Monday, January 05, 2015

Leaving the Interstate

Traveling through South Carolina yesterday
we got off of I-85
and traveled instead along SC 11,
the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway.
There were many State Parks and waterfalls to choose between.

Following the WATERFALLS signs
another ten or eleven miles
off our main route,
we paid the $2 per car
admission fee to one of the state parks.

I am a fan of interstates.
They get you from place to place quickly.
But sometimes the best journeys
involve exploring the backroads,
taking the time to find
the treasures along the way.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Lichens, large and small.

I brought home a stick covered in lichens
during a walk around the block last week.
I was interested in the variety
and wanting to take a closer look.

I discovered that by using a handheld 5x magnifying glass
and my iPod Touch camera zoomed in a bit
I could get some amazing close up detail on the lichens.

Who knew they were so hairy?
Now I've got the magnifying bug.
Am looking forward to looking at more things
with low tech enhancement.

Why look,
it even has me blogging again.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April Blues

Each year by the back door, mixed in with the grass, clover and dandelions,
two or three tiny stalks of blue flowers pop up. 
 They don't look like much from a distance, but up close the bluebells are lovely.

There are also ribbons of small bluish purple flowers 
all over the lawn (pictured below).  
Picked, they smell minty.  
Magnified, they look like irises, 
with a palette of color and texture.

I looked them up in the wildflower book.  They're not native. 
 Like many of our plants they came over from Europe.

Ground Ivy, Gill-over-the-ground, Creeping Charlie.
Considered a weed due to the enthusiastic spread,
but causing no problems at my house.
Used in the old country to flavor beer.

More on Ground Ivy 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Glassy Mountain Views

In the warmth of the day
on Sunday afternoon
we hiked up to Glassy Mountain,
one of the trails at the Carl Sandburg house.

It was a nice, easy trail,
with lots of friendly people
and their dogs.

At the top of the trail
was the payoff,
a nice rocky bald
with lovely views of early evening.

This would be a good trail
for visiting Floridians or other flatlanders.
Easy hike, nice picnic area at the end.
Also...lovely park benches at regular intervals.
Love that.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Sixth Day of Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
a hawk in the dogwood tree.

My camera was nestled
all firm in it's bag,
without a memory card
and the batteries all dead.

I'm mixing my Christmas songs
and poems,
but you get the picture.

After a brief scramble,
I found the hawk quite patient to my hurried preparations,
willing to wait for me to get my act together
so I could take pictures to my heart's content.

And then the hawk turned and launched
to fly away.
Fly away indeed, friend hawk.
Don't eat my chickens.

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 2012 Garden report

While I don't blog often these days,
it occurs to me that the blog makes a wonderful garden journal.
So an update on the garden...

While the rest of the nation experiences drought,
we've had good steady rain this year.
We've got some of the best looking corn in the country.

We've let the chicken's half
of the original garden
go to tall weeds this summer,
giving lots of shade
and shelter from hawks.
The two younger hens still lay
a steady supply of summer eggs.
Ethel is still perking along,
not moving as well as she used to,
but seeming to take pleasure in her old age.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

At the Maple Tree Watering Hole

There's a hollow in the maple tree out front,
where an old branch died
and dropped off.

When it rains,
the hollow fills with water,
and all the neighborhood birds
come to partake.

Fun to watch them
tilting to drink
right outside the dining room window.