Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gobble, gobble

I decided to wait a respectable amount of time after blog friend Ed from Iowa posted photos of turkeys in his yard before I posted this one, right out my front door. I didn't want him to think I was stealing his ideas. I took this photo right before I read his post about his own turkeys, with pictures.

I don't live in the country as Ed does, but the area where we live was once pasture and farm land, and we have our share of wildlife. In the 15 years we have lived in our house, we have always had deer in abundance. During mating season, it gets a little embarrassing, if you know what I mean. But we generally co-exist with them.

We have the occasional coyote, and every so often we'll spot a fox. Unfortunately, skunks are frequent visitors and I'll never forget the time our late dog, Ralph, had an encounter with one. As you can imagine, the smell lingered for a loooong time. We also have a beaver that makes appearances in a nearby ditch.

Until a couple of years ago, we had never seen turkeys, but they have become about as common as the deer. They are peculiar animals, and although they will scatter when humans come near, they never seem to be in much of a hurry about it -- hence the photo I took from about ten feet away. I used the zoom on my camera phone, which makes the picture just a tad blurry, but I think you get the idea.

When they cross the street, they meander about their way, appearing to expect oncoming cars to wait until they are out of the way -- which is what most of us do. I have never known of any of our neighbors to run over one.


Spring started with pretty warm weather here in middle Tennessee but, as usual, it got cool again, and we've had days of being cold in the mornings but downright hot by late afternoon. The warmth has about settled in, with daytime highs climbing into the 80s recently.

I enjoy the changing seasons but, if I'm honest, I like fall and winter better than spring and summer. I detest hot weather and, although spring can be quite pleasant, it's a reminder of what's to come. Also, for whatever reason, the more challenging times in my life have been in spring and summer and I think spring's arrival is a reminder of those times, even if subconsciously.

But, optimist that I am, I try to dwell on what I do enjoy about spring and summer -- fresh fruit and vegetables, fireflies and baseball. We also have a wonderful outdoor summer concert series in our community.

And I guess I'll add turkeys to that too. They seem to enjoy visiting us during spring and I must say they are fascinating to observe.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Time to go outside

            Blog friends Kimberly  and Ed recently posted about their adventures in the great outdoors. Kimberly took a hike at a beautiful spot near her home, while Ed loaded up and went from Iowa to Northwest Arkansas, where he hiked around and floated the beautiful Buffalo River and camped with his family.

            Both posts made me a bit envious. I love day hikes, and I floated that same Buffalo River a number of times in my young adult life when I lived only a couple of hours away from it. It really is a gorgeous place, with breathtaking views of bluffs towering above the river. Floating along in a canoe is quite enjoyable, and usually pretty tranquil.

            Anyway, both of their posts made me long for some extended outdoor time myself, and I'm going to pull out my copy of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Nashville and see where I might go in the near future.

           I would love to work in a fishing trip as well. I haven't been fishing since last May when I went to Dallas, where Older Son was living at the time, and went to a spot about 1.5 hours from him.

           I try to exercise in the mornings, and when the weather is nice I try to do that outside, but that is something I am trying to start and finish in an hour or less. Although I enjoy it more when I can be outside, I am not spending a lot of time enjoying the scenery.

          "So what are you doing with your time?" you might be asking, and why can't I just get myself off to the woods, or to the lake to fish?

           That's a fair question. And well, I'm still, thankfully, gainfully employed, and plan to be for many years to come. That takes up the bulk of my time.

          On weekends ,Wife and I have found ourselves traveling a fair amount since the first of the year. We spent Easter weekend at a lake near Auburn, AL with Younger Son, Daughter and SIL. It was cool and rainy, but we had a great time and attended a wonderful outdoor church service Easter morning.

           We have also made a few trips to Arkansas since the first of the year. Wife's parents have moved into a retirement community. She went over a couple of times to help them get their house cleaned out and ready to sell, and also help get them settled in their new place. And she and I have been over together a couple of times. One of those trips included time with old friends in Hot Springs.

            Wife spent a few days at the beach with DIL, and I met her in Atlanta and brought her home.

            There have been trips to Huntsville to see Daughter and SIL.

            I detest hearing people saying how busy they are, so I'll not say that. I'll just say life has been full, and I'm not complaining. Almost all the travel involves people I love.

           But I'm headed out on a hike before long, and hopefully there is also a fishing trip in my future.

           I think either or both would be good for my soul.