With the warm weather we’ve had lately
here in south-Georgia – no, let’s face it – HOT weather – it just really
shouldn’t be in the 80s in February – I encountered the first slimy salamander
of the season.
They always frighten me initially
because of the way they slither. They look so much like a tiny snake scooting
across the road ahead of me.
hikes led my husband and me past waterlogged, large-bottomed Cypress trees. “Buttressed
bases,” my resident biologist corrected.
chuckled at his loving, yet scientific-scolding.
more fascinating to me are the Cypress knees that surround most Cypress trees.
Wooden, knobby stalagmites. Sometimes short and stumbling-worthy; sometimes
knee-height and a bit more obvious.
Almost no other tree has knees, not in this fashion. Some have roots that loop and grow in odd shapes, but rarely do other trees have roots that shoot up and grow at right-angles to the underground, horizontal ones.
trees grow near ponds and in swamps and bottomlands. They can withstand
flooding and strong winds and scientist have decided they’re vital to the
ecosystem, preventing erosion where they stand guard like sentinels and harboring
much wildlife, even some endangered and threatened species.
first time I saw a Canada goose, I was way way above the Mason Dixon Line. One
of the first times my range had extended that far.
geese – adaptable, majestic-looking with their black head sitting atop a long
black neck contrasted by a stark white chinstrap band – are now found in every
contiguous state in the United States and Canada province at one season of the
year or another.
that wasn’t the case several decades ago, before they began migrating as far
as my little corner of the world, south-Georgia. When I was a little girl, I’d
only seen Canada geese in books or on television.
course, there was much I’d only seen on television.
under layer after layer, I braved the just-below freezing temperatures for
another winter’s walk. My hubby didn’t require quite as many layers; he’s
braver than me.
little corner of the deep-south had already seen more frigid weather in the
few short days of 2018 than the entire winter season just last year.
green shrub bedecked with red splotches caught my eye, and I first thought it
was a holly bush. Closer inspection, though, told me it wasn’t, and I sequestered
my biologist husband for an explanation.
walk with God this week led me past several bare pecan trees. I’ve always
thought they were rather unattractive in the winter, without their lush, green
leafy embellishments and dangling fruit accessories tucked inside husks to
protect the edible nuts.
Winter chaos and disorder
barren limbs always seem to have no order, just chaos and frenzy protruding in
all directions. And only a few random trees still have pecans
attached. But, my husband says if no squirrels have nibbled on the remaining nuts, they are undoubtedly not very tasty.
violet berries hang in clusters beneath chartreuse leaves, attracting the
attention of hungry birds and nibbling mammals. The American beautyberry shrub,
aptly named, certainly catches my attention on a winter walk.
arching branches droop with the weight of its fruit from early fall to late
winter. Some of the berries become snacks for raccoons and squirrels and
armadillos and opossums. Quail, cardinals, mockingbirds and a variety of
songbirds partake in the delicacies, too. And the deer forage on them heavily, too.
Yet, many of the
berries cling to the bush throughout the bleak months of early winter, lending color
to an otherwise drab landscape. The berries, though beautiful, are somewhat
bitter in taste, so they’ll do in a pinch for a hungry critter, but might not
be the preferred morsel. At least, not when other tasty treats are available.
I think God did
that on purpose….in fact, I know He did.
brand new year brought a special blessing for my walk with God today.
SNOW! SNOW!! SNOW!!!!!
many, that’s not a big deal. But in south-Georgia where I walk with God, it’s
just doesn’t snow here that often. On the rare occasion that it does snow, it’s
merely a light dusting at best.
beauty never ceases to amaze me. I’m in awe of His creations – the ones that
breathe in oxygen and the ones that release oxygen – as well as the natural
wonders, like majestic mountains, violent volcanoes, luxurious lakes, and shimmering