Fritters are a must!

Fritters are a must!

Pioneer Day in my mother’s hometown of Lincolnton, Ga. is something our family looks forward to every year. Sponsored by the Lincoln County Historical Society, the event is a fun mix of historic structures, exhibits, living history demonstrations, entertainment and FOOD.

There’s a one-room schoolhouse, log cabin, blacksmith shop, cotton gin, grist mill and more. Kids (and adults) can try their hands at grinding corn and can watch demonstrations of historical skills like blacksmithing and soap making.

For me, it’s all about the food. We arrive as early as possible and begin the day with ham and sausage biscuits. Lunch is red beans and rice or turnip greens with fried cornbread patties. Apple fritters are a must. You get a choice of cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar. I recommend an order of each.

This year’s event is Saturday, Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lincoln County Historical Park. This week’s edition of The Lincoln Journal has more details.

I created this blog as a way to tell stories about people, places and events connected with the rural areas surrounding my home in the South Carolina Lakelands: Greenwood, Abbeville and McCormick counties and nearby. I also hope to use it as a way to create and capture adventures with my family. There’s more to life than video games, fast food kids’ meals and toy departments of megasuperstores. Let’s get out there and explore…

The New York Times’ List of Best Illustrated Children’s Books 2008 pointed me to this perfect gem of a book: “The Little Yellow Leaf” by Carin Berger. This book struck a chord with both the nature lover and would-be artist in me. I immediately fell in love with its main character of a tenacious little leaf. I loved the beautifully simple-yet-complex collage illustrations.

If there’s a child of any age of your Christmas list, check out this book. It’s definitely on my Christmas gift list this year.

Leaf hunt 4

Last weekend my son and I went on a leaf hunt. He’s a serious explorer: searching for perfect specimens, organizing them and looking up their names in our favorite tree identification books and websites. (The Arbor Day Foundation website is a great resource.) I’m the designated photographer. I’m using this little field trip as a way to experiment with different ways of inserting photos, slidehows etc. into my blog.

I posted my photos on Flickr but can’t get the slidehow onto my blog. Instead I’m trying Flickr’s photo blog feature. Click on the photo above if you want to view the Leaf Hunt photo set.

One of the surprising things I learned when my husband and I were dating was that we both took ornithology in college — me the nerdy bookworm and him the athletic businessman.

Our camera shy heron

Our camera shy heron

Now we sit at the kitchen table and argue amicably about birds we see at the feeders and on the pond. Don’t tell Michael I’ve admitted this but he’s usually right in his calls.

Patrick (now 6) quickly picked up on our tendency to stop in mid-sentence and identify birds as we spot them: “Oh look, a hawk!” He was no more than 3 when he shouted and pointed from his car seat: “Oh look Mom, a pterodactyl” as a heron made his landing on our pond. Close.

We’ve chased that heron (or his relatives) all over our neighborhood for years, trying to get the “ultimate” photo. He poses beautifully until I reach for my camera then he gracefully flaps just out of camera range. What a tease … it’s almost like he’s in on the game.

The Belted Kingfisher is another favorite. When we hear the kingfisher’s distinctive chirping rattle  we rush to see who can spot him first. What a fun bird to watch.

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