Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bryan Bowers: The Bristlecone Pine

Anyone who knows me at all, knows I am an old ( I mean a really old) groupy from way, way back. I've been a fan of Brayn's since I first met him in 1976, thirty years ago. In fact, he showed me how to make diatonic harps. I played diatonic harps virtually alone in Arkansas for many years. Well, not all by myself. I played in bluegrass bands!

All around me the autoharp was enjoying a revolution, but I seemed to have been alone playing in Arkansas with the exception of the Mountain View girls: Cheryl and her mom and Margie Earls. Ron Wall was there for a time but he left to go to Nashville....I finally joined the autoharp community when I met Marty and Mark in Florida....Here is Bryan playing the mandocello tonight at the Warehouse.

Bristlecone Pine
By Hugh Prestwood

Way up in the mountains on the high timber line
There's a twisted old tree called the Bristlecone Pine
The wind there is bitter, it cuts like a knife
And it keeps that tree holding on for dear life

But hold on it does, standing its ground
Standing as empires rise and fall down
When Jesus was gathering lambs to his fold
The tree was already a thousand years old

Now the way I have lived there ain't no way to tell
When I die if I'm going to heaven or hell
So when I'm laid to rest it would suit me just fine
To sleep at the feet of the Bristlecone Pine

For as I would slowly return to the earth
What little this body of mine might be worth
Would soon start to nourish the roots of that tree
And it would partake of the essence of me

And who knows but that as the centuries turn
A small spark of me might continue to burn
As long as the sun did continue to shine
Down on the limbs of the Bristlecone Pine

Now the way I have lived there ain't no way to tell
When I die if I'm going to heaven or hell
So I'd just as soon serve out eternity's time
Asleep at the feet of the Bristlecone Pine
Asleep at the feet of the Bristlecone Pine

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pelicans in Formation

I saw these pelicans flying over
John D. MacArthur Park.

Lake Worth Heron

Such a graceful flier.

White Springs Pileated Woodpecker

This fella was high in a spruce pine. Peggy was right. This camera is definitely a keeper. It is more complicated but I am learning fast!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Kosmic Debriz

Here is my friend Mark. I traveled to White Springs to say hello and to do a tie dye workshop with him. The shirt I dyed is drying and I will have it ready to photograph in a few weeks. Mark and I like to talk and to be outdoors. I also saw Alice Gerrard while I was in WS. She sang so sweetly and she has been a big inspiration to me over the years. I'll see if I got any good photos of her and put them up. Today my son comes home for the Tahnksgiving holiday. The grocery bill will go up this week! I'm defrosting chicken as we speak!

An aside; it is the coldest November I can recall here in North Florida, but it's better than hurricanes!

Friday, November 17, 2006

A sign?

This morning the pileated woodpeckers were back.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Kayaking The Sopchoppy River

On Saturday I took a lovely and surprisingly long trip down the Sopchoppy River with the Broderson Brothers. They grew up as river rats like me. Their parents owned a marina on the Chesapeake Bay and also retired on a Gulfstar in the keys.
Ward looks happy to be out on a Saturday and it was before the football game so he wasn't yet nonplussed! Ward and Rebecca host the Sunday MLC suppers. His wife was out of town so he was free to go with the carefree singles!

We saw this hornets nest and a couple of others on our way. The fall foliage reminded us of the northern fall season. The cedars were red and many oaks displayed fall plumage as well.
Peter bought this sweet little place on the upper Sopchoppy and he has begun work on it. It has an easy beach launch which just needs two large trees cleared, unlike many of the steep launches along this high banked river.
The upper Sopchoppy has some encumbrances which we managed to avoid as you see here, with only a little extra caution.
Here is Peter enjoying the view. I was able to keep up with the guys although we kept up a good pace on the lower part of the river since we didn't want to get to the city park past dark. I had been out six hours the day before and my arms are pretty strong at this point. I have also been lifting weights in the garage gym I set up recently. My arms are only a little sore today.....
This is Peter's lovely little place. He has a resident pileated woodpecker and we saw many woodpecker holes and stripped bark on the river.

More Wacissa Photos

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bob The Limpkin...but no Ivory Bills

This seemed like the perfect day for a Wacissa trip and as luck would have it my kayaking buddy was ready to go with me today. Peggy told me she had several sights for me to see and our first treat was the headwaters of the Wacissa which I had not ever explored. We discovered that with the right tools we could have taken out at least six air boats in one swoop but as we were plotting, gunshots began to ring out driving us downstream. Perhaps our voices carried...

Anyway, off we went downstream for what turned into a six hour trip. I can kill six hours on a river without ever feeling bored for even a second and today was no exception. I saw evidence of ivory bills stripping tree bark on a sweet gum here. Bob, the Tame Limpkin was holding court after a rather large meal of snails. The lily pads were littered with them and he was sated and posing languorously for me.

I like those reedy things that grow in the river in abundance in the fall and winter. Peggy was taking pictures and as usual has the most stunning ones. We saw an eagle, many mergansers, herons, ibises, and limpkins galore , those helicopter birds that dive into the river...I can never think of their name...(belted kingfishers). I saw at least one large woodpecker with a red tuft and another woodpecker of large size flew over the river and flashed white on his wings. He did not swoop. I heard many double knocks all day, especially along the upper river.

I seem to have a number of pictures of Peggy's back and here is one more....She claims she has a T-shirt that says, "Paddle faster, I hear banjo music" which I thought was pretty interesting but I just got the joke this minute as I thought of this conversational exchange.....LOL
Oh, I can't get anymore pictures to take so I'll put this one up in the next entry....

We tried to wake a sleeping raccoon high in a tree. I sang "horsey keep your tail up...." but I guess he was too high up to worry about any horse puckey...

As I was driving home, Kim called to invite me to see one of her grandsons and have dinner. Jay-Len is precious. Kim and I ended the evening playing bluegrass guitar(she plays lead, I play rhythm) and singing some of our old favorite Carter Family songs. I got to play Kim's old Gibson which was the perfect ending of a fine day...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Changing of the Watch

This weekend was another trip to visit the parental units! Dad was attending the Yacht Club Watch Change as the original past commodore. It was a ceremony with pomp, including a bagpiper, Navy Cadets in uniform, flags going up and down, The Star Spangled Banner, and speeches. Great fun for my parents and definitely a kodak moment. Are they PB blue hairs? I guess so... If you're familiar with Chaos Theory, they always remind me of a Lorenz Loop! They even dress as though they are a Loop! Don't you think?

As for me, I am like a moth evading an echolocating bat...I stopped at White Springs on the way home to visit but my intended visitee was not at home. I expect to go out camping for the weekend this coming weekend but as I have several potential destinations, I am not sure just where I will end up as yet. The forest awaits...

Of course, I will be kayaking and looking for the illusive ivory billed woodpecker. If you're wondering why this blog is bland, see me in person for my usual scorching opinions about politics, social behavior, the Bush Dynasty, other people's children, my girlfriend's husbands, other people's musical abilities, and anything else I regularly get myself in trouble over. Here, I try to stay out of trouble but this is the only place that happens....