Spring at Tall Pines

April/May 2021

It’s against my nature to go out of order, but for this post that’s exactly what I’m going to do. We’re having such fun seeing what pops out each day as Spring unfolds here in the North Georgia mountains and there are a lot of “littles” to share with you. Of course I’ll give you a few house sneak peaks, too, for your patience.

17-Year Cicadas

These ugly chaps are 17-year cicadas and members of brood X making their appearance now in our woods. The ground is full of holes about the size of a pencil and that’s where they emerge to latch onto something and crack out of their “shell”.

They’re particularly fond of our ferns and you can see the empty shell above and the drying cicada below. I did a little research and found that there are 17 and 13-year cicadas with the 2021 brood being the largest of the 17-year guys. They’re also known for being particularly loud, but so far we’re just hearing a non-specific whirring noise in the trees. How about those beady orange eyes!?

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I delight in all the growing things around here since they are often so different than what I was used to in Florida. It’s a whole other growing zone up here in the mountains. This plant is so far my favorite. It’s called a leatherleaf mahonia with leaves like holly and the most delicate yellow flowers in winter that initially smell like lemons. Then those same flowers mature to smell just like roses. Fast forward to spring and they have these berries turning gorgeous shades of purple. A treat for the birds.

We have a nice patch of pink lady slippers, too. They’re wild orchids and so delicate. They’ve been blooming since April, but the flowers are now starting to shrivel up and die back. Ah until next year my pretties.

I can’t identify most of these except the bright orange ones – native flame azalea that grows on tree-like shrubs, and the fleabane that look like teeny daisies. We had the fleabane in Mom’s yard in Florida so those bring back memories. The tall white flowers grow along the creek and those other two might be wild rose or blackberry. If you know, shout it out!

The tulip poplars are finally leafing out and dropping these interesting blossoms. Another bright spot in the forest with tree leaves shaped loosely like tulips, thus the name.

We have patches of mountain laurel, too. These bushes are described as gnarled like arthritic hands, but the blooms are quite showy with pink and white clusters. Some spots on the property are thick with them making it hard to hike through. I think the deer like the cover, but they are highly toxic so hopefully they aren’t eating them.

Just a few more for you. Lovely pink trillium, unfurling fern fronds, wild iris, and finally my new favorite annual. I have discovered dahlias and the orange/yellow ones are newly potted and sitting in view of the mountain ridge.

The House

Yes, the sticks and bricks house is underway as of April 21st. The very first scoop of dirt on ground-breaking day!

So far we are the proud recipients of a porta potty and a stylish yellow one at that. A dumpster will join the fray this week. We also have footers poured and the blocks delivered for the foundation that will hopefully be completed this week as well. Progress! Not exactly the most exciting photo since it really still looks like a big mess. That should improve a bit shortly.

We decided we needed a flat spot for our evening firebowl sitting, so Pat got busy.

Ta-da! Not bad at all.

All that dirt they took off the top went down the hill to our future RV creek spot. Our man Rodney graveled it and Pat’s got the grass coming along, too. Right now it’s ready if you want to boondock! Also our first attempt at hanging gates and if you don’t look too closely they are pretty good.

The last “improvement” to show you for now is our rustic bench on the creek trail. We go and sit almost every day, look for the deer, and listen to the water babble.

Other Random Things

We’re fully vaccinated now, so looking forward to getting out and about to enjoy the area more. We have lists of places to hike, restaurants to try and festivals to attend. For now I’ll share a few other pics I’ve taken lately.

Just a few of our neighbors and their tranquil pasture.

Another neighbor. This Carolina wren was nesting in our shed eaves. He’s calling his lady I think.

I’ll leave you with this view. We marvel at how it changes every single day. Sadly that bare little tree did not survive the house site prep, but I’m sure another one will come along.

Next Up: I think I’ll go back and finish off last year’s photos. Fall was extraordinary! See you at Tall Pines!

9 thoughts on “Spring at Tall Pines

  1. Everything seems to be moving along. Never as fast as we would like. Got my injections and am very surprised how many people have not. I’m sure there were plenty of people that did not when the polio shop came out. Have a great time and enjoy nature. Love, Nancy


  2. How exciting. I love seeing all the progress (well I guess I shouldn’t say ALL the progress but SOME progress. Good luck.


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