Saturday, July 5, 2014

Today's Harvest July 5th

Today is our 4th of July here because today is the day we are having the fireworks down at the marina. I did put up a flag banner (we always have a couple of flag up, the US one and an Army one) across the porch and we had some great ribs from the grill yesterday but today we will really go and celebrate.
Before we go to the marina though (about 6:00 p.m. even though the fireworks won't start until around 9:00 p.m. because we will never get a decent place to park if we don't go early--the marina is just a small country place with a dirt road), we basically just sit around bored until time to go.
 I got down to the garden. The garden is scary right now. The weeds have grown higher than most of the plants and you want to use caution stepping into them. I didn't see anything to worry about on my trip down there today though. I did have to search some to find the peppers and herbs but once found they were still producing. There is also a few nice tomatoes on a tomato plant that actually had a cage to grow on but they aren't ripe yet.
Anyway, I went back and got some scissors and trimmed up the thyme and sage. I did make a sad discovery when I trimmed the thyme is lemon thyme which to me is like the lemon balm...we might never use it (it was not labeled lemon thyme when I bought it). I am going to dry it though and give it a try on the potatoes and maybe some fish or chicken and see how it goes. There was a lot of that thyme! And some big leaves on the sage. I haven't had fresh sage for a while now so am pleased to get some.
On the way back I stopped in the greenhouse and trimmed the peppermint. Other finds in the garden were one lonely ripe blueberry and a pepper and then 2 more peppers in the pots by the porch.

Sorry for the phone picture my camera is deleting pictures at random when I take them :(  All the herbs are in the oven on cookie sheets. With a gas oven the pilot will have them dry in no time. I will probably have to turn that thyme several times though.
I ate the blueberry (a little tart, it could have stayed out there another day but I was afraid a bird would get it) and the peppers are in the frig, if we don't use them up quickly, they will be frozen.
It is a little cooler today so we aren't as miserable and may make for a very nice 4th sitting out at the marina by the lake waiting for the fireworks. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Calhoun Falls, Where There Are No Actual Falls

We didn't plan on hiking when we took our little trip to Calhoun Falls, SC. We planned on seeing some falls. The joke was on us when we found out there weren't any actual fall in Calhoun Falls, SC. It seems like this would be apparent when you looked it up online. Phil had looked it up before we went and we both looked it up when we got back and could not find where it tells anywhere that there are no longer any falls in Calhoun FALLS, SC. Apparently when the Savannah river was dammed the falls were lost in favor of the new lake it created.
Anyway, I have never seen a more desolate road as I have going to Calhoun Falls. The town leading up to it are just completely dying. One called Willington  had some beautiful old houses and buildings but only a few brick buildings (and by few I mean like two or three) made up the main street and they were abandoned. There were beautiful old churches all shuttered and closed. Also a town called Mt. Caramel was in the same state. Gorgeous old mansion houses but only one business in town and that was a furniture store. There were also some nice old farms but most were in a state of disrepair. I tried to get a picture of one farm that had a huge brick silo with no roof and a huge tree growing out the top of it, but I was unable to get the picture fast enough as we passed. I bet it hadn't been used in over a 100 years to get that big a tree growing out of it.
I really loved the countryside. I would love to live there but it was sad too because I wondered how you could live there without traveling forever to find work.
Now Calhoun Falls does have a state park which is where we ended up. It is a lot like the park we have here on the lake right by the house except it is larger and has tennis courts. It has a swimming area and camp sites and picnic sites. It is also all in a bit of disrepair. We were there on a Sunday and there were maybe 3 other cars that we saw in there which is probably why it is in disrepair. We are having the same problem with the park we have by the house, it isn't getting used enough to pay for its upkeep anymore.
So we had gotten out and drove all that way there and we wanted to do something and they had a few "nature trails".  I am a bit sceptical when it comes to "trails" here in the South. Being from New Hampshire, I find the woods here aren't all that nice. They just aren't the same kind of pretty. I find myself missing home more and more.

The first part of the trail was promising as I saw a deer right off. Phil missed it but I saw it running away from us. Unfortunately, she was way too fast to get a picture.

There were these little bridges across ditches where water used to run. The boards under your feet on this one moved and the railings on one I went across just leaned way back on me.

Here are a couple of pictures of the lake on one spot of the trail where you could get to the lake by just stepping off a few feet.

This was actually a very steep downhill on the side of the trail but it doesn't look like it from the picture.

There were other trails but the good podiatrist I went to here was not able to fix my foot....well he could but he couldn't fix it with anything my insurance would cover so by the time I was done with my 1.75 miles my feet, ankles and knees were killing me, plus it was pretty darn hot by then so that was enough. That was it for our little day trip to South Carolina. It was pleasant but not exactly a trip we will repeat.