Saturday, November 23, 2019

Best nature park in Florida - the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida

Thanks to our siblings who recently moved to South Florida, we've had the opportunity to visit and discover new places of interests. One favorite is the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach. With over 178 different species of birds, the wildlife refuge is a photographer's paradise. It is also a wonderful place to enjoy a leisurely walk. There is a three-quarter mile long boardwalk with gazebos and benches along the way so you can stop and observe the birds in their natural habitats. The park is so popular Money Magazine named Wakodahatchee Wetlands the best park in Florida last year.
Snowy egret

Great egret
Wood storks

See you later, alligator!
Admission to Wakodatchee is free and the park is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Enjoy and don't forget to bring your binoculars!

Location: 13026 Jog Road in Delray Beach
Hours: 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. daily

This post is shared on Skywatch Friday and Weekend Reflections.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Fall colors in Southeast Tennessee

Fall is becoming a fleeting season. In early October we experienced a heat wave, and now we're blasted with an artic cold, with temperatures dropping almost 40 degrees from Monday to Tuesday! This morning we awoke to 17 degrees F.

A mere two weeks ago, we were looking for fall colors. We found the best vibrant yellows to be right here in our backyard! An uncle had given us a Chrysanthemum plant he propagated in early summer. It grew and grew, thanks to the composting soil nutrients. Six weeks ago we were excited to see some buds, but they wouldn't bloom for the longest time. We waited and waited, and then poof, they burst into big, incredibly beautiful flowers. The colors are stunning!
downtown Chattanooga on Nov 3rd
Coolidge Park
Fall colors round the Arts bluff
Taking the local route 41 back to the marina Monday, we stopped at Reflection Riding to check out the fall colors. We found some families with kids picnicking and two painters focusing on their art.
It was in the 60s the day before the artic cold swept over Southeast TN
Lake Nickajack at Sullivan's Boat Ramp
fall colors along Rt 41
Our location has been referred to as the "twilight zone." When it's cold, it's colder than Boston. When it's hot, it's hotter than Florida (see temps of various cities yesterday).
still looking good after temps of 19 degrees last night (Nov 12)
This is our first time planting chrysanthemums. The showy flowers is testament to the first mate having a green thumb.  Will it survive the cold? We shall see.

This post is shared on Our World Tuesday and Skywatch Friday.

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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Fall events in Chattanooga, TN

Hales Bar Marina came alive this Saturday when the unique paddleboard/kayak event Chattajack31 ended their race there. The Chattajack31 race course starts at Ross Landing in downtown Chattanooga and snakes around the Tennessee River for 31 miles to end at the marina on Lake Nickajack. The event began in 2012 and has grown tremendously since. It is amazing how efficient they have become.

We're lucky to be in "our own backyards" to witness the event. Every year, it has gotten better and more exciting! The marina community was on board to cheer them on, complete with music, horns, conch and cowbells! They certainly deserve volunteer T-shirts, don't you think?
Cheering volunteers
marina parking lot
Cloudy skies, rain or not, the race must go on
Below are  a few pictures from last year's event. We actually went out in our kayaks to watch the paddlers get to the finish line.
Drones were put to work

Get ready for another event on the river in downtown Chattanooga next week - Head of the Hooch. See you there!

This post is shared on Our World Tuesday and Through My Lens.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Falling for the South: Georgia on our minds

Summer just won't go away.

Another heat wave is gripping much of the South. Temperatures rose to 100 degrees F yesterday, the last day of September! Apparently, it was the hottest September ever recorded for many cities, not just in the South. We have enjoyed swimming in the river, but seriously, it's time to move on. To fall season.

Grocery stores and shops exude fall atmosphere. Cider, apples, pears, pumpkins, Halloween costumes line the aisles. As we step outside with our purchase, it feels anything but fall.

So we'll have to wait a tad longer to go apple picking or hiking in the mountains of North Georgia. A couple hours drive along the scenic backroads brings us to charming mountain towns like Ellijay (famous for its Apple Festival), Blue Ridge (artsy downtown, apple picking at Mercier Orchard), Dahlonega and Helen. The last two towns can be quite busy as they are closer to Atlanta, so be prepared for traffic! Dahlonega is the site of the first major gold rush and home to the University of N. Georgia while Helen is a replica of a Bavarian Alpine village with wineries and Oktoberfest is a popular fall attraction.
Go apple picking at Mercier Orchard in Blue Ridge
or buy your apples at the store
Pumpkins and squashes galore at a store in Ellijay
Dick's Creek Falls, half hour north of Dahlonega
Even closer to us is Cloudland Canyon, one of our favorite places to hike. If you're thinking of hiking down to see the falls, check with the state park to see if the falls are dry, as we had a hot and dry September.
Cloudland Canyon, Rising Fawn
Hiking down to the falls
The falls at Cloudland Canyon
Our weather app says high 90s for the rest of the week, mid 70s next week. We can hardly wait!

This post is shared on Our World Tuesday and Through My Lens.

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