Heading Home, Day 1

Whew. Today was long, but quite fun. We took all back roads from Myrtle Beach to Montgomery, Alabama (actually we are in Prattville). It was fun seeing all the different small towns and industries as we drove.

This was cute!

We were routed by our favorite SC place, Georgetown, so we stopped there for breakfast at a friendly coffee shop. We ended up chatting with a nice couple who’s taking their boat all the way up north and going to visit the Great Lakes, too. The coffee shop owner volunteered to lían them his truck to get groceries!

Then we started driving through small town after small town. I enjoyed looking at well-restored old houses, the many churches, quaint downtowns, and old gas stations in various degrees of disrepair.

I enjoyed seeing what the land was used for as we headed west. When we started there was mostly logging and forestry. I looked for evidence of prescribed burns, determined whether they were clear cutting or selectively cutting, and if the pine trees were all in straight lines or not. that’s because I’m reading a book about forestry.

Clear cut.

As we got farther along, there were lots and lots of pecan plantations. They are so beautiful. It seems to really be a growing industry in Georgia, because there were acres and acres of young pecans.

It’s peach season, and Georgia is famous for them. It took a while, but eventually I found some orchards.

The only peach photo I got.

We also went through some cities. Augusta didn’t impress me, but I think we went through the wrong part of town. Macon was mostly traffic. Columbus, though, was pretty. Or vice versa. I’m tired.

And oh yes, the big industries we passed were plastic stuff, flooring, and tiles. It was nice to see thriving industry!

Other things I enjoyed were farms, creeks, lakes, and forests. I liked seeing wild roses and mimosas.

Tomorrow we have some sightseeing to do, so we won’t go as far. We’re looking forward to that!

We stopped for road work a lot, too. This sign fell down and looks like a guy bending over!

A Visit to Audubon Newhall Preserve

woods_trees
Lee took this pine panorama photo.

Hilton Head Island is a beautiful place, and there are lots of regulations that keep it that way. They do their best to preserve vegetation, signs are kept small (making it hard to find restaurants until you pass them), and building colors are regulated. It’s all very soothing, but a lot of what you see is carefully manicured.

woods_sun
The light was beautiful, since we were there in the late afternoon.

That’s why, after a day of real estate stuff, it was wonderful to visit the Audubon Newhall Preserve, which is 50 acres that will never be developed. While the area looks “all natural,” there has been careful restoration and preservation of native plants, which has brought all sorts of wonderful birds and other wildlife.

pond
The pond was filled with life.

The pond was made out of a natural depression that was made deeper, but there are also areas that show what the original island topography was like, with rolling terrain that allows plants that like it moist and sand-loving plants to live very near each other.

asters
These asters were covered in a variety of butterflies, including these lovely long-tailed skippers.

I enjoyed seeing plants I was familiar with from my childhood in the Deep South, plus some new plants that are native to South Carolina. There were also lovely butterflies, and I’m thrilled I actually DID get a good enough photograph of the asters to identify the long-tailed skippers, which are everywhere right now.

oak
Beautiful tree, and someone’s sample bucket.

I saw a yellow-bellied sapsucker and a number of warblers, including one with black and white males and brown females. I think they were black-throated blue warblers. Plus there were crows, mockingbirds, Carolina wrens, and a nuthatch.

sign_sample
Here’s an example of one of the interesting signs around the preserve.

The people who maintain the area have been planting many new specimens, and they’ve also lovingly labeled many of the specimens with some details about them. That made it a lot of fun to learn as we wandered around.

path
I wish you winding paths, peace, quiet, and nature’s beauty.

I guess the best part of the place was that it was not over-developed or full of loud people. Mosquitoes were the only drawback!

Travel through the South

mississ
Such a lovely place. The cannons do NOT work.

You haven’t heard much from us, because we’ve been traveling! We spent two days driving to Hilton Head, South Carolina. It was a glorious two days, too. The first days we enjoyed many small towns in Texas, since the first part of our trip was on state highways. Before stopping for the night, we visited my favorite welcome station, the one on the Mississippi River. I love the two bridges, watching barges, and all the colors. Some day I would love to take a river cruise on this river!

sign2We stopped for the night in Meridian, Mississippi. We had a huge room, but what impressed us the most was that there was tons of food in the lobby when we arrived. It was for all the people who had evacuated from the path of Hurricane Michael and needed a break. There was a real sense of community in the place, and the staff at the hotel was bending over backwards to be kind, including feeding everyone. Made me happy.

Continue reading “Travel through the South”

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