Blackberries are Ripening Here!

Lake Seminole Resource Center

Lake Seminole Resource Center

Today we stopped into the Visitors Center.  The exterior is beautifully landscaped.  But the displays were disappointing.  There was a 10 minute movie, but we had left the dogs in the truck.  Although it was overcast and we were parked under a shade tree, we didn’t want them out of our sight that long.

Behind the Visitors' Center

Behind the Visitors’ Center

The real treat was roaming around outside the center.  Not only were the views beautiful, but we found ripe blackberries!  I ended up eating about two hands full of them.

Farther south, at Ann and Cecil’s place, blackberries were just beginning to bloom.  Yet here, they are already ripening.  Also, for the first time ever I found new poke plants growing among the standing skeleton’s of last years’ plants.  Usually winter storms flatten them.  I can only surmise that the area right around the visitors’ center is a very protected microclimate.

Dam view through the window

Dam view through the window

We drove to a nearby town today to pick up some groceries.  My eyes were way bigger than my freezer.  When we got home, the only way I could get it to fit was repackage everything in zip lock bags.  I really love traveling with a well stocked refrigerator and pantry.  Always the worry-wort, I want to make sure that if a storm hits and the road floods or trees block the road to town, we will have plenty of good food to eat!

Blackberries!

Blackberries!

On our way to town, we crossed a bridge that had a gorgeous view of the dam spillway.  I didn’t have my camera ready, so missed the shot.  On the way back, Ron leaned forward and I snapped a shot through the driver side window.  Ron was reluctant to stop the truck in the middle of a bridge for me to get out and take a picture.  Can you imagine that!  😀

Today was a low-key day for us.  I read and puttered around.  Ron did laundry.  The dogs got walks.

Yum!

Yum!

We probably should have done more while we can because it’s supposed to thunderstorm tomorrow and be rainy the day after that.  But we’ll just curl up inside with books, crosswords and the net and entertain ourselves.

How Sheba will manage being inside all day is yet to be seen.  She is definitely an outdoor dog, and prefers being outside in the rain to being inside.  But hopefully the rain will be sporadic so we can get a few good walks in.

Pokeweed with last year's skeleton still standing

Pokeweed with last year’s skeleton still standing

At first I thought this was a curled up leaf until I zoomed in on him.

At first I thought this was a curled up leaf until I zoomed in on him.

Triplet trees?

Triplet trees?

New tree growing inside rotted out base of older still-living tree

New tree growing inside rotted out base of older still-living tree

Spanish moss in trees across from our campsite

Spanish moss in trees across from our campsite

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Seminole at Eastbank is GORGEOUS!

I remembered the lakefront sites as having no trees or privacy when I was here before.  WOW!  Can't believe how badly I mis-remembered it!

I remembered the lakefront sites as having no trees or privacy when I was here before. WOW! Can’t believe how badly I mis-remembered it!

Today there was a light overcast all day which kept the temperatures down and also made it possible to take photos at midday.

eastbank3When we were here before, all I remembered was that we had absolutely no privacy and that we felt we were on-stage in full view of several RVs in the next loop.  And our patio area had no shade.  We were camped between two groups who were camping together and who constantly called and walked across our site.  I couldn’t wait to leave.eastbank4

When I walked through the park today I was stunned.  It looked exactly as it did before, but what a difference in my perspective!  Maybe I didn’t feel well during our previous stay here.  Or maybe I wasn’t in a great mood.  In any case, this place is stunningly beautiful!

I’m sure we’ll be back sometime, but next time I’ll choose a lakefront site again.  Just not the one we had before.  🙂

Walkway from road to Loop A

Walkway from road to Loop A

But for the time being, our site tucked way back in the corner is marvelous for us.  I am reveling in the privacy of being able to read and lounge outside without feeling like I’m being watched — even though our front site is clearly visible from two other RV’s across the loop, it just FEELS private.

I was even able to let the dogs off leash for a while today.  Sunny always instantly obeys voice commands (except for Don’t Bark!).  Sheba usually obeys if it suits her.  But today, every time she would wander away from the campsite, I’d whistle and she would instantly come.  One time she went behind the truck and decided to take off down the street.  I called her, and she hesitated for a second, deciding whether to obey or not.  Then she decided to keep going.  But the instant I whistled, she raced back toward me.

Part of Loop A

Part of Loop A

I gave her a big treat… and then tied her up again for a while.  🙂

I found my first edible mushrooms of the season this afternoon — spring agaricus.  They are white mushrooms with free gills, with a sheath-like ring.  The gills turn from pink to brown as the mushroom matures, and leave a dark chocolate brown spore print.  They have a pleasant mushroomy scent, and there is no yellow at the base of the stem and they do not bruise yellow.  I kept them and took a spore print, just to be absolutely sure of my identification.  But I didn’t eat them because the grass was so green.  I figured the lawn had probably been fertilized and I didn’t want to eat fertilizer.  But it was a thrill to find my first good mushrooms of the season!

Flowers along the bank between the boat launch and the campground

Flowers along the bank between the boat launch and the campground

We took Sheba down to the boat launch and let her play in the water.  She wanted to go out deeper, so Ron waded out, shoes and all, with her.  One of our camping neighbors told us he took his dog down there and threw sticks way out for him to retrieve.  If I weren’t paranoid about alligators this far south, I’d do the same.  But that will have to wait until we are farther north out of alligator habitat.

It’s been a gorgeous day.  I’m so glad we decided to come here!

Sheba at the boat launch

Sheba at the boat launch

Tent sites by the boat launch

Tent sites by the boat launch

Spring agaricus

Spring agaricus

Spider hunting ants under mushroom cap.

Spider hunting ants under mushroom cap.

A larger spring agaricus

A larger spring agaricus

Maybe he's enforcing the No Wake rule? :)

Maybe he’s enforcing the No Wake rule? 🙂

Sunset from our campsite

Sunset from our campsite

Lake Seminole

corner site

A nice, private corner site

Across the street from our site

Across the street from our site

We are at Lake Seminole on the GA/FL/AL border.  It’s the Eastbank COE camp.  The last time we stayed here we had a site right on the water.  That section of the campground looks like an upscale RV park — but there is no shade and no privacy!  And people are always walking through your site there to get to the water.

This time we asked for a site that was more private where the dogs would have more room.  We got a site in the back loop, away from the water…. and it’s just perfect for us.  It’s more like a campground than an RV park on this side.  And we can still see the lake from our site.

Our front yard

Our front yard

When we got here, it was hot as blazes!  I don’t know what the temperature was, but with the humidity it felt like it was in the steaming 90’s.  But once we got our awning up and could sit in shade, the breezes off the lake kept it from being too uncomfortable to sit outside.  The direct sun did bake us from around 3:00 – 6:00, but after that the sun dropped behind the trees and it was manageable again.

Sheba surveying her new domain

Sheba surveying her new domain

Right after we got set up, a guy stopped to talk to Ron.  Turns out, he is from Michigan and retired from the railroad.  Since Ron retired from the railroad, that gave them a lot to talk about.  Then we learned that the other guy’s name was Ron, too.  AND, they are headed for Ft. Pickens on Friday; we are headed there on Sunday.  It was one of those “really small world” experiences.

Shady spot under the picnic table

Shady spot under the picnic table

We are camping here because we couldn’t get reservations for Ft. Pickens  until April 21.  We needed a cheap site with electricity for the air conditioner in the meantime.  So we came here and are paying $11.00 a night with our senior pass.

Unusual cloud formation

Unusual cloud formation

Cool Campers & Spring Flowers

Trillium

We’ve seen a couple of intriguing campers here.  The first is an old Trillium.  I think the owner said it was a ’72.  He got it when the previous owner’s wife died, and the guy didn’t want to take it out camping any more.  It’s in beautiful shape, and I do so love the jalousie windows that can be left open in the rain.

The second one is a home built rig.  I can’t remember if the owner said they have been fulltiming in it 6 or 8 years.  But they started out with a truck camper, but their truck was inadequate to carry it.  So they bought a Sprinter flat bed and mounted the camper on it.

Home built rig on a Sprinter flat bed

But they had a big dog, and their dog had nowhere to ride.  They said the Mennonites sometimes salvage old sleepers off trucks for various uses around farms.  So they bought a sleeper from them for the dog to ride in.

But, even though they cut the sleeper down, they still had to raise the truck camper to fit… so they built in a storage basement.  Then they added the cage on front to carry their generator and supplies.

This shot shows the storage area open

Later on, their dog died, so they converted the dog “room” to storage.

She also said they were in a park one time when a terrific storm came through.  So both of them climbed into the carpet lined sleeper with the dog and rode out the storm together.  🙂

I can’t remember all the details, but it was fascinating listening to her explain how their unusual camper, that is perfectly suited for their way of travel, came to be.

The catfish catcher

The people here are amazingly friendly!  Such a pleasure to meet and strike up conversations with them.

The fisherman in the photo and his wife have caught several nice size catfish.  The park has a great screened fish cleaning station.

I have been loving seeing the tiny little spring wildflowers that are blooming down here.  I don’t know the names of most of them, but they delight me.

Yellow clover

Little bluet & common laccaria mushroom

And a sweet little dandelion 🙂

The shelf Rob made me is turning out to be much more than just a coffee shelf! I've started leaving it up during the day, too.

A hint of a sunset

East Bank COE, Lake Seminole

The Casita at East Bank COE, Lake Seminole

We’re here, and it’s GORGEOUS!

It’s warm today — would be hot except that there is a very stiff wind whipping the water into whitecaps.  It looks like the beach and feels like the beach,.  The only thing missing is the salt tang in the air!  It will be very interesting to see how the lake looks when the wind calms down.

The wind is supposed to bring rain behind it.  But hopefully for just a day.

What is different about this COE park, compared to others we’ve stayed at, is that the sites are a lot closer together.  Not a problem, though, because the view is so beautiful and the neighbors are courteous.

We were warned about the sugar ant problem when we checked in.  So we have everything that touches the ground sprayed with Black Flag, and made sure our electric and water lines are up off the ground.  So far I haven’t seen any ants… so I hope it stays that way.

Sunny doesn't know what to make of the wind whipping his hair around

Me with camper hair!

Lake Seminole

Whitecaps

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