Georgia On My Mind

(Header Image: Pecan Tree)

Great segments of the land were decorated in pink. Just for us. Narrow dirt roads had been given the color of the interior of a perfectly baked sweet potato. Just for us. Bright blue skies were punctuated with fluffy formations that were enlarged versions of the cotton which will bloom later this summer. Just for us.

The pink in the landscape was due to thousands of peach trees beginning to bloom. We’ll return in the summer for fresh fruit and preserves. The red clay back roads of rural Georgia will have to wait, also, for our return to explore. Family affairs consumed our time and energy on this visit.

Our niece and her husband have a lovely home in central Georgia and we thank them for being such gracious hosts. Several acres of pecan trees provided a restful setting and more than a few helpings of fresh snacks. As I explored, I would grab two freshly-fallen pecans from the ground, crack them open and dig out the sweetest meat any nut could offer. Migrating birds seemed to be everywhere. They were interfering with my foraging.

The bulk of the avian visitors were Yellow-rumped Warblers, Chipping Sparrows, House Finches and American Robins. Several other guests made cameo appearances and after a couple hours of wandering (and munching) I had counted over 20 different species just in the back yard!

Events of the world and the ebb and flow of familial relationships require our attention, sometimes to the point of physical and emotional exhaustion. In such times, it is comforting to know that Nature offers us a source of stability which is calming and refreshing to our souls.

A few images four-hundred miles from home.

A Northern Mockingbird, singing the enthusiastic spring song of love for his mate.

Chipping Sparrows were feeding non-stop as they fuel up for their return to breeding grounds.

Resident birds, such as this Red-bellied Woodpecker, are preparing nesting sites and getting ready to raise new families.

Eastern Bluebirds were also busily carrying nesting material around the  yard, singing and generally looking gorgeous while doing it all.

The most abundant bird was the Yellow-rumped Warbler. Literally dozens of them hopped around the yard snatching up all sorts of bugs.

Several dozen American Robins flew over the area during the day and about a half-dozen were in the yard most of the time.

A Tufted Titmouse whistled his clear call and rummaged along a pecan tree poking his bill under the bark hoping to find lunch.

With bright golden eyes, Common Grackles perched atop the tallest trees and loudly proclaimed this was their kingdom!

More bright color in the yard! A Pine Warbler staged from a branch as he plunged into the grass, grabbed a bug and returned to the tree to gulp it down.

Tree inspector. A Downy Woodpecker gives his attention to something he spotted within a broken limb.

High-pitched whistling signaled the arrival of a group of Cedar Waxwings. These handsome birds didn’t stay long as they had a schedule to keep on their way to Canada.

As spring arrives, many birds experience a change in plumage. This Palm Warbler is transitioning from a fairly drab brown non-breeding appearance to brighter, crisper and more colorful feathers.

A few pecans gathered for further sorting.

Take two steps. Gather two pecans. Crack ’em. Eat ’em. Repeat.

Pecans ready to pick.

An old barn on a country road and a very old Ford pick-up truck. It appeared the barn likely housed a cotton gin at one time and was probably also used for grain storage.

Pink was everywhere! A peach blossom promised us a fresh juicy fruit when we return.

It was good to visit with relatives and to have a change from our routine. Observing familiar birds in new settings and seeing different landscapes provided a fresh perspective.

Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!

16 Comments on “Georgia On My Mind

    • Thank you for checking, Phil!

      We’re doing very well. The old computer – not so much. It expired a few weeks ago and just now getting re-set up on a new machine.

      Back in business soon!

      Gini and I hope you are having fun and we will soon catch up with your adventures.

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  1. You can find the great birds anywhere! Love the shot of the old barn. i love seeing old houses and barns on the rural roads. Makes miss our trips to Atlanta. Some day soon I hope.

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  2. Your niece and her husband do have a lovely home and a perfect place to wander – with free snacks along the way!

    All very good photos once again, but I really like that old barn.

    Take care,
    Ed

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  3. Nothing must be more beautiful than Georgia in peach blossom time. Your wonderful photos give me bird envy. The Yellow-rumps left us over a week ago and we went an entire two winters without seeing a sparrow, mot unusual. We will be off to Illinois in the early morning to join family for the Quinceanera celebration honoring our granddaughter , Carina the “Ballerina from Argentina.” Bad timing as we will miss the best two weeks of migration in Florida, but hope to participate in the Birdathon on April 17. (BTW I am down to 3 mg Prednisone and counting. Was overjoyed that my second COVID vaccination made my CRP and ESR shoot up– a good sign that I do have an immune response)

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    • Please have a safe trip, Ken, and enjoy your granddaughter’s celebration!

      That is good news on the Prednisone. I’m at 2 mg/day for another two weeks and am having no pain. Yay!

      Don’t forget to come back to check on your nesting resident birds!

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  4. Dear Wally and Gini. I’m so sorry to hear of the seriousness of the health issue of your family member. Without wanting to say too much, I hope that there is not too much pain for too long, for all concerned.

    However, I take comfort in the knowledge that you are still able to break to enjoy enjoy wonderful wildlife, and nature’s bounty, even when you are far from home, as witness this delightful blog post. I can almost hear you cracking those pecan nuts, Wally!

    Take good care. My best wishes to you and the family – – – Richard

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    • Thank you very much, Richard.

      No matter where we may roam, Nature has been a constant in our lives. Beauty, excitement, adventure. And we’re still having fun!

      All is good here. It’s a beautiful world.

      (And we have a lot of pecans to eat!)

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  5. 400 miles from home? That would take over to France – if I had a desire to go there. It’s 15 miles up to Oakenclough and 3 miles to Gulf Lane, about as far as I go, unless it’s Greece. Thank you for reminding me how good those spring warblers look. And of course the little chippy, far too beautiful and characterful to be a simple sparrow. Pecans I like, especially included into a baklava with ice cream and topped with honey.

    I guess you and First Lady are back home now after that marathon journey. There are good points to living on a small island where the kids are a mile or two away. We have sunshine but the temps aren’t rising above 10 or 11 degrees.

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    • Even WE tend to forget how big the United States is! Our son is about three times that far away.

      We hit 33 C/92 F yesterday and had some tremendous thunderstorms over the weekend. We needed the rain but I’m still cleaning up branches from the yard.

      My favorite way to eat pecans? Yes.

      Hope the weekend brings warmth and travelling birds!

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  6. What fun to recognize eleven of the birds here — not from book learning, but from observation in the real world! The expression on that Downy Woodpecker’s face is priceless: very much a “Say, what?” expression.

    I’ve never been to Georgia, but it’s been on my to-visit list for years because of Flannery O’Connor. She’s one of my favorite writers, and I guess the impulse to make pilgrimage exists in a variety of forms.

    I got a kick out of the photos of the pecans, too. Every year I order shelled pecans from Georgia when the new crop comes in. I know: Texas has pecans, and plenty of them, but the small Elliott variety I buy beats any Texas pecan, hands down — heresy or not. I especially like the photo of the nuts with the bluets: they look like the Least Bluet — Houstonia pusilla. It grows in Georgia; here’s a photo of the flower taken there.

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    • Georgia definitely has some “pilgrimage-worthy” spots!

      Pecans have been a life-long addiction. No signs of letting up, either!

      I agree with the flower i.d. Sections of the pecan grove looked like bright blue stars had fallen all over the place.

      Liked by 1 person

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