With warmer temperatures in the 80’s this week, we can safely say that it is Spring in the South now!
I can hear the choir of angels singing now!
Can you tell that we are extremely overjoyed now that the harsh winds of Winter have blown out of here?
Oh, I know! All of you up North are laughing hysterically over the Southerners down here complaining about “harsh winds of Winter.” We aren’t used to it, and frankly, I don’t see how you guys LIVE where you have to shovel all of that snow! And let’s not even talk about when temperatures are way below freezing there. We cringe when the weatherman talks of just snow flurries here and the possibility of ice on bridges!
Ah, but Spring has sprung!
Every outdoor surface is covered in a blanket of … green pollen. Not as romantic as sitting by the fire up North with a blanket of freshly fallen white snow on the ground.
But, let’s not talk about Winter.
Spring is HERE!!!
I know … there is still a chance of a “cold snap” before Easter, as always. Just when the trees start flowering – like my Bradford Pear Trees I’ve been waiting FOREVER to see bloom … and now they ARE … with the dogwoods beginning to come to life as well. Imagine my excitement yesterday when I realized they are getting ready to burst forth in a few weeks, too!
This weekend we rode our horses through God’s beautiful country in the Charleston area! Does it get any better than that?! With trees lined with gray moss hanging overhead, we felt as if we were truly in the enchanted forest. Ah, but this was no fairy tale. This was real life on the grounds of Middleton Place!
Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark, and we had the pleasure of riding our horses here! No, we couldn’t actually ride up close or around the house or the gardens, but we were still on their land with beauty surrounding us nonetheless!
While we could only see a small portion of the house, which was built in 1755, from the trails, we were excited when we were able to capture this picture from across the road at Bailey’s Field.
We rode our horses around ponds where we saw Canadian Geese, ducks, and about three alligators right there in a row. I contemplated on what to do because I knew that we were bound to see an alligator with all of the ponds around. We were riding close to the water’s edge, too, so I was trying to decide whether to tell my daughter when I spotted one sunning on the bank or to just go on by as if I didn’t notice. I finally decided to tell her as I was afraid the alligator’s swift movement off the bank and into the water would cause a splash which would startle or spook our horses. I tried to break it to her as gently as possible, but she was consumed with fear as soon as the first alligator scurried off the bank and into the water faster than anything we’ve ever seen before! She began to cry, and no amount of reassurance from either my husband nor I would help at that point. We came upon another one within minutes from the first, and it entered the water with lightening speed. The third alligator, however, was soaking up the sun and did not even notice (or care) that we were any where around. My daughter’s tears quickly dried as we lead our horses away from the pond and on to higher ground. I tried to tell her that the alligators are probably just as afraid of us (with the exception of the one that didn’t acknowledge our existence) as we are of them! As long as we don’t provoke them, we should be fine. That helped, as the very next day we rode around some of the ponds on the right hand side of the trails. She was fine then as we only spotted one or two in the middle of the ponds and not on the banks as we passed by.
I lost track of the number of times I threw my head back and said, “Oh my gosh … I LOVE this place! It is soooo beautiful!”
From vast ponds to wildlife and on to fields full of Yellow Carolina Jasmine, we were in awe of ALL of God’s creations!
As we got further into the woods, we stumbled upon a little bridge, completely safe for horse travels, across a little creek. As soon as you crossed over the bridge, you immediately had to climb uphill. We had the best time at this spot with our horses trotting up the hill, so much that we went back to this spot a second time just for the thrill of going back up again. It is hard for me to contain my excitement, and I cannot hold my laughter in at this point. I laugh because I’m happy, and I feel FREE on the back of my horse! It is truly one of the best feelings in this world!
If you’ve experienced your share of Winter Blues, we encourage you to get out in nature at the first opportunity you have with warmer weather in your area. Let yourself stand in awe of God and the beauty He has provided for us all. I am constantly amazed at Our Creator. He thought of every single detail, didn’t He? Of course, He did!
And we bow our head and thank Him for ALL of His many blessings in our lives.