Thursday, April 30, 2009
Not only do I love bees, but I have always enjoyed watching the dragonflies. I recently became even more enchanted with them when I learned that they also eat mosquitoes, which makes them my allies. I was at Bank's Lake again today and managed to snap a photo of one that actually flew closer as if to pose for me: While Gizzy and I were walking around, I noticed how pretty the clouds looked (I love big, puffy, cumulus clouds) and decided to take a few pictures of the sky as well: One of these days, I'll get a better zoom lens, but for now, you'll just have to double click on the pictures to make them bigger, but take a look at all the rows of water lilies floating amongst those cypress trees in the water. I just love them! We didn't stay long because it was windy and Gizzy was antsy, but I enjoyed the little outing and I'm thankful for having this lake so close by. Tomorrow, my friend is working at the Outpost again, so I may go and visit with her for a while. Who knows? Maybe I'll spot another alligator. These two fishermen headed in also as we walked to the car to leave:
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
(Remember to double click on the pictures to make them big) Today, I'm going to talk about my surroundings. This post is primarily for my family and friends' benefit who live far away. Yes, I have a tiny apartment and yes, it's not particularly in the most prestigious and modern of neighborhoods, but you know what? I've been there, done that and I'm here to tell you that a fancy big house and an ocean view does not necessarily for happiness make. I live here amongst all this greenery (and yes, the mosquitoes too) but I just love looking out my windows and doors and see green all around me. It gives me the impression as if I were on a perpetual camping trip. Isn't that funny? Looking at all this green is medicinal to my eyes and it soothes my soul. Fuer meine Familie in Deutschland: Ich hoffe dass Euch diese Bilder gefallen. Die habe ich von meiner Wohnung heraus geknipst um Euch zu zeigen, wie schoen gruen hier alles ist. (Bitte auf die Bilder zweimal druecken damit sie gross werden) I feel lucky to have all these trees around me because some of the apartments have little or no shade. I'm also happy for the birds that chirp and sing continuously - it sounds like a tropical rain forest here. It is a perfect place for my cat, Middi, who practically lives on the window sills because bird watching is her specialty. Middi is also an accomplished lizard observer:
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Hello again from Bank's Lake. Today was a beautiful day (and still is) with a nice breeze. If you can stay away from the trees where the moist, shaded spots are, you should be ok with the mosquitoes not being too bothersome. I visited my friend (who runs Bank's Lake Outpost) with Gizzy today and we sat outside on the bench chatting about this and that (my favorite topic.) That's us: My friend, I and Gizzy! (oh, and the guy who's taking the photo) As we were sitting there talking, she pointed out an alligator to me. I left Gizzy tied up to the bench for a minute, while I walked on the dock to take a closer look. My camera doesn't have a very strong zoom lens, so I had to crop the photo to see it better: Just double-click on the photos to make them bigger and that should help. Wile I was out there by myself (without the dog) I took a few photos of some water lilies. They are all over the lake now and from a distance look like big, puffy snowballs. You can even smell them way before you get close to them (especially today with a nice breeze going.) Their scent reminds me of a mix between a passion flower and a tuberose. They smell sweet with a hint of citrus. I just love it! We watched the fishermen pull up with their boats and walking to the Outpost to purchase their crickets and such. The worms were all gone because there was a big fishing tournament yesterday. I read the paper and suddenly noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye...here came along this little skink, it's a form of a lizard, and he ran right past us and back towards the Outpost because he knows where he can find some crickets ;-) It was another beautiful day and I couldn't resist taking a few more photos: There were quite a few people canoeing and kayaking today. Here we saw what looked like to me a father and son team, coming back in: As I drove away, I saw a couple having a picnic under a tree with their three-wheel motorcycle right next to them. You see a lot of motorcycles here because it's just such a beautiful place to ride.
Yesterday was the annual Milltown Murals Motorcade event that focuses on Lakeland's wall depictions that reflect the year 1925 when the city of Milltown was renamed and became Lakeland. I have been to these events before, but yesterday I could not get myself to go outside in over 90 degree (Fahrenheit) heat. While many towns barely remember their past, Lakeland remembers and celebrates it daily with life-sized painted murals of life in 1925 Milltown. For over a decade now scenes of a bygone era by South Carolina artist R.D. Waldrop, pop up around the town – by the hospital, a park, the historical society and a bank building. Before I show you photos of some of the murals I took earlier this year, here's a little history: The painting of the murals began in 1998. The first murals event took place in 2000 when there were just 12 murals for locals and visitors to view. (Now there's over 25) Many local citizens dressed in costumes that reflected the 1925era and their conversation with viewers revolved around the mural characters they were portraying. That's my Gizzy sitting on the playhouse porch at Roquemore Park. I found this great (and safe) website with wonderful information about the Milltown Murals and whom they represent. You can also watch a lovely 17 minute movie explaining the murals and learning about the person who makes them. Milltown Murals Well over 75 owners of antique vehicles brought their trucks and cars to Lakeland yesterday to participate in the Motorcade Parade at 1 pm and later left them on display for viewing for the rest of the afternoon, here's one example: Classic cars were added to the Motorcade seven years ago. Notable examples of the classic cars parked along Main Street were a dark green 1927 British made Bentley, and a burgundy and black 1910 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost double pullman limousine. The band "Sweetwater Creek" played bluegrass music in Roquemore Park during the Milltown Murals Motorcade celebration and I'm really sorry I missed that because I enjoy Bluegrass. Journey to Lakeland, Georgia, for a taste of the rural South of the early 20th century when neighbors knew each other and horsepower came on four legs and motorized... 'Ya'll come and see us sometime, ya'hear?"
Friday, April 24, 2009
It's no longer good enough to read the ingredients list on the foods we buy. Now you have to dig a little further and you'll be surprised, maybe even shocked, at what you'll learn about the foods we eat: I highly recommend the movie called "The World According to Monsanto." (Link below) It was an eye-opener for me. It actually frightened me, especially since I feel that there's nothing I can do to remedy the situation. Money talks...(well, you know the rest!) The World According to Monsanto (Click on the link above to watch the full-lenght movie. It is VERY informative!)
Just to let you know that there is life after mosquitoes, providing you can handle being covered by a thick layer of insect repellent. I sprayed myself, my clothes and the dog with insect repellent before our daily morning walk and guess what? I did not get bit! I carried the bottle with me and kept reapplying so that I used quite a bit. I don't like doing this to myself, but it's either that or stay inside all the time. However, it's important to not stand still and keep on moving. Waiving your arms around helps too. Therefore, Gizzy's walk was a bit quicker than usual, but at least he got to be out there sniffing around and doing his doggy duty. Then, after we got back home, we both got in the shower to remove the repellent and now our day has started out right. It really was torture for both of us yesterday having to stay inside on such a lovely day. Revelling in Contentedness!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Today, we're confined to the inside, because when I attempted to take the Gizz for his morning walk, I got attacked by mosquitoes like you would not believe. I ran back inside, waiving my arms and pulling a bewildered Gizzy along. He's not supposed to be out there either because he needs his Heart Guard renewed. Everyone is commenting on how bad the mosquitoes are, so I know it's not just me being paranoid. It has to do with all the rain we had. I'm hoping that once things dry up a bit, they will not be as overbearing as they have been for the past three days because I'm not ready to hibernate yet. So, today, I'm spending the day inside, concentrating on a new crochet pattern and playing with Gizzy and his toys whenever he seems restless and bored. I might take him for a ride to Valdosta to visit PetSmart or Michaels' to give him a change of scenery because he's allowed inside those two stores. He likes looking around and maybe in the city the mosquitoes won't be as aggressive! Here's a little movie clip from our home and the new floor (that had to be redone in some areas) but looks pretty good now, I think. As you can see, it's a beautiful day outside. It's not hot enough to be shut in with the air conditioner on, so all my windows and doors are wide open. It really hurts to look out and not be able to go.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
In honor of Earth Day today, I took a few photos and a nice little video clip from my walk around Lake Irma with Gizzy this morning. I hope you can hear the birds singing. I love listening to all those different sounds. When I close my eyes, I can imagine being in a tropical rain forest somewhere. I just don't understand why there are so many mosquitoes with all those birds around. Don't birds eat mosquitoes? I know dragonflies do. Maybe I need to start raising them. (Click arrow ABOVE to view video) I set my alarm and we headed out early, since I learned that all the mosquitoes in Georgia are now after ME! Apparently it must be open season for DORIS! No matter what I do, they attack me. I sprayed repellent everywhere (or so I thought) but must've missed a spot between my fingers. Well, guess where I got stung? Also, they sting right through my clothes. I give up! For me, resistance is futile. I need a beekeeper's outfit! Or do like I do every summer - go out very early in the morning and then stay inside for the rest of the day! (poor Gizzy) Here's a picture of Gizzy and I that a friend took when she came walking up with her two dogs. On the way back home, we saw this log cabin that someone's building around the corner from where I live (they've been working on it for a while) Lastly, please click below to see how Valdosta, Georgia, celebrated Earth Day: Valdosta Daily Times
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Well, my name's not Mary and I really don't have a garden per se, but I do have some potted plants and some that I was able to plant around and outside of my apartment building. I have this big Aloe Vera plant in a pot, that really needs to be placed in the ground, but I will need to hire some muscles because it's very heavy. Unfortunately, a lot of the outside leaves got frost bitten this winter and can be discarded. I use the Aloe Plant's leaves all the time to soothe my rash that I get on my forearms when I crochet or knit too long. It really works well for me. To my surprise, it blooms yellow, not red, like I'm used to seeing, but that was in Laguna Beach California. I learned everything so different here. Around the corner, at the side of the building, I have planted some rose bushes that are blooming now. I have one yellow rose bush two red heirloom rose bushes and two pink heirloom rose bushes. They are of the smaller variety and smell very, very sweet. Right now I'm enjoying the colors, but later in the summer, I will probably make some more potpourri. Finally, I want to show you a beautiful, large Amaryllis flower. My neighbor has this plant in a pot on the porch, but they grow in the ground, plentiful like daffodils and tulips in the spring. This one is quite large. I would guess about 10" to 12" in diameter: My neighbor holding the two big blossoms together so that I can fit them in one frame. Aren't they huge?