Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Pets

He was abandoned as a kitten at a water park, and I brought him home 20 years ago. Always afraid to go outside after that, he remained an indoor cat which may be the reason he has lived so long. He’s a sweet, sweet pet.


See more pets or join Cee’s challenge here.



Festival of Leaves, Week #8: Maple

The color on our maple tree in the front yard was glorious at the first of the week.  Now, the limbs are almost bare, and the leaves are on the ground, waiting for me to clean them up.

Maple leaves

Maple tree-135146See more autumn leaves here.  And please join Dawn in her Festival of Leaves challenge!








Be a Weed!

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.”    (Doug Larson)


Festival of Leaves, Week #7: My favorite colors

The weather has turned cooler, and we finally have more color!  I especially like the orange tones.

Favorite 1


Favorite 2

Favorite 3

Favorite 4

See more autumn leaves here.  And please join Dawn in her Festival of Leaves challenge!



Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Bricks or Stones

Lighthouse cistern
Cistern for collecting rainwater in the old Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, St. Augustine, Florida

See more black and white photos of things made of brick or stone here, and join us in Cee’s challenge.


Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: In the Distance

At Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia


Atlanta airport 2

Atlanta airport 3

Atlanta airport 1

See more photos taken from a distance or join Cee’s challenge here.


Festival of Leaves, Week #6: Sassafras

Sassafras is the only tree I’ve ever seen with leaves of three different shapes. The leaves on this small sassafras tree growing beside the lane are just beginning to turn yellow.


We’re still waiting to see some reds, but with the weather turning cooler maybe that will happen soon.

See more autumn leaves or join the Festival of Leaves Challenge here.



Predicting Weather by the Signs: Wooly Worms

Here in the Southern mountains, the old-timers (and many young people as well) still predict the weather by “the signs,” that is, the signs found in nature.  One of those signs is the coloration of the wooly worms.

Wooly worms, also known as wooly bears, are found across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and are caterpillars of the Isabella Tiger Moth.  Their bodies are said to have 13 segments, corresponding to 13 weeks of winter, and have bands of black and brown coloration.

Some years we have seen wooly worms as early as the month of June, but this year I saw my first one yesterday…


Weather lore about wooly worms is found in three versions.  Some folks say that the amount of black is an indication of the severity of the coming winter.  This is the version with which I am familiar. The more black on the wooly worm, the longer, colder, and severe the winter will be.  If the wooly worm has more brown segments, the winter will be mild.

Other folks say that the wooliness of the coat predicts the weather.  The woolier the coat, the colder the winter. (I honestly wouldn’t know how to measure the wooliness of a wooly worm’s coat.)  Still other folks believe that if the wooly worm is crawling in a southerly direction, it is trying to get away from an upcoming cold winter.

This wooly worm was mostly brown, indicating a mild winter, and was headed in a southeasterly direction, indicating a cold winter.  Who knows what kind of winter we will have!




Festival of Leaves, Week #5: Muscadine

Muscadines are a type of wild grape native to the southeastern and south-central U.S. The vines can be cultivated but often are found winding up and around trees in the woods.

Because we still are having temperatures in the 80s, leaves here are not changing colors very rapidly.  However, the muscadine vines in the pine trees have turned a brilliant yellow this week.

Muscadine vines 2


Muscadine vines

See more autumn leaves or join the Festival of Leaves Challenge here.

Autumn azaleas?

Our azaleas always bloom in the Spring, and although there is a type of hybrid azalea called an Encore Azalea that also blooms in the Autumn, ours are not Encores.  Nonetheless, two of the azalea plants in our woodland garden are blooming.  What a surprise!

Autumn azalea

Autumn azalea bud

Autumn azalea 2