Knobby Knees

Giant cypress knees and tree bases

Giant cypress knees and tree bases

Today was one of those days when plans just don’t work out.  Ron woke up coughing, sneezing — and grumpy!  🙂

More giant cypress knees

More giant cypress knees

Instead of hitting the museum, we took it easy most of the morning.  Read a bit.  Walked the dogs.  Cleaned the trailer.  I discovered some real surprises when I cleaned the refrigerator.

If you have a small camper refrigerator, you know how it is.  There’s not enough room to put away the groceries, so stuff gets piled on top of stuff, and the things in the back disappear from memory.

More cypress knees.

More cypress knees. It occurred to me that if the limestone underneath did cave in, the ground would probably still be supported (for a while) by all the cypress roots.

I discovered an almost liquid yellow squash in the abyss along with a brown-spotted cabbage.  And several styrofoam take out containers.  When I finished, the refrigerator had been scrubbed and sanitized.  Half of the stuff was thrown out, and I can find the things that are left.

This was the last of our perfect outdoor days for a while.  It got up to 67 with sunny skies.  Sheba and I walked down to the day use area and just meandered around admiring the cypress swamps, the river, the sunshine, and the incredible aura of peace that pervaded the area.

Flood level marker (I accidentally cut off the top mark),  A sign said that it generally floods like that about 4 times a decade.

Flood level marker (I accidentally cut off the top mark). A sign said that it generally floods like that about 4 times a decade.

Then I came back and grilled ribs.  Ron was recovered enough to enjoy the ribs, so he’ll be fine tomorrow.

It’s going down to 24 tonight, and tomorrow’s high will be in the mid 40’s.  So it remains to be seen what we will feel like doing outdoors.  It looks to me like it would be a great novel-reading day.

We will eventually get to the museum.  Manana!  (Which I have been told does not mean “tomorrow,” but “not today.”)   🙂

Classic CCC construction

Classic CCC construction

Limestone outcroppings

Limestone outcroppings

Rock remainders of one of the mill dams

Rock remainders of one of the mill dams

Nature doesn't miss an opportunity to fill a vacuum.  Here a new little shrub or tree grows out of a knothole on a fallen tree.

Nature doesn’t miss an opportunity to fill a vacuum. Here a new little shrub or tree grows out of a knothole on a fallen tree.

 

I have often seen old trees down by rivers covered with resurrection ferns.  But this was the first time I had seen the ferns just beginning to colonize a tree trunk.

I have often seen old trees down by rivers covered with resurrection ferns. But this was the first time I had seen the ferns just beginning to colonize a tree trunk.

Little Sunny.  Almost blind, almost deaf, and with severe arthritis.  He walks until he bumps into something then heads the other way undaunted.  He still love sniffing trails, eating, and getting under his chin scratched.  :)

Little Sunny. Almost blind, almost deaf, and with severe arthritis. He walks until he bumps into something then heads the other way undaunted. He still loves sniffing trails, eating, and getting under his chin scratched. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Last Day at Suwannee

These tree roots by the river look like modern art sculptures to me.

These tree roots by the river look like modern art sculptures to me.

Today is our last day at Suwannee River State Park.  I grabbed my last opportunity for a long walk with Sheba on the trails.  I am amazed at how much stronger I am than when we started this trip.  I am regaining my long effortless stride that I thought I had lost forever.  I feel great!

This is a little spring that bubbles up and rushes to lose itself in the river.  :)

This is a little spring that bubbles up and rushes to lose itself in the river. 🙂

I don’t know why I retain my childlike wonder at exposed tree roots, but I find them endlessly fascinating.  So that’s what today’s post will consist of — tree roots that look to me like they are out of a fantasy novel.

We had planned to go to O’Leno State Park tomorrow and stay until Christmas Eve, then go to Gail’s new house.  But she asked Ron if he would help Mike move some of their things from storage tomorrow.  So I am delighted to head over to their place instead.

Mushrooms hiding in an eroded root cavity.

Mushrooms hiding in an eroded root cavity.

I was really afraid of wearing out my welcome by staying too long at Gail’s, but she sat me down and preached me a sermon (figuratively, not literally!) on how welcome I am and will always be at her place.

So the new plan is to go to her house tomorrow, help any way we can, and stay there until after the 1st.  Oh, yeah… and I do a beef stew tomorrow.  🙂

This giant tree's trunk was as twisted as some of the roots.

This giant tree’s trunk was as twisted as some of the roots.

I got my little Casita decorated for Christmas and I think it’s adorable!  But I’ll wait and post those pictures tomorrow.

Limestone outcroppings along the river bank.  I think that acid rain eats away the limestone base causing Florida's numerous sinkholes.

Limestone outcroppings along the river bank. I think that acid rain eats away the limestone base causing Florida’s numerous sinkholes.

More fantastic roots.

More fantastic roots.

Suwannee River State Park

Spanish moss covered tree overhanging the river.  The trunk is covered with air plants and ferns.

Spanish moss covered tree overhanging the river. The trunk is covered with air plants and ferns. (The color of the water is not enhanced.)

We’re at Suwannee River State Park near Live Oak, FL.  It’s pretty chilly, but is nice if we bundle up and walk fast.  🙂

A stock pot takes up a lot of real estate in a Casita!

A stock pot takes up a lot of real estate in a Casita!

Gail was still very sick today, so she finally went to a doctor.  It’s good she did.  She was sicker than she thought.  But if all goes well with her meds, she should start feeling better in a couple of days.

I took some homemade soup to her this evening, and hope it will be the cure-all that chicken soup is reputed to be.

Looking toward the old railroad trestle.

Looking toward the old railroad trestle.

She was so funny.  She called me a little while ago and said, we need to define exactly how sick she has to be to be treated like that again.  😀

I spent most of the day working in the trailer, walking Sheba, and tending the soup pot.  Tomorrow I want to find the old cemetery again and get some good photos of it.  There are also all kinds of geological and botanical oddities here that I want to capture.

Some kind of fungus.  At first I thought it was leaves caught up in a spider web.  But it may be a feature of the mushroom.

Some kind of fungus. At first I thought it was leaves caught up in a spider web. But it’s mushrooms, and the webby stuff (that looks like mycelium) may be a feature of the mushroom.

Picnic area

Picnic area

Another old tree gracefully bedecked with Spanish moss.

Another old tree gracefully bedecked with Spanish moss.

Swings offering a perfect river view

Swings offering a perfect river view

It was a nearly impossible job to back the Casita in here without slamming the truck into the trees or the posts on the other side.  I'm ready for pull-thrus for a while!

It was a nearly impossible job to back the Casita in here without slamming the truck into the trees or the posts on the other side. I’m ready for pull-thrus for a while!

 

A Beautiful Day

The Casita tucked into the river campground

The Casita tucked into the river campground

We are taking our time leisurely meandering toward home.  Today we drove a whopping 160 miles.

The river

The river

We’re at High Falls this evening, but are in the River Campground instead of the Lake Campground where we usually stay when we stop over.

It has been such a happy, peaceful day.  The weather was warm enough to be comfortable in sweatshirts and the sun was out.  Ron and I felt especially close to each other all day, and being out together felt almost like being on a date.  🙂

We are still in awe of the fact that I wasn’t hurt when I stupidly tried to push the runaway jacknifing truck away from the trailer with my hands.  No one was hurt, the truck didn’t hit

Picturesque fallen tree

Picturesque fallen tree

the two vehicles that were in the driveway, we didn’t hit a tree, we didn’t back into the pond…. there were so many things that could have gone wrong.

I think my guardian angel was working overtime!  🙂

We’ve already submitted the claim on the truck.  Ron will make an appointment Monday to take it in for an inspection.  And then, as soon as the parts come in, they’ll fix it good as new!

Another picture of our sweet (intact) little Casita!

Another picture of our sweet (intact) little Casita!

We plan to head home tomorrow.  Then we’ll pick Sheba up when the vet’s office opens on Monday.

Life is good!!!

High Falls State Park, GA

High Falls, GA

High Falls

We spent the night of August 30 at High Falls State Park in Georgia.  We had stayed here before in the River Campground, but had never stayed in the smaller Lake Campground.

It’s a beautiful campground right by the day use area and the waterfall.  They have a pool, miniature golf course, playground, and picnic areas–all beautifully scenic.

our campsite

Our campsite

The lake campground accommodates smaller rigs, but the pads are laid out at a 90 degree angle to the road.  Very difficult to back into, especially since there are deep ditches on both sides of most of the driveways.  But once we were in, it was worth it.

I was intrigued by the rental yurts.  The camp host gave me permission to take photos of the interior of the only one that wasn’t occupied at the time.

The area is so beautiful that we plan to stop on the way back from Florida and spend a few more days here.

Another view of our campsite

Another view of our campsite

Plants growing at base of waterfall

Plants clinging to rocks at the base of the waterfall

The rapids downstream of the falls

The rapids downstream of the falls

Walking toward the falls

Sunny and Ron walking toward the falls

The playground

Ron and Sunny walking toward the playground

The lake

The lake

Yurts for rent

Yurts for rent

Yurt interior

Yurt interior

Bunks in yurts

Bunks in yurts

yurt opening skylight

Yurt opening skylight with ceiling fan

Gail’s House

The bad weather was back as we pulled out of Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park.  This is the view that welcomed us to Florida.

Florida clouds

Welcome to Florida!

It continued until we pulled into my sister Gail’s driveway, and then the clouds parted and blue sky appeared.  Again, it looked like a promise of good times ahead to me!

The visit with Gail and Mike was bittersweet.  We had a wonderful time together — as we always do — laughing, great conversation and discussions, watching movies and favorite old TV shows on DVD, Hardees biscuits for breakfast, pizza, and frequent trips to Starbucks.

The great thing about visiting them is that the guys have a ball together — just like two schoolkids — and Gail and I have time for our precious sisterly talks.  It is one of life’s greatest gifts having a sister who is also a dearest friend.

The bittersweet part is that Mike’s job is moving them to Texas, so they already had a contract to sell the house.  They were just waiting for the closing date.  So we were all trying to emotionally detach from the associations and memories that their property held for us.

Gail's home in Glen St. Mary, Florida

Gail's house

St Mary's River

St. Mary's River

St Mary's River

St. Mary's River

Gail drew the plans for the home and designed it from scratch.  Also, she chose the property on the bend of the river when everyone else thought she was nuts.  But her choice was a stroke of genius.  It’s above the 500 year flood plain on a hill.  So when the rest of the area flooded, she and Mike sat out on their back porch, overlooking the rapidly rising river, played their guitar and sang gospel and hymns.  It was a precious time for them, and a cherished second-hand memory for me.

Gail's house in Glen St. Mary, Florida

View from the bank of the river

I also remembered times past when we would bring our guitars, sit on the back porch, and sing the old folk rock songs from the 60’s, like Where have All the Flowers Gone? Funny how deeply they still moved me after all those years.

They planted fruit trees, grape vines, had a huge garden area, a potting shed, a shop where Mike repaired lawn mowers and chain saws for a hobby.  In spring the azaleas made it look like a cover photo for Southern Homes & Gardens, and in the summer it simply looked like Eden.  They grew the sweetest naval oranges I have ever tasted.  And always there were red geraniums on the porches.

In fact, when the appraiser came, he asked her, “Why are you leaving Paradise?”

My photos do a serious injustice to Gail’s house.  The unusually late spring meant that the yard looked bare and stark  in contrast to the normal profusion of blooming shrubs, flowers and trees.

We had such a good time that we ended up staying 6 days.  Then we headed for Juniper Springs, knowing that we would be back one more time to help them pack the U-Haul.

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