Monday, May 30, 2011

Progression of a beach sunset

We had a wonderful vacation at the beach last week.  I thought I'd start off with a progression of the only sunset with clouds all week.  I sure do love sunsets!!  Photos never do them justice though.  I tried my best!  It was absolutely gorgeous!  Enjoy the pictures. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thorny Thistle

I have been seeing lots of thistles growing up around the edges of the cotton fields around here and I just had to get a closer look.  After a few days, I spotted a good location to be able to pull off the road and get a few.  They are super thorny, but I was able to snap off a few heads to get photos of when I got home.

They're beautiful flowers, and they smell so sweet... but they're poisonous weeds.  Makes you think a bit.  They draw you in with their beauty and scent, but they're bad news.  After all, they were part of the curse on man given to Adam for eating the forbidden fruit.  "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you..."  - Genesis 3:17-18  Anyway, enjoy the photos.  I really enjoyed seeing these flowers up close.  Then, I threw them away!  :) 
(Click photos to enlarge to see detail.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Aftermath of the Alabama storms ("April's Fury")

On April 27, 2011, tornadoes came within a few miles of my house.  The worst devastation was from an EF-5 that made a track 132 miles long and went right through Harvest, Alabama.  They say it was 1/2 a mile to 3/4 mile wide and it was just over a mile from my home.  Winds were over 210 mph, and 70 lives were lost - 6 in Harvest, and 2 in nearby Toney.  Other places such as Hackleburg and Phil Campbell saw total destruction.  Hackleburg, Alabama lost over 1% of its small town population in the storms.  So many were affected, and so much was lost.  We are so thankful that our home has such little damage in comparison.  Please be respectful of these pictures, as they depict such tragedy in numerous lives.   (Click on any image to enlarge.)

This used to be a Piggly Wiggly, a Texaco gas station, and a Sure Save Pharmacy.

This used to be a two-story home - probably valued $400k - $800k

Total destruction of this home

Right through the middle... hard to get a good photo from the road b/c of the huge pile of rubble in front of the house.

"4 Sale Fixer Upper" - a bit of humor among all the loss

Monday, May 9, 2011

Peonies - The beautiful calm after the storms 2

I said I would put up the peony photos, so here they are.  Such beautifully frilly and delicate flowers are peonies... and they smell so sweet.  It's just too bad I can't put a scratch 'n sniff on the blog. :)  Thank you sweet friend for my lovely flowers.  They really lifted my spirits.  After all of the disaster around, it's nice to be able to focus on such an elegant creation.

Fully bloomed, this peony was easily my favorite.  It's been happy on my breakfast table for over a week now. :-D

The peonies that survived a few days.  I originally had more white, but they didn't last as well as the pink.  Check out the bud at the top.  So cute!

Blooming peony

The red-tipped coloration on the white peonies was so pretty. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Iris - The beautiful calm after the storms

Last week, several tornadoes came within a couple of miles of my home.  We were without power for days, but our family, home, and friends were all spared.  So many people lost so much.  After the power was restored, a sweet friend of mine gave me some irises from her garden, and I wanted to share a few shots of them.  She also gave me some gorgeous peonies, so I'll have to do another post on them soon.  Flowers are always beautiful, but they mean so much more when they're given with love. :)  Enjoy!