one knows if both chicks survived. Or no one in our group did on this day.

Mom - using the 2X converter

I've never seen the like of cameras on tripods, cameras draped from necks, cameras cradled in arms as I've seen this day. While I recognized some of the birders I nestled in next to Bala, whose 500mm lens I covet. (We all do - it's not just me.) Bala had already taken some amazing shots which he proudly showed to me and Bob. Amazing. Simply amazing.

A little fluffing and calling going on here - putting on a show for the photographers

I apologize for the fuzziness of these shots. These were the best ones. The converter doesn't allow auto focus to work so I'm holding my breath, focusing as best I can while steadying on Bob's shoulder. They won't win any prizes nor can these shots hold a candle to Bala's but they're mine

Mom and chick

Eventually, we said our goodbyes to Bala, the eagles and the birders, turned the Yaris around and began our road trip. The road trip was interesting but the eagles were definitely the highlight of the day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Skyring, Bob and Dave

Clearly, I've been MIA for a bit. Over the past couple of weeks we have moved from the lake house, been through closing (I didn't go) and have been schlepping all manner of junk hither and yon. If ever a case for Minimalism can be made it would be in ours. Holy moly. We don't need a bigger house - we need less Stuff. We've made the vow so let's see how well we can adapt to it.

In the middle of the move and closing we were visited by our Wisconsin friends, Dave and Skyring. "Skyring" is a family name - it was her grandfather's name. This visit had been planned for months. We'd all been looking forward to it with pleasure. There was no way we were going to miss this opportunity. Therefore, we worked like mad the week and weekend prior to their visit and only had to go back one more time for the "dregs" and cleaning. In between, while they were here, we played. And rested. And caught up.

Overlook at Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge

Dave and Sky had been fascinated by my posts on Lake Guntersville's Eagle Awareness program so we'd planned to go spend the day looking for eagles. The migrating eagles are about gone so we did not see them in abundance as Carroll and I did in January. Still, we saw one way up high and think we saw another but weren't sure. Actually, the best part of the day (besides lunch) was right here. Sitting in the sunshine overlooking Lake Guntersville talking and lounging. Often, we would grow quiet, lay our heads back and just soak in the sunshine and sounds and the peace. For it was indeed peaceful and perfect.

Me, Bob and Dave

Such a relaxing day with good friends. We tried a little hiking but Bob isn't quite there yet. He did really well however and I can tell he's getting stronger. Instead, we drove the loop and saw all the deer, enjoyed a fabulous lunch at the restaurant and walked around the Lodge. It's all good ya know.

We hated for it to end. I didn't bring the tripod and was just too dadgum lazy to ask someone to take a photo of the 4 of us together. Sometimes, those details are just not that important. One detail that is important is that Skyring drove us to the Lodge in their new Subaru Outback so that I could soak up the luxury. I LOVE Subarus! Thanks, Sky!

Bob and Dave

Bob and Dave were best friends in high school and have kept up with each other through the years. Skyring and I have become friends as well and have so much in common. You may remember our trip to Wisconsin to see them a couple of years ago. If not, you are welcome to go here and read about our visit to that lovely part of the world - sans snow. It's our turn to visit them next. They live close to a lake so we are looking forward to driving up and resting and sunning beside a different sort of lake. What fun, what fun.

Happy Sunday, ya'll. (...a little Southernism for grins...)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Mooned by a Towhee...

Wordless Wednesday
(almost, as Jodi sez...)


My thanks to Cheryl Ann at Deep Canyon for giving me an award! It's a humbling experience, receiving an award from a fellow blogger. Cheryl Ann's blog brings me such pleasure. Immersing myself in the beautiful blue skies and landscape of the southwest feeds that part of my soul that loves deserts and huge, craggy mountains, cactus and that richly textured quilt of land that blankets the earth as far as the eye can see.

According to the rules I'm supposed to share seven things about me. Whew. Oky doky. Hate to bore you all but rules are rules...

1) I'm in the middle of a personal journey to reinvent myself. At my age it's a little intimidating and I've not chosen a direction. Lots of journaling, beginning meditation, starting Yoga, etc. The teenager left for college, the husband is healing and something inside me has changed so it's time. It's time for ME.

2) New music cannot come into my world fast enough. I'm not particularly nostalgic so by the time I've worn out a CD or a musician then it's time to move on. More, more, more, more, more....

3) My mother is my very best friend. I treasure each and every moment with her.

4) Horses are a passion, but I'm deeply afraid of them. They are the most beautiful animal, to me, on earth.

5) Ten years in ballet straightened my spine but I was never good enough for toe.

6) Besides music traveling is my drug. Road trips, day trips, getting lost and finding my way back home, anything fresh, new. Experiencing new foods, cultures, smells, sights - even just down the road.

7) The lake house has official sold. We close the 17th. The Giraffe Head Tree will no longer be mine. Should I rename my blog?

Hope I didn't bore you too badly!

More rules - now I'm supposed to share with 5 people but I'm going to break that rule and share with only one because I've been in a blogging funk and just haven't been getting around much except to the few people who have already gotten this award! Except for one...

SO, I'm sharing Cheryl Ann's lovely award with my friend Eve at Sunny Side Up. Eve keeps me positive with her sunny disposition, her laughing nature, her love for all things outdoors and her amazing ability to ID birds! She rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle and I love her fierce independence and feisty ways. She's become a good friend since moving to Alabama. (Ya know, it's about time for a visit, Evis.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Red Oak Leaves

Oak leaves

Wheeler Lake

Taken long ago, this photo of red oak leaves dangling before the winds took them away still captivates. The sun shining through makes them catch on fire.

As a child, I would lie in the grass in our backyard and place my hands between me and the sun, marveling at the red that traveled my fingers.

Closing my eyes on the beach the inside of my eyelids are red.

Red. Deep, jeweled red.

Merlot, claret, burgundy wines with their smokey flavors glowing captivatingly in clear stemmed glasses. Red.

Red embers of a bonfire; the red tip of a burning stick writing names in the darkness.

Deep red, oil paint red, garnet red, the red of berries shouting in a white landscape.

My favorite color.

For more captivating images around the world please visit Scenic Sunday


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