All posts by xcimm2

My name is Connie Minshew. I am an SFI Team Leader. My goal is to provide the best guidance possible to the SFI team. If you have a relevant topic or question, please let me know and I will do a training lesson and post it here so that all the team members can benefit. You can submit your comments or questions in the comment section provided or you can email me at xcimm2@yahoo.com. Enjoy your day! ~Connie

A Walk With My Son

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A walk with my son

My son and his happy family. Tommy, Everette, and Alyssa. I love this picture.
My son and his happy family. Tommy, Everette, and Alyssa. I love this picture.

I have two sons that I love with all my heart and both of them are wonderful! But this post is about my youngest; Tommy.

Tommy lives 2 hours away from me. I know, it could be farther, but it’s far enough for me! The distance is too far to enjoy daily or weekly life events. I am happy that Tommy has found the love of his life; Alyssa and that they have a happy busy family. They have one son, Everette, he’s 5 years old and he’s a funny little “cowboy”. You never know what he’s going to say next. He; like his father, is witty and charming, not to fail to mention… Handsome. 🙂 When Tommy was growing up, he was smart, witty, entertaining, ambitious, thoughtful, caring, and energetic. Now he is in his 30’s, and not much has changed, he has not slowed down at all! He and his family live out in the country, they have a beautiful home.

In the past year or so, they purchased the 20 acres of woods behind their home. On our last visit with them I decided to take my Camera and go in search of nature to photograph.. I was deep in the woods when I heard the leaves rustling, looked up and to my surprise, Tommy appeared. I was surprised and delighted to see him. He said ‘hey mom, I thought I would spend some time with you’. As you can imagine, I was thrilled. I rarely get any alone time with him, like the old days. (But of course, I wouldn’t change a thing now, even if I could.)

He proceeded to escort me during my walk of the property. For just 20 acres, it is full of wonder. There is a small gently flowing creek that winds around the back of the property with the flattest creek rocks that I have ever seen in nature. They look like big wide flat steps with water gently cascading down over them. The creek itself is probably 15 feet wide in some areas and the rock steps are from 15+ inches deep. It looks like something man made that you would see at a botanical garden.

There are also lots of trees, lots of moss growing everywhere, ferns, etc… It really is a beautiful landscape. There are very large rocks or small boulders growing moss, scattered all around in the wood-scape with a downed moss covered tree here and there. We walked along the stream for awhile, then we turned and went farther up the property line so that he could show me the “great divide”. The great divide looks like a miniature canyon that runs down the side of the property. It has little cliffs, valleys, little puddles of water, giant vines and of course moss. It runs about 7 feet deep. Since it was “winter”, all the leaves from the trees were scattered about on the ground.

We could hear the wind gently tossing the leaves around the landscape while we walked and talked. I enjoyed spending this time with my son, the solitude of nature, taking pictures, and the exercise of the walk. But most of all, I enjoyed my son’s company, as most mothers would. I am looking forward to my next trip when the property will be bursting with the new life of Spring and perhaps another walk with my son.Flat rocks in streamimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageBranch with flat rocks

Lay Lake Birds

Most people believe that  hollowed out gords are good for mosquito control. The small birds that nest in them, eat Mosquitos.
Most people believe that hollowed out gords are good for mosquito control. The small birds that nest in them, eat Mosquitos.
Ducks on Lay Lake
Ducks on Lay Lake

Blue HeronBlue Heron Blue Heron on Fallen TreeBlue Heron standing in shallow waterBlue Heron on my PierBlue Heron on my pierBlue Heron on Bank of Lay LakeBlue Heron standing on bankBlue Heron taking FlightBlue Heron taking flight off pier

Native Lay Lake Alabama Birds

Lay Lake Alabama has many birds of prey year round. A few ducks, Great White Egrets, and Blue Herons to name a few.

When I see one, I can’t resist trying to take its picture before its squawks ‘Fraaank’ and takes flight at my intrusion into its comfort zone. For some reason, they like to sit on my pier. I’ve never been able to get close enough to one on the pier for a good picture. I have to be fast to get a picture from the balcony. As soon as they notice me, they take off.

The White Egrets can be seen in flight from the balcony, they are beautiful to watch in flight. I have tried to get good pictures of them flying but I haven’t gotten a good one yet.

During the warmer seasons I love to kayak and sneak quietly into the slews off the Waxahatchee Creek in search of wildlife. I use these quiet moments to enjoy nature and take photos.

When I am quietly paddling into a slew, usually an egret or heron spots me first, takes flight alarming all of nature that I have arrived.
Sometimes it’s hard to get very far into the slew without one sounding the alarm, because they are on look-out high in a tree. I have noticed that some animals don’t pay attention to them.
I have been able to follow a raccoon foraging along a bank. He didn’t pay any attention to me.

Several late fall afternoons I was able to sneak up on deer drinking water on the side of a bank. I was deep into the slew, away from all the noisy boats and skiers. One day I saw over 5 deer. As soon as they saw me, they took off.
Several afternoons, I saw the same deer eating grass on the side of a bank. It didn’t run at first, it watched me for a few minutes and then took off through the woods.

One afternoon, I noticed that two Blue Egrets had landed close together in the top of two trees. They were high on the side of a hill. They seemed to be arguing over their territory. They were squawking at each other.
One would fly to the next tree, then the other one would do the same. Neither one seemed willing to give up their location. They both seemed mad at each other. I watched them squawk back and forth from my kayak for five minutes then decided to move farther down the creek.

Most people believe that when you spot the Blue Heron sitting near the water that it’s a good place to fish.
Meaning that with the Blue Heron’s keen eye site, that they have spotted minnows in the area. Larger fish will also be there for the opportunity of a meal.

I’ve tried fishing in the water where the Blue Heron was sitting, but I have not noticed any advantage. Perhaps the heron was there for a drink of water or like me, to take in the view of the calming waters.

Scorpion

Scorpion on a leaf.
Scorpion on a leaf.

86fc9ba545f4ec2839a50c9114d44628At Lay Lake, we have scorpions! Yes, I took this Picture 🙂
These are not like the scary ones that you see killing people on TV. These will sting you, fortunately, I have never been unfortunate enough to experience that first hand. I did research the Alabama scorpions and I learned that their venom is equivalent to a bee sting. I don’t know about you; but I don’t want to try it! :-).
I have however, been stung by bees numerous times in my life and if I can avoid that from now on, that would be wonderful!

There is nothing like getting attacked by the mean ‘yellow jacket’ bees that are always after my watermelon in the summer! When I was a child, I was attacked by a swarm and received stings all over my face. Those insects are ruthlessly mean and vindictive. Avoid them at all costs!

The scorpions at the lake can be found inside and out. The most frequent places that I have seen them have been under rocks and in the kitchen sink. I don’t know how they get in the sink but once they get in, they can’t get out.
The scorpion in this picture was found outside under a rock. He was handled very carefully during his photo shoot and then released back into the wild. :-).

Rosemary

A tip of my Rosemary bush
A tip of my Rosemary bush

A few years ago, I bought a small rosemary bush from the florist at the grocery store. It was pretty small. I planted it at the back door at my lake home. It grew to be over 10 feet in diameter! I have cut several pieces off and rooted them but neglected to replant them so they died. This past winter has been very cold and the last time I was at the lake it had turned brown. This concerns me because it is an evergreen. I am going to go check on it this afternoon to see what condition it is in. Hopefully it has survived the winter. It will be sad if it has died. I hope that at least the root has survived and that it will grow again. It comes in handy for cooking, bathing, making aroma, and decorations.

Well, the bad news is that I have checked on my rosemary bush and I believe it is dead. I am sad. If anyone has a rosemary bush that they can give me clippings to, let me know 😦

Rainy Day

image

 

 The tree is a live oak that has taken a bow down to the ground. We planted it the day that we brought our oldest son home from the hospital, who is now 35 years old. For a few years, it didn’t look like it was going to make it but now it is thriving. It is an evergreen. The children love to climb and play on the bowed down branch.
It also makes a great “sitting” for taking photos.

 

 

Rainy Day

This is a view from my front porch during a rain storm. I love the rain. If you look closely, you can see rain falling. When it rains, I love to sit on my old country front porch in the swing and just watch and listen to the rain falling.

Swamp Trees

20140308-171849.jpg

I painted this picture basically from my imagination. I wanted a picture with lots of colors. Again, I added leaves for my husband. But not too many so that the detail of the trees still shows through. I have not drawn or painted in a while now. I need to get back to it. The pictures that I have painted on my iPad, print out beautifully. I have framed a few of them.