Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Wonderful Surprise

Sometimes on Saturday I'm not sure what I want to do...believe it or not! The boys and I headed out midmorning, and I figured I'd get a coffee drink at Leapin' Lizards and the rest would somehow fall into place. The sky was REALLY pretty today with bright blue and wonderful white clouds. I sure wish the sky had been this way on our trip to Dad's house. Anyway, I decided to take a drive down John Adams Road and then down Norman Blalock Road. Norman Blalock is where the spooky old tree is. I was just hoping for some cool bird to be roosting on it's branches. However, what I found was this brilliant white bird in the pond next to the tree. Apparently, it's an egret, and he's a type of heron. Neat! So, the boys and I were enjoying watching the bird. Occassionally he'd bend forward to grab something from the water to eat. Next thing we knew, a white horse walked up to the pond to drink. I wasn't really even aware that there were horses nearby let alone that they had access to the tree/pond area. The white horse was followed by another mostly white horse and a brown horse. Neat! I figured the bird would fly off right way, but he wasn't bothered by the horses at all. They came, drank, and went back to the pasture, and the egret just kept walking around the pond. How neat is that? I was as close as the fence would let me. Enjoy...
The boys and I ended up running errands at ACM, Party City, Toys R Us, Kohl's and then going to Adventure Landing. We tried to go to Bullwinkles, but they were closed. The boys had a blast playing miniature golf and video games. Joey enjoyed climbing the climbing wall even though he wasn't able to scale it like he did at the fair last year. Both boys got on the go carts, and Johnny had a blast going around once, but then he stopped and hopped out and said he was done. Joey as you can see from his pics was leaning into the curves and having a blast. Anway, we found our something;-) We finished the day with Smithfield's...yum!
Here are the best pics, and here are all the pics.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Maryann's Weekend Nature Trail

Here are some nature shots I took on my way to/from Dad's house in Monroe, NC (Union County) this weekend. We took Hwy 64 out of Wake County to Hwy. 49 then used Mt. Pleasant Rd. to crossover to NC 200 to go to Reed Gold Mine and then down into Monroe. Normally, we'd get off I85 onto 601 or off Hwy 49 onto 601. The route we took this time is much more scenic and had little traffic lights or for that matter, traffic.

I believe the butterfly below is a Pipevine Swallowtail. It, along with the other yellow lantana shots below, were taken in Locust, NC (Stanly County) on 7/12/08. A Spicebrush Swallowtail has two rows of orange dots while the Pipevine Butterfly has one row of 7 orange dots. The praying mantis shot from the other day was a Spicebrush. I've learned that a Black Swallowtail is not necessarily a Black Swallowtail.

There were many types of butterflies and moths feeding on the yellow lantana that day. I took pics of all the larger varieties.

I think the butterfly below may be a Tawny Emporer.

And, the Hemaris Diffinis moth was also present on the lantana.

Sunflowers near Reed Gold Mine in Cabarrus County.

The Pisgah Covered Bridge in Randolph County (think not far from the NC Zoo).

We saw some other neat things like a good view of the Rocky River at a large bridge crossing on NC 200. It was fun. All these stops and sites kept me awake on the ride.

The rest of the weekend shots are here and here.

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A few of the pictures I took of the boys with Poppop this weekend. The outside fireplace shots were taken at the Lone Star Steakhouse in Monroe. The other shots were taken in Dad's living room. Johnny just loved the rocking chair, so when he wasn't in Dad's lap, he was in it.

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Reed Gold Mine

The boys and I took a trip to Reed's Gold Mine on Saturday on our way to Poppop's house. It's kindof on the way to his house. We took Hwy. 64 to Hwy. 49, went through Mt. Pleasant, and got on NC 200. We had a good time walking in an actual mine tunnel, touring the museum, strolling the property, and panning for gold. I did find a speck of gold in my pan, and they put it in a plastic vial filled with water. You can almost see it if you look hard enough;-) Joey was fascinated with the ore cars (think Thomas mine tunnel) and even asked the tour guide a question. Johnny loved panning, um playing in water.
The rest of the pics are here.
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Cow Appreciation Day

Chick-fil-A held their anual Cow Appreciation Day this past Friday (July 11th). If you came into Chick-fil-A dressed as a cow, you got a free meal. It's no secret that the boys and I like Chick-fil-A, so I talked the family into dressing up and getting a free meal. I had a cow costume that a wore at Halloween a few years ago. Their website had some cow cut-outs that I used to dress up the boys. And, of course, Joey had to wear his Chick-fil-A Party Animal shirt. They let us order what we wanted, so Rick and I each got a #1 combo, Johnny got a kid's meal, and Joey got a pickleless sandwich and a drink. Yum and free! And, yes, a few people stared, especially at me, but hey, where is their cow spirit anyway?!?

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The rest of the pics are here.