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Georgia On My Mind Again, Part 1

About 18 months ago, I read about the total eclipse of 2017 that would be visible across the width of the lower 48. The map suggested that it would cross northern Georgia where my sister and brother-in-law live. A quick consultation with them and we decided to have a mini-family reunion of the four "kids" in the family plus spouses. We figured that we could drive the short distance to a viewing spot in the path of totality. It was about a year later that I discovered that the line of totality went right over Blairsville where they live. Big show, no driving necessary, weather permitting.

Little things have changed since my last visit. The first that I noticed was a new sign where their little gravel road meets the paved road. Turns out my brother-in-law built and installed it. He is very talented with tools and can't seem to sit still in retirement — always something needing his skills and ingenuity.

And here is that short gravel road to their house — yep, we're in the country now. This has not changed.

I was noticing on the trip up from the Atlanta airport and everywhere around their house, there were these webs in the trees. It turns out these are made by tent worms (or caterpillars) who seem to prefer Sour Wood trees although they will built in other types of trees as well.

Along the side of the road I spotted this unusual mushroom next to a fern. I don't recall ever seeing a red mushroom before.

And here a wild sprig of tiny yellow flower buds — Goldenrod. Try not to sneeze.

And finally we arrive at their house. Not much has changed — landscaping has matured...

And the apple trees have apples — these are Pink Ladies. They are so good. Of course, the deer take their share.

And here was a real surprise — such a surprise, in fact, that I began talking to the flower. "Don't I know you? You're from Hawai‘i! You're a passion flower!". The flower did not respond (good thing, the men in the white coats may have stopped by to take me off to the funny farm).

Just below the flower, I spotted two passion fruit (or is it passion fruits). I found an online article on when to harvest them and forwarded it to my sister who is most interested in trying them.

This was new, some lovely roses in front of the house, just a bit past their prime.

And then the grand prize, a butterfly feeding on nectar from marigold blossoms. I looked it up and it's an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Magnificent.

I saw this construction in progress remotely via FaceTime — but now it is complete, a pizza oven. Unfortunately, my sister and brother-in-law decided that it was too much trouble and they actually prefer pizza cooked on the grill. But not all is lost, the pizza oven is now a bread oven — and, fortunately, my sister loves to make bread.

Another new item, also made by my brother-in-law — a bird house. No residents so far. A few came to check it out in the spring but did not stay. We think it may be too close to the house — the birds here prefer at least 30 feet distance from man-made structures. I'll bet my brother-in-law moves it before my next visit.

As I am writing this issue of LAHP, the weather forecast for Monday is "mostly sunny". We'll have our fingers crossed for good viewing. I'll share the results next week. Never photographed an eclipse before — maybe it'll be good, maybe not. And yes, we have the special glasses so we won't burn out our eyes.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com