Monday, February 27, 2012


This is a bridge to somewhere.  
This is a path to adventure, enlightenment, peace, Spirit
This is Self.
This is a trail that will not be denied.
This is hope and opportunity.

We have been given a gift.  A rare, beautiful, timely gift.  The gift of healing ocean breezes, sunshine, the call of gulls, endless horizons and unexplored grasslands and wetlands.  Turtles and pelicans.  Driftwood and seashells.  Peace.  Calm.  Breath of Life.  

Our house has been sold.  Most of our possessions have been given away, donated, pitched.  The good stuff will go in storage.  For 6-9 months we will be overseeing repairs at my stepfather's house on a beach in North Carolina.  Kure Beach.  We plan to return, unless the lure of the ocean won't allow us to.  It depends.  I feel so free.  So untethered.  My GeoGypsy pal Gaelyn has come to mind so much through this process.  She would be the first to say WAY TA GO! 

After this year of trauma, doctors, hospitals, surgeries, doctors, procedures, physical therapy, counseling, exhaustion, fear, anxiety, and driving, driving, driving we are both so excited about leaving this place of pain.  This house is a good house, a comfortable house, but it has some hard memories we choose to release.  The future is approaching way too fast as we age, and it's time to embrace a new place, new adventures, new smells and sights.  Fresh seafood!  New habitats to explore and write about, photograph and blog.  

I will be sharing my adventures on this blog and another one soon to be announced.  Imagine!  Ferries and wetlands!  The wild winds off the ocean!  What will come on shore tomorrow and the next day?  I will get to see sunrises and sunsets again in all their glory!  Pelicans flying by every day!  It's about damn time I get to use exclamation points again.  I've earned the right and I'll use them often and freely and without shame!  

Thank you all for being my blogging friends all these years.  The Giraffe Head Tree remains on her perch overlooking the Tennessee River, know what?  I just realized...she faces East, and that's where I'm going. 

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!


"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth - 1804

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wheeler Wildlife Refuge

Sandhill Cranes at Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, Decatur, Alabama

Carroll and I met in the parking lot of Decatur's Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Headquarters.  We hugged and laughed, excited to see each other after such a long time.  Our mission - to see the sandhill cranes before they fly northward for the summer.  Although it's still February, our weather has been very warm and wet this year which has altered many bird migration patterns.  Two weeks ago I was surrounded by 50 gazillion cedar waxwings.  Normally, they arrive in late March thru April.  But this many?  Now?  It's kinda weird. 

There they go...

These photos were taken in the fields on the drive in toward the headquarters building.  I didn't even get out of my car - just rolled down the window and fired off a few frames.  They didn't like it.  The squirrelly one in the center, above, spooked everyone else and all they flew.  These fields aren't normally this green in February. 

Northern Shovelers circling and eating...

After our hugging dancing jig in the parking we were surprised by the Operation Migration van! So surprised that we didn't even get a photo of it.  We'd heard that 7-9 whooping cranes were at WWR and were hoping to see them.  Clearly, the van's appearance meant they were there, somewhere in the vast acreage along the Tennessee River.  We later discovered that they were still contained in a "safe spot."  These whooping cranes had ample protection provided by law enforcement vehicles, or so we think because we spied 4 officer vehicles nearby. 

American Wigeon

Trudging silently through the pathway toward the observation building, we noted just how quiet it was.  No sandhills flew overhead.  No trumpeting off in the distance.  Nothing but the scritches and scratches of songbirds in the brush, and the quacking of all manner of ducks.  Okay, technically that's not "nothing," but ..... no sandhills. 

WWR Observation Blind - by reservation only

From our perch in the observation building we could see the observation blind across the wetland.  Scads of waterfowl and a few Canada geese.  The northern shovelers were circling and eating something beneath them - the water was very low.  No sandhills.  I've never been there when it was so quiet. 

Take a bow!

As the northern shovelers take a bow we shoulder our cameras and head for the cars.  This quick trip was fabulous in that we got in a nice visit in a beautiful locale.  I traveled a new path on my way home and made a discovery, which will be saved for the next post.  Sorry that I've been MIA.  Simply no adventures to share, but that will be changing....soon!  Stand by...


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