Well, here we are in January in The Lowcountry. Winter is pretty mild here as compared to the Great Lakes region I grew up in. In fact, it was 68 degrees here today. A beautiful day. But, the flowers are sparse and the leaves trees are bare temporarily. The birds were singing today....that sweet familiar song that Spring is in the air. Of course, in NY you wouldnt hear that tune until April/May...but, down here I guess they start in January. Who knew?
As the birds were singing of springtime, I was reviewing pictures that I took a few springs ago In Charleston. How I love Charleston. I enjoy everything about it. It is a city untouched by time. The shots I am sharing with you were taken during an afternoon stroll. I so enjoy visiting churches and their historic cemeteries. Believe it or not, I search out tombstones that have King James Bible verses etched upon them. I receive such a blessing from these pilgrims who went before me and are in heaven. I feel like I know them as a brother or sister in Christ, because they left a precious verse on their stone. What a generation of people they must have been.
As I walk down the historic streets of Charleston, I enjoy viewing the various window boxes all in array with their flowers. How creative Charlestonians are. I love when they add their beloved pineapple into their decorating schemes. After all, the pineapple is THE symbol of Charleston hospitality.
And, the gates! How ornate they are. You can peek directly into their private courtyards and get a feast for the eyes. My son and I have two favorite gates. We call one "The Narrow Gate" and the other "The Broad Gate to Destruction".
So, I hope you enjoy my photos. I'll be heading back up there soon. One can never get enough of Charleston. Until then, meet me at the pineapple......
National Treasure Visits Our Cottage
It was an absolutely lovely lowcountry day. Fall was displaying its colors, leaves were beginning to fall, the nights were getting just a bit more crisp, and the migratory birds were passing through. My feeders were not being visited as much and I wondered why that was. My chickadees, cardinals, bluebirds and finches were not around quite as much. I had not filled my feeder in weeks because it wasn't being touched. I checked the feeder to see if something was wrong....but, all was well. As I walked around my yard, I noticed the squirrels were still around and boy were they busy! The acorns were everywhere and the squirrels were quite busy getting their fill. I chuckled as I thought of my Bible, where it tells of the Israelites with Moses. They were out everyday gathering the manna that God provided them everyday. I watched as God provided for these little members and I was amazed at their diligence. They worked as it was in teams...each collecting their nuts and depositing them into a hole in a tree trunk.
As I watched them stash their bounty, I thought of the bounty God had provided for my family. My husband reminded me that he hated to interrupt my contemplations; but, I needed to get the bounty on the table. So, I fired up my stove and he fired up the grill.
My daughter ran in the kitchen, "Mom, mom.....there is a Bald Eagle flying around in our yard!" I replied, mmhmm....sure...." "Really, mom....you may want to see this!" "Barbara, don't make things up," I said. Then, she looked me in the eyes, "Mom, I am telling you...there is a Bald Eagle in our backyard."
So, I walked out onto the patio. There, in full life, was a Bald Eagle watching us grill our dinner! I couldn't believe my eyes. He, or she, looked just as amused with watching my crazy family as we did it. It landed in a tree, and ate a fish it had caught. I ran for the camera, Barbara ran for the video camera...the cats ran to windows, and Stephen ran outside. It's not everyday one of these treasures drops by to visit.
It was one of the first time our family had actually been silent all at once. This bird commanded our attention. It was as if a prominent visitor had arrived unexpectedly. It flew around over the the lagoon a few times putting on an air show that would rival any military airshow. Then, it landed. It hopped to the edge of the lagoon and pulled out a 3 foot catfish with one swipe of its claw.
"Quick! We've got an instant homeschool lesson right in front of us!" I thought.
I said to my children, "Isn't it awesome how God designed this eagle!". My son remarked about the strength of his claws and talons. My daughter remarked on his ability to fly with such speed and precision. We talked about its eyesight, size, and how God guides it. It was then we realized that God guides those who know him, just as he guides the eagle.
Job 39:27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?
God confirmed to us just how He commands everything in our lives and in the animal world. He sent a guest to us that evening. Our friend arrived the next day as well. Then, it was gone. We were happy that God chose us to witness this special treasure. We were thankful we were aware of our gift.
Rare Wood Stork Visits Our Cottage
LOVE my new yard! I can't say enough about what a lovely location it is. We downsized and purchased a lovely cape-cod which sits lagoon side in our community. It is very, very peaceful. As I am writing this, the windows are open and the Carolina breeze is wafting through my room. The smell of cedar and a southern Fall abounds. Where my computer desk sits, I have a view of the lagoon; and many times, I have a front row seat to nature. I enjoy sitting and looking out my window. Apparently, my two cats do to; and I usually have to toss them off the window sill so I can actually take a peak as well.
Geena in her window Sometimes, I watch turtles; other times, deer, and alligators. I enjoy the bluebirds, ibises, and wrens. Then, this ugly bird comes through. Everyday, at the same time! My beautiful view gets....well....it turns not so beautiful. At first glance, I see a very tall birds which marches across my lawn and heads toward the lagoon. It is very graceful. At first, from far away, you may think "wow, that is certainly a lovely bird...."....NOT! It has a face only a mother could love. A lovely body, like a flamingo; and then, ugliness. It looks like a supermodel with Jimmy Durante's face.
I looked up this walking contradiction and found it to be a Wood Stork. Wood Storks were almost extinct a few years ago and are from Florida. However, the bird that once only had 11 breeding pairs in South Carolina a few years ago are making a comeback. I am honored to have it making this comeback in my yard.....who knew?
So, welcome my large friend! May you enjoy it here.