Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Etsy Favorites

  • Antique Cast Iron Lamp My Dear Friend Abandoned Farm House - Original Print from Outside of Seattle in Washington State - 11 inch x 14 inch Matted Print Ready for Framing
  • Summer Memories - Vintage Inspired Assemblage Necklace Shabby Natural Assemblage Art Vintage Cast Iron Heat Grate - Architectural Salvage - Scroll Design
  • Cashmere Restyle Camisole Sweater Tank in Oatmeal Cream and Taupe Size Small Antique Corbel Painted Cottage Aqua Chic Romance  Aqua Chic Vanity VAN20
  • City Jelly Lamp Custom listing "VINTAGE LUCY'S"  light fixture metal letters 18 inch tall Burlap Basket Chandelier

  • 15 ft of crimped curly wire garden fence SO MANY IDEAS Assemblage art SALVAGE GARDEN II Outsider artAntique Metal Suitcase

  • Browsing the aisles of Etsy is always an amazing adventure!
  • (I'm happy to say I have managed to sell more than I have bought - so far anyway!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Backroads wandering.......Pebble Hill Plantation

Some of my favorite scenic backroads are in south Georgia - and Highway 319 from Thomasville to Tallahassee is where you find many of the largest plantations in the area (I believe Ted Turner has a little place around here).
Pebble Hill Plantation was owned by naturalist and humanitarian Elisabeth "Pansy" Poe, who, upon her death, specified that her home (on 3000 acres) be open to the public.....
......and so now you can tour the entire plantation - complete with extensive gardens, pool, grass tennis court, cemetery, dog hospital.......

(pink and white camellias were spreading a lovely carpet of petals among the old headstones)

....and my favorite part - the stables!

These beautiful dark giants (they looked like draft horses) were napping in the paddock, and seemed indifferent to
my photography except for the occasional blinking of their huge black eyes. So regal and lovely.......
(I'm experimenting with watermarks since there is more and more 'borrowing' of photos going on......but I still find them very labor intensive)
I did very little picking on my wander - partly because I am still in a state of burnout from the shows, and partly due a lack of shops that were open, but I never miss a chance to visit my all-time favorite shop "Relic's" in downtown Thomasville! It's always fabulous!

Owner Melissa was at Scott's that weekend, but I chatted with Wilson Britt (who has the refinishing shop adjacent) and he was quite helpful in sharing information that came in useful on my trip - thanks Wilson!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Backroads wandering.......Cedar Key

I'm amazed at how I could have lived in Florida for most of my life and never ventured to these cool places!
Cedar Key was a pleasant surprise...... after driving a long way through bleak vistas of palmetto scrub and pine trees, this unique waterfront village did seem like a step back in time......
.....and reminiscent of what "1950's Key West" might have been like - as proclaimed.

It is situated 3 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico (start heading west when you get about a fourth of the way down the state) and I learned it's a federally protected sanctuary, which explains the refreshingly undeveloped nature of it.

Cedar Key was the destination point for Florida's first railroad to connect the west coast to the east coast at Fernandina Beach - which allowed this area to become a major supplier of seafood and timber products to the northeast starting in the 1800's
There are undeveloped little islands and keys scattered everywhere you look, with beautifully unspoiled salt marshes.....making this prime kayaking territory!
Crab traps line the back bayou streets....
.....but most of the action is right down on the waterfront by the boat ramp where the restaurants sit out over the water, and where you can see the islands (boats will take you out to these for a day of beachcombing and exploration) and where you can fish off of the large pier.

A block inland is a little downtown area (modest and a bit ramshackle in a charming sort of way) where shops, and old and new hotels, line the streets.
Being in a time crunch, I didn't have the opportunity to do all the things I discovered there are to do here.....but definitely plan to return......ASAP!

The village is said to be a haven for artists and writers, although I didn't get a chance to check out the shops......and there are so many fishing, boating and kayaking opportunities in the Gulf, estuaries and islands. There's also biking and hiking trails to explore.....some taking you to shell mounds and other historic sites.

Next......Pebble Hill Plantation near Thomasville, GA

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Backroads wandering........Florida springs

North Florida is home to the largest collection of natural springs in the world with approx. 300 known springs--27 of which are first magnitude (over 64 million gallons daily flow).
Manatee Springs, near Chiefland, is a first magnitude spring and has a nice elevated boardwalk that takes you from the springs pool out to the Suwanee River, where you can see the natural terrain of cypress forests and overlook the crystal clear water along the way.
At the end of the boardwalk, which ends with an observation deck, there were hundreds of ducks congregating in a swarming mass, and as I walked further out I was totally amazed to discover there was a huge pod of manatees just a few yards off the platform!

I have rarely seen even one manatee in the wild, and it was totally thrilling to see so many of them up close. (They are not so easy to photograph though!)
They start to come up into the rivers and springs in Nov. to get to the warm water--the springs are usually about 72 degrees year-round.

On the trail back to the main springs pool, I passed this sign......

......and wondered if the spring divers are ever menaced by alligators?
There were a bunch of divers in the spring pool that day (you can see them underwater if you enlarge the pics) and the water was such an amazing color of blue--photographs just don't pick up the clarity and color of the water.

Peacock Springs (below), near Luraville, is an entirely different type of spring area. The small clear pool leads to one of the largest underwater cave systems in the US, with over 28,000 feet of passageways, and is an internationally renowned cave diving destination (you must have
cave diving certification). But this is all you see above ground!

Another spring along the Suwanee River is Madison Blue, and there were divers there as well. It's situated just yards from the river with a pretty stream connecting the two.
While walking the trails I remember thinking how I hoped all the snakes were underground because I would never see them in all the leaves.......and as I left the park and pulled onto Highway 6 toward Madison, there was a massive diamondback rattlesnake (that had apparently just eaten some critter judging by it's huge belly) stretched out across both lanes of the road. I couldn't get a pic of it since a truck was quickly approaching behind me. I'm really glad I didn't come across that on the trail, but I hope it made it across the road!

Next.....Cedar Key - "1950's Key West"?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Backroads wandering......St. Joseph Peninusula State Park

These are the only mammals I encountered at this beautiful beachfront sanctuary surrounded by the Gulf to the south and St. Josephs Bay to the north. (about a 45 minute drive west of Apalachicola)
The bay side sand dunes were covered in beautiful clumps of bright yellow flowers....

.....and the estuaries were alive with water birds stalking little darting fish, easily visible in the clear water.
Gulf side the dunes were covered in sea grasses waving in the breeze......
.....and in the long stretches of beautifully rippled white sand--there were no footprints!

I have been told you have to camp here, or stay in one of the cabins hidden in the trees at the end of the narrow peninsula to enjoy the whole experience.

Next......the amazing and abundant blue springs of North Florida