Thursday, September 29, 2016

Shag-bark Hickory Nuts




I have written before about my love/hate relationship with our shag-bark hickory tree, here and here.

The tree provides a home for squirrels and birds and countless insects and smaller organisms. It is the only tree we have that is tall enough to shade the house from the afternoon sun.  It is so pretty, and there is no way we would ever cut it.

Every other year, it has a bumper crop of nuts, many of which fall on the deck.  Usually, when they fall, the hull breaks into four pieces, expelling the nut.  We try to keep them off the deck (stepping on them could cause a fall) and have already picked up bags and bags of them. It has become a daily ritual, picking up the hickory nuts. There is still about a million of them on the tree.



Our dog, Sherlock, gets excited when we start picking them up, and he eats them.  Yes, that's what I said, he eats them.  He breaks the hickory nut in his jaw, spits it out, and eats the good part. Hub is amazed, and wonders if Sherlock is the only dog in the world that eats hickory nuts.



We have plenty of the nuts to share if anyone is interested.  Just be sure to message me before you come, so I can lock Sherlock in the garage.  You really don't want to come here when we are not home and mess with a dog that can eat hickory nuts.



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ethridge, Tennessee Amish






Last week, we drove to Ethridge, Tennessee, to the Amish community there.  They sell fruits and vegetables that are fresh, and Hub had a hankering for some raw peanuts.




















I have heard people who are fed up with our fast-paced society wish that they could live this kind of life.  Coincidentally, they are the same people who panic and can't function if the power goes off for more than fifteen minutes.


 I love their work ethic and the fact they believe in strong families.  I have no desire to join their way of life.

The peanuts are mighty tasty.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Scripture: Shield


Thou hast also given me 

the shield of thy salvation: 

and thy right hand hath 

holden me up, and thy 

gentleness hath made me

 great.

~Psalm 18:35

~

Monday, September 19, 2016

Migrating Hummingbirds



We keep hummingbird feeders up from early April until late October.  We have seen hummingbirds all summer, but nothing like the crowds we have had in the last few days.  I know they are migrating, and that we better enjoy them now before they are all gone.



Hub fills our three feeders everyday, and the hummingbirds empty them.


Could it be that this fat fellow is just showing off his beautiful neck?


I have learned to keep my distance from the feeders, as these ultra-aggressive little birds defend their nectar.  It is amazing to watch.



The average hummingbird weighs about the same as three pennies.  Can you imagine how small their brain is?



And yet, they are smart enough to fly safely over the Gulf to winter in Mexico, then find their way back to the same feeders next year.  How awesome is that? 




Five sparrows are sold for two pennies, aren’t they? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Why, even all the hairs on your head have been counted! Stop being afraid. You are worth more than a bunch of sparrows. ~Luke 12:6-7


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Scripture: Delivered



I sought the Lord and HE answered me;
    HE delivered me from all of my fears.

~Psalm 34:4

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ironweed


Purple escaped when no one was looking,


leeching from springtime irises, leaving them faded and spent.


Purple vanished, riding the wind until it was captured


by lowly ironweed,



 waving to us from the side of the road.



 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they

 spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all

his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

~Luke 12:27

Friday, September 16, 2016

Beauty, Berries, and Having Patience


 Beauty doesn't always come early.


Beautyberry (Callicarpa) would not catch your eye in the springtime, like the bright jonquils or forsythia.
It doesn't send out a fragrance like our beloved lilacs and roses.
In fact, the blossoms are so unremarkable, you might pass right by it at the nursery.



The tiny blossoms turn into clusters of tiny green berries that continue to go unnoticed.


Ah, but in late summer and early fall! In late summer, when there is that first hint of coolness in the morning air, the berries ripen to a beautiful purple that practically shouts, LOOK AT ME!


If the berries remain until frost kills the leaves, they are even more striking. The birds who visit me like them so well, the berries are usually gone before the leaves.



Planting beautyberries is just one way of rewarding the birds that brighten our summer days. Sometimes, there are so many birds feasting on the berries that the bush shakes like it is in a wind storm.



....and the man in charge drank some of the water that had now turned into wine. He did not know where the wine had come from, but the servants did. He called the bridegroom over and said, "The best wine is always served first. Then after the guests have had plenty, the other wine is served. But you have kept the best until last!" John 2:9-10 CEV