Here’s something fun and positive! Last week, the building where I work put up their lobby decorations. They are really nice and subtle this year, with logs and sticks as prominent elements. One decoration caught my eye:
They brought back memories of my mother’s favorite decoration back when we lived in south Florida, where people placed a small dead tree painted white in front of their picture window. From it, they hung lovely satin balls on ribbon, with a spotlight on the whole thing. It was so pretty.
When I got home to the Hermits’ Rest, I focused on outdoor things. Kathleen and I re-used many decorations yesterday to brighten up the ranch. As we did that, I assessed our tree situation. The bare-branched “nature tree” we keep up all year around finally quit lighting up, so it really can’t be a Christmas tree this year. It lasted many years, since we first started building the house, so I can’t be too upset with it.
That’s the question I asked myself this weekend. So I wandered around with my head down to see what’s there.
was surprised to find the lawn (sorta) around our old church property blooming away. Granted, they were tiny wood sorrel, blue speedwell, and pink storks-bill flowers, but they were enough to keep at least four kinds of small butterflies happy.
I saw lots and lots of these lovely tropical checkered skippers, plus elusive little sulphurs and a hairstreak. And my friends the fiery skippers still are hanging around. Not bad for December.
When I looked up, I noticed the big oak tree (the only tree on the property) seemed to be shaking, even though there was no breeze. Then I heard a whole lot of chattering.
The tree was filled with fat, happy squirrels. They ran up and down, jumped over branches, and tussled.
Why were they so happy? Well, it’s autumn, and this tree alone has provided enough acorns for an entire city of squirrels. Why go elsewhere?
I wish you the bounty and happiness these little guys have found. I also hope you are finding the life and beauty wherever you are. It’s there!
I’m spending time in High Point, North Carolina, where my step-mother, step-sister, and other family live. Mostly my husband and I are visiting, but I did get to walk around the woods that surround the facility where my step-mom lives, Pennybyrn at Maryfield.
I’ve written about it before in the past (on Facebook I guess), since she and my dad lived there since the place opened. It’s one of those places for well-to-do people over a certain age, with homes, apartments, assisted living places, and a wonderful nursing home. There are lots of nice nuns and a lot to do. And the buildings are lovely.
It’s on a lake that’s off the Deep River, and bordered by some lovely mixed hardwood and pine forest. I enjoyed walking out there today and looking at all the native plants and birds (the landscaping is also nice, but not all native). It was interesting to see what was and wasn’t damaged by Hurricanes Michael and Florence, which both came through recently.
The variety of trees is amazing. Maples, oaks, short- and long-leafed pines, sumac, dogwood, and redbud, to name a few.
And I saw blue birds, blue jays, crows, cardinals, house finches, and more (including geese I heard but did not see).
It’s just so different here from Texas. The trees are SO tall, and the plants so varied. And it smells great, thanks to all those pine needles. One of these days I’ll take another vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Sadly, the hurricane blew down most of the autumn leaves, and the remaining leaves were quite tattered. Huge old trees are down all over town. I guess that makes room for new trees and lets the sun in.
While I’m at a place where lives end, I always remember that death makes room for life. Hmm, good thoughts for the current autumn/Halloween season.
Adventures in raising littles to become budding naturalists in their own back yard and beyond. The wonders of the natural world await if we could only take the time... Follow me on Twitter @naturemomtexas!