On the day before Thanksgiving, I was finishing painting the dining room French doors and general yard sprucing, when I heard a droning motor approaching from above. I thought it might be a chopper doing drug surveillance at first, because it seemed to be taking forever to appear.
When it finally did come in to view, it was the Goodyear Blimp and it was at minimal altitude as it cruised directly over PFHQ.
My camera was locked in the JEEP console 100 yards away!
I dropped my stuff, jumped off the porch, and dashed to the JEEP, just as Emma pulled in the driveway.
Insert, twist, lift console, grab camera, turn on, focus on blimp directly overhead, FOG!!! The picture is frosted, ... the lens is fogging in the warm air!
Wipe,wipe on clean part of T-shirt, raise, shoot.
Resistance is futile!!
Here is a good example of succession.
What was bahia grass pasture when we bought PFHQ 24 years ago, is steadily becoming forest. It never was an OPEN pasture, but patches of woods with cows grazing on grassy areas that probably equalled 50 percent of the property at the time of purchase.
Emma and I will burn this area after the first killing frost to keep it open. I don't want to lose my gopher tortoises who rely on forbs, nor do I want to lose my scrubby sandhill wildflower species.
Yesterday, I spent some time in my forest playing the role of storm and fire.
I roamed with a pruning saw, cutting down saplings who would grow and shade out the forbs and wildflowers that the gopher and I covet. It was pleasant work, cutting limbs and saplings, and then stacking same in brush piles for the critters.
I don't want the brown desert that exists in the dark shadows of a mature oak canopy ... and so I meddle.
Too risky to burn in these thickly forested areas and no hurricanes knocked down trees to open holes in that canopy this year, so I take on the role with my saw.
Every stroke of the saw opens a window for light to reach the ground.
Here a once vigorous hog plumb is surrounded and shaded by 4 inch DBH oaklings. They are expendable and they fall quickly to my sharp saw.
When I walk away, the plum is bathed in sunlight.
Some saplings just get shortened to let in light, but still provide brushy cover and thickety thicketness for cardinals and other brush lovers.
Saplings that have crept out into the open gopher habitat are taken way down so the grasses can reclaim what they were losing.
It's really satisfying "work".
This little sweetgum is a transplant from the first property I ever bought back home in St. Augustine. It's finally gotten tall enough to hold its own with the oaks and I expect it to rocket upwards in the future.
It was a little warm and humid for that woodsy work yesterday, but the rains came last night and today is nicely chilly, so I may just go meddle with the forest again today.
I need to walk off that turkey anyway.
I need to walk off that turkey anyway.
Bear's Grandma brought him a rawhide bone on Thanksgiving day. He thanked her by standing up and putting both his paws on her shoulders as we all gasped.
She's strong though and it seems to have made her day.
He is so IN with his grandma.
That picture gives you a view of the new porch color too.
Maybe I can get a full frontal view of the painted PFHQ on this beautiful morning to share with you.
This room was originally a dining room.
Then, several years ago, Junior reached the age where he needed a bedroom, so instead of adding on ($$$), we converted the dining room into a bedroom.
Time passed, and now he has moved out to be a college boy.
Rumor was that this room could now be a man cave/den with stipulations.
Stipulations pretty much ruin the whole man cave dream, so I held on to that hope, but not with any realistic expectations.
When Thanksgiving approached and we would be hosting it in a transfer of turkeypower from Mom to us, the room went back to a dining room.
I knew once our massively expandable groaning board went back into that room, any hope of a true man cavern was gone.
I think it's a circle of life thing, dining room to bedroom to dining room.
I just know I am out of that loop.