Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Savannah, Georgia, March 6, 2015

We decided to spend a day in Savannah as we traveled from Florida to North Carolina.  Our oldest grandson was a sous-chef there for several years and continually raved about the beautiful city.  When he heard we were going to stop in the city, he gave us a list of places to go and things to see.  We saw a few, enough to know we could spend a week or two there and not run out of new places and things.

We happened to pick a day between two beautiful warm typical days.  It was one of those cases of "You should have been here yesterday."  The temperature ranged from 42 degrees F to 48 degrees F.  Being from Ohio where there was ice and snow when we left, we had proper clothing.

There are several tour options available but Tom decided to drive.  Handicapped accessible transportation has given him trouble in the past.

Our destination was River Street.  John, our grandson, recommended a restaurant there, The Shrimp Factory.  The traffic pattern was different from any Tom had ever driven in.  There were small parks called squares in the "middle" of the streets.

Wright Square  with the memorial to William Washington Gordon, an ancestor of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.

The directions to circle them were clearly marked.

Pulaski Square

John said we shouldn't miss the fountain in Forsyth Park.  We circled the park twice so I could take photos.  But Tom was on a mission, River Street and The Shrimp Factory, and there were no parking lots.  Must be because the town was built by 1734.


Lots of impressive buildings...

Interesting second story entrances...

Beautiful entrance to the Colonial Park Cemetery established around 1750

 The Savannah Cotton Exchange was  in use in 1887.  This is a view of the Exchange from Bay Street which is on the bluff.  We are looking at the upper stories of the building. The lower stories are on River Road at the bottom of the bluff.  Remember that was the street that Tom was looking for.

River Street...  much of it covered in cobblestones.

We parked facing the Savannah River. You can see the driver's side mirror in the lower right corner. Watching the river traffic was a novel experience for us since we are from the farmlands of Ohio.

Below, a container ship coming toward us...

and as it moves up the river.

The stairs from the top of the bluff down to River Street.  Each step is nearly as tall as the woman's boots.

The Shrimp Factory almost directly across from our parking place...

We had an excellent lunch and good conversation with the waitress who was from...Michigan!

We left via the cobblestone exit to see more of Savannah in the afternoon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Butterfly Transit at Brukner Nature Center, August 9, 2015

None of us will forget this day.  The temperatures were in the eighties (Fahrenheit), the sky was almost clouded over, the humidity was high.  Rain was scheduled for later in the day.  (It never arrived.)  And the mosquitoes were starved for blood.  Tom discovered that if he ran his scooter up and down the drive without stopping, he could usually outrun the pests.  The rest of us were not so lucky even though we were covered with insect repellent.

When Tom and I arrived, Jim and Emily were finding good homes for Monarch caterpillars on the Common Milkweeds beside the sidewalk.  Ruth still has others in jars on her kitchen counter.

Ruth raises Monarch caterpillars that she finds in a field near her home.  The field is always mowed down before the caterpillars finish their cycle.

We didn't see any adult Monarch butterflies on our walk but Ruth found a Monarch egg...

She also found tiny Monarch caterpillars and ...

even Monarch caterpillar poop (frass).

Hackberry emperors were sitting on the parking lot pavement. Tom took this of one with its wings spread wide.  I took the photo of the closed wing Hackberry.

On the Spicebush near the back door of the Interpretive Center, Ruth found an early instar of a Spicebush Butterfly.

There was another brood earlier this year.

We found the most butterflies along the drive where the Wingstem is in bloom.  We were lucky to watch a Summer Azure ovipositing on one of the plants.  Wingstem is a host plant for Summer Azure larvae.

 This is Tom's photo of another of the Summer Azures that we saw.  We counted eight, the most of any species we saw today.

The following photo of a Tiger Swallowtail was taken by Tom, also.  Because of the extensive blue on the hind wings, Ruth identified it as a female.

We saw but did not get photos of Silver-spotted Skippers (3), an Eastern Tailed Blue, an Eastern Comma, and a Pearl Crescent.  Jim took a photo of a skipper which Ruth sent off to the experts to identify.

I was pleased to see this photo that Tom took of a Northern Spring Peeper.  See its roundish toes under its chin?

As usual, I took photos of other interesting finds.

A Robber Fly with his prey, a smaller fly.  Molly, another walker on the transit, identified it for me.

An Ambush bug identified for me by Ruth.  This bug was waiting near the center of a flower.  It will grab other insects, often bigger than itself with its hooked front legs.

This Crab Spider, waiting in ambush, found its lunch.

I always enjoy seeing the pretty insect below.  When I returned home I looked through the insect field guides.  It is a good thing I did.  I thought it was a moth but it is a Net-winged Beetle.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mary Poppins, as Presented by the Children's Musical Theater, a Program Offered by the Troy Recreational Department

In July, Sonja Hyer and Rebecca O'Brien directed the third musical of the summer for the Troy Rec Department.  Musical Director and Choreographer was Katie Swank.

These musicals are always fun to watch.  The actors and actresses ranging in age from entering first grade to entering tenth grade meet for less than thirty hours.  In two weeks they have a  play to present in the Troy Civic Theatre for parents and friends.  The directors and choreographer/music director give them enough direction for the play to be coherent but not so much that it loses its childlike spontaneity.  Actors and parents come up with the costumes.  Sometimes they find what they need in the Troy Civic Theatre costume collection.

On the first day, the directors meet the players and decide who will play the various roles.  This year there were thirty-one players.  Most of these children play several roles.

Because the time involved is short , the leading roles are divided among two or three actors. This  reduces the number of lines for each actor and gives more actors an opportunity to play leading roles.
Here are some photos from the play.  I call the various Marys Mary1, Mary2, Mary 3 etc.

Another Nanny leaves the Banks' household.

Jane 1 and Michael 1 put in their order for the perfect nanny.  Mr. Banks 1 is unimpressed.

Nannies wait outside the Banks' house for interviews.

Mary Poppins 1 arrives.  Mr Banks 2 can not believe Mary's audacity.

Jane 2 and Michael 2 watch Mary Poppins magically pull all kinds of things out of her bag.

No-nonsense Mary Poppins tells Jane and Michael "A Spoonful of Sugar" is all that is needed.

Jane 2 and Michael 2 and Mary Poppins 2 meet Bert 1 in the park.

They ride on the carousel...

and off the carousel.

The entire company...

joins in...

to sing they are having a "Jolly Holiday" with Mary.

Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael and Bert meet the fox hunters...

and protect the fox.

After Mary Poppins wins the horse race, reporters interview her.

Jane 1 and Michael 1 tell Mr. Banks 3 and Mary Poppins 2 about their wonderful day.  Mrs. Banks looks on.

Mary Poppins gives Jane and Michael their evening tonic...and tells them in song that they can "Stay Awake".

The next day outside the bank the Bird Woman sings "Feed the Birds".

Mr. Banks 1 is not happy that Michael wants to give his money to the Bird Woman rather than putting it in the bank.

Michael tells Mr. Bank's boss at the bank that he won't give him his money.

Mr, Banks 3 is told he is fired.

The Constable reports Mr. Banks is missing.

Mr. Banks comes home with a kite.

The entire company sings "Let's Go Fly a Kite".

The chimney sweeps and the rest of the company sing and dance to "Chim Chim Cheree"

The actors and actresses bow amid applause from the audience.

Everyone left for home smiling as they went.