Hello There, Spring!

Lake trees and pollen(edit)

Apple Blosoms

Blueberry blossoms

Dogwood flower

It may have taken a little longer than I wanted, after such a cold winter, but spring is finally here and it is beautiful!  The flowers are blooming, the trees are greening, and the onions need a’ mowing.

We spent this last weekend soaking in every bit of it.  In fact, as I write this, I am still a bit flushed from being outdoors the whole day, but I am hoping it is only the heat that has me red and not my first sunburn of the season.  I do hate getting burnt the first day that I spend outside.

It wasn’t all yard work that we did either, there was a little bit of fishing as well.  In fact, we even got a few days head start with a short fishing trip last Thursday evening.  Even though there were no fish to be caught that night, the beautiful sunset more than made up for it, in my opinion of course.  The boy could care less about sunsets and really all he wanted was to catch a fish.  He didn’t have to wait too long after though, because bright and early Sunday morning, he had a few that managed their way onto his hook and into the boat.  Only briefly because they were all too small to keep,  but it was a start to hopefully a really long fishing season.  It has been two years since we last fished, and I think we all missed it.

Sunset at Brown's Lake

Now it’s time to put the fun aside and get back into the books.  I may have let the boy have some slack with school work last Friday, so today there is plenty that needs to be done.  Oh, and I must not let grading all those papers get away from me.  I want to end school with nothing school related left to do.  High hopes, everyone, high hopes!

Fifteen school days left to go… Wow, is that all?  Hope everyone is enjoying their spring.

Dogwood Lake

A Nature Walk

Nature reflection

When it finally decided to start warming up, it was towards the end of last week, a day outside was in order.  It had been cold up until last Thursday.  There was wind, rain, and even snow – nothing that stuck, but still it was snowing last Tuesday!  So after this crazy winter weather rolled on out, the temperature started to rise and the sun, well the sun just stayed behind the clouds, but at least the temperatures started to warm up, so the boy and I made a short drive to Mousetail State Park here in West Tennessee.

I really like this park.  It is so pretty!  It isn’t nearly as big as Natchez Trace, my backyard park, but still it is a nice looking place.  I really haven’t seen that much of it either.  There are plenty of hiking and bike riding trails that we have yet to explore.  But on this particular day, we were there for a nature walk.  There was talk of canoeing, but I think all of the rain from the night before may have messed up those plans.  That was alright though, I was happy to be outside and in the nice fresh air.

We saw quite a few things on our short little walk.  There was plenty of pretty spring flowers and even a petrified coral reef.  Yeah, I thought it was just a plain ole rock wall.  Nope, a petrified coral reef was there on the side of the road all this time.  It’s great going on a nature walk with a park ranger!

Nature rock wall

Nature coralthat white thing in the middle is a piece of a coral and there is another one off to the left of it

Nature Daffodil

I saw what an eagle’s nest looked like compared to a squirrel’s nest, now if only there was an eagle to see!  It almost looked like something poked its head out, but it was too wooded to really tell for sure.  There were a few little creatures to check out though.  Someone found a salamander, and the ranger had picked up a millipede to show everyone.  He had been carrying it around in his pocket for a while, which I don’t think I would ever want to do.  I am really not a fan of creepy crawlies, especially ones with lots of legs, and I especially would not want them as close to me as they would be in a pocket.  I am glad my boy doesn’t bring those things home with him.  He at least leaves them outside if he ever does.

Nature nest

Nature Salamander

Nature millipede

It was a wonderful way to spend a few hours of the afternoon, and it was also nice to not be shivering outside for once this season.  Hooray for spring!

Spring Fever

Instagram lake sunset

We all probably have it right now, spring fever.  I know I do.  I was given a small taste of it last weekend when it was a wonderful 70 degrees on Sunday.  I wore shorts and washed my car, it was weird.  You won’t usually find me in shorts until at least the end of June, if that.  I almost expected a sunburn since it took me an hour and a half to wash my car, twice.  But I came in not much pinker than I went out, and I also got my car looking good again.  Of course it rained some the next evening but I made sure to stay home so that I didn’t have to leave the garage and ruin all of that hard work.  It was very hard work, I was even sore the next day.

What else did spring weather have me do?  Pruning.  I just grabbed the shears and went to hacking off tree limbs from my apple tree and crepe myrtles.  Also, my few grapes needed some work.  I had no idea what to do with the apple tree, and that is part of the reason why it had never been done before.  It grew a lot last year, and I couldn’t put it off any longer.  I am sure I did a fine job, and I guess I could have asked google if I really wanted to know.  Next on the tree list, dig up the dead one, or cut it down rather.  The boys in my life are very much looking forward to that chore – my boy is anyway.  A twelve year old given the okay to cut down a tree, fun times!

I have a spring break to look forward to next week, and I really hope the weather cooperates so that I am able to get to some more spring like stuff.  If it doesn’t, I guess I could always do some spring cleaning inside.  There is never a time that doesn’t need to be done, but oh how I dread tackling the boy’s closet and that garage of ours…

Have a lovely weekend, readers!   

Walking in the Woods

winter time trailsIt was a wonderful day for a hike last Thursday.  A wonderful day if you enjoy hiking in the low 30′s, with a perfectly overcast sky, and a chilling breeze blowing in your face.  I liked it!  I felt cooped up all last week, and it seemed the school work would never end, so getting out for a few hours was a nice escape.

My dad has been telling me about these beaver dams in a pond not far from the family property, and last week was a fine time to go out and survey the neighbors’ dwellings.  Like I mentioned, it was a little on the cool side, and there was a bit of a walk to get to where the water was, but it was really a great hike and being outdoors felt good.  I wasn’t cold and even several times I found myself getting kind of warm in my multiple layers of clothing.

When we got to the waterside, I kind of expected to see some ice, but I didn’t expect for so much of the pond to be frozen.  It was solid enough to really get out onto it.  We probably could have even walked our way pretty close to the beaver dam, but didn’t bother to see if it was really possible.  Taking pictures standing over shallow water seemed the safer option for me.

I don’t know the distance that we walked total, however, it was about an hour and a half to a two hour trek, with plenty of time to stop and enjoy the surroundings.  Standing on the water, my boy was sure he saw a turtle, but once the camera came out, this turtle was nowhere to be seen.  He was swimming under the ice, and it was hard to get a good look, plus at one point there was this loud crack that kind of got me distracted from my turtle hunting.  I didn’t want to find out how deep the water really was, or how cold.

It’s not everyday that you find yourself walking on frozen ponds here in West Tennessee, and it isn’t everyday you get to see a real live beaver dam.  Well, I guess you could see a real live beaver dam everyday if you walked the trails more often than I do. ;-)

The Beaver Pond

Standing on the ice

EJ on the ice

a log in the frozen pond

beaver pond

EJ on the beaver pond edit

You’re on Candid Camera

Candid CameraA very familiar sight for me this time of the year, is something that looks a lot like what is pictured in this tree above.  I live in a house with hunters, and this is a plot watcher, or a hidden camera for wildlife.  I know all about these things.  What I didn’t expect was to find not one, but two attached to a couple of trees while out taking blog pictures, OF MYSELF, one morning.

I am the one that will be appearing on candid camera, I am afraid.  You see, I recently found a new favorite spot for taking blog photos, it is in the state park, a few turns off of the main road, on the way to a picnic shelter.  There is never anyone around and it is not a problem to just park on the road and set up the tripod.  Nobody has ever driven by and the boy is quite content knowing he won’t be embarrassed by anyone who might see him with me, his crazy mommy who occasionally takes pictures of herself, for her blog.

This week, I drove just a little further down the road to the parking area where there was an old wooden fence I thought I could use for a backdrop.  As I was tromping through the leaves, tripod in hand, looking for the perfect place to set up and shoot, I glanced at a nearby tree, and saw the strangest looking camo colored bird house with a lock on it.  That is weird I thought, then yelled after the boy to hurry up and bring the camera when I realized that this was no bird house, it was in fact a deer camera, and it had been capturing my whole self-photo, scouting session!  Immediately, I packed up my stuff, and headed back to the car, laughing the whole way.  Everything had been, and even still was, being recorded.  I thought I had parked out of range, but turns out, as I was stopping to take a very sneaky side view picture of this camera, for the blog, I noticed another one on a different tree right in front of me, ugh!  Who knows how many there were and how long they have been set up.  The state park just may have all of  my outtake photos for the last several months!  OH. NO! 

I drive through this park a lot, and have a pretty distinctive car that is very occasionally parked on side roads and trails to take photos, mostly of myself, and now I am trying to remember if any of the Rangers seemed to be pointing and laughing when they have driven passed me.  All of this time I thought they were just raising their hands up to give me a friendly hello, but now, I am not so sure…

Instead of looking for the perfect photo location, I am on the lookout for hidden cameras in the park.  I also have my eye on those Rangers; I hope they really aren’t pointing and laughing.