When one tree in the garden is sick, you have to care for it. But don’t overlook all the healthy trees. — Thich Nhat Hahn

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We are all children of the earth, and, at some time, she will take us back to herself again. We are continually arising from Mother Earth, being nurtured by her, and then returning to her.

– Thich Nhat Hahn

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We need the insight that position, revenge, wealth, fame, or possessions are, more often than not, obstacles to our happiness. We need to cultivate the wish to be free of these things so we can enjoy the wonders of life that are always available — the blue sky, the trees, our beautiful children.

— Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching

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This spring I had the pleasure of being called back to the William Harris Homestead to take more photographs. It was a treat for me because I was able to photograph the log house in a different season. (You can view Autumn at the William Harris Homestead here.)

This is my favorite photograph of the log house. I love the early spring foliage on those tall, majestic trees.

I was hired to do three jobs this time. I took photos of the log house and outbuildings, including their beautiful new pavilion. I photographed another field trip, and I also got to take some staff photographs. The people who work at the homestead are talented, knowledgeable and warm-hearted, and they give the kids on the school tours a real treat. I’m going to include some photos from all those sessions in this one post, so I hope you enjoy them.

A view of the barn, the salt house and the log house in the background.

up close view of barn walls, corn crib and log house and smokehouse

log house and pavilion

The staff at the homestead are very happy to have this new pavilion which is used for various events and rentals. It has nice bathroom facilities for guests too.

Field trip. Students get a tour of the log house and learn about the early Harris family and how they lived in the 19th century.

Inside the log house

A Civil War reenactor teaches kids what daily life was like for a soldier in the Civil War. Here one of the students is inspecting a soldier’s boot.

Students also receive a blacksmith demonstration (pictured above), a hay ride, and view artifacts that have been excavated at the homestead.

The excellent staff at the William Harris Homestead. Pictured left to right: Robby Mitchell, Dixie Hamilton, Melissa Basta, Margaret Parker (seated), Doc Watson, Tanya Parker, and Butch Dover

Just the ladies

Have you ever been to the William Harris Homestead? If you live in Georgia and haven’t been yet, I highly recommend you stop by!


One morning I was sitting on my front porch and reading aloud to my boys when these two downy woodpeckers flew into a nearby tree. I was so glad I had my camera with me.

At first we thought it was a male and female courting each other, but we never saw a red patch on the back of either head, which would indicate a male. They looked like two females, and one of them was fussing at the other.

Could it be a mother and a juvenile? Juveniles have red crowns, but they will fade as they mature. Perhaps this mother is trying to tell her offspring that she won’t feed it anymore? But I took this photo on March 24th. Hmmm. Do they nest that early?

Could it be two females fussing over a nest site? We just don’t know. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment!

Downy woodpeckers are the smallest woodpecker in North America. We see them a lot in our yard, and we love them.

What birds have you seen lately?

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Great Egret

My family spent Thanksgiving week in Ormond Beach, Florida, and since my youngest son is a budding ornithologist, we spent a lot of time searching for birds. (He has turned us all into birders.) They weren’t hard to find, though. On the beach, the birds were accustomed to humans, and we were able to get quite close. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the trip.

Great Egret with two sanderlings and a willet in the background.

We passed by groups of gulls and terns sitting together on the beach. We mostly saw ring-billed and laughing gulls.

Mostly laughing gulls, we think.

Ring-billed gull with friends.

Sanderlings flying low over the surf.

Sanderlings in the sunrise.

The sanderlings were our favorite birds to watch. They are so cute running back and forth in the surf.

Snowy Egret

Laughing gulls and Royal Terns. We think they grouped together to protect themselves from the wind.

I will miss passing by the birds on our walks down the beach.

No birds this time. Just the sunrise over Ormond Beach.

While we were there, we also spotted osprey hunting in the ocean, anhingas, a great blue heron, white ibis, double-crested cormorants, brown pelicans, ruddy turnstones, turkey vultures and black vultures, common pigeons, common grackles, American crow, tricolored heron, belted kingfisher, little blue heron, a yellow-bellied woodpecker and spotted sandpipers.

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