Christmas Acorns?

I was growing a little tired of the two sidebar photos I had up of the fall leaves.
So I decided to switch it to a mini version of this:

I took this picture in mid-November for my Nature Blog.  Last year we had hardly any mast, and the squirrels and other animals that depend on things like acorns had a rough winter. But this year we had a very abundant mast. And there have been more acorns than the squirrels, chipmunks, deer, etc. can handle.  Acorns of all types are everywhere! It’s nice to see.

I think the ones with the metallic silver sheen are the prettiest of all.  I photographed these 3 because they remind me of Christmas bulbs, and leave me with the feeling of a happy and festive mood.


The Beechnut

According to the Department of Natural Resources:
As the beechnut or American beech tree gets ready for winter, its leaves turn a brownish russet color and the three-sided nuts it produces are borne in prickly burs.
Because the nut is small and covered with a thin, leathery shell, sometimes people don’t take the effort to harvest it. However, they do have a delicate, rich flavor.

Most days I handle being disabled pretty well.  I am good at keeping a positive outlook and realizing just how blessed I am to be alive.  I have the ability to see the blessings in my life and not simply the struggles.

My faith gives me strength.

But there are some days, when it is harder to be the optimist.  Some days I feel like this beechnut I photographed.

Full of potential,
yet held back so much by the prickly confines of my disability.

I watch the world go by,
just like the water whirling past this beechnut.

I see all of the things I want to be doing,
and I watch them float by.

It brings a moment of sadness,
then guilt for the sadness.
I have much to be thankful for.

Perhaps someday I will be released,
and be able to meld my life experiences in a way where I can enjoy the things of my past – yet hold on to the appreciation that I have for those things now.

The beechnut either rots in its prickly shell,
or it makes it out and can go on to live so much more.
Some even become a tree.
Some grow tall and strong.
Some make more beechnuts.

Then it hit me,
perhaps I’m already a tree and I just don’t realize it.

~ ~ ~

So what do you think Grandpa does at camp?

Today my six year old daughter was commenting on the fact that her Grandpa is at camp for a few days with her Great Uncle Chester.

So just out of curiosity I asked her, “What do you think PawPaw and Uncle Chester do at camp?”

She said, “Go camping.” (In a voice that said, Duh Mom.)

I said, “Yeah, but what do you think they do there?”

She said, “They sit around a campfire and sing songs of course!”

While I was giggling at that mental picture she said, “WHAT?!! They do, I’m sure of it.”


There’s a skink in the living room

My morning started off with, “Um Deb, you might want to come down here.”

Sleepy me:  “Do I have to?”

Hubby:  “Yep.”

I walk downstairs to find a five-lined skink in the middle of our living room carpet.

I’m not sure how it got into the house.  They like to sun themselves out back and they startle when you go out the door. And on very rare occasions, they run inside accidentally.  So I’m guessing that probably happened sometime yesterday and we didn’t realize it.

I tried putting an old big plastic bowl over it and then sliding a magazine under it.  But that didn’t work, it escaped a few times trying that method.  I hated to use my hands because typically if they are startled that much, they will pop their tails off.  It’s their way of escaping predators, etc.  And I was really hoping it wouldn’t do that.

Finally after it escaped the bowl trick for the third time, it was highly motivated to find a place to hide.  So I had to scoop it up with my hands and hope that it wouldn’t decide to leave it’s tail with me.  (It didn’t, so I was happy about that.)

After I took it outside and tried to place it in the grass, it acted like, “Wow your hand isn’t too bad.”  And just hung out there for a bit.  Long enough that my husband went and got the camera and snapped a photo. Unfortunately my husband is not used to my camera and had it on the wrong setting, so the photo is blurry.

Then it scurried away.  Here’s one afterwards.

And a happy ending for all.