Thursday, January 30, 2014

Winter In The Deep South

We had been watching the weather reports carefully because the weather forecasters had been forecasting the possibility of snow and very icy conditions for our area yesterday.  That is exciting news for us here in North Florida where snowfall hardly ever happens.  The last time Tallahassee saw snow was in December 1989.

The snow did not come, but there was sleet and freezing icy conditions, which is also extremely rare for the North Florida area.  Local officials closed all schools because of the slippery conditions on our roadways and also portions of Interstate 10, the major highway running through Tallahassee.

Even though we did not get snow in our area, our friend up in Byron, Georgia sent photos of the snowfall that covered his neighborhood yesterday.  Byron is about a three hour drive north of Tallahassee.  Below are some of the photos he sent of beautiful snowfall in Byron, Georgia.

Snow yesterday in Byron, Georgia

Snow is so peaceful and beautiful.

What an amazing artist the Good Lord is!

A couple of days ago our daughter D'Nai who lives in
Nicholasville, Kentucky sent pictures of the snowfall in and around her neighborhood.

Snowfall in Nicholasville, Kentucky


Even though we did not get snow as predicted in Tallahassee we were so pleased to see these beautiful snow filled photos from our friend in Georgia and our daughter in Kentucky.

The ice is beginning to melt, schools are back in operation and slowly sections of Interstate 10  are opening.  We are quickly returning to normal and the temperatures are predicted to be in the 70s on this coming Saturday.

We hope you are managing to stay warm.  Wishing you a happy weekend with many blessings wherever you may be.

Monday, January 27, 2014

A January Walk

One of my favorite things to do is get out and join Mother Nature for a nice brisk walk.  It has been so cold for so long that walking has not been on my to-do list.  But, today was a surprisingly warmer day with the temperatures getting up to about 60 degrees.  

I grabbed my camera and headed down the back hill.  The day was very overcast,  but wonderfully warm considering what our temperatures have been for most of January. 

As you can see in the below photos,  the trees are sound asleep.

I continued to walk on down to the end of our street 
where this beautiful cow pasture is located in the below photos.

I love that old tree silhouetted against the overcast sky.

We only see the cows in this pasture now and then,  so there must be 
a connecting pasture for them somewhere off in the distance.

It is about a mile walk down to this pasture,  and it felt wonderful
to be out and about in the fresh cool air.

As I walked on back toward home, and up the back hill, I was very surprised to see this Japanese Magnolia blooming in the below photo.   My husband says it is called a Stellata or Star Magnolia.  It must be an especially early blooming tree.  It is hard to believe with the endless intense cold we have had that anything at all could possibly be blooming ... So, what a nice surprise!

 All flowers are pretty, but this is not one of the extremely beautiful Japanese Magnolia species.  It was still a nice surprise to see flowers blooming this time of year.

The hardiness zones for this Star Magnolia tree are from 4 - 9.

I spotted the Spanish Moss in the below photo hanging from 
one of the branches of this Magnolia Tree.

Walking on up along the driveway toward the woods I spotted this Coral Ardisia in the below photo.  I think this is such a pretty plant with its beautiful red berries.  But, this plant is not a favorite here in Tallahassee with lots of folks, because it is considered an invasive plant.  I can see why it is considered an invasive the way it springs up everywhere.

I was so surprised to see that this Camellia in the below photo had survived 
the intense cold temperatures and was blooming away.   How pretty!

And then another surprise walking up the side driveway I spotted this very unusual Camellia also blooming.  The little blossoms on this bush are extremely small only being about an inch in diameter.

My husband found this little Camellia bush at a nursery up in Moultrie, Georgia many years ago.
I was very surprised to see the freezing temperatures had not affected the blooms on this plant either.
 This cute little blossom is only about an inch in diameter and the tree is covered in buds.

I sure had not expected to find anything blooming when I began my walk due to all of our extreme cold temperatures this year. What a nice surprise!  But, more cold is on the way with our local weather forecasters predicting the possibility of snow tomorrow night.  How about that!  It has snowed in Tallahassee before, but it only happens about ever ten to fifteen years.

So glad you came along on the walk today, and also hope you are keeping warm and snuggly during this extremely cold January.

Wishing you many blessings during the rest of this week wherever you may be!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Natural Green Floral Arrangements

We have been enjoying these cold, quiet, beautiful days of winter.  As I look out the windows from our home it is so peaceful to see Mother Nature sleeping and preparing for the beautiful green days of Spring.  We have had unusually cold days and so much rain.   I am sure that will be an added blessing for Spring.

You can see the leafless, sleeping trees in the backyard.

You can see the leafless trees all the way down to the pond in the below photo.

It is the same in the front yard.  There are so many trees quietly sleeping and waiting for Spring.

Since no flowers are blooming in our area during these quiet days of winter,  our local Garden Club presented a natural-greenery-floral-arrangement-demonstration last week, and it was so interesting. You can see the bucket of greenery in the below photo.  The greenery was selected from a member's backyard that morning.  You can probably identify the large green leaves as the Cast Iron plant.

As you can see, the leaves of the Cast Iron plant look a lot like corn leaves. The Cast Iron plant gets its name form its ability to tolerate poor conditions and a good bit of neglect.   This is an old-fashioned plant which was very popular in Victorian times.  It grows very well in the South and survives the outside cold as far North as Zone 7B.

Our floral designer was very creative.  She started with a collection of Magnolia leaves in the middle and added multiple long leaves of the Cast Iron plant, which she folded in half tying the ends together.  She added a different kind of very long leaves and tied the whole arrangement together.   Then she added pretty ribbon.  As you can see she created a very pretty green bouquet which would look very pretty for a natural table arrangement.

I was so interested in what the floral designer was doing I forgot to get a picture of the Oasis she used for the base of the next arrangement.  If you would like to know more about Oasis and how it is used in floral arrangements just click on the below link for a quick demonstration:

The floral designer continued to add greenery from her collection.  I wish I could tell you the names of all the greenery she used.  Everything she used you probably have in your backyard also, or something similar.

For the next arrangement she chose a pedestal-glass-vase.  She selected the same greenery for the vase.  As you can see it turned out so pretty.  She suggested placing flowers mixed in with the greenery if you choose to do so.  I thought it would be so pretty with some camellias placed within the greenery.   Hydrangeas mixed in with the greenery would also be very pretty.

Well!  How pretty!  There they are in the below photo, the three arrangements she made.  How nice to take a few minutes to collect up some greenery from our yard and make some pretty inside natural arrangements.  She said they last for many days and make your home look so bright and cheerful during these winter days.

After that interesting demonstration we had a nice delicious brunch 
in the dining room at the Garden Club.

It is always nice to go to the Tallahassee Garden Club for a visit.  It is located in an old historic home  built in 1840 in the downtown area.  Loving old things the way I do,  it is very special to visit there.  I'm so glad you came along too, and hopefully you were inspired to create a beautiful greenery arrangement as much as I was.

Hope you are keeping warm and cozy during these beautiful January days and I wish you many blessings wherever you may be.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Woodworking Christmas Gifts

Our good friend who lives up in Byron, Georgia very thoughtfully each Christmas makes beautiful Christmas ornaments for each of our children and also for us.  We have packed our Christmas ornaments away for the year and I did not think to take pictures before they were put away.   Too bad!

He also made some more very beautiful and thoughtful woodworking gifts for us this Christmas, which I will show you in the below photos.

Black Walnut Candle Holder

Our friend usually finds his wood for his woodworking projects when he spots a downed tree.  For these candle holders he used wood from a Black Walnut tree,  which this time he found at a Wood Pallet Mill up in Robbinsville, North Carolina.

Black Walnut is such beautiful wood and was perfect wood for these beautiful candle holders.

He used  glass globes from a ceiling fan as the globes for these candle holders ... What a good idea!

What a cute and unusual pair of matching candle holders.  I know just the right spot
in our blue family room to put this beautiful gift.

The fireplace mantel looks like just the right home for these adorable candle holders.

He made this seven inch jug as a gift also.  He shared with us that someone was clearing land up in Houston County near Warner Robbins, Georgia and he found this Cedar wood where the land was being cleared.

Cedar Wood Jug

This is amazingly beautiful wood with all of the wood knots and swirling different colored wood.

He out did himself with these beautiful gifts.  It is hard to believe he is able to make these items 
from downed trees and to make them with such precision.

Black Walnut Wood Vase

I love looking at the heartwarming glow of candlelight,  made even more special
knowing they are gifts from a good friend.

If you would like to see more of our friend's special woodworking projects,  
just click on the links below to see some of his work highlighted in previous posts.;postID=6051190405110035806;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=153;src=link

Wishing you blessed days wherever you may be.