Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Last Day of Summer 2017

Hello Everyone!  It is so hard to believe today is the last day of Summer for this year.

In these last couple of weeks we have been busy here in North Florida dodging the hurricanes coming our way.  We were lucky with only hurricane Irma stopping by for a visit. By the time she reached us, she was very weak and did not cause much damage.  There were fallen tree branches, a few trees down and we were without power for two days.  Compared to our South Florida neighbors, Texas and those in the Caribbean we were very lucky.  

Our prayers go out to all who were so adversely impacted by the storms this Summer.  And, also our prayers are with the people of Mexico who now are trying to recover from the major earthquake that hit their area yesterday.  Wow!  Mother Nature can really get angry!

School has begun in our area and so have Garden Club meetings.  One of our members invited our Circle to her home for our first meeting, a tour of her lovely garden and a delicious brunch.  Of course I brought my camera along to try to capture the special moments.

It was an inspiration to see all of the beautiful back patio plants seen in the below photo.

Our hostess Mary Ann lead the tour of her beautiful garden.  

I especially loved the Morning Glories blooming in her garden.

And, the Zinnias were so pretty too.

The below photo shows the pretty plant on the back patio table ... Possibly a Zinnia too!

This was a very tropical looking flower blooming up against the back brick wall ... So pretty!

And in the below photo we see pretty little red peppers.

Another colorful plant growing in the garden.

And, another unusual flower growing in the garden.

And in the below photo we see a very charming Blue Bird home.

The lovely red plant seen in the below photo looks like it 
may be part of the coleus plant family.

In the below photo we see the most common hurricane lily in Florida, also known as red spider lily.

And, another unusual flower.

The fruit seen in the below photo is called Meyer Lemon.

Meyer Lemon trees are a popular citrus tree in our area.

Meyer Lemon fruits have a sweeter, less acidic flavor 
than the more common lemons purchased from the grocery store.

In the below photo we see garden plants lining the back patio.

Below we see some of the tour group learning more about individual plants.

The ladies gathered together for a group photo on the back patio.

After the garden tour our group had their business meeting.  Then we adjourned to enjoy the delicious brunch with covered dish items brought by Daffodil Circle members.

We see breakfast egg muffins, spinach/artichoke dip with kale chips, broccoli casserole, Caesar salad, lemon pound cake, bean and corn salad, cheese and crackers, chocolate cake with cherries and whip cream, ham quiche, fruit salad and coconut cake.

Unusual "bird house" salad fork and spoon.

Lovely centerpiece by hostess Mary Ann.

Thank you for coming along with all of us as we enjoyed this beautiful garden and the last few days of Summer for this year.   In a way I hate to see Summer come to an end, but then Fall has it's own beauty and fresh, dry and cool air coming into the area before too long.

We surely do hope you and yours were not affected by the winds and rains from the Summer hurricanes.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend and many special blessings wherever you may be.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

💥🌓 Mountain Top Eclipse Party August 21, 1917 🌑☀️

Hi Everyone.  Yes, yesterday was eclipse day and I hope you had fun enjoying this special day.  

If you have visited Sweet Southern Days in the past, you know I have shared mountain cabin photos on several occasions.  
We very much enjoy visiting the mountain cabin located in Robinsville, North Carolina as often as possible.  As it turns out the town of Robinsville would be directly in the path of the eclipse.  We could not plan to be there due to an annual upcoming trip to Panama City to visit my husband's Fraternity Brothers from his college days ... something he would not want to miss.

Since our cabin is located on the very top of the mountain in the Snowbird area, our mountain neighbors through it would be a good idea to gather there for this special event.  Alice and Doug and John and Carol, our closest mountain neighbors down on the creek, organized the event which would include bringing lawn chairs and picnic lunches for everyone.  

Alice said that she would be the official photographer and would send photos, especially so I could share them with you here on Sweet Southern Days.  So, we can all thank Alice for taking the time from all this excitement to share these photos with us.

Looks like everyone is having a good time!

Everyone getting ready.

Great neighbors from down on the creek ... John and Carol and Hollis. 

Our neighbor Stephen looks like he really knows what he is doing with that big lens.
And as the eclipse progresses we will see some of his amazing shots in the photos below.

And it begins ...

Looks like almost total darkness.

Here we see Stephen's amazing professional photos of the eclipse.

Isn't this an amazing photo of the total eclipse.

A little light coming back ...

And finally a photo of all of the mountains neighbors enjoying
fun times together up on top of the mountain during this special eclipse.

When we visit the mountains in Robinsville we try to visit with as
many of these special neighbors as possible.  How blessed we are to know them!

Thanks for stopping by and joining in the Eclipse Party.
Wishing you many blessings for the rest of your week wherever you may be.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Day Of The Eclipse

Hi Everyone.  Yesterday was an exciting day all around the country with the great anticipation of the first solar eclipse since the year 1979.   Yes, I can remember that day back then when it became almost dark in the middle of the day.  I especially remember the birds beginning to chirp, as they do in the early morning, as the sun begins to rise as the eclipse ended.

Photo below from NASA showing the main path of the Eclipse.

One of our friends shared the site below with us.  It was really could go to the site, click in your Zip Code and then you could see the path and time the eclipse would begin and end.  Even though the eclipse is over now you still may want to click on the site below just for fun.

As we clicked on the above site and typed in our Zip Code these are the images we saw.

So, of course, it was with great anticipation I got my camera and my husband and I headed down to the pasture by the pond to get a clear view of this amazing event.  Before we left, I snapped a couple of photos outside in hopes of showing how normal everything seemed to be on this amazing day.

Looking outside everything seemed normal.  There were still many visitors to the bird feeder, which is located just outside the kitchen window.  There had been woodpeckers, bluejays and redbirds stopping by the feeder.  But for this photo below we only see one redbird.

As we looked up from the pond everything seemed normal and peaceful.

Approaching the pond we spotted lots of clouds.

And even more possible rain clouds in the other direction.

We did not have any viewing glasses, but according to the time we knew the eclipse had begun.

Not wanting to look at the sun directly I pointed the camera up in the sky and did succeed in getting this photo of the sun, but it just looked normal even though we knew the eclipse was in the process.

We kept waiting for our area to become darker, but nothing seemed
to be happening as you can see in the below photo.

At this point according to our information our area was very close to peak,
but everything still seemed bright and shiny.

And, the below photo shows the eclipse right at the 2:40 PM peak for our area. We were amazed that the whole area did look a little bit like it might look if you were viewing through light sunglasses, but actually there was not much change.  We were so surprised there was not more darkness considering the sun was blocked more than three-fourths of the way.

The below photo shows the area as dark as it would be, which was not very dark.
The brightness was just a little more muted than normal.

Our daughter Stephanie and grandson Chase took some unusual photos with a cell phone from her home not too far away from us.  She pointed the cell phone camera toward hot-tub water, which was reflecting the sun,  and captured these photos below.   She was not looking directly at the sun and was still able to see the eclipse in the reflection of the water.

And, my brother Tim who lives out in Los Angeles, California, who is a real photographer, was able to get some amazing photos.   He shared that he shot the photos shown below with a 300mm lens, f32, 4000/sec. and 4x neutral density filter.

Lots of folks were out and about enjoying the beauty all around us and many were trying to capture this moment in time.   But, don't worry, if you missed this eclipse, according to CNN News, there will be another total eclipse on April 8, 2024.

Wishing you a wonderful rest of your week and wishing you many blessings wherever you may be.