July 28, 2009

Painting of the Rose-Lovell House by Mary O. Smith from the 2001 Colson Calendar cover

Painting by Mary O. Smith from the 2001 Colson Calendar cover

Painting by Mary O. Smith from the 2001 Colson Calendar cover

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May 27, 2009

The latest addition to St Marys

Baby Great Horned Owls

Couple of Great Horned Owl Chicks

In the crook of old oak tree's massive arm stretching over Osborne Road, just across the street from City Hall, 2 baby Great Horned Owls perch.  Still cloaked in their white's, their yellow eyes keep tabs on the goings on below.

They watch the "rush hour" down the main street of St Marys with interest. Interrupted occasionally by Moma stopping by with the latest catch of the day, prepared southern style of course.

St Marys - Rush Hour on Osborne St

St Marys - Rush Hour on Osborne St

If you are up at dawn you can hear the deep throaty call from the owl population and maybe catch a glimpse of Moma.

Moma Great Horned Owl

Moma - Great Horned Owl

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March 30, 2009

Visit to the Okefenokee Swamp

60 minutes due west of St Marys Ga, and the Rose-Lovell House is the Okefenokee Swamp - Suwannee Canal Entrance. Why in the world would you want to visit a swamp ?!? …. because it's one of America's most fascinating natural areas. It's the largest, intact, un-fragmented, wilderness swamps in North America. "Okefenokee" what Seminoles called "Land of Trembling Earth" in reference to it's spongy bogs that have formed over the last 6,500 years. Both the St Marys River and the Suwannee River originate in the swamp. Want more history of themom-baby-gator swamp? Go Here

We rented bikes from Okefenokee Pastimes and followed the Swamp Island Drive.  Along the way caught sight of these pair of alligators - mom and baby we think.

After the bike ride while munching on sandwiches and waiting to take the sunset boat tour, a sand hill crane was also enjoying a bite to eat right off the dock next to the picnic tables.sandhill-craine-fish

The sunset boat tour was well worth it. The guides are very knowledgeable. It's like taking a trip back to the Pleistocene era thousands of years ago.

Watching the sunset over the marsh I half expected to see a dinosaur… but maybe I did, they are just called gators now.swamp-sunset

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December 15, 2008

Tamopan Persimmons at Rose-Lovell

The Rose-Lovell House had such a full crop of persimmons this year that the tree was "self pruning".  Yep, branches were breaking under the load.

These are Tamopan (or Japanese) persimmons.  They are of the astringent variety which means if you eat them before they are ripe then your mouth would be squeezed in to a pucker for a week!

But ripe they are the sweetest thing you've ever tasted.  Trouble is that they only stay that way for about 10 minutes. When they get extremely soft you overturn the fruit, peel from the bottom and scoop it with a spoon. The edible thick skin will act as a bowl to hold the soft sweet fruit inside.

Origin and Distribution

The tree is native to Japan, China, Burma and the Himalayas and Khasi Hills of northern India. In China it is found wild at altitudes up to 6,000-8,000 ft and it is cultivated from Manchuria southward to Kwangtung. Early in the 14th Century, Marco Polo recorded the Chinese trade in persimmons. Korea has long-established ceremonies that feature the persimmon. Culture in India began in the Nilgiris. The tree has been grown for a long time in North Vietnam, in the mountains of Indonesia above 3,500 ft and in the Philippines. It was introduced into Queensland, Australia, about 1885.

It has been cultivated on the Mediterranean coast of France, Italy, and other European countries, and in southern Russia and Algeria for more than a century. The first trees were introduced into Palestine in 1912 and others were later brought in from Sicily and America.

Seeds first reached the United States in 1856 when they were sent from Japan by Commodore Perry. Grafted trees were imported in 1870 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and distributed to California and the southern states. Other importations were made by private interests until 1919. Seeds, cuttings, budwood and live trees of numerous types were brought into the United States at various times from 1911 to 1923 by government plant explorers and the tree has been found best adapted to central and southern California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, southeastern Virginia, and northern Florida.

Tamopan Persimmons in St Marys GA

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