Tuesday, November 21, 2017

3 Stop Challenge

I'm getting ready for a simpleThanksgiving by cutting some of my herbs, drying it, then chopping it up in a coffee bean grinder....nothing is better than fresh herbs. This is sage..I'll be putting that in my cornbread dressing...it's called dressing when it's served on the side, not stuffing. So I learned on a cooking show I watched. It's going to be a small affair this year my family is in Colorado! BUT my son will be here with me. :o)
ebird has a monthly challenge each month...you can win stuff normally it's a Zeiss Scope which I would LOVE to win --this month enter 3 checklists all from one day and you are in the drawing to win a Cornell Labs Ducks ID workshop...so I checked out all the birds at my place first, got 16 species, in the  yard, woods, and the field.  Here is some of what was around.

This bird was here a few days back he is not on my checklist for this challenge...but I wanted to add him to this post so here he is...the

 Hermit Thrush.  

    hermit thrush

Also not on this checklist was this:  I've been hearing a Screech Owl...I love the way they make those little soft trills...not the whiney but the little trill... to me I visualize little circles going up into the twilight as they trill away...One wintered in a tree cavity around here a couple years ago and when I sat outside at dusk I could hear him/her.  So I've been doing Cavity Searches!! 

                                                     UGH no owl here ....
Or here either!! GRRRRR these fuzz balls are taking over all the cavities in the yard!  So I'll have to keep looking...other birds in the yard were busy making a living...like  a pair of House Finch in the poplar trees out back

Still having major problems with the zoom on my camera so trying to deal with it, was hoping for some big Black Friday Deal but so far, nope.  

But things are looking up as I continue to be able to keep using my old camera, it's just not as awesome as it was when it was new!  Speaking of looking up and new...my wintering Pine Warbler is here to hang out right in the same area where he is every single fall/winter, in the exact same trees.  He is outstanding! Welcome home my friend.

                                                        pine warbler

It's nice to be outstanding in your field...that's what I was doing, out standing in my field, when I saw this little guy flitting around up there...and then this next shot I  thought I'd missed the bird, but he is there do you see him?

                                                 chipping sparrow 

We had a cold snap so the Eastern Bluebirds come to roost back in the bird houses where they nested in summer...caught this one out catching some sun rays...these bluebirds live in family groups so there was males, females, and some first winter young. 

                                                                   Ruby Crowned Kinglet 

I felt I had seen all I was going to see in the yard so I left to look for a horned grebe that had been reported at the Wateree Dam.  I didn't find the grebe it would have been a good  one for my county, but not a lifer.

Along the way I pulled off the road when I spotted this Logger Headed Shrike hanging out in a young pine tree tract...this one didn't count toward the challenge cause the deal is you start a new checklist when you get out of your car...like you stop bird, get in the car get out bird, etc...so this one I took from the car it was just sitting there!

I was on my way to the Dam, but I decided to stop and photograph a cemetery!  A small one but it needed to be done, It was on the way so I stopped...and low and behold the area behind the cemetery was birdy so I found..

More Ruby Crowned Kinglet, 

A few Carolina Wrens, an Eastern Towhee, a Northern Cardinal, a White Throated Sparrow, Blue Jays and before you know it I had 6 species for my second checklist!

Once I finished up the cemetery it was past 2 pm so I continued on to the Lugoff River Access just below the dam of the Wateree River.   Here is the dam and the Duke Energy Power Station attached.  

And I got 19 species there!  Which was fun.  Nothing new and like I said no grebe but I did enjoy poking around.  

The Wateree River:

Lots of Great Blue Heron's fishing and this one swallowed like an 8 inch sunfish! See the huge bump in his upper neck area...he just flipped it up and down it went...

Flickr Ate my Photo

This Great Egret found a honey hole and he stood there just gorging on minnows...one right after the other like eating Nacho Chips!

Flickr Ate My Photo

Watched this Osprey watch out for the wires!

Duke Energy has declared war against this bird...

                                                                  The Black Vulture...

I saw these horrible things...and I just don't see how they honestly think this will help?? It's just plain stupid!! 
Embrace the bird, encourage more birds of prey to the sight or just leave it be!

 That's the effigy...a dead Black Vulture hung up to rot in the sun...The USDA...in the bird eradicating business?  

This made me sad and mad I'm in a constant state of FLUX'd these days...

I try to stop yelling and move forward...

to the good stuff I found...I was happy to see all these GB Herons against the fall colors..

Flickr Ate My Photo

And other birds I was able to photo the Northern Cardinal 

And the River Cane was hiding great numbers of White Throated Sparrows just arrived for the Winter here in the SC Midlands scratching around in the leaves. I caught this one just barely.  Center just below that white leaf.

And a cute little Tufted Titmouse all fluffed up to the oncoming evening, as it now neared 4:30 and it gets dark at 5 so away I went...

Flickr Ate my Photo

That's it for now Hope you all have a great visit with your family...if you celebrate the holiday. We will not be having a bird on our table but we will walk away from it stuffed!! 

LoL, it's not working...in fact they seem to be sitting there enjoying the antics of this inflatable as it twists and turns in the air. A place to roost with entertainment too!

Every day is a new Adventure.

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Fun Weekend!

I had a wonderful weekend...boy it went so fast even though we got that extra hour compliments of yet another time change.   Saturday we had superb shorts and shirt sleeve weather as we headed to nearby Hartsville. 

Our weekend began on Friday night home baked pizza when sis arrived.  We totally solved all the world's problems if only we could get everyone to listen to us... lots of chatting, laughing, eating, followed by some quiet couch potato chillin' till bedtime.  It was a cool night, good sleeping weather, had me snuggled in till 8am when the dogs got me up as they always do!
We headed out around lunch time...our fist stop of the day was at McLeod's Farms about a 15 or so mile drive...for a cool treat, and to check out the seasonal trims and the foods they had out for purchase! We test drove the rockers on the porch  and watched travelers come and go.

                Ornamental gourds, raw p-nuts and sugar cane on this table 

This is a small local market conveniently located on hwy 151 that takes travelers to the coast and mostly Myrtle Beach.   This is a huge family farm operation with peach orchards, pecan orchards, they grow strawberries, blueberries, corn, and other produce.  They have a hay ride to the corn maze or to pick your own "punkin" which peaked last week before Halloween.  We were told a lady got lost in the corn maze so we passed on doing that. (they found her)

      Every color of pumpkin

        all are locally grown or milled...pecans, grits, 

and rice, honey, jams, jellies, chutney, all sorts of farm grown good stuff. 

Some cute locally made birdhouses too...

Let's rock!  No--> literally we did..lol 

Some nice Gulf Fritillary butterflies were around to entertain us while we rocked...

                     They love this flowering shrub, Lantana.

Once we'd had enough rocking to we hit their privately collected museum.  A really awesome FREE look back in time...from the divinely restored to the rusted and cool. We enjoyed this so much I hadn't been in here in a while so it felt all new like seeing it for the very first time! I continue to be amazed that stuff I have used is now in museums...YIKES! 

 Our movie theater had a phone booth like this one we used to play in it, now it's in a museum and I recall weighting myself on a scale like the one on the left in this photo.  

          My grammy used to make shift dresses for us out of cloth that started out as feed bags like these!

One of the Peach Orchards next to the store is in fine color.

                                      sis clowning around 

Afterwards we headed to downtown Hartsville and Kalmia Gardens, a Botanical Garden part of Coker College.  

            A 35 acre Garden and black water swampland. 

We had a really fine walk on a series of boardwalks, spying turtles at the pond, and great reflections at the Black Creek overlook. 

                                                              a river cooter


                                                         The Lilly Pad and Turtle Pond

           The gardens had lots of variety of Camellia in bloom which we enjoyed very much!


                                                            some bold colors in the trees

                                                                 This could be pomegranate 

This land and the antebellum house built in 1820 belonged to Thomas Hart, who donated this place to Coker College, for whom the town is named, Hartsville, 

And more rockers on the front..

                 the center of town, taken in 2016 when Mom and I did a Town Trip

Tired after all the walking we had an early dinner in town, got home in time to feed my dogs only a bit later than they normally get to eat...had a little rest followed by a couple of Margarita's I mixed up in my home bar and once the sun set we headed out to the fire pit.  A perfect balmy night just right for a little warmth while we watched the full moon come up behind the trees...it was such a great end to a great day!

Just wish all my family had been able to join us...

Every day is a new Adventure.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

SO, What's UP?

Okay October went so fast, and now it's November already? I've been laying low...doing what has to be done and resting when I need want to. I recently told my sis that I live a very exclusive life, meaning many things are excluded...haha...to me it's a luxury to have a couple good meals a day and a comfortable place to lay my head.  Simple is what I strive for, sometimes the outside world draws me off and destroys my tranquil existence. For now I have restored hozho, balance. 

 Here's what's up in my little world...with some photos of a recent soul soothing walk around my local State Park, Goodale.  My version of the Navajo's Blessing Way. 

                                           calming water

After dinner Laptopping:
Most of my net time is spent creating a blog post, reading and commenting on your blogs, uploading photos to Flickr, arguing politics on Facebook, reading and responding to email, and visits to Find A Grave, Ancestry, and eBird. That and a few searches sums up my interaction with the outside world! 


             good reflections 

daylight hours:

Are mostly used up doing chores around the homestead, chopping wood for the nightly fire, keeping twigs picked up  out of the yard, and doing some painting at Mom's, getting her screen porch spruced up a bit, so when she returns home she will be super surprised!  Speaking of Mom she is doing very good, still in good health and recently celebrated her 93rd birthday!  There's  the occasional trip to town for supplies, I always have bins full of twigs to drop off at the trash dumpsters and occasionally I bump into people I haven't seen in a long time. 

                                        Bright cheerful colors

New Toys:

A new angle grinder is now in my shed! (thanks Mom for the birthday money) Very handy for sharpening tools, and I'm sure I will find many more uses for it.  Got it for 20% off at Harbor Freight.  It is an inexpensive one but I don't figure to be using it on a daily basis so it should serve me well. 
For my birthday I received: the complete box set of all 6 seasons of Breaking Bad! Absolutely loved/love that series...it is fun to go over it frame by frame. The fact it was filmed in beautiful New Mexico is a bonus too.
AND: a new portable DVD player to take along when I 'm out traveling...if you recall I blew the other one up in a charging mishap.  The new one has blue tooth earphones! SO if that jerk (you know the one I'm talking about) is running a generator I will still be able to hear my DVD of the night!

                                     a peaceful Eastern Phoebe 

 Some recent evening activities:

Watched almost the entire PBS series on the Vietnam War.  I knew classmates who were drafted and sent away to Vietnam from my high school back in '69 and '70.  I wore my POW bracelet, and I just wanted the war to end.  This documentary put the entire era into sharp focus... conclusion: It was a complete waste of life on all sides.  :o(

Currently watching the PBS Frontline Report on Russia and Putin I hope this can help me understand that issue more. Being informed is important to me.  

AND just for the hell of it....watching The Walking Dead new season (8) has begun!! YAHOO.  It's a wonderful hour of mindless mayhem, where one can cheer for the good guys even tho the line between good and evil is very blurred.   Our heroes are fighting back  against Negan and his authoritarian regime.  

The leader Rick made a speech.  
"those who would kill, take, steal, and carve out the world only for themselves, we will destroy"

Wow, we need someone brave enough to say that in real life!  I'm wishing for a super hero? 

                                           a  quiet still cormorant 

 I'm having a visitor! It's going to be wonderful, my baby sister is coming for the whole weekend!! I am excited! It's kinda quiet around here these days just me and the dogs...so some laughter, and some chatter and to actually have someone speak back when I'm talking will be kinda nice! We have planned a day trip for Saturday so hopefully I'll find something of interest to put in this blog!

Next thing you know it's gonna be Thanksgiving, and then the silly season and then a new year. 2018 wow.  In February I will celebrate the 10th anniversary of this blog! I must do something mindblowing to commemorate that milestone. 

How's your daily grind going?


Every day is a new Adventure.