Sweet Wildflower Tonic

Stars of Bethlehem

I was feeling down today so took a walk to lift my spirits.  As usual, the stunning natural beauty that surrounds our property was the tonic that my spirit needed.

I first learned to identify Star of Bethlehem when I seriously studied wild edible plants.  I knew them then as poisonous plants to be avoided.  But now, I see them as little white gems of exquisite beauty.

I learned to identify Venus Looking Glass one year as I puzzled over the  weeds

Venus looking glass. On edit — these are misidentified. A blog reader gave me the correct ID. They are common vetch. Still gorgeous, though. 🙂

with purple flowers that ran rampant in my square foot gardens in early spring.  Now I treasure them as a gift before vegetable garden planting season begins. (On edit, I misidentified these flowers.  See photo caption.)

Little bluets delight me.  They are so small that they are easily missed unless your eyes are open to the tiny wonders under your feet.

I am not sure what the little purple flowers on tall stalks are.  They have always grown everywhere I’ve lived since I was a child, but it occurs to me that I have neglected to learn their name.   I will do a search and try to discover their secret.

Sweet little bluets, almost hidden underfoot

And dandelions.  When I lived in condos and apartments and houses in town, they were an eyesore and a blot on unbroken green, manicured lawns.  Then, in my edible plant studies, I discovered what a marvel they truly are.  Since then I have been fascinated by their intricate, enduring beauty.

I think age has also softened my perspective on what a wonder these precious little weeds are.

I need to learn this little treasure’s name. [on edit, a commenter has identified these as toadflax, possibly blue toadflax. Thanks, Kara!]

The greatly underappreciated, marvelous little dandelion

The endlessly fascinating little puffball that promises the next generation of dandelions. 🙂

Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park

We left northwest Georgia for Florida on March 11.   We had planned to leave in February, but the cold, miserable, rainy, seemingly endless winter had also made Florida too cold for camping.  The freezing nights at home also meant we couldn’t dewinterize our water system.  So we waited…. and waited…. and waited.

Finally we got a couple of nights above freezing, and the weather forecast didn’t look too bad, so we headed south.

Gloomy clouds

Almost there — and the bad weather followed us.

We planned to stay overnight at Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park near Cordele, GA.  It’s our usual stopover point when we go to Florida.  I had hoped the weather would clear up, but we got a drenching rainstorm instead.  When it finally eased up, this was the view a few miles before our destination.

Incredibly, though, the clouds started to lighten up as soon as we entered the park, and shortly after we set up the trailer the sun broke through and blue skies appeared.

It seemed like God was smiling on our escape from winter, and I felt almost giddy at the thought of all the warm, sunny Florida days ahead!

Notice how quickly the clouds lighten in the following photos.

Entrance to Georgia Veterans Memorial Park

Entering Georgia Veterans Memorial Park

The scenery as you enter the park is gorgeous — if you like the look of southern swamps.  I do!  The park is on Lake Blackshear.

There are also vintage aircraft and military equipment displays, a Boy Scout memorial, and a huge golf course and resort.  But we were primarily interested in an overnight rest stop this trip, so headed straight for the campground.

Georgia Vet Memorial favorite site

Our favorite site at this park

This is our favorite overnight site here.  The pad and entire picnic table area are gravel.  That means no matter how wet and muddy the campground is, we don’t have to walk in it or track it in the trailer.  Good thing, too, as there were puddles everywhere!

I popped up the trailer and arranged the interior, then went for a walk and took a few more pictures while Ron finished connecting the water and electric.

Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park Campsite

Another view of our site

View from fishing pier

View from fishing pier

Campground view from fishing dock

Campground view from fishing dock

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