Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Motorcycle Ride to Pine Island

As we came across the bridge onto Pine Island, we saw that they were still working on the new bridge.  We wondered if the entire road was being widened.  If so, what will happen to all the little houses and shops just across the bridge in the small town of Matlache.
The road is dotted with shops and restaurants, all clustered nearly on top of the road.
It's like they had a contest to see who could produce the most colorful storefront.
Past the village of Matlache, all evidence of town disappeared as we entered an area where the wetlands are being restored.  On a bike, your senses are all involved.  Here the smell of decaying foliage was very strong.
We turned north at the end of the road.  The north end of Pine Island is dotted with nurseries.  The swamp smell was replaced by orange blossom smell.  
It is always hard to believe a tall palm tree is supported by such a tiny root system.  Yet, they withstand hurricane force winds occasionally, as Pine Island is a barrier island.
Bokeela, another small village, sits at the far north end of the island.
Captain Don's Fish Restaurant is an extremely popular place.  In the middle of the day on a Wednesday, we had to wait for a table.
Our friends, Fran and Patti, were our companions for this trip.
Another day in paradise!  We are happy to be back in Florida, if only for a few days this trip.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Kolomoki Mounds and Providence Canyon State Parks

Sunday morning in SW Georgia dawned bright and sunny but cold.  We decided to take our visitors from Michigan to brunch at one of our favorite places for real southern cooking, Magnolia's on Main in Blakely.
It looks like a residence and is in a residential neighborhood, but the food is genuine southern cooking.  Even trying only a tiny bit of everything on the buffet racked up the calories, and the desserts were too divine to pass up, so we all vowed to eat nothing more for the rest of the day.  To do penance, we even took a couple of walks.
First stop, Kolomoki Mounds State Park.  We first stopped by Kolomaki Lake, where the water was high and muddy from our past week of rain.
The Temple Mound is the highest mound of the five on the site.
At the museum, a partially excavated mound offers a glimpse into the history of the Kolomoki and of the excavation of burial sites.
Mom and I had seen the movie on prior visits, so we sat on the porch in the sun while our guests enjoyed the show.
We weren't too far from Providence Canyon, so we decided to take our guest by another local site.  The official word is that the canyons were formed when the steep land was farmed. 

The canyons are really beautiful with the multiple colored layers.  Clearly, they are still in an advancing stage as the fencing around the canyon has been moved back several feet from our last visit.
We all enjoyed the walk along the rim of the canyon, and another visitor took a picture for us to remember.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Spring has Sprung in SW Georgia

This may be the earliest we have ever seen the azaleas in bloom around Lake Eufaula.  We started seeing a few blooms a week or so ago, but now they are all fully in bloom.
The Japanese Magnolia are nearly done blooming, but the spirea are starting - see the white plant at the base of the Magnolia.
It is strange to see the spring flowers when some trees are still bare of leaves and some Christmas decorations are still hanging.
The annual tour of antebellum mansions in the city of Eufuala is the first week in April.  Usually this coincides with azalea and dogwood blooms.  This year, the azalea at least will be long finished with their blooms.
Carolina Creeper
Red Bud
and freshly plowed fields all tell us the groundhog was right - at least for SW Georgia.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sun setting over Lake Eufaula

Nearly every day, nature provides this show.  We never tire of watching the sun go down over the lake, and can't seem to stop taking pictures of it.  Every evening is different and every one seems more beautiful than the last.