Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Friends

A few Saturdays ago, I was driving to the grocery and saw a pair of cyclists on loaded-down bikes.  Cool! These guys have been riding cross country.  I lost sight of them in the traffic and my mind went back to my grocery list.  Walking into the Kroger, I saw them again near the entrance and had to ask about their trip.  The couple introduced themselves, Hap and Diane Eaton, from Ohio, making their way back home from Florida.  We had a nice conversation and parted ways, both into the store to shop for groceries.  They had told me they would be tent camping for the night at Timberlake Campground nearby, and taking the Natchez Trace north the next morning.  I knew it would be colder and windy that night, so I found them again in the store and invited them to ride an easy three more miles to our house.  Diane made me call and get permission from Ruthie, which was easy, and they agreed to join us for dinner and stay for the night.

At the time I thought I was a real rescue hero, but after listening to their stories, I realized they would have been fine in their tent.  These guys have ridden thousands of miles on cross country trips and camped in all sorts of places.  They were really nice and interesting company, and were grateful for the comfort and convenience of a bed, shower and laundry machines.  We had a nice meal, a few beers, and a nice evening.

Sunday morning they headed out toward the Natchez Trace.  I had assumed they would be up early and eager to get on the road, which they did, but after reading their blog, I know more about their routine and regret not cooking them a big breakfast. 

You can read about their travels at www.outbikin.blogspot.com.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 2013

The months keep flying by.  My time is ticking away and I am determined to squeeze as much as I can into what I have left. 

Forget about that.  Here's a picture of a bird, a Great Blue Heron.  They're very common and easy to photograph.

This heron is standing on top of a submerged tree trunk in the middle of Pelahatchie Bay where I happened to be on a warm, late afternoon last week.  I was in my canoe with nothing in mind but getting out in the peaceful solitude.  If you are a skilled canoeist, it can be the next best thing to swimming, and you can take beer with you, and a camera.

It's no secret I'm a bird lover.  There is an island in the cove just west of our home, upon which a Purple Martin Gourd structure has been leaning, and finally falling into the water for the past few years.  I summoned the help of Kyle and his friend Daniel, and we paddled over with shovel, digger, rope and concrete to try to salvage it from the water.
I had seen birds nesting in the gourds even as they were only a few feet above the surface.

We were successful.  Martins were flying above and around the structure, and I saw two inside gourds and others perching on top.

While we worked, men nearby on a pier asked what we were up to, and one told us his father had put up the gourds over twenty years ago. 

Next...touring cyclists in the house!