Super Blue Blood Moon

Sounds like a horror movie…and this is the first one in over 150 years, so, of course, we couldn’t miss seeing it.  It was more than worth the venture into the cold night air (okay yankees, don’t laugh….down here we are pretty sure freezing to death happens at 50)

"Winter Halo" created by refracted light from ice crystals.  Beautiful! 12-28-12  It wasn’t a huge supermoon like the one the first of the month…but this one thrilled us with a lunar halo sometimes called a ‘moon dog’. It happens when ice crystals (told you it was cold! lol) in high cirrus clouds refract the moonlight into a ring around the moon.  It was breathtaking.  In another hour I will venture out once more to see if the eclipse, which cannot be seen here on the East Coast, provides the ‘blood’ tinge we have been looking for.

Now…go have a look up at the heavens and embrace the sense of awe in its beauty.

Advertisements

Flying through Friday

Where did my week go?  A lot of it went to driving…the inclement weather here in the Lowcountry has really made getting anywhere a chore.  Thankfully it is beginning to move away, and the sun is shining if not warm enough for this hot rock girl.  I am happy to see it.

Since the roads aren’t too user-friendly, today I decided to just hang on the island. I went to the park, walked the trails, sat in the sun and enjoyed peace, quiet…and the wildlife. I didn’t have to look far to find company.

 Marbled godwits marched along a wooden dock.

A sewing machine sound burbling among the reeds said the Marsh wrens were busy.  Active, abundant, noisy little birds they never seem to be still and you can hear them day and night here in the Lowcountry.  It is fun to watch them, each foot clinging to a separate reed, doing a birdy version of the splits.

Image result for marsh wrens

photo by Greg Lasley (because my phone just can’t capture them from shore 😉

Along the stream there were raccoon, heron, deer, and fox prints in the mud.  I saw an armadillo trundling along a sandy stretch off the beaten path.  I do so adore the little critters…seemed too chilly for it to be out and about, but I suppose the sunshine felt good to us all today…and ya gotta eat, you know.  Ever since I was a kid growing up in Texas, I have enjoyed seeing armadillos. Such cute and useful little critters.  Amazing to see them swimming in the summer.  Glad they have made their way to the Lowcountry.  

And with my peaceful sojourn at an end, I picked up the kids and trucked on home.

Now for an evening spent with my ‘fellas’ (on the page) and the boys (who are eagerly awaiting spinach ravioli for supper).  May your weekend be filled with peace and small wonders.

The Wonderful…and the Wicked

It would be lovely if the only thing being ‘wicked’ today was my over-wrought imagination.  Sadly, no.  Climate change has decided to mess with our weather and so, at the beginning of January, here we are on the coast of South Carolina staring winter in its hoary eyes.

In short, it is cold.

Cover the plants kind of cold.

New Zealand is looking better by the minute.

~~~

On a warmer and much more wonderful note, today I celebrate two amazing birthdays.

My sister was born on this day and she has been a joy and a grounding in my world since she made her appearance.  I became her ‘little’ …and certainly more obsessive…mama.  Determined to love and protect this little person with her big dark eyes and sweet smile from the moment she came into my life.  I have other siblings, but this one was/is ‘mine’.  Unlike the middles, she was more like me…not a ‘favorite’, not over-protected, not pampered.  She was tough.  We had to be.  She shared my passion for animals and nature, she was and is a beautiful, compassionate, and deeply caring human being.

I bought her her first horse…a POA aptly named Little Satan…he was her best friend and companion and he adored her as much as she loved and needed him.  Now she has a tough miniature horse out there in Arizona and a gorgeous mustang mare…and they bring her joy each and every day.

I am so thankful for this day and the love it brought into our world.  Happy Birthday, Tamara.

Birthday number two?  The irreplaceable J.R.R. Tolkien!  How can a birthdate not be more magical for being shared with the master of fantasy?  If any of you don’t know…I totally adore Tolkien.  I devoured his books. He gave a girl with a wild imagination another world to live in, another place to dream of, a new place in mt heart to call ‘home’.

Now, so many books and years later, I write fantasy…because I have dreams and worlds of my own to share…and he led the way.  Happy Birthday, Professor Tolkien, and thank you.

May we all find new warmth, and new wonders on this beautiful winter day.

 

 

A New Year…a new Beginning

An exciting year is before of us….filled with new wonders, new trials, portents, and changes.  And what a way to start things off but with the first Full Moon…a SuperMoon at that…and the thrill of the first corresponding King Tide!

Related image

I happen to love high tide…and King Tides are even more magical.

Image result for King Tide Charleston SC 2018

This is Charleston…amazing isn’t it?  And this street isn’t even very close to the beach, because the entire city is low, the water not only rolls in with the tide, it comes UP through the ground, the storm drains…

And it all began with the gorgeous Wolf Moon.

Related image

Shine on!  Examine the possibilities for greatness in your life this year.  For becoming the change you wish to see in the world.  Finding yourself, your voice, your passion… and shining before the world.

It’s a new year.  We can make it one to remember.

The color of things…

Parked at the elementary school today, as usual, I enjoyed watching the waterfowl that frequent the fishing pond at the school. The usual company of Great White heron,  Great Blue heron, Anhinga, Terns, and White Ibis were joined by a new visitor.  A couple of Little Blue herons poked along the shore. So easy to miss, and so lovely to see in their gleaming coats of blue.

We have three bald eagles who live in the trees adjacent to the school: a mated pair, and a single adult we assume is one of their previous offspring.  Today a welcome new arrival at the pond as I saw a gorgeous adolescent perched on the fence still resplendent in its rich brown coat.

I hope the youngster sticks around the area as I would love to watch it grow up.

As it flew off into the trees, the White ibis came marching past, searching through the grass along the edge of the pond.  Their procession is a familiar sight, but today, a newcomer in their midst, the streaked brown incongruous among the pure white of the group.

Related image

I’d never seen a juvenile at the school, as this group doesn’t nest near the pond, so it was a joy to behold strutting among them.

A wonderful continuation of the story of this small pond… the colors of things to come.

Fall takes flight

There are, in case you haven’t noticed from previous posts, LOTS of birds in the Lowcountry.  Which birds changes a bit with the seasons, although there are plenty of year round residents.  The last couple of months have rewarded our watching with a familiar resident, but in a new location. Bald eagles have moved to the pond at the elementary school. October is the beginning of nesting season here, so we were delighted to find they have taken up residence where we can look for them every week.

Image result for bald eagle in South Carolina

The pond is prime territory, open flight paths, but plenty of trees for roosting and nesting, and a gator free pond stocked with an abundance of fish.  By next month the eagles should be laying, and by early spring there will be nestlings to captivate the careful observer.

Snipe may be the stuff of stories and campfire pranks, but here they are among our oddball seasonal shore birds.  Wilson’s snipe are hard to spot, they are so well suited to the area, but fun to find strolling through a local ditch or in your yard.

Snipe-One

After another successful breeding season here in the Lowcountry,  our woodstork population continues to make a comeback from endangered to threatened.  They are ungainly to look at, but amazing in flight or roosting in groups in the trees.

Wood Storks

When you don’t happen to see wood storks feeding in

As fall cools into winter, we are thankful for the return of our seasonal birds. Another year of survival, another hope we can reduce climate change and protect these animals for our children and generations to come.

Welcome home.