Welcome Yall!

Hopefully, from time to time, I can share thoughts, experiences and photos from my part of the world. It will usually be opionated, hopefully interesting, or at least funny, and always SOUTHERN.

I make no apoligies for any of the above. I thank everyone for their input and feed back. I praise God. You see, I am proudly an American by birth, but thankfully a Southerner by the grace of God.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Birds

This is Percy.  He, Margie, and their family live in our back yard. 

They are generally so busy trying to provide nourishment for their young that they don't have time to stop and enjoy the day.  Sound familiar?

Today around noon, they seemed to take just a moment to appreciate the day.
The sun was warm.  The breeze was pleasant and they appeared to be unaffected by my presence.

The Martins seem to be doing the same.  I'm about 250 feet away so I guess I was less likely to disturb their routine.  Notice the young ones peeking out the doorway?   

Good Friday, Martha and I visited the Eagles at Noxubee Wildlife Refuge.  We were a little surprised at the size of the young birds.  Looks like they got an early start along with the early spring. 

Easter morning moon.  I took this just as my family and I left sunrise services.  It was really a special time.  What a WONDERFUL WORLD! 
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Bucket List

I suppose everyone has a bucket list. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we have certain things we would like to accomplish before we kick the proverbial bucket.

I recently lost a friend that I spent many hours surviving long arduous duty days with. He was a hoot. One of a kind. As we stood at the funeral home during visitation we wiped tears from our eyes as we laughed out loud and recounted episode after episode of his antics. He always had a big grin and quick comment to tease you with. He is missed.

All this made me realize I needed to get back to MY bucket list. I always wanted to see the American Bald Eagle in the wild here in the Magnolia state. This year I managed to accomplish this.

The adult parents sit near the nest as they patiently guard the three fledglings.


Supper arrives via air cargo. The fledglings sit atop the, approximately 90 foot high nest. To give the nest size some perspective, simply realize that the adults wing span is nearly 8 feet. Sadly, shortly after these photos were taken, a severe storm downed the tree fatally injuring 2 of the offspring.


This is one of 2 fledglings at another location. What a magnificent symbol of freedom.


Natures beauty comes in all types of packages. This 5 foot gator is affectionately known to us as "Allie". Not very original, but we are not exactly close friends. This little reptile is less than 2 miles from my front door. I walk within 100 feet of it, it's 10 foot partner and a nest, every day.

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Always on my list....is the back yard beauty. Margie sits atop a cable as she watches us watch her.
My bucket list isn't complete, but I am working on it. I only hope when I'm gone they laugh and remember me with half the affection of my friend.
One of his most common comments as he glanced at his wrist watch was "hmmm...gotta go, gotta make tracks". He certainly left some memorable tracks.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Return Road............

We recently were invited to the wedding of the daughter of some good friends. The wedding took place near the city of Grenada in the small crossroads of Gore Springs. It was more or less a return trip down a much traveled road. Our friends are close to us, but have been distanced by life and miles. When my wife and I were very young, we started our lives together in Grenada. It was our first permanent location after collage and marriage. It's where our son was born, we bought our first house and later built a house. We grew up as young parents, you might say, with these friends. The photo of this road that leads out to Grenada Lake is always full of memories.

Visiting with so many friends at the wedding was truly a trip down memory lane. I must admit I was flooded with memories and emotions when I took this photo from the over look area of Grenada on a frosty Sunday morning. It was and still is an important part of my family's lives.

This airport was a training facility during world war two for glider pilots that were used during the invasion of Europe. I soloed my first airplane here. I took my training for my Private and Commercial Pilots license from this field. Flying became an important part of my professional life and helped provide for my family. I still miss flying more than I can possibly explain to anyone.

The down town square, once the center of for city and county activity, now like so many other similar places, struggles for attention. Since Christmas was nearing, the city fathers had seen fit to decorate with what looks like replicas of a previous era. Sadly, it seems to be a tale of a time never to return.

This photo is fitting for the trip back to Grenada. Our friends daughter is headed down the road of marriage much like the couple in the mural on the wall of a store.
We returned on a familiar road to find so many things had changed, but even more important we discovered....... the memories had not.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Steam Power

The first weekend in November is the annual Soule' Steam and Feed Works celebration in Meridian. This facility manufactured steam engines with valve systems that allow variable speed control. It functioned as a foundry until approximately 2003. Some local business men purchased the facility and turned it into a remarkable museum.

A view of less than one fourth of the machine shop portion of the facility. Note the common shaft system of powering the individual machines.

One of the steam engines in operation along with just some of the products produced by Soule' as a foundry.

What would a Steam Festival be without a steam powered Calliope. The young man is pulling a rope attached to the steam whistle.

These have nothing to do with the Steam Festival, but I thought they were interesting. You can see what I do on good days.

A product from a bad back and a over active imagination. Who would think that birds go to church. Of course they must have lots of faith. How else could they fly.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Such Talent!

My wife, in addition to being smart and beautiful, is extremely talented. She is quite artistic with an exceptional eye for jewelry. I realize I'm prejudiced, so judge for yourself.

She has been making many different types of jewelry for quite some time but recently took a Silver Smith class.

She buffed and shined the completed project to a beautiful finished product.

Needless to say, she was quite enthused about her new area of endeavor. It's difficult for me to imagine anyone with this type of talent, so watching her excitement grow over her success is really fun.

All these pieces were produced in less than five days of class.

Paul Revere, eat your heart out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Signs, Signs, Every Where A Sign!

On a recent trip to the south part of the state we observed this sign on the east side of U.S. 49 just north of Hattiesburg. I sent it to some friends who encouraged me to post it on Wunder Photos on the Weather Underground web site. I was astonished at the number of responses and comments in favor of the billboard.
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Our Sun Porch is some what of a museum to signs. This one I received from my sister Beth for my birthday. I think since she lives in Virgina, she is attracted to things from her native state. We share the same love on the Magnolia State.
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This sign was a gift from my sister Jeri. We know her affectionately as Jerry Lynn, but since she is a professional type she uses Jeri. It pretty much describes our home. What better goal could you possible have for your dwelling?
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This one was a gift from Jeri when she and Beth went on a shopping trip recently while Beth was down for a visit. Corkey the yellow Lab lives on our Sun Porch and he needs several visits outside during the day. He is a great friend and gives me reason to keep my bad back limber. The sign pretty much describes my daily routine.

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Double click to enlarge.

What southern porch would be authentic with out a Coca Cola thermometer? This one is the real deal, not a knock off.
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Well, these are just a few of the signs that garnered my attention recently. It seems like you see so many signs on a regular basis, we begin to ignore them, The stop sign is an excellent example. It's easy to just slow down glance and keep going. Not just the traffic sign, but all the other stop signs we encounter daily. Like the ones Mother Nature leaves for us, or the signs of caring and love our family and friends present us on a regular basis.
The song from the 70's titled "Signs", ends by saying, "when they passed around the plate for a collection, I didn't have a single dime, so I got pen and paper and I made my own little sign, I said, thank you God for thinking about me, I'm alive and doing fine, signs, signs, every where a sign.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Officially Summer.............

It's officially summer now! Like we didn't already know. It's been summer for quite a while here in the deep south, regardless of what the calender showed. Temperatures soaring up too, and hovering around 100 degrees. Humidity to match, along with afternoon thunder bumpers that tail off into steamy evenings.

It has been tough but I admit I prefer it to freezing temps and frozen precipitation. I suppose it is because I relate back to my youth. In the winter you were allowed out to go to school, church and work. In the summer, when school was out, My Mother basically said, "get out of my house, don't get into trouble, and come when I call". The holy trinity of summer rules.

I remember riding bicycles in the early mornings. Some times I was sent to the post office, or the grocery, but the most cherished rides were to the plum thicket or to the creek to cool off. Afternoons were reserved for my paper route, baseball practice or the rare trip to the greatly undersized and over used public swimming pool. That is, if I was through with the paper route, cutting grass, (that's mowing lawns to you folk north of the Mason Dixon line) and no one else in the area need me for manual labor.

Oh, but when the afternoons gave way to thunder storms or the occasional gentle tropical summer rain shower the routine had to be interrupted for the ever polarizing mud ball fights. We couldn't afford water balloons so we just threw freshly packed mud balls. Some contained the occasional rock hidden in the center. Purely accidental, of course.

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Recent thunder storms left the heavy feel of summer steam near the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

The rains passed as quickly as they came and yielded to the blistering sun that baked the earth and made the steam rise. I remember inhaling the steam and the feel of the moisture as it entered the lungs and the ever so sweet ozone of natures perfume from the fresh aroma of honey suckle,magnolia, mimosa, plum, pear, and apple trees that seemed to be every where. Not to mention the smell of the fresh vegetable blossoms in every garden and truck patch in the county that were always within reach of our noses.

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The sweet perfume of this magnolia was quite the welcome sign of summer in our back yard.

Summer sunsets were always spectacular, giving way to starry evenings that were brightened by the lights of the little league baseball field and the sound of the families cheering with the crack of the wooden bat. On the nights when there were no scheduled games, the stars were the field lights over the pasture or back yard where we played blooper ball. (sometimes called whiffle ball, but always played with a plastic bat and ball on a make shift field using trees, towels, posts, flower gardens or what ever we could find for bases, or what ever fell into the geometric pattern of the diamond of a baseball field. Yankee stadium or Camden Yard had nothing on our imaginations. After the major league games on television they would have firework displays, after our blooper ball games, we had lightning bugs to put on their light show. Lightning bugs........that would be fire flies to those culturally deprived of Southern Living.

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This nest of Cardinal hatching's near our deck, were quick to open wide to the slightest sound.

Finding a bird nest was always a summer treat. Watching the adults flutter around with twigs and sprigs of grass to build the brooding abode always drew our attention. We would make mental notes of the locations and follow the progress all summer. From eggs, to hatching's to big mouths open wide when the parents lit on the limb adjacent the nest to feed the ungrateful little chippers to the day when the young feathered noise makers attempted their first flights. We often stood yard guard to keep the dogs and cats from feeding on their inept attempts to fly.

Climbing trees to get a better view of the country side, or hide from your buddies during a game of day or, when the parents were watching, night hide and seek, without flashlights. Only sissies needed lights. Bruises, scratches and cuts or any other injuries gained as a result of poor visibility, were worn like badges of honor. Crying from injuries was overlooked, but ONLY if the injury resulted in a bandage. Otherwise you were ostracized by being the last one picked the next time teams were selected for what ever game we were playing.

Summers were great. It's a wonder we survived them. I'm sure glad we did. I'm even happier that they held such beauty and wonder..........and memories.