It’s Halloween, So Time for Scary Hair

After the boating outing, we spent the second half of yesterday doing the required vacation pampering activities that are probably somewhere in the official rules for women going to resorts: You MUST receive some spa-like service or you FAIL as a vacationer!

The horror! Very unruly hair, scary eyebrows, and so many wrinkles. Good morning, Suna.

We did not fail. My hair had gotten rather unruly, and I’d been having a hard time finding time to find somewhere to get my hair cut in Austin, so hey, why not get it cut in Hilton Head? It’s only hair, right?

Oh, sure. I got an appointment with a random stylist at the place Laura from the resort goes to. It turned out to be someone a bit older than me, so I thought, hmm, I bet I get “old lady hair.” But, I enjoyed chatting with her, and I did get the back shorter, which I wanted.

There was a great deal of time spent by the stylist on blow-drying and spraying stuff on my hair. I thought Anita was going to die from holding in her thoughts until we got outside. I had very high hair. It gave me a good chuckle.

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Ahoy! We Set Sail!

Admission: we were not on a sailboat, we were on a ski boat, but nonetheless, Anita and I had a glorious time with Boat Captain Scott out on the waters surrounding Hilton Head Island yesterday. We spent two action-packed hours as our guide took us to beautiful spots filled with birds and dolphins. It was a very high tide, so we could get into all sorts of tight spots, too.

When the son did come out, it was very sparkly.

It was a gray day, so none of the photos look spectacular, and of course most of the birds were way too far away for photos, but I sure got my money’s worth out of the binoculars, which I was gracious enough to occasionally share with Anita, when I wasn’t all mesmerized.

What was your favorite, Suna?

Thanks for asking, hypothetical reader! By far my favorite sight was all the little blue herons in the marshlands. They were harder to spot, but so blue! Of course I couldn’t get pictures, but here’s what they look like.

By Sandhillcrane – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75471386

There were dozens and dozens of great egrets, a good number of great blue herons, and a lot of sweet snowy egrets. The marshes were crammed with them. We also saw two tricolored herons, so it was a good day for that family.

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Mother Nature Had the Sniffles

Yesterday’s big plans got thwarted, because it kept threatening to rain all day. Mostly it just drizzled, which made me think Nature has the same thing so many of my friends have that makes them all sniffly. It never rained hard until the evening, when we were sitting in the hot tub talking to random fellow guests.

What this meant is that we had to cancel our boat outing around the Pinkney Island preserve. But, we talked to Scott the Boat Guy, and are going to try to do it later this morning. It appears dry outside.

All the moisture makes decay happen quickly and beautifully.

We did manage a quick outing to the Audubon Preserve, where last year I saw a zillion birds, but had no binoculars. This year, yes to binoculars, but no to birds.

The pond was beautiful, even in the drizzle.

I really do appreciate the efforts the group has made to label so many of the plants. They have a very nice brochure that talks about all the different mini-ecosystems in the park and what grows there. It’s also where I learned about the original topography of the area, with high ups and downs of boggy spaces and higher land with trees. It’s not like that where all the houses are now.

This pitcher plant was hiding behind its label.
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Survived the Mosquito Squad! Then, Rum.

Onward and upward with the travel fun! We are spending mornings in the condo, since Anita is still working, just not all day. No rest for the contractors, you know. That gives me time to blog, and well, I did a bit of work today, because our Hearts Homes and Hands business got its licensing approved, so I had to share that on the social media! We are so excited!

Low tide in low country.

As for yesterday, we still had it in our minds that we wanted to walk and walk, so we headed over to another island, and visited the Pinkney Island National Wildlife Refuge. Now, this is a naturalist’s paradise!

Datura in a butterfly garden. Look at the little wasp!

It had everything I love, including swamps, wetlands, coastal forests, and ponds. My iNaturalist account got quite a workout, and I’m still not finished uploading things.

Marsh periwinkle.

I really enjoyed the little crabs that scuttled along the wetland areas, since we were there at a pretty low tide time. Little marsh periwinkles were all over the reeds, too.

Continue reading “Survived the Mosquito Squad! Then, Rum.”

What’s Prettier Than a Beach Sunset?

Nothing. At least that’s what we think. But, since Anita and I walked and walked in a beautiful area all day yesterday, I think I’ll share some photos of other things we saw. But, first…

The Horror!

I set off on a long walk through a lovely area and didn’t bring my phone! What a horrible discovery. My panic was averted when Anita pointed out that she happened to have a phone with her, and that it also took photos with GPS coordinates on them. So, she became the official walk photographer.

These are ringless honey mushrooms, Armillaria tabescens.

While our walk along Pope Avenue was mostly populated by non-native plantings, the sides of the path had all the native stuff I was interested in. The mushrooms were really interesting, especially the one I’m glad to have turned over, because then I could see the yellow bumps it has instead of spores. That was a winner. It’s a Red-cracking bolete (Xerocomellus chrysenteron).

The way out didn’t win me any exercise points on The Watch, because we stopped constantly. We spent a long time trying to decide if an animal we saw in the duckweed was a turtle or a frog. Whatever it was, it was really fun to watch it bobbing around.

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Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The book I read all in one day is The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein (also a major motion picture, which I did not see). There seems to be an entire genre of books written from the viewpoint of dogs, these days. In fact, here’s a list of them from Amazon, and you will see it includes a book by a human with “dog” in their name.

As for this book, it’s both about racing and being a very intelligent dog observing a life. Like A Dog’s Purpose, this one posits that dogs are put on earth to protect or care for a family. When they are done, they go away and come back as something else. For our book’s dog, named Enzo, he is convinced he will come back next as a human, and he’ll know so much stuff, especially about racing cars.

I can see how this book became a “major motion picture,” because the people in it are not quite as complex as the inhabitants of the last few books I’ve read. The race-car driver dad is just plain good, with just a hint of temptation to be bad. The lawyers are just plain lawyers.

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I CAN Relax, So There!

We all know that I am a busy little bee (speaking of which, look at the beautiful carpenter bee, one of many we saw on some non-native heather today).

Beautiful carpenter bee.

This week is my annual week in Hilton Head, and I vowed to actually rest and not cram every moment with work or stressful activities. Today was the big test.

Anita demonstrates a relaxing beverages.
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