Friday, June 14, 2019

The Birds and the Trees

Thought for the day:  ♪♫Let me tell ya 'bout the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees, and the moon up above, and a thing called lo-o-o-o-ove...♫♪ [from the song The Birds and the Bees by Jewel Akens]

There's one thing I can tell you most authoritatively about birds. They poop. A lot.

We'll get back to poop in a minute. (I bet you can hardly wait!) In the meantime, it's time to tell you about our awesome 50th anniversary trip. I wanted to go to the water... any water, but preferably, the ocean, somewhere we'd never been before, and someplace with lots of things we'd like to see. Oh, and not too terribly far away.

So we went to... (ta-DA)... Charleston, South Carolina. We actually stayed on Folley Island, and our room looked out over the ocean. It was absolutely perfect!

Except for those... birds.

Now, I love birds. They're beautiful, but as I mentioned before, they poop. A lot.

Some years ago, I wrote a post about how birds had mysteriously selected my poor little red car as their facility of choice for an entire summer. It was ridiculous.

I mean, we had the audacity to drive their potty away for a couple days, and when we got back home, there was a whole bunch of ticked-off birds waiting for us... lined up all across the yard with tiny bird newspapers tucked under their wings, while glaring at us and shifting their weight from foot to foot. Then, as always, they took turns sitting atop the passenger side mirror and bombing away to their heart's content.

But it was just that one summer. I dunno why, but I was very grateful when the birds moved on to some other hapless target. We don't have that little red car anymore, but I thought maybe its bright fire engine red color was the attraction.

But maybe not.

The car we took to Charleston was Smarticus' spiffy silver Challenger. It's definitely not red, but it was most definitely a target. I mean, a targeted target.

The morning after we checked into the hotel, when we went to the parking lot, there were cars, lots of cars, parked out there. But OURS was the only one speckled with copious circles of poop. All over it, like an abstract painting comprised of polka dots. The cars to the left of us? Nothing. To the right of us? Nothing. Just ours.

So either the birds love us... or they hate us. Funny thing was, we did see one another car targeted while we were there. It also happened to be a silver Dodge, and it was parked right next to us. Out of the entire parking lot, as far as we could see, just our TWO cars were bombed. Go figure. (Maybe our feathered friends are Chevy fans...?)
It's kinda hard to tell in this picture, but these are four of the brown pelicans that were pulling security duty for our hotel. Around and around the perimeter they'd fly, ever vigilant, as though checking out the grounds. Their approach would be forewarned by their ominous shadows, and then there they'd be, floating overhead.

To me, they look like distant cousins of the pterodactyls. Very cool. And they reeeeally look cool when they swoop down into the ocean to snatch a fish from the water.

Here's a better picture of them, courtesy of unsplash. Don't they look cool?

One verrrry peculiar thing about shore birds, though. They squawk. All the time, as though they're complaining non-stop. Not a single sweet song to be heard from the bunch. I ask you, living in such a gorgeous area, what in the world are they complaining about???

Enough about the birds. Now I wanta tell you about a tree. An absolutely fantastically gorgeous tree. Before we even went to our hotel to check in, Smarticus indulged me by making a small detour so we could see the Angel Oak, the largest tree east of the Mississippi. It's a live oak, and even though it's only 66.5 feet tall, it spreads out in every direction like no tree I've ever seen. Oh, I'd seen pictures of it, but they're nothing compared to seeing the real thing. Nonetheless, I'm gonna show you... what else?...some pictures of it.





    

                                                                                                                                                                  





There are lots of live oaks in and around the Charleston area, but the Angel Oak is the granddaddy of 'em all. The oldest... nearly 500 years old... and the biggest. Its trunk is 28 feet in circumference, its shade covers 17,200 square feet, and its longest branch is an astonishing 187 feet long. We did lots of fun things while we were in Charleston, but visiting this amazing tree was one of my favorite things. (And not a single bird pooped on our heads while we were there!)

I've got nothing to say about the flowers, but let me tell ya about the moon up above. 



This was the view from our balcony. (One of these days, maybe I'll figure out how to make the darned zoom function on my camera work...) The moon was full or near-full the entire time we were there. On this particular night, it was bright orange. (sigh) Just beautiful. (That string of lights is on the fishing pier.)


And finally...  a thing called love. Well, it was our fiftieth anniversary trip. (duh!) As strange as it may sound, it kinda felt like a honeymoon. So yeah, lots of warm fuzzy feelings. Life is good.

Next time, I'll tell you about some of the places we visited. The Charleston area has lots of stuff for history nerds.

By the way, in case you aren't familiar with the old song The Birds and the Bees, just for you...


                                    Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


64 comments:

  1. Hmmmm, about the birds and their (bad) habits - yes, they make life difficult! That oak tree is fantastic it was well worth a detour to see it. Glad you had a great trip for your anniversary. Have a wonderful weekend, hugs, Valerie

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    1. yes, birds can be a bit of a... challenge... at times. Years ago, friends of our bought a gorgeous retirement home on Lake Lanier, and when they first moved in, they positively waxed poetic about the beautiful Canada geese. HA! It didn't take them long to change their tunes, though. (It was kinda hilarious...)

      You have a wonderful weekend, too. Hugs back atcha.

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  2. WOT an amazing tree. As a leftie leaning tree-hugger from way back I am in awe.
    And yes. Birds ARE incontinent. And they poop every 15 seconds it seems to me. We feed the little blighters and are convinced that before they come to us they eat concrete somewhere. Those poops are very, very difficult to remove.
    Hooray for warm fuzzy celebrations. Long may they last.

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    1. I knew you'd love that tree. :)

      HA! Good point. If we didn't feed the birds, maybe they wouldn't show their gratitude with so much poop.

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  3. Oh that tree!! wow. So climbable. I can imagine whole armies of little kids swarming all over it. of course that's probably not allowed, but if it was in someone's back yard....
    you haven't worked out your zoom yet? That's the first thing I learn on any new camera.

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    1. That's what I thought, too... man, you could climb forever in that tree! But to protect it, no climbing was allowed.

      Nope, I know how the zoom is SUPPOSED to work, but it never has. It was annoying to me that the only way I could even find a manual for my camera was by looking online, but I did find out about the little wheel-like gizmo you're supposed to be able to use to zoom in, but... nada. (sigh) Maybe one of these days, I'll treat myself to a better camera. (Or at least one that WORKS!)

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  4. Hi Susan - how lovely to hear of your warm fuzzy thoughts for Smarticus after 50 years - wonderful and so many congratulations. Wretched wing-like things - they are stunning except when pooping in all directions - seagulls are the worst ... and blackberry poop ain't no fun later in the summer!

    They do hit other things ... I was standing at the bus stop in the town centre waiting to go up the Downs (I know funny old place this is) when splat on my little tiny head ... I couldn't go home and change as I needed to get to the Post Office - so had to wipe off what I could and hope to goodness it hadn't smeared too much ... my hair was coated, my forehead too .. ah well - it's meant to bring luck ... I'm still waiting for that!

    Love the tree - isn't that magnificent ... in Wiki - it says the branch is 187 feet ... ?! Incredible tree - and I'm so glad it's being looked after.

    Your celebratory anniversary sounds just wonderful - what a brilliant place to visit and stay in ... looks just gorgeous and I've always wanted to go to Charleston - one day.

    Cheers and many happy years ahead to you both - Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary.

      Mulberry poop isn't any fun, either... especially when it splatters clean white sheets hanging on the clothesline...

      Sorry... I laughed at your experience on the bus stop. Looking back on it, you probably laugh, too, but I'm sure it wasn't all that funny at the time. As for the "lucky" side of it, I used to tell a reeeeally corny joke about the illustrious "foo bird." Being pooped upon by one of those was supposed to confer a great deal luck upon the poop-ees... as long as they didn't wash it off. After a trio of good friends are "blessed" by the bird, their good luck knows no bounds, until one by one, they break down and wash off the poop. Each one dies immediately, and the moral of the story? If the foo shits, wear it. :)

      Cheers back atcha. Have a super weekend.

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    2. Oops! Thanks for pointing out my error. The biggest branch is 187 feet long, not 87. Big difference! I'll correct that right now. :)

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  5. Looks like you had a great time, Susan. Congratulations. I like the pictures of the tree. We have a famouus oak near us in Sherwood Forest. Regards to Smarticus.

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    1. We did! Thanks.

      It's cool that you live near Sherwood Forest. I once spoke via amateur radio to a man who was transmitting from there. He was a Boy Scout leader, and he and his boys were participating in a scouts-on-the-air special event. I'll never forget him, because he called himself Little John. :)

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  6. you are right, as a pet, a bird poops a lot....
    second picture is cool....love it

    Have a wonderful weekend

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    1. At least, pet birds do their thing within a contained area. The wild ones share the joy EVERYWHERE... :)

      You have a wonderful weekend, too.

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  8. So sorry, lost a blogging friend, realized I left comment thinking I was on another blog! I am glad that Hilary told you that in England, bird pooping on you is lucky. Lucky you!😄 love that tree too.

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    1. I'm sorry for your loss.

      I don't think the luck works well when it comes to cars, though. It didn't save my little red car from troubles that forced me to trade her in...

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  9. They also like clean cars. I'll wash mine and the very first time I take it anywhere, it gets bombed.
    Charleston is a cool town. You picked a great place to go. I'll have to go see that tree next time we are there.

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    1. Well, I don't know why you're surprised. After all, WE like clean facilities, too... :)

      We fell in love with Charleston. Yes, you guys must go see that tree. It's amazing.

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  10. I agree with Hilary and Kay … Bird poop on your head bring luck … not so sure about cars though, so that will require more research … smiles … Congrats on your 50th, friend Sue ... you are one lucky gal … smiles. Love, cat.

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    1. Yes, I'm already one lucky gal, so I think I'll pass on the opportunity to have a bird poop on my head. :)

      Smiles back atcha.

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  11. It sounds like a great trip overall!

    Whenever we walk on the beach, I love watching the pelicans swoop over the water then dive in. I can do, though, without the flocks of other birds lifting suddenly from the sand then flying overhead. I always duck, as if that's going to stop them from doing anything. :)

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    1. It was. (But you ain't heard nothing yet!)

      HA! Yeah, I know what you mean. One bird I love to watch on the beach is the sandpiper. I love the way they hold their bodies so still while their legs move at a manic high speed. Too funny! Alas, we didn't see any of them on Folley Island, though.

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  12. A very entertaining story!
    Birds are amazing, but yes, they poop. And so do we!
    Happy anniversary! If it were your birthday, I'd say: "HAPPY BIRDDAY!'

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    1. Thanks.

      Your comment reminds me of a children's book. It's titled: "Everybody Poops." I kid you not!

      Thank you for the anniversary wishes, and for the chuckle. Happy Birdday, indeed. :)

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  13. Glad you and Smarticus enjoyed your anniversary and congratulations! Sorry about the birds, but...everyone poops. Some just poop a lot more :)

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    1. Thanks. We had a blast. We visited a number of places that I think you'd love. (History nerds unite!)

      A LOT more...

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  14. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity, Susan! Happy Anniversary, indeed!

    I've not heard of Folley Island OR the Angel Tree … but now I'm feeling a curious urge to check the mileage from Coosada to Charleston!

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    1. YES! Check the mileage, and if you go, let me know what you think of the area. The tree alone is worth the trip...

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  15. Birds kinda scare me. A little. A bit. A tad... lol

    But I had to laugh at the ticked-off birds waiting for you.

    Awesome trees!

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    1. HA! You'd better not watch the old movie "The Birds"... then you'd probably be a LOT scared of them.

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  16. haha those birds must have really had it out for you to do that all summer. I guess the ones there just liked the color. They sure do crap a lot though, so nasty. I know there are crows that if you tick them off they'll actually stalk you and poop on your car no matter where you go. They can pick you out in a crowd too.

    Sure one sprawling tree indeed.

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    1. I know! It was so ridiculous, we had to laugh. (My current car is NOT red...) I never heard that about crows before, but I wouldn't put it past them. They're very smart.

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  17. That tree is great. Thanks for sharing the photos. I rarely see bird poop here because we have so few birds. The feral cats "take care" of them, but they can't be bothered with the rats. I guess birds are tastier.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I can't say that I blame the cats. I've never tried rat, but I'd much rather eat a bird... even if rat DOES taste like chicken... :)

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  18. That's an amazing tree. And, yeah, having lived by the ocean all my life I can say there's something about seabirds. They don't sing, they definitely squawk!

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    1. Isn't it? (Someone who goes by "Botanist" must have a special appreciation for it. :) )

      Absolutely! They squawk non-stop! What IS their problem???

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  19. Thanks for sharing those amazing photos of the Angel Tree--and happy anniversary!

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    1. My pleasure. That tree is amaaaaazing! Thank you. :)

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  20. Excellent anniversary adventure - Charleston area is very romantic. Just a whole other vibe. Glad you had beach time and quite a view - moon, spoon, honeymoon (again). And poop - birds have to keep you humble, I guess. Keep having fun, you crazy kids!

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    1. We had a grand ol' time. Yes, birds do keep us humble...

      Having fun continues to be the plan. You guys do the same. Have a super weekend!

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  21. That tree looks like smething out of a Harry Potter movie..you almost expect it to start walking. Bird poop? Oh yes! Did I ever tell you about the heron that spotted us once? Remind me to tell you the story.

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    1. You're right about that tree. It somehow seemed more "alive" than other trees.

      A heron? No, you haven't told me about that. They're, um, BIG birds, so I'm guessing they can make quite a... splash. Do tell!

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    2. You can read all about it on my blog. Spash indeed.

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  22. We have a multiple bird feeding 'hotel' in the back garden. As a result the patio needs hosing down every now and then! I think it's worth it for the pleasure of learning the birds feeding habits and over the hears I have learned a lot. Yesterday I was watching starlings feeding their juveniles who were virtually the same size as the parent birds.
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s ultimately unthinkable Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. For sure, having to hose off the patio every now and then is a small price to pay for the pleasure of watching the birds. I love to watch birds. But poop all over my car, day after day? Not nearly as enjoyable.

      I know what you mean about the juveniles being so darned big. It always tickles me to see over-sized baby robins begging their poor hassled parents for food. Reminds me of Baby Huey, a cartoon character I used to love.

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  23. It sounds like you had a wonderful anniversary trip. I've seen the Angel Oak, and it is amazing. I know seagulls can be noisy, but I actually like the sound they make. As for your cars being favorite targets of the birds, maybe the birds are like dogs who "mark" their territory. Maybe they like you so much they want to claim you (or at least your cars) as their own. :) Glad you had a nice anniversary trip.

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    1. We had a wonderful time. I'm glad you saw the tree in person, so at least someone knows I'm not exaggerating. (Not about the tree, anyway!)

      I like the sounds of gulls, too, but it still strikes me as a little funny that it always sounds like they're bellyaching about something.

      I like birds, too, but I wouldn't mind if they liked us a little less. HA!

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  24. Lovely Anniversary trip.
    When I lived in Laguna Beach I loved watching the pelicans fly by my deck in a line. Everyday my moment of zen and happiness.
    I miss seeing them so much. Wonderful birds.
    Love love love this first cartoon ! You know that is what they are saying.
    parsnip

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    1. It truly was lovely. (I'm ready to go back...)

      It was a joy to watch the pelicans perusing the area. It really did look like they were conducting security checks.

      That cartoon's a hoot, isn't it? :)

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  25. Only you could make bird poo so funny! Happy anniversary - what a wonderful trip!

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    1. Thanks. (I think...!) Well, bird poop IS funny!

      Thank you. It was a great trip.

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  26. I suspect the birds pooped on two silver Dodges because it was your 2x25-year anniversary and there was no gold car in the lot. Elementary, my dear Susan. Please visit Trainrides --I'd like your views on indoor moons.

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    1. Dude! Leave it to you to figure out the enigma. Your explanation is absolutely perfect!

      Indoor moon? Hmmm, guess I'd better stifle the smart-ass comment and go read it... :)

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  27. Such a nice post, love that tree.
    Birds are kind of selective I guess, my coworkers car gets more poop than mine as it is brighter in color.or may be some other reason ha ha .

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. That tree is amazing.

      HA! Some other reason, huh?

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  28. Aww, Happy Anniversary to you and Smarticus! How wonderful. And I'm so glad you got to celebrate with such an amazing trip, even with the birds LOL. That tree is AMAZING! Oh my gosh, I'd love to see it. Looks like something out of a fantasy.
    Thanks for sharing and it's so good to see you, Susan!

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    1. Thanks. You're right. That tree does look like it's straight out of the pages of a fantasy. It's amazing.

      Um, it's great to still BE seen. HA! Good to hear from you again.

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  29. During lunch time in Junior High, a flock of seagulls flew madly overhead and pooped on us, the food, the benches...Everyone screamed and scurried for cover.

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    1. Well, that's one way to expedite the lunch break... :)

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  30. I know it's the oldest line in the books but I can't help myself...
    Aren't you glad elephants don't fly?
    Lol. Happy anniversary.

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