Well, we made it. Hurricane Matthew blew through our area in the wee hours of the morning and, except for a slight few branches blown down, it left us untouched. It is truly an amazing thing. The winds were whipping the trees around, but our home was entirely sound. The water in our pond creeped higher and higher as the rains fell all day yesterday and this morning, but we stayed dry. Even our goats and kittens on the back porch didn’t seem affected by the storm…other than being a little afraid.
He’s on his way, and his track is aimed right for us. I think in a situation like this it’s difficult to feel entirely prepared. Can you ever do enough? Scott put up the hurricane shutters.
We’ve been in our house for almost two years, but I keep finding new and exciting things around our property. At the end of spring, the blackberries were everywhere. We had so much fun finding their plants (which are not bushes here in Florida) and picking the berries. They were everywhere!
We are still in the first year in our new house and are still encountering new things as we go. As the saying goes, there is a season for everything. And that includes Saw Palmetto Berries! Where we live, about 7 of our 10 acres are covered in Palmettos. They are super invasive and take a lot of work to get rid of (I’m told). But right now, the benefits of having Palmettos are significant. Did you know that the berries are in high demand for pharmaceutical companies? I just learned this recently. Saw Palmetto Berries are beneficial for prostate health and as a hair loss treatment. Local places will buy berries at a couple dollars per pound!
Since moving to the farm, we have had visitors from many different types of animals. Turtles are one of our favorite visitors. Sometimes they come and sun themselves by the pond or go for a swim. Sometimes we find them walking through the yard and we follow them for a while to see what adventures they are going to have. One thing we enjoy is watching turtles eat. They are very fast and ambitious eaters! But today as we were leaving for church, we heard the squeals from three sweet little girls, followed by, “A little turtle!” loudly shouted. Because we have such large turtles in our area, I was assuming this little guy was maybe box turtle size….but no! I’ve never seen such a teeny tiny turtle before!
The hot weather is here, so we have been looking for things to do that won’t be too crazy hot. Of course we swim. And swim. And swim. And when the sun has kissed our skin enough and our fingers and toes are extra pruney, we try to find other ways to occupy ourselves while still staying cool. Inside, self-directed play takes up most of their non-swimming time, but every now and then they venture away from the world of magic and princesses and weddings and measuring cups and look for something else to do. That is when they come searching for this Mama to help them come up with something crafty to occupy their hands and minds. And since I aim to please, I have many ideas just waiting for the opportunity to come alive for these sweet ladies.
Last week, we began weaving mats out of grasses. Fortunately, long meadow grasses seam to be everywhere. They got their scissors and cut what they needed to make their mats.
My lovely Laelia is going to be two in a week. Two! So, I wanted to take her to the beach to do some fun birthday pictures there. She was quite photogenic today and I was snapping her precious little self with my camera. When we were about done, the other two girls ran over to me and told me they had found a sea turtle nest that had hatched in the early morning. I so love these turtles. If you have been reading for a while, then you might already know that I love nesting season. I love finding little babies and walking out to the water with them. It’s tough to do that in the middle of the night, but every so often there is a straggler who gets left behind in the nest and that is what I love to find!
Today we checked out the hundred little turtle tracks that are so teeny tiny in the sand. They look like little bitty tire tracks headed out to the ocean. It is such a sweet sight. If you have seen baby sea turtles who have just spotted their ocean oasis then you know how excited they get and how quickly their little legs move when they catch their first glimpse of it. It calls to them.
Normally, we keep walking to check out the next nest down the beach, but today I asked the girls if they wanted to dig a little to see if there were any little guys left behind. Silly question. Of course they wanted to!
With the changing of the seasons in the air, I thought I would take a moment to reminisce about the wonders of summertime and list a few of my favorite things about summer.
1. The abundance of rainbows after a good storm
2. The feel of a thunderstorm rolling in on a hot day, cooling our world for a short time, and giving our plants a much needed drink
3. The hot hot sun beating down
4. The girls splashing in the pool, pretending together and practicing new tricks and becoming wonderful little swimmers
5. Hunting for turtle nests on the beach, watching the girls run from nest to nest, looking for precious turtles that may have been left behind
6. The hundreds of beautifully colored dragonflies that swarm an area, looking for tasty mosquitoes to eat. They are so fun to watch!
With each season comes something special–favorite moments that are shared and new memories that are made. As much as I don’t like to see things come to a close, I am excited for the new experiences we will share together this fall. For the girls, new childhood memories are being made and I love contributing to them! Autumn is my favorite season and I can’t wait to enjoy it with these precious little ladies.
Being in Florida, we of course felt a little bit of Isaac yesterday. However, I am amazed at the difference just a little bit of distance makes (and I mean just 15 miles or so) in destruction in these types of storms. Some people had homes destroyed from the tornado that came along. Others had cars completely under water. We didn’t see anything like that. Just a lot of rain and some winds here and there. But with the rain, came massive puddles that flooded our road and made three little girls ache for puddle jumping!
Weekly, I post one or two pictures that demonstrate how the most simple things in life are, in fact, the finer things–those that mean the most and will be among the most precious of memories. So here is this week’s picture. Enjoy!