Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak
"Spacious Skies"

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Old Southern Pickup Trucks

You are not a true southerner if you don't like old run down wooden houses with a rusty pickup truck in the front yard.  That is true southern landscaping.  This old red rusty truck is located off of highway 82, 60 miles south of Columbus, Georgia.  At Christmas, it is decorated with Christmas lights and is part of a real country Christmas.  I am always on the outlook for true southern traditions and customs.  Rusty pickup trucks is an authentic southern tradition and you can usually find them all over the south.  Cowboys like trucks too.  Here is an excerpt from 'Rodeo Red' by Lucky Whipple from Cowboy Poetry at the Bar-D Ranch website.
Rodeo Red
"Ol' Rodeo Red
Was a Cowboy's truck
No maintenance involved
We just run him on luck.

He's a '52 Chev
With a flathead six
There's everything broke
But there's nothin' to fix.

From Fort Worth to Cheyenne
On to Spokane we sped
He was soon dubbed the title
Of Rodeo Red.

He was quite well renowned
That old pickup truck
Here comes Rodeo Red
Powder River let's buck.

The floorboard was muddled
With mud, cans and trash
To-bacco spittle
And cigarette ash.

The hub caps are missin'
The left runnin' board's gone
And the right lamp's burnt out
When the headlights are on.

The emergency brake
Would never apply
So a rock hind a tire
Was our safety reply..."

Rains Mud in Georgia

 I believe it rains mud in Georgia.  It is a phenomena that only the folks of Georgia knows about. On a rainy night in Georgia the clay dyes the rain into shades of red and burnt orange mud that runs down into the creeks, brooks, ponds and rivers.  That is really why so many folks are called red necks for bathing in muddy Georgia water. I am sure most of the country thinks it is because of the bubba trucks and guns.

"Georgia Clay"
Ain’t it funny how some things take you back?
And the here and now just fades to black
When I pull that blue tarp off of that time machine
Man, it hits me

Seventeen years old running on dumb luck
Spent the whole damn summer
Living in that truck
Them old tires still covered in that mud
Like it sticks with me, in my blood

When life was nothing more than living for the night
Just trying to steal a kiss on a tailgate of that ride
Good old days don’t wash away
Just like that Georgia Clay

Only one of my friends with a Fake I.D.
It made the hometown celebrity
Used to put her in park in a vacant lot
And I still can’t believe we never got caught

When life was nothing more than living for the night
Just trying to steal a kiss on a tailgate of that ride
Good old days don’t wash away
Just like that Georgia clay

All over everything, every last memory
Man it’s all coming back to me...

lyrics by Josh Kelly

Wild Wisterial Flowers

The old southern farms that once farmed the land in Lumpkin County had many vines of wisteria flowers and the remnants of the vines are growing wild in the underbrush, old fence posts, and throughout the southern part of Providence Canyon.

Spring at Providence Canyon

The canyon is coming alive with dogwood blossoms and wild flowers.  Many of the hardwood trees are sprouting new growth.  There are flowers from old wisteria vines that have grown entwined with the undergrowth and trees.  It was cool and perfect weather for hiking and the new growth give enough visibility to see up the slopes of the canyon.

In the Mouth of the Canyon

This is the first time I had the opportunity to hike within the floor of the canyon.  It was wet, muddy with a stream of water flowing or trickling down the trail.  It was easy going down the trail to the canyon floor but not so easy climbing back up the canyon. I definitely need to get in better shape if I ever hike the 7 mile wilderness trail at Providence.  Being at the bottom and looking up at the high cliffs and peaks made me feel like a dwarf.

Wild Dogwoods

Traveling along Georgia back roads, I was searching for the wild dogwood trees that usually grow in the forest among the pine trees. These pictures were taken in Lumpkin outside Providence Canyon Park.

Providence Canyon Hiking Fever


I got spring hiking fever on the way to visit my mother in Columbus, Georgia.  Providence Canyon is an hour's drive from Columbus so we put on our sneakers and went searching for wild dogwood trees and flowers.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Old Sixes School - Little Red One Room Schoolhouse

The Old Sixes one room school house is where my mother and her brothers attended school first thorough 8th grade. The school picture above was taken in 1940 and was recently featured in Dixie Living Magazine.  My uncle Rufus and uncle Earnie Hillhouse attended the one room school and are pictured standing in the back row.  The Sixes school house is located in Cherokee County, Georgia outside of Canton. Sixes is an unincorporated community in western Cherokee County located about three miles west of Holly Springs and near the eastern shore of current-day Lake Allatoona.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Driftwood Beach, A Tree Graveyard

The beach has driftwood and trees that resemble a tree graveyard. This is due to the north end of the island slowly eroding away and being deposited on the south end of the island.  The shoreline is strewn with the remains of fallen trees.  Deposited by storms, the uprooted, fallen trees are bleached and scoured bare by the fierce ocean winds and appear quite ghostly.

In a Disused Graveyard

 The living come with grassy tread
To read the gravestones on the hill;
The graveyard draws the living still,
But never anymore the dead.
The verses in it say and say:
"The ones who living come today
To read the stones and go away
Tomorrow dead will come to stay."
So sure of death the marbles rhyme,
Yet can't help marking all the time
How no one dead will seem to come.
What is it men are shrinking from?
It would be easy to be clever
And tell the stones: Men hate to die
And have stopped dying now forever.
I think they would believe the lie.   
By Robert Frost  

 Robert Frost is a renowned American poet and four times Pulitzer Prize winner. ... His memorial on the graveyard reads, 'I had a lover's quarrel with the world' ...

'The Cow-Girl' and 'Call of the Range'

My cowgirl's hat came in the mail today.  The Children's Express Theatre has started rehearsals for "SonWest Roundup"  about the Town of Dirt Clod.  There are cowgirls, cowboys, and a sheriff in our little town.  The children and I are learning how to talk and walk like cowgirls. The old western range is calling the children to perform this summer for Shores UMC VBS.  I am featuring Candian poet Rhoda Sivell beautiful poems "The Range Call" and "The Cow-Girl".

 The Range Call by Rhoda Sivell of Canada, 1912

I'm lonely to-night for the old range,
And the voices I loved to hear;
Though the band in the town is playing,
The music comes soft to my ear.
There's only the river between us,
The town in the flat shows bright,
But I'm lonely, lonely, lonely,
For my old range home to-night.
I'm lonely to-night for the old friends;
For new friends can never be
Just what those dear old range friends
Have been in the past to me.
But I hear their voices calling,
And the band has ceased to play,
And my heart has gone out from the gas-lit town
To the wild range far away.
If you ever the range call,
The voice that speaks soft and sweet;
That wins you back to the prairie,
Away from the gas-lit street;
If once you hear her calling,
You sure than have got to go,
For the old range is waiting for you,
And you've got to love her so.
 Rhoda Cosgrave Sivell was born in Ireland in 1874. She lived in Canada and published a collection of poems, Voices from the Range, first printed in 1911.  Rhoda Sivell's Voices from the Range was covered by Canadian copyright law until 2012.  Her poems are now public domain. 

The Cow-Girl by Rhoda Sivell, 1912

Out on the wild range, riding
To the music of drifting feet;
As we lope o’er the sunburned prairie,
I and the cow-girl meet.

The sun in the West is setting.
And shoots out its golden beams;
One falls on the face of the rider,
The cow-girl of my dreams

She’s as lithe as the supple willows That grow by the bed of the streams;
Her hair like the golden sunbeam
That falls on the girl of my dreams.

Her eyes are as dark as the shadows
That creep down the canyon wide;
With a look like a half-broke broncho,
Half fearful, yet trusting beside.

Her face like the roses in summer
That grow in the coulees deep;
Her lips like the scarlet sand-flower
That blossoms in cut-banks steep.

She’s as fair as a summer morning; As pure as the prairie air;
She’s as wild as the silver sage brush
That grows by the grey wolf’s lair.

The sky in the West has darkened
As home to the camp we ride,
As I lope o’er the shadowed prairie
With the cow-girl by my side.

We laugh and we talk together, To the music of drifting feet.
As we lope o’er the sunburned prairie,
Where I and the cow-girl meet.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

'There Once was an Oyster'

The Oyster

There once was an oyster
Whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand
Had got into his shell.
It was only a grain,
But it gave him great pain.
For oysters have feelings
Although they’re so plain.

Now, did he berate
The harsh working of fate
That had brought him
To such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government,
Cry for election,
And claim that the sea should
Have given him protection?

No – he sad to himself
As he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it,
I shall try to improve it.
Now the years have rolled around,
As the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate
Destiny – stew.

And the small grain of sand
That had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl
All richly aglow.
Now the tale has a moral;
For isn’t it grand
What an oyster can do
With a morsel of sand?

What couldn’t we do
If we’d only begin
With some of the things
That get under our skin.
Author Unknown

Friday, March 15, 2013

'Song of the Trees' by Mary Colborne-Veel

Song of the Trees

by Mary Colborne-Veel
We are the Trees.  
  Our dark and leafy glade  
Bands the bright earth with softer mysteries.  
Beneath us changed and tamed the seasons run:  
In burning zones, we build against the sun         
  Long centuries of shade.  

We are the Trees,  
  Who grow for man’s desire,  
Heat in our faithful hearts, and fruits that please.  
Dwelling beneath our tents, he lightly gains         
The few sufficiencies his life attains—  
  Shelter, and food, and fire.  

We are the Trees  
  That by great waters stand,  
By rills that murmur to our murmuring bees.         
And where, in tracts all desolate and waste,  
The palm-foot stays, man follows on, to taste  
  Springs in the desert sand.  

We are the Trees  
  Who travel where he goes          
Over the vast, inhuman, wandering seas.  
His tutors we, in that adventure brave—  
He launched with us upon the untried wave,  
  And now its mastery knows.  

We are the Trees         
  Who bear him company  
In life and death. His happy sylvan ease  
He wins through us; through us, his cities spread  
That like a forest guard his unfenced head  
  ’Gainst storm and bitter sky.         

We are the Trees.  
  On us the dying rest  
Their strange, sad eyes, in farewell messages.  
And we, his comrades still, since earth began,  
Wave mournful boughs above the grave of man,          
  And coffin his cold breast.

Mary Colborne-Veel was a well-known Christchurch poet, a poet of some dramatic and narrative power. Born in Christchurch and educated at home, she began writing verse and essays for the Press in 1887, and was an early contributor to Zealandia. Subsequently she frequently had work published in Australian and English periodicals.

Big Savannah Pond Overlook


We looked for the famous pink hues of the roseate spoonbills at Big Savannah Pond but only saw one far off in the distance.  The Savannah Loop is 2.8 miles and joins Capo Loop.  We did see several ducks swimming in the Little Savannah Pond when hiking Capo Rd.

Capo Tower Overlook

The Capo Tower has a stunning view of the Tolomato River, Capo Creek and salt marshes.  Capo Loop is 2.3 miles and it connects to the Savannah Loop which is 2.8 miles. We were the only hikers on the two trails and saw a lot of wildlife in the salt marshes and creeks. Capo Creek has clear beautiful blue waters.

Hiking Trails at Tolomato River

We hiked the South Point Loop 2.7 miles and the Timucucan Trail 2.7 miles along the Tolomato River at the National Estuarine Reserve.  There are two rivers that the trails followed:   Guana River and Tolomato River. It was cloudy which help with heat and a pygmy rattlesnake slithered across our path.