What a Perfect Day!

Camping at Mom's

Camping at Mom’s

Hope took this picture of a black capped chickadee today

Hope took this picture of a black capped chickadee today

All of the tension, stress and depression of the last three months I was stuck at home are gone!  We spent all day today out in warm sunshine and fresh air.  It’s the best medicine on earth!  We feel relaxed, stress-free, happy and are thrilled that the day turned out so perfect!

We slept with all the windows open last night.  Then this morning started out chilly, but warmed up beautifully.  The thermometer on Mom’s back porch read 82 degrees this afternoon when I went in to get hot dogs and hamburgers ready for the grill.

It was lovely popping into Mom’s and Hope’s houses for visits on and off all day.  Hope showed me several inventive things she’s devised to attract birds for her to photograph.

Most of the spring flowers are gone now, but a few azaleas are left.

Most of the spring flowers are gone now, but a few azaleas are left.

Then Ann and Cecil came down this afternoon.  We spent time visiting outside under the big old live oak tree, then ate dinner and visited inside until we were all too sleepy to be very good company.  Just a perfect family get-together.

Sheba and Sunny had a blast being able to run free all day.  Sheba stayed out of the neighbor’s horse pasture this time.  And she quickly learned the boundaries she couldn’t stray beyond.

Fern fiddlehead -- from a Boston fern in Hope's garden.

Fern fiddlehead — from a Boston fern in Hope’s garden.

However, she HATES to come in the trailer at night.  We were able to get her in the last two nights, but simply can’t catch her to bring her in this evening.  She runs when we call her and she is so fast she evades any efforts we make.  She does stay right on the porch mat when we come inside because she is afraid of the dark.  So we have turned the porch light out, hoping against hope that she would rather come into the trailer with us than stay out in the dark alone.

We do so well with her at home.  But camping always seems to present a crisis in dealing with her.

The afternoon light patterns in Mom's yard are magical.  :)

The afternoon light patterns in Mom’s yard are magical. 🙂

P.S.  Ron was finally able to wrestle her inside.

The last remaining pear blooms

The last remaining pear blooms

Sunlight shining through hand soap dispenser this morning.  Another magic moment!

Sunlight shining through hand soap dispenser this morning. Another magic moment!

Unknown... but it's one of the last remaining clumps of blooms on this tree, too.

Unknown… but it’s one of the last remaining clumps of blooms on this tree, too.

Doggie bonding

Doggie bonding

Wood sorrel

Wood sorrel

Pretty little purple wildflowers behind wood sorrel

Pretty little purple wildflowers behind wood sorrel

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Spring Gems in the Woods

Eastern redbud tree blossoms

Today was another chilly, windy day.  We walked through the woods and found the usual unbroken brown landscape.  But when we got back to camp, the sun was low in the sky and illuminated something I had missed before.  Behind the skeleton of a shrub still clinging to some of its brown leaves was this glorious young redbud tree!  I was stunned that I had missed it earlier!

Arrow leaf ginger flowers

Thrilled with that discovery, I turned to leave when I noticed green arrow leaf ginger leaves among the leaf litter below.  Curious, I followed the long stems with my fingers where they disappeared beneath the leaves, and dug around in the leaves.  And for the first time ever I saw their purple, urn-shaped blooms!

The blooms hide beneath the leaf litter from critters who would eat them, and are pollinated by ants and other ground-dwelling bugs.

This is what the ginger looks like on the forest floor -- giving no hint of the blossoms hidden beneath the leaf litter.

Here's a closeup of leaf and flower detail

I took photos of several other tiny flowers, but they didn’t turn out.  But one of the photos displayed unexpected magic when I downloaded it to my computer.

The sun shining through the leaves made them look like they contained fluorescent fire! You may have to click on the photo to enlarge it to see the fire.

The brown leaves on the ground glowed fluorescent scarlet from the sun shining through their backs!  It was a day for magic!

Oh… I almost forgot!  After I found the ginger, I found a trillium with a large bud almost ready to bloom!  If I had found it first instead of the ginger I would probably have written half a page about how gorgeous it was!  🙂

Beautiful trillium almost ready to bloom

The storm the other day left the lake water muddy and thick with leaf debris, so we didn’t attempt to go fishing today.   Maybe tomorrow.

This evening we had another wonderful campfire.   And I grilled chicken wings, sprinkled with mesquite seasoning.  They were the best wings we had ever had — crispy and spicy on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth on the inside.

I’m including a few “brown” photos, taken before I discovered the flowers, just so you can get an idea of what we saw on our woods walk today.

It’s supposed to be in the low 30’s tonight, then warm up nicely tomorrow with wind 10-15 knots.  I am looking forward to warm weather and sunshine.  I hope the forecast is right!

Magnificent tree roots

A little stream that looks more like a ditch!

One of many fallen trees.

Another fallen tree.

I just thought this log looked cool!

Sweetgum balls