Friday, September 21, 2007

scenes from the country

Baby chicks. A mix of guineas and regular chicken babies. Ever been around Guinea fowl? They are noisy as hell and kind of annoying, but they are great eaters of bugs. chicks at night.

The puppy (now a fairly hyper and slightly annoying young dog)looking up at the grown ups. There are four dogs, all German Shepherds, and they scare away coyotes and visitors with their big barks. On the right is the wall of Dad's greenhouse, he has all sorts of fruit and veggies growing in there, including figs, bananas and kumquats.

Slightly blurry photo of the fireplace in the main room. Mom and dad have a new entertainment system that is so complex they have to refer to written instructions every time they want to watch a dvd, change from satellite to regular tv, or use the surround sound.

Dad builds Japanese gardens as a hobby. He really gets into it, moving rocks that weigh tons to make fountains, create flower beds and pathways. This photo is from a few years ago, when he was in construction phase. The Buddha was my grandparents'. They had amazing Japanese gardens as well, on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. My grandfather created new strains of camellia, he (and my grandmother) were AMAZING gardeners. All gone now, after Katrina. Where their house was (they are both dead) was in the epicenter (Gulfport) of the worst damage.

View back to the house from the orchard. I think that's a pear tree on the left. The house has been added on to and modified since this photo. It's very old, though it's been renovated over time. We have pictures from the turn of the century and it is probably older by 50 years than that. There as even a very small Civil War battle in the creek down the hill. A Union guy and a Confederate guy met up, argued and killed each other. The Battle of Hungry Hollow!

A fountain and pond that Dad built. It's now full of native goldfish, lotus and happy bullfrogs. In the background (the dog is looking at it) is a traditional Japanese fountain (though I saw one in Thailand, too) which consists of a pipe, usually made of bamboo, that slowly fills with water trickled into it from above. The pipe is on a pivot and as the water fills, it tilts down and the water dumps out. The pipe "clocks" back down into place making a melodic sound. We had one in Houston when I was growing up as well. The sound is very distinctive and once you hear it you don't forget it. The pond is all grown over with plants and some trees now, it looks very natural.

Mom and I went for a walk in the woods on Wednesday and now I have a bad case of chiggers all around my ankles. That is the WORST itch.

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