This is my friends' backyard, and Tessa loves to sit here and watch the tide roll in and out. The marshes are full of scents and birds, and all kinds of things float by. I didn't let her go swimming because the exit ramp is lined with sharp-edged oyster shells, no need for a vet visit while on vacation!
This was a very rough weekend. My 2-day trip to South Georgia was foiled by some unexpected car trouble - very minor, but badly timed. We never left Athens on Saturday.
After unpacking, I decided on a day trip to the Macon, GA area on Sunday. Packed again, drove 2 hours to Macon and made my first stop for a photograph when I saw that my camera's battery was completely dead. No back-up battery, no back-up camera, this being a relatively short trip.
These batteries hold a charge for a long time - I usually only charge it once a month when it's at about 30 % or so. I noticed that I had left the camera turned on, but even that would not have drained the battery to that extent. I have since recharged the battery but it appears it doesn't charge to 100% even if the indicator says it does. Time to replace.
I drove 2 hours back to Athens (200-mile roundtrip), switched out batteries, and left for South Carolina. That went much better, but my 2-day photo trip had dwindled to a half-day rambling, which was disappointing.
On the way back, Tessa and I stopped at Lake Hartwell, always so very nice. It was the perfect day. She was the perfect travel companion, and model, and helped me recenter myself. Dogs are amazing that way.
The guidestones just outside of Elberton, GA are always a great place to stop, and today, nobody was there but us!
Here is the story of this bizarre roadside attraction:
In June 1979, a stranger going by the name of R.C. Christian showed up at a granite company in Elberton,GA wanting to construct an edifice to transmit a message to mankind, offering guidance to humanity. Erected in March 1980, this granite monument known as The Georgia Guidestones or The American Stonehenge sits on a hill approx. 10 miles north of Elberton. Its four giant stones have astronomical features and are engraved on both sides with the following 10 Guides, or commandments, in eight different languages (English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian):
1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion - faith - tradition - and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.
10.Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature.
A friend and I and our dogs spent the entire afternoon at Dyar Pasture in Greene/Oconee Counties, a wetland ecosystem and bird sanctuary, as well as recreation area. There's not much hiking but lots of nature, and it's very quiet. Tessa spent one hour staring down a duck and she came home exhausted, probably from all that restraint.
Quail hunting with Greta, Rhys and Dewi - two GSPs and two Setters. Warm enough for a swim, too!
"I went quail hunting in Georgia and all I got was this lousy pheasant!"
Art is the owner of Greta, and they are here for the winter, from Wisconsin. Greta hunts pheasant up north. We took them to the plantation on a quail hunt (Greta's first) and what would he shoot but ... a pheasant!
Built in 1915, the UGA barn stood at the intramural fields on Lake Herrick until it was moved in 1997, to a pasture on Milledge Avenue. I photographed it often, and even explored the dilapidated inside, until a storm blew off parts of the building, rendering it structurally unsound. A fence was put up and the barn was left to gradually fall apart. I was worried.
Last year, Tony Townley, an executive for Zaxby's, bought the barn and it is currently being dismantled and moved to his farm in Oconee County. He bought the farmland from UGA as well. I am glad to hear that the Red Barn will live on. Reconstruction seems to be happening fast, so it should be back in its old glory for its 100th birthday this year.
Sunday morning visit to Lowe's. We went to buy a furnace filter, and ended up looking at EVERYthing. Even doors and light bulbs were incredibly interesting - says Tessa. In the plumbing section, we ran into a nice man who used to hunt pheasant in Wisconsin, and quail in Indiana, with his GSPs and GWP. Turned out, he spent some time in Giessen, Germany (near where I am from) during the Occupation after WWII. I thanked him for occupying us. Random conversations with strangers, are some of the moments in life that I treasure.
First hunt of the season, and what a gorgeous morning it was! During the 3-hour hunt, Tessa was steady to wing - and shot - 90% of the time. Tessa usually stays put until I release her (for safety reasons I insist on this) but since I was busy taking a photo of her on point, she took it upon herself to move toward the bird that had just fallen. While that produced a cool photo, it irked me a bit that we quit on that note; then again, some hunters prefer the dog taking off as the bird falls, as to not lose track of it, although we never had a problem with that.
As we were packing up, Tessa went on point a few feet from the truck - Chris had to unpack and reload his gun, and we added another 20 minutes to the hunt - which was fine with us!