Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Events

Well, so much has happened this month is seems I should have kept a journal so I could even remember it all.

We left Florida coming home on the first. Hated to leave beautiful Florida but work calls us back.

On the first Friday we closed on our 'new' home. I think I have confused some people about this, so I will take this opportunity to explain the situation. If not interested, it is not required reading. No test later. It is only our home away from home. Jimmy works 92 miles from home, so we needed a place for him to live the next 5 or 6 years until retirement age. His company does not plan on keeping him on expense forever. They would have bought our house and moved us, but we did not want to give up our home we just custom built 2 years ago. At the time we built we didn't know job would be moving. He will only spend the night Monday-Thursday (as he has now been doing for a year). He will be at home during the weekends. I will live at home, except on the occassion I go and spend a night or two during the week. We still don't have it ready to live in. We bought it with no water lines, water heater, heat, gas lines, gutters, and not much of a roof. The only think usable in the kitchen are the cabinets (have to be refinished), but the counter tops and floor will be totally replaced. The dishwasher was even missing. Jimmy's employer has been great they said no rush. He can still stay in the motel until it is livable. We did find out the gas heat unit had been supplied by propane (tank gone), and the water must have been well (although no signs of one anywhere on the property). So we are having public pipelines installed for natural gas and public water. The roofers have still not shown up, hopefully soon. Been working on the outside trim wood, some has to be replaced, then all has to be painted before gutters. Gutters will be after the roof is completed. Best part of the house is the main bathroom. It is tile, and I have not found a cracked tile yet. It is early 60's tile, but these colors are back in, pink and brown. The whole thing sounds terrible, but the house really is a solid built, full brick house. Jimmy is the greatest handy man, so he is doing a lot of the work. Click here for the post with photos. 1.68 acres of land, trees with that heavy mast crop this year of acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts, buckeyes, and probably some more we don't even know about yet. Lots of birds just hanging around for me and my camera. Already seen a woodpecker, can't wait to get some feeders out and see what comes out of those woods.

I had a birthday this month, no biggie. Did some Christmas shopping that day.

Thanksgiving day Jimmy was at the home away from home working, as it was a beautiful day in this part of the world.

Thanksgiving at our house was on Friday instead of Thursday. The children, spouses and grandchild came for the day. Had a great time with them, as we always enjoy them coming. They brought a Wii game and we all had fun playing tennis, boxing and bowling.

The photo of the squirrel at the top was taken late last month at Lake Seminole Park in Seminole, Florida.

Canadian Geese at Watts Bar Lake

These are mostly just scenery photos of Watts Bar Lake, but you can see the Canadian Geese, just barely. Please don't strain your eyes. The last photo is closer.
The left 2 are standing, and kissing. Looks like the 3rd one is coming in to break up the party.
These were taken mid October 2008. The fall color was just beginning to show itself.
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Eastern Bluebird checking me out

At my house we didn't have Thanksgiving until Friday. Thursday afternoon I decided it was warm enough for me to venture outside to see if I could capture any birds.

I have this neighbor that lets me wander around his yard too. I noticed he had put up some new birdhouses recently. I turned to see if he had taken the old crooked house down when he put the new ones up. When I turned back to look at the birdhouse I had just walked right past, this is what I saw. As you can tell by the background I walked all around it and the Eastern Bluebird continued to watch me.

I saw a post this past week that the person was wondering about leaving the birdhouses up. Sorry, I don't remember who it was. But this is the reason you don't take down the birdhouses in the winter. They use them to stay warm. The bluebirds have always used our birdhouses in the winter. I don't really know about other birds.
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Fall Colors, going, going, gone

This photograph of Watts Bar Lake was taken 2 weeks ago close to the Caney Creek Marina. This marina is between Kingston and Rockwood. The leaves were still hanging on, but not much color. The leaves are like this all over East Tennessee this year. When the rain starts everybody says there goes the last of the leaves. It rained all day on Monday, then on Tuesday I noticed a line of trees still covered in leaves, even with a hint of bright yellow scattered throughout it. Everybody is saying when the leaves hang on like this the winter is going to be a COLD winter. This doesn't predict the snows, that is by the fogs in August. A cold hard winter is also predicted by the mast crop, well in our area the mast crop is huge this year. I don't like cold weather. Wish I could go to Florida for the winter, but that does not pay the bills.
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Friday, November 28, 2008

Brown Anole Lizard

Took these photographs of a Brown Anole Lizard at Lake Seminole Park in Seminole, Florida during I trip in October 2008. He does get to stay in Florida for the winter.
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Osprey in flight - Sky Watch November 27

I captured this Osprey in flight at the Lake Seminole Park in Seminole, Florida last month.

Please visit Sky Watch Friday to view sky photographs from all over the world.

Ducks at Cumberland Mtn State Park

I took these photographs of Mallard Ducks at the Cumberland Mountain State Park, August 2008. Be sure to click on the collage to enlarge so you can see it better.

Hope everybody is having a ducky Thanksgiving. Oops, that is peachy Thanksgiving. Oops, Happy Thanksgiving.
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Happy Thanksgiving

These photographs were taken in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

So they are very well protected.
They won't be on anybody's table today. Hope everybody is having a great Thanksgiving Day Celebration with your families.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Story about the fallen tree

I know my blog is about nature photography and I don't have a photograph of the tree in this story. My daughter is the story teller, and she does have a blog for telling stories. But I just have to tell this story. My mother is 81 years old, she lives in Georgia alone now in the house I grew up in with my 4 brothers. She is a very strong christian woman, does community service not weekly but daily. Over the last year almost every time I talk to her she has wanted to tell me about this tree in the neighbor's yard across the street. She is concerned about it falling and hitting her house. She has spoke to the neighbor and the neighbor sees nothing wrong with the strong leaning oak tree. So my mother prays, and she says she prays about this tree daily. Well, the roots finally gave way after dark a couple of weeks ago. When it hit the ground and all the lights went off the sound was enormous. She thought somebody had hit a pole and knocked the power off. Transformers are loud when they pop. She was busy looking for the candles when a different neighbor calls to ask if she is ok, and did the tree hit her house. She says "The Tree fell?". Yep. Hit a car too. Just on the trunk, and the 2 teenagers walked away unhurt. Well, Georgia Power came and cleaned up the power mess and her driveway well enough for her to get her car out of the garage. But her house was not hit. The impact was so great that some of the limbs are inbedded in the concrete of her driveway. Not asphalt, but concrete. Couple days later Mama and another lady (Frances) about her age were out in the driveway cleaning up the little limbs they could handle. A man stops and tells her he and his wife are christians and they want to take care of all the mess for her. She tells him she will be ok, and will be able to handle it. Long story short on that is the man would not take no for an answer. The next week she is gone all day volunteering at the food pantry, stops by Frances' house on the way home. Frances ask her what she thinks of her yard. Mama doesn't know it until then, but they had been working in her yard all day. Well, I thought all along this man must cut trees for a living so he was going to give a day of service to her. But I was wrong. He runs a tatoo parlor and he paid to cleanup the tree and the 4 trees that were damaged in her yard by the falling tree. I asked a few more questions about him at that point. He and his wife are in their mid 2os, she is a hairdresser. I could not believe this story. My mother blesses so many people and this has been such a blessing to her that this stranger felt such a need to do this for her. She was crying as she told me this story. Her prayers were answered all the way around, the main thing was nobody was hurt by this tree when it fell.

The tree at the top was taken at the Spring City Park in Spring City, Tennessee earlier this month. Don't know why the photograph downloaded so small. If I had wanted it to it wouldn't have. Oh well.

Here's looking at you

This squirrel was as interested in me as I was her. This photograph was taken at Lake Seminole Park and Seminole, Florida.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

UPDATE to the spider post

I have updated the spider story at the bottom of the Spider in the Attic post, for all of the concerned bloggers.

Cactus in the attic

My Christmas Cactus blooming in the attic. Blooming in time to be called a Thanksgiving Cactus instead of Christmas Cactus, which mine do most years. I bring them down on the day of visitors, so the buds don't drop from coming into a warmer area.
Mine are not as large as Dorothy's blooming cactus. The blooms are gorgeous, but my plants are not large like Dorothy's.
I have a friend that has one that has been passed through 3 generations in her husband's family. It had not bloomed since she had received it. I told her to put it outside in the summer in an area well protected from the sun, leave it until the buds set in the fall. Be sure and bring in before any chance of the cold killing it. She has now had blooms for 5 years. I have read they have to have certain hours of dark and light. I have learned they just need some cool air to set their buds. If you can put out in early spring (well protected) they will also bloom at Easter. I put my on my glass porch after the coldest weather is over, and then I have 'rebloomers'.
Just have to take the close ups.
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Spider in the attic

We are fortunate enough to have a walk up attic. Like old houses, except our house is just 2 years old, get what you want when you custom build. I don't normally go up there very often. If I need something my husband is kind enough to get it for me. Well, most of you know he works out of town part of the week. I needed something so I went to the attic to get it. Dorothy has been posting her great photos of her Thanksgiving Cactus so I thought while I was up there I should take water to water the flowers in the attic. I know that really sounds stupid. But our attic also has a window. The plants that have to be brought in for the winter go up there. The bad part is I don't get up there very often because of my arthritis. The good part of that is, they don't need as much water during the winter because it is not hot up there, just warm enough for the plants to survive the winter. Well, I went to check on my Thanksgiving Cactus (because Dorothy's are really looking good). And this is what I found between me and all of the Thanksgiving Cactus plants. And the web is as big around as my computer screen, if not bigger.

So then I had to go back downstairs and get my camera, and then back up those steps. Remember I am a photographer, photographers will go through all sorts of pain for a photograph. Had not loaded the photos yet when I spoke to my husband that night. He asked what I did with the spider after I killed it. "Killed it?", I said. Never entered my mind to kill it, just wanted a photograph of it. He reminded me one spider can become 1000 spiders. Oh. I said but this web is huge, like Charlotte's Web. He told me never mind, first thing when he got back home he would go kill the spider.
Well, when I got home from work that night and loaded the photos, and cropped real close I wasn't sure if I was going to sleep well that night. This is one ugly spider.
UPDATE: Since so many of you are concerned about me in this house by myself with this spider. The rest of the story is my husband came home, forgot the spider, next day I reminded him. I don't know what happened to the spider, other than I was told it had been handled. I really have enjoyed the comments so far, but I couldn't leave you in suspense any longer.
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some much needed color right now

The name of this flower has slipped my mind for right now. I have seen so many dreary skies through Sky Watch this week I thought everybody might want to see some color. This flower lasted after some of the others at first frost, but now we are at the freezing point. Hope it comes back next year, like it is suppose to.
I have my husband looking closer too. He asked me if I knew this flower does not have the markings on the top of the inside of the bloom. He says since it does not, it is like the spots are pouring out of the bloom. He actually had looked into the bloom that closely. And he acts like all this flower gardening work is just because I want it.
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Hairstreak Butterfly

I think it is a Northern Hairstreak.
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