Friday, September 28, 2012

The Giraffe Head Tree

Daylight hours have been consumed with thoughts and images of dreams I've had the past few nights.  A particular image from a snippet, of a part of a dream, will not let go.

The image:  A giraffe breaching the ocean.

Unless I'm mistaken, giraffe's aren't known for swims in oceans. And if they were to test said oceans the event likely wouldn't be here, on the east coast of the good old USA.  Also, if they did decide to take a dip they definitely wouldn't be able to jump out of the water like a whale.  Okay, was only a dream.  Must ponder.

My morning walks with Baylee are enjoyable again, thanks to early autumnal temperatures.  Cooler temps and lower humidity is making me long for the sights and sounds I'm used to this time of year.  Changing leaves, mist on the lake, the sound of loons, wood smoke, migrating birds, the Loopers traversing the Tennessee River, red buckeye seedpods, possumhaw holly berries - those experiences and many more that I've blogged about for years now under the watchful eye of the Giraffe Head Tree.

I've struggled with blog content after leaving my beloved GHT and river behind.  Nothing has really clicked.  The beach is beautiful, the live oaks are majestic, the salt marsh is magical.  Most days I walk Baylee, then I put her in the house and then I walk me.  Sometimes I walk here.  Sometimes I drive to the end of the peninsula and walk there.

But back to the giraffe imagery.  As you know, recently I was lucky enough to see a whale breach the waves just a few hundred yards away from where I was sitting on the beach.  Easily, this has been the highlight of my adventure here.  For my giraffe to replace the whale - is my giraffe head tree telling me to move on?  Or telling me that it's still there, watching over the river, a respite for weary squirrels, a perch for red headed woodpeckers?  Maybe it's simply on my mind and these autumnal clues are reminding me of wonderful memories from my past.  Which really is reminding me that it's time to make some new ones.

What is autumn like on a little east coast beach?  Time to find out...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stop it stop it stop it stop it....

You can't hear the cries of trees over the grating sound of chainsaws, the incessant rumbling and bumbling of bulldozers and bobcats.

Nor can you hear their screams over the din as stout, proud branches are hacked and pulled off, down onto the ground, loaded into trailers to be hauled away and burned.

You don't see the bird nests that are destroyed, the butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalis's that are maimed, anoles and tree frogs killed, complete ecosystems that are decimated, or the people who cry at this loss.

You can't hear the ground shriek as thick roots that anchored a living thing to the earth are yanked out and cast away as nothing.

The earth is crying today as one of hers is gone for good.  I am crying, too.  Marc Cohn in my ear, everything blocked out through my iPod, even that doesn't stop the faint rumble from coming through as the carnage continues.

Makes these seeds ever the more precious. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beach Treasures

My personal goals for this beach adventure are simple.  Rest, eat healthy, walk abundantly, explore unceasingly, breathe deeply, reconnect with myself and my spouse.  We have been extraordinarily blessed with visits by friends and family since arriving so in between various Me Times I've enjoyed this place through their eyes as well.

A favorite time remains the early mornings.  Long, early walks with Baylee followed by long solitary walks on the beach picking up treasures.  Amazing finds continue to be these fabulous green rocks that the wild, wild sea throws up onto the beach.  Some were too large to carry back, sadly, but the ones I could manage were hoisted under one arm and slogged back to the house, soaking my t-shirt and making my arms quiver with exertion.  What fun!  Free rocks!  Free BEAUTIFUL rocks!  I'm saving up for a rock garden that I'm designing in my head.

This is the first one that I found, all nestled among the dunes next to our walkway. It's a chaos of blues and greens with what I thought to be rusty places embedded throughout.

Upon closer inspection these appear to be fossilized areas of some sort.  Still, there is rust or something there.  I purchased a rock and minerals book to help me identify these rocks but no such luck.  I need a degree in geology simply to understand what they're trying to get through to me.  I'm as dense as a ... rock.  I have scads of these rocks, various shapes and sizes lining the front hallway just waiting for their place to be created.

Some have barnacles crusted on them.

They are so beautiful.
(Blogger refuses to let me center this...go figure...)

This one is small but spectacular.  The camera just can't do it justice.  Shades of chartreuse with these same rusted fossilized places.

I see a face.  Can you? 

When there are no rocks to be found I pick up bits of beach stuff like these bits of petrified wood, likely from the gazillion shipwrecks that line the eastern coast.  At least that's what the romantic in me likes to believe. 

The big surprise has been discovering WWII 50 caliber machine gun bullets driven into the sand by the waves.  These are very heavy, but if the Wild, Wild Sea can hoist boulders onto the beach a "little" bullet wouldn't be a challenge at all.  These come from Fort Fisher, just south of where we are.  During WWII Army soldiers stationed there would fire practice rounds out into the ocean.  Amazingly, these bullets tumbled around the sea and ended up back where they began.

 And then there are the shark's teeth.  These are all fossils, except for the grey one which I suspect is in the process of fossilization.  ?  The two large black blobs at the top are chunks of fossilized turtle carapaces, and the little white circle is a vertebra from some huge fish, likely a shark.  I was quite proud of my little collection until a neighbor showed me a fossilized shark tooth he found that was, I swear, about 4" long and very thick.  Wow.  These are mostly white shark teeth.  Some are too damaged and some too odd for this amateur to identify.

The power of this ocean always thrills me.  Huge waves, powerful currents, the ebb and flow of vast tides, the migrating birds and sea life, the grandeur of this place - I'm blessed to be here.  Looking forward to seeing what Autumn is like on the beach.  Thank you all for hanging in here with me.  I have missed reading your blogs, missed keeping up with you all, and have missed writing and photographing nature.  However, I think my personal tide is still in the process of changing.  Blessing to you all...


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