Look…Up In The Sky…


Look…up in the sky…it’s a bird…it’s a plane –
Well, of course it was a bird, but one I didn’t recognize.

As I was standing on the deck the other day, I kept seeing little flashes of lemon in the canopy of leaves overhead.  Finally, one these lovelies landed close enough for me to get a picture.

I wasn’t sure what kind of bird it was until I had a chance to pull out the ID book.  Turns out it is a Blue-headed Vireo – which is a first for me.

It was a shy and fidgety little fellow that didn’t stay close for long. It landed on the Dogwood branch, then got a quick drink from the fountain, and then returned to the tree-tops.

It’s always makes my day to get a first time photo. 🙂

 

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Lighthearted Limericks – Pine Warbler

When this handsome Pine Warbler showed up, he came carrying a limerick just begging to be shared.

The gleaming gold bird with barred wing
Boasts of beauty that’s fit for a king

From the tree-tops he croons
A melodious tune

I guess for his supper he sings!

 

 

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An Autumn Outing

Today was a beautiful autumn day, with temperatures warm enough to give Tucker one last romp in the lake before the water gets its winter chill, so we decided to head over to Red Top Mountain and do a bit of hiking.

On our way to the trail, we took a slight detour so I could try and take a picture of an old mill that always sparks my imagination.  Since the hour was early and a misty fog was still lingering, I wasn’t able to get the shot I was hoping for. We only stayed for a moment and then made our way to the mountain.

Since we are about a week shy of the autumn colors reaching their peak here in North Georgia, the trail seemed extra beautiful.  I love the leaf-littered look of the wooden bridge crossing the stream.

And there’s just something alluring about a lake cushioned by the colors of fall.

At about the halfway point of the trail, there is a clearing that makes a great spot to get in the water; this is the place where Tucker removes any doubt that he is mostly Lab!  As soon as we get near this spot he is like a kid in a candy shop, eagerly awaiting his game of fetch.

He bounds into the water to retrieve his glowing green stick (these things are great – they’re durable and they float!)…

…then does it again…

…and again…

…and again…

…until finally he begins to come back without the stick.

This is when we know that the game has probably reached its end and poor hubby gets to wade into the water and gather up the toys.  Hey – I guess I had two retrievers with me!  And speaking of hubby, we can’t leave him out of the pictures!

Once the fetching was finished, we followed the trail to its end and explored the large boulders.  When I look at the picture below, I can’t help but smile – Tucker has come a long way from the abandoned, undernourished dog we adopted in June; now he is a spoiled but beautiful beast!

On our way back home (with Tucker happily living up to his name on the back seat) we stopped by the mill once again.  This time I was able to get a better shot.  I just love old architecture – and when you can get wood and water together, well that’s a bonus!

I have to say, it really was a lovely autumn outing.

 

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Making Muddy Memories

My daughter and I have established a bit of a tradition.  Twice a year – once in the fall and once in the spring – we spend a weekend together hiking, eating, laughing, and sharing our dreams…and did I mention eating?  What has also become a part of the tradition is the inclement weather that tends to accompany these outings.

This past weekend was our fifth such get away, and once again, the weather was cold and rainy.  (That makes four out of five times that we have either had rain or sleet!)  Now, you would think that this might put a damper on the hiking, but we have come to take a kind of perverse pride in being the only lunatics on the trail.  We will often turn to each other with silly grins and say, “Where is everyone?”

Needless to say, I didn’t get to take my camera out much.  I did snap a few photos of Possum Trot Church –  a structure that was built in the 1850’s and lies tucked away down a dirt road in a remote part of the mountain campus of Berry College.  The founder of the college, Martha Berry, taught Sunday school there, and later acquired the building and added classrooms.  It is called the “cradle of the college” as this is where her passion for education was birthed.

I love the old wood and the feel of history that permeates the place; it feels haunted in the best possible way!

I didn’t get any horse pictures this time as the road to the pastures was gated off, but I did stop by the lake and visit the ever-present swam.

There were also plenty of deer about that were willing to pose in the drizzle.  There were several young bucks…

…and lots of lovely does.

While the weather wasn’t great for picture taking, I have to say, it was ideal for memory making.  I have no doubt that these mud-filled memories will be ones that I treasure for a lifetime.

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A Back-up Plan

My original plan for today had been to head back to Red Top Mountain so Tucker could romp in the lake, but my back decided to go into a bit of a spasm so I opted for a back-up plan instead.  I went out to the back deck and sat by back-side down in a rocking chair and waited to see which backyard birds would show up.

A Tufted Titmouse made an appearance, as did an American Goldfinch in its faded fall plumage.

A Downy Woodpecker and a Carolina Chickadee also dropped in.

My favorite visitor of the afternoon was this handsome male Pine Warbler.  Isn’t his coloring gorgeous?

All in all, not bad for a back-up plan. 🙂

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The Toddler and the Turtle

This morning, while Tucker and I were in the backyard, I saw him stop and give something a quizzical, “I’m not sure what this is” kind of look.

When I glanced at the path nearby, I saw the object of his attention – a handsome box turtle meandering along.

I guess since I didn’t seemed to be alarmed by this new guest, Tucker figured it was safe for him to investigate.

At first I was afraid that the turtle would be seen as a new Tucker toy, but my curious canine was surprisingly gentle. Whenever he did get a little too close for comfort, the turtle did what turtles do and simply retreated into his shell a bit more fully.

Then Tucker would sit and stare at it with his forehead all wrinkled…

…and occasionally glance over at me for some sort of reassurance that this was indeed a welcome visitor to the backyard.

I have to say, this fellow was one of the least timid turtles I have ever encountered.  He never stayed tucked away for long.

And every now and then, my 70-plus-pound toddler, would sneak back over to investigate some more.

There is something so beautiful about a turtle’s shell, don’t you think?

And speaking of beautiful…

…isn’t my boy turning into a beautiful beast?!

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A Butterfly-filled Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday (my 33rd plus 20) and one of my favorite gifts was the abundance of butterflies that showed up.

Several Cloudless Sulphurs were fluttering about the fading Zinnias. Typically, these beauties don’t sit still long enough to get a decent photo, but I think they were being extra gracious in honor of my birthday.

A Gulf Fritillary paid a visit to the Lantana.

And a majestic Monarch made another appearance as well.  I know I just featured this butterfly in my previous post, but I figure since I never get tired of seeing them you probably don’t either.

Now, it could be that the butteries were out in abundance because of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having here in Atlanta; but I think a more likely answer is that they showed up in honor of my birthday.  Either way, they were a wonderful gift!

 

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