Sunday, May 16, 2010

One Fine Day

I have been so busy lately I decided to take a little afternoon breather. A distracting tour of sorts, a small adventure designed to help me unwind a bit.

Fortunately for me there is a virtual Wonderland right in my own back yard.

A place I've gone every single day for many years to walk our little monkey Julliette.

I stumbled upon it quite accidentally whilst chasing a hummingbird who had beckoned me, he zip, zip, zipped around my head chattering at me in a high pitched voice. This way Sandra he said...

It is a magical place hidden from the road.

It is tucked secretly away and to get to it you must enter through a hole in a thicket of night blooming jasmine which

is laden with interloping fuzzy wild grapevines so dense that you can't tell where the bush ends and the grapevines begin!

When the plump purple grapes ripen they become feasts for the birds, squirrels, opossum and raccoons that live there.

Once inside you come to a clearing and your eyes are greeted by

very tall, gnarled, ancient oak trees

that are naturally decorated in prickly balls of grey green Spanish moss and

if you look closely enough you can still see a few large rusted nails protruding from the biggest tree, follow those nails up

and you will spy wooden planks that obviously lead to a tree house at one time.

Beyond the trees is the remains of a lovely old limestone quarry, encircling the whole thing is a

gravel trail that curls and winds all the way around it, apparently the old road they used leading in and out of the area.

Legend in these parts tells that one day, back in the 1930s they were working down there and hit a vast underground freshwater spring. The miners had to abandon the equipment and get out as fast as they could as the basin rapidly began to fill up!

The quarry is surrounded by giant,

geode riddled boulders,

rife with mystical, chunky clear quartz

rock crystals that

look just like sugar candy!

There are several precious water falls constantly trickling down, down, down

flowing over tiny slick moss and past maiden's hair fern covered cliffs. A sweet sight to behold indeed!

All kinds of exotic water fowl

stop off and visit

enjoying the cool breeze and each other.

Believe it or not because the water is exceptionally clean and clear you can easily

see the algae covered boulders sitting on the bottom of the quarry.

There is also a kind of freshwater jellyfish who reside here

along side the many turtles that laze about sunning

their bowled backs and tiny heads.

Look closely and you can see some of the over turned equipment still lying in its watery grave! A fabulous old truck!

See the back bumper, two tires and the spare? On occasion a curious little fish will pop its face out too!

It is sure enough a peaceful place to be on this fine Spring day in 2010.

Continuing along the trail you realize the faint bitter sweet scent of wild onions that are scattered about, and see stray stalks of once cultivated crops of yellow corn and red cabbage.

If you dare to walk over close to the edge you will spy

long ago carved initials that once meant something to someone somewhere.

Wild flowers boom in abundance and bright green clover grows in fat dense clusters in random patterns all over the ground.

Blossom filled trees

buzz loudly

with honey bees

and butterflies

and beetles

busy at work!

There are pretty patches of the teeniest pink succulent plant I've ever seen, so small it makes the grasshoppers that guard it look as big as Godzilla!

We have a tree here called Mountain Laurel with pastel lilac colored flowers that I promise you smell JUST like purple Koolaid, no joke!

If I could send you a wish floating about on the wind...

I think it would be simply this...

to feel the sun on your face

with your toes in the water

and just be,

really, really be! There now do you feel better? I know I do! So until next time my friends, when we are going to explore my Wonderland from a very different angle, up close and personal! Another mini adventure lingers in wait for you and even a few tiny surprises!