(Don't ask me why she is wearing a sweatshirt.)
I was walking into my local Publix grocery store, when I noticed this bird nest delicately perched in the sign. Do you see it? Look at the bottom of the "&"--it's hard to see, but here is a close up:
The baby birds were hanging out, and the parents were flying back and forth, bringing worms and bugs and all sorts of other bird treats, right in the middle of this busy parking lot. A tiny oasis in the concrete jungle of Orange Park.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself." -H. Miller
Ginger left this morning to accompany our church's youth group on a week long trip to Palmer Home, the PCA Children's Home in Columbus, Mississippi. They are travelling in style in this charted bus. (Any invitations for dinner can be sent to my home or cell phone--I'm not very picky and eat almost anything.)
We have been here for over two years, and I never saw a turtle before this week. This little guy, a male Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) was hiding in the front yard under some bushes. When Moses, the Great Orange Hunter, and I went out to investigate, he would close his "plastron" (scientific name for the bottom side of his shell) until Moses left. There is really no point in telling that last fact, but I wanted to use the word "plastron".
Why did the turtle cross the road? I'm not sure, but I found this fellow casually crossing our street. I'm not sure what kind he is....his shell (and distinctive markings) were covered in moss and algae, like he had been submerged for the last 6 months. Whatever kind of turtle he is, he seemed to know where he was going and was determined to get there.
"It was one of those hot, silent nights, when people sit at windows listening for the thunder which they know will shortly break; when they recall dismal tales of hurricanes and earthquakes; and of lonely travellers on open plains,
and lonely ships at sea, struck by lightning."
--Charles Dickens; Martin Chuzzlewit; 1843.
When I went to start my car this morning, this was on my hood---a Luna Moth (Actias luna)! These babies are amazing, and here is the lowdown. As a caterpillar, it goes through 5 different exoskeletons (called instars, for you scientific geeks), all of which are bright green. Finally, it spins a cocoon and "pupates" for two weeks, at which time this beautiful moth emerges. It always emerges in the morning, and when first hatched, it climbs to a "safe" spot until its wings harden and it can fly away. Hence, the reason it was sitting on my hood this morning and didn't fly away when I came out--it couldn't because its wings weren't stable enough. Final fact--as a moth, it has no mouth because it doesn't eat! Its only function is to reproduce and lay eggs, and it better do it quick, because it only lives for seven (7) days!
Anyone recognize this loaf of garlic goodness? Our friend Kelli (see March 31st -April 1st) just sent us an early Christmas gift- a package with a loaf of garlic cheese bread from the world famous Erik Schat's Bakery (two locations for your convenience in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes, California). Thanks Auntie Kelli!