Last Day at Whitetail Ridge

Ron and Sheba and the little island that looks like Tom Sawyer ought to appear on his raft at any moment.

Ron and Sheba and the little island that looks like Tom Sawyer ought to appear on his raft at any moment.

Today is chilly.  Ron is gone to town to search out a good take out dinner.  He took Sunny with him.

I’m sitting inside the Casita watching the reflection of the sunset turn the sky and the water a serene mauve.

Earlier Sheba and I went for a walk.  I deliberately left the camera behind, wanting to soak up the scenery and Sheba’s companionship without distraction.

We sauntered uphill and downhill, enjoying the play of light on the trees and over the water.  Noting sunbeams that turned the brown carpet of fallen leaves to golden magic. Inhaling the faint scent of a distant campfire.  The almost deserted campground was completely silent.

We detoured to the water’s edge so Sheba could wade and lap up her fill of water.

I felt as though I were saying goodbye to something significant, but couldn’t put my finger on anything definitive.  Maybe just saying goodbye to another autumn as we head into winter.

When we got back, I was warm enough from the walk to sit outside with Sheba for a little while.  I treated her to a dinner of her favorite canned dog food instead of the usual mix of kibble and canned.

Then I watched the setting sun blaze through the leaves, seemingly illuminating them from within.

Now the mauve is fading from the water and twilight descends.

It’s been a beautiful trip.

My Hiding Place

Where I go to escape the world.  :)

Where I go to escape the world. 🙂

When I’m stressed out, or when I can’t sleep — or when I just need a little space of my own — I hide out in the Casita.

Remember the old song from Paint Your Wagon —  A Million Miles Away Outside My Door?  That’s how I feel when I’m snuggled down for a nap out there.  I also use Ron’s bed then.  His is 3″ wider than mine, and that makes a unbelievable difference in comfort.

I don’t know why I offered him the bigger bed.  I’m a lot fatter than he is!  Just doing the wifely thing, I guess.  But it sure is fun to get to enjoy the big bed now and then.

The RV guy came today.  The new furnace part didn’t fit exactly like the old one did, so he had to take it out and fiddle with it for a while.  But it’s finally working — beautifully.

He had injured his leg and was in an ankle-hip brace, so was unable to stoop to rework my battery wiring.  He said February is his slowest month, so I’ll make a shopping list of all kinds of little projects I’d like done then.

We’ve got reservations to camp with Cozygirl and Mr. Jerry for 3 nights next week.  It looks like the weather will be warmer than we originally expected.  In the low 70’s!

After that I want to head to another COE on the AL/GA border far enough south that the days will also be in the 70’s there.

And just catch up on camping, on quiet, and on the glories of autumn creation.  🙂

 

 

Autumn Splendor in the Woods

The forest floor decorated for fall

Most of the woods in the area are carpeted with predominantly brown leaves.  But while I was out walking today I passed an area where the fallen leaves were just blazing.

Maybe people farther north are used to colors like this, but this is breathtaking for Georgia.

I had not felt very well the past couple of days.  I decided to go for a walk to see if it would help perk me up.  Seeing those incredible colors was just the medicine I needed.  My energy level soared!

Last evening I saw one of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen.  The sky looked like deep, molten flame, and the reflection on the lake was so intense that it looked like an extension of the sky.  I took over 30 photos trying to capture the colors — and not one of the pictures captured a fraction of the majesty.

Nature outdoing herself!

Seeing these gorgeous leaves today made up for last night’s disappointment.

The mushroom season is winding down.  All I’ve found lately are various amanitas, (poisonous) a few small ones I didn’t bother trying to identify, and an occasional suillus (edible, but mediocre).  And one more puffball the other day.

I haven’t found any hen of the woods (maitake), chicken of the woods (sulfur shelf), oyster mushrooms or the coveted bears head (hericium).  I guess it’s the drought… or I’ve just not been looking in the right woods.  This has been the most disappointing fall for mushrooms for me.  I read on the mushroom boards that people in other areas are finding them plentiful.  Maybe I’m just losing my touch!  🙂

The half-eaten mushroom is probably a russula.

I didn’t notice it today due to the constant wind, but the two previous days while Ron and I were out walking, we have gotten occasional whiffs of the most heavenly scent.  Something is flowering, and I have no idea what would be blooming in the woods in the fall with such a sweet, evocative fragrance.  Hope we are gifted with another whiff or two before we leave here Sunday morning.

I’ve Found Heaven

I think I know what heaven will be like.  If it’s like a bright, balmy, early autumn day, on the lake, with a brisk warm breeze, and the overwhelming sense that everything is as absolutely perfect as it can be, then heaven is like today.

Puffball

And then, to make the day off-the-scale wonderful, when we took Sheba and Sunny for a walk this evening, we found a field of puffballs!  This was the first time I had found larger puffballs.  Up to today, the only ones I had found were small ones like the gem-studded puffball.

A very satisfactory harvest of puffballs!

We had some of them for dinner this evening and they were superb!

I truly can’t remember ever being happier in my life than I was today…. all day…. from the time I got up this morning.

What a priceless gift!

I’ll leave you with a few other snapshots I took around the campground.  Hope you feel the beauty!  🙂

Soft, velvety mullein

Butterfly

Okay, this one isn’t beautiful, but it’s cool. It’s an old reishi mushroom. 🙂

Just Camping

View of our campground from the fishing pier

Another laid-back day soaking in the tranquility of Lake Blackshear.

We had wanted to go fishing today, but it was extremely breezy all day until late afternoon.  And by then, we were out of the mood, so I settled for just taking photos.

When I got to the fishing pier, a huge blue heron (I think) was sitting on the railing.  He let me get closer and closer without moving.  But finally he had enough, and with a loud, raucous RAAAACCCCKKKKKKK!!!!! he flapped his wings heavily and took off.

I think this is a blue heron. I am terrible with bird identification.

I took several photos of him, and one after he took to the air, but I was facing into the sun and he was almost the same color as the gray wood of the pier, so the photos didn’t turn out.

But later, as I was walking back to the campground, I saw him perched near the edge of the lake.  This time he didn’t wait nearly as long to take off, but I did manage to get a shot of him.

Geese

We have also seen ducks, egrets and geese here.  And many squirrels.  But no other wildlife — except for the fish that jump and tease us with their presence in the lake.

I am really enjoying our second autumn here.  At home most of the leaves have fallen, and the ones that remain are all brown.  Here there are still patches of brilliant color.

More autumn in December. 🙂

I thought I’d share a couple of small mods I’ve done to the Casita.  One is a fold-out towel rack in the kitchen that holds 5 dish cloths and towels.  It keeps them out of my way in the tiny kitchen, and also allows them to dry.  I had it in the Aliner, and it’s one thing I made sure I kept, since I’m not sure I could find another one.

The other mod was copied from Andy Baird’s Travels with Gertie website.  I put clear epoxy around the outside holes of the

Fold out towel rack

Modified shower head

shower head, leaving only the center holes open.  Now instead of a broad, soft wash of water, we get a nice, high pressure stream with no additional water usage.

Enjoying Autumn

Saturday we drove to the Alabama hills. We decided that even though we can’t camp right now, we had to be outdoors. We couldn’t have wished for a more perfect day… sunny, blue skies, with temperatures in the mid 60’s.

The scenery along the winding country roads was gorgeous. We would top hill after hill and gaze at the ribbon of pavement dropping steeply into a valley, banked by green grass and pine trees with drifts of muted autumn splendor — all against the backdrop of the blue foothills of the Appalachians.

Unfortunately, I left my camera at home, so the pictures are recorded only in my mind. 🙂

In our front yard

Back home again, our woods also are glowing with soft autumn colors. They aren’t brilliant colors this year due to the extreme heat this past summer. But they still delight me.

The little neglected

Scraggly harvest

garden is, for all purposes, done. I must get motivated to pull up the irrigation system, clean the scraggly plants out, and put the garden to bed for the winter.

I’ve felt an increasing need to spend time on my ukulele with the longer, cooler nights. Also feel drawn to my neglected tatting.

Amazingly the peppers are still putting on blooms and tiny peppers that have no chance to ripen.

We have found a Casita. It’s an older one, but has been well taken care of and is in good condition. We won’t be able to get it for a while as the guy has to move his stuff into his new camper and have a couple of maintenance issues taken care of.

I am so hoping we will have it in time to go home for Thanksgiving. I am planning to rearrange it a bit and do some upholstering. But that won’t take long.

So, another lesson in patient endurance… I really didn’t think I needed any more of them! 🙂

Straggly bok choy in a bed of weeds 🙂

A wee bit of lettuce left

A few beans remain

A ripening tomato here and there on the dying vines.

Indian Springs State Park, GA

Our site at Indian Springs State Park

Our site at Indian Springs State Park

Our little Aliner is parked at Indian Springs State Park in Middle Georgia tonight.  It’s a gorgeous place.  There are very few campers here, so it is peaceful and very private.

Turning off I-75 onto Highway 42 felt like entering another world.   It’s a curving, two lane, very rural road still sporting autumn colored scenery, with several cattle operations along the way.

behind our site

Our back yard

We built a camp fire, and Ron grilled burgers.  As we were sitting around the fire after dark, Ron remarked, “This is real camping!”  It couldn’t have been a more relaxed and satisfying camping experience.

There is so much here to explore, but unfortunately we don’t have time to check out the Creek Indian museum, the springs, or any of the other beautiful sights.  We definitely plan on coming back when we can spend more time.

view from our deck

View from our deck

at the park entrance

At the park entrance

Ron gathering kindling

Ron gathering kindling with Sunny supervising

Ron preparing kindling

Ron preparing the kindling

me starting the fire

Me starting the fire. I was prepared with LOTS of paper towels!

got the fire going

I got the fire going!

Ron grilling burgers

Ron grilling burgers

We did discover that this is the oldest state park in the country.  Amazing that it is still so unspoiled.

Oh… I did want to mention the camp host.  He is probably the friendliest and most helpful camp host I’ve ever run into.  His name is Dick.  I’m curious to find out if he is here year round or not.  He seemed genuinely disappointed to hear that we were only staying one night.

 

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