Monday, January 24, 2011


What is more interesting and peaceful
than walking down a shell covered beach
looking for colors and shapes
textures and surprises?

I wonder sometimes
about the lives of the mollusks and shellfish
and crabs and such who left these remnants behind.

Tybee, fall 2009.  Need to go back soon.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Warning Signs

Tybee Island offers a warning
for those on the coast
who think they can tough out a hurricane.
The sign shows that a category one storm
can produce a storm surge one person deep,
and a category two storm can produce a surge 11-15 feet deep.
That's a lot of water. 
Life gives us lots of warnings and advice
to help us avoid the big mistakes.
So often we ignore the signs,
insisting on charting our own course
through the deep waters.
Nonetheless, I'm grateful
for those who have told stories
and posted signs in my own life
helping me avoid some of the deeper waters.
I get in enough pickles as it is.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fort in the Sunshine

 Most of the morning was a little dark and overcast
but after a while the skies cleared to a beautiful blue.

More pictures from fall of 2009's
day at Fort Pulaski.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Geometry of Fort Pulaski National Monument

Visited Fort Pulaski near Tybee Island, Georgia
in the fall of 2009
and took pictures with blogging in mind.
Then, apparently, got distracted and never posted them.

Here are some of my favorite views
with bricks and curves and tunnels.

I love National Monuments.
They are usually worth the stop.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ice Curls

Another addition to the "things you don't often see in Florida" list.
These photos were taken in my back yard in December
prior to the massive snows.
I went out one morning to see ice curls
covering the red clay of a recent dig in the back yard.
I'm told these sort of curls are common
in construction sites.
I found them lovely and a little strange.

Monday, January 17, 2011

In other livestock news....

 Ooh, look, I've figured out how to put up really big pictures.
This is good, so you can see a more lifesize view of the really big eggs the girls lay.

 That's Iris on the left above and Cooper on the right.
(Yes, Cooper is a hen.  Chickens don't care what you name them.)

Ethel, still alive and kicking (but not laying eggs), above.

Three chickens, hanging out in their little coop, but grateful for some clear days this week
and some opportunities to go outside.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Big Red

Saw this wonderful bird
across the street
and caught it with the telephoto lens.

I love pileated woodpeckers.
They are enormous,
reaching around seventeen inches long.

The red of their topknot
is vivid and bright.

And you can hear the echo
of their tapping from all over
the surrounding area.

This fine bird was working hard,
searching the branches of the neighbor's tree
for food.

For more info, click here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Need some color

Fascination with
the black and white lines of winter
is not the same thing
as feeling at home in them.
I still need regular bursts of bright color.
A picture from May
often helps a great deal.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Black and White of Christmas Day

Perhaps a better title
would be
"the brown and white
of Christmas day."

They are color photos
after all.

And perhaps people
who did not grow up in Florida
are less surprised
by the way color is replaced
with interesting two tone lines
and contours.
But I am still amazed
by the visual effect of snow.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sticky snowscapes

These pictures are from
December 26, the snow just after Christmas.

I love the way the trees look
when the snow covers them
in clean white.

The effect never lasts long,
as the snow blows and falls out of the trees
usually in the first few hours.

The ground outside
is still bright white
even in the dark of night
after our most recent half foot of snow.
Pictures from this snow soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ordering the Summer Garden

A few days ago
when there was no snow on the ground
I paced off the back yard
and current vegetable garden space
and mapped it to scale.

Last weekend
when there were two inches of snow on the ground
I paced off an area in the back yard
that might be expanded garden space.
I also ordered seeds from Johnny's and Bountiful Gardens.
I have some seeds purchased locally from Sow True Seeds.
Now as I look at snow continuing to fall
on half a foot of accumulation,
I look at last year's pictures of green growth
and continue to dream and plan.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Home by the Bay Tree

During a recent trip to Georgia,
I walked with my cousin
around land owned by her family
for generations.

She pointed out a magnolia tree
of enormous proportions,
something her great Aunt Eula Mae
has always called "the old bay tree."
Aunt Eula Mae has known this tree
for almost 100 years.

The house behind the tree
has also been there for a century or more.
It is abandoned and slowly falling apart
but still full of family memories,
particularly for those living
on other parts of the land.

There is something
about this history of place,
knowing that your relatives
have walked the same soil
and seen smaller versions of the same tree
and lived in buildings
still in sight
that provides connections
seldom experienced
in transitory modern life.

Modern city folk
are so quick to knock down
old trees
old houses
old memories.
Sometimes we are just
more limited in space,
not having extra acres
to build something new.
Sometimes we are simply
too quick to dismiss the past
as irrelevant or painful.

I believe we understand
who we have become
with more insight
if we remember
what came before.