The Old Lady loves binoculars. They are her favorite toy.
One day she was sitting in the woods on an oak root, scanning idly up a dead tree. The very second she focused on a hole in the tree, a red-bellied woodpecker popped its head out of the hole!
His silky red crest blazed like a fire in the sunshine. He squawked once and pulled his head back inside.
The Old Lady could hear him tap-tap-tapping inside the cavity.
Then he stuck his head out again, this time with a beakful of wood shavings. He shook his head as he released the shavings, which blew away on the breeze. He squawked again.
Was he announcing to nearby females that the nest was almost ready? Was he warning fellow males that this territory was taken? Or was he making conversation with The Old Lady?
You just never know what you might see through binoculars!
There is a county highway that runs from Old Town, Florida, out toward the coastline. After miles and miles of pine forest and palmetto scrub the road ends at Suwanee which is a retreat for recreational fisherpeople.
Along one of the many canals there are beautiful blue iris growing wild in a cypress swamp.
There is also an excellent little seafood restaurant where The Old Lady enjoyed fresh-caught shrimp and a cold beer.
But the iris would have been enough.
Near the tiny town of Jennings, Florida, and far out at the end of a sand road The Old Lady discovered a cemetery on a bluff above the Alapaha River.
The oldest gravestone belongs to George Jennings, who might be assumed to have founded the nearby Jennings Plantation.
Alongside are the gravestones of his eight children, all of which specify their parentage as George and Mary E. Jennings…
… and also the stone commemorating Eliza C.A. Jennings, “Consort of Geo. Jennings”…
… but there is no stone to be found for mother Mary E.
A mystery story… and the details died along with the cast of characters.
Sometimes, somebody really DOES make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Cedar Lakes and Woods near Williston, Florida, is a prime example.
Somebody looked at an abandoned limestone quarry and saw a garden, then made it so.
A product of human hands, this Disneyland in the woods is an artificial wonderland constructed of natural materials like plants, rocks, and dirt.
What had been a raw wound on the surface of the planet is now covered with a healing layer of life.
“Is this how we reforest the world?” mused The Old Lady.