Georgia Updates: The Hydrangea, The Dead Trees, Look Who’s Still Hanging Around, A Wedding and a First For Me Butterfly.

When was the last time I shared some of my favorite’s from the house in Georgia? I figured after sharing hurricane news and the loss of Callie, it was time to ‘lighten up’ around here.

The Hydrangea

Our front door hydrangea is almost obscene. I’d asked our *landscape guy about moving it away from the house because it is crowded and he claimed that we had the best hydrangea in the ‘hood…probably because the deer can’t get to it. So, there it stays, crowded by the house.

*One of my favorite things about the GA house is that there is very little yard work. We have a service that comes by every other week and blows the driveway, decks and patios to remove leaves/fallen debris. When we need mulch, they will deliver and spread. No grass to mow. No trees to trim. Everything is au’natural.

The Hanging Chad. Still hanging in there.

Dead Trees.

This makes us very sad. There are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 dead oak trees on our 1 acre property. In this hood, you have to get approval to remove trees as they are worshiped here. (as they should be) Apparently there is some sort of Asian Beetle that is making it’s way through North Georgia and hitting oak trees. One of the trees is at least 120 years old. (little video from our bedroom window of three of the trees marked that will be taken down)

Whoops. That wasn’t very uplifting, now was it?

The Wedding We drove from our place in North GA with Don and Kelly to attend a wedding two weekends ago. We stayed at a nice hotel in Chattanooga, but the wedding venue was located at the top of a mountain at the crux of GA, TN and AL. Talk about views!! The wedding was for two of our Nashville songwriter friends; they are a lovely couple and it was of fun to see their relationship blossom from the beginning to the end.

I mean, to their wedding day!

They are smitten kittens and it’s lovely to see people in love, right? They have a lot of connections and the groom is very close friends with one of my favorite musical talents and I was expecting him to be there and let him meet Coach and I, but apparently he had an event of some sort. I won’t mention his name, but it rhymes with Rarius Ducker.

The Butterfly Whisperer

We spent the afternoon in Chattanooga prior to the wedding. Kelly and I were walking down a busy city street in search of some Retail Therapy when I spotted a butterfly, on the ground, flitting around. I could tell it was having issues and after a few tries I was able to get it to hop onto my finger, then I carried it over to a bushy/flowery area away from the road. I’d realized after I set it down that it was a Viceroy; which almost looks like a Monarch.

Ya’ll, I’d never seen one in real life and here I just had a personal interaction with one! Ok, maybe that is more exciting to me, but this is my blog!!

We’re back home in hot, humid Florida and back to reality.

Has anyone else experienced an obscene hydrangea or rescued a butterfly from a city street?

31 thoughts on “Georgia Updates: The Hydrangea, The Dead Trees, Look Who’s Still Hanging Around, A Wedding and a First For Me Butterfly.

  1. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m so envious of your beautiful mountain home. Keep those tropical beach houses… I could happily live on your back deck. Gorgeous front door hydrangea is just icing on the cake.
    That wedding venue looks wonderful, I bet the photos are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bijoux

    We have four hydrangea and didn’t get a single bloom this year, thanks to the roaming deer herd. We even have netting on them, but the deer are able to poke their heads under or just eat the buds that poke through I guess.

    That’s disappointing to hear about the oak beetles and I hope they don’t head this way. We lost a number of Ash trees, thanks to the emerald ash borer (I think that’s the name of the insect).

    Great photo of you two at the wedding. How fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know it will not surprise you but I have no idea what Rarius Ducker rhymes with. 😉

    What an amazing wedding venue. I can imagine how fun it was for you to attend with Don and Kelly. Your butterfly knowledge never ceases to amaze me. I’ve not rescued a butterfly, but when leaving Kohls when the kids were little, we found a walking stick walking up the building and we brought it home and let it go in our yard. The kids enoyed the close encounter.

    Giggling at retail therapy.

    Sorry about the loss of your trees. That stinks. What a beautiful property. I’ve never had a hydranga that bloomed so fully. We did have a lylac ‘bush’ at our old house that had been unattended for so long that it was more like a small tree. Enormous.

    I was considering travelling to Tampa with Coach when he teaches Nov. 5th, but the flights were so pricey it would cut into the profits Coach made from teaching – sort of defeats the purpose. It seemed silly to leave Reg and Curly home alone AGAIN. Tough to turn down a chance to enjoy the sun (and humidity).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not in the least surprised about your non music knowledge. 😜😉

      Being a Floridian for most of my life, there was never a chance of growing a hydrangea down here; it’s much too hot. At thrills us to know, and to see those hydrangeas blooming!

      Would’ve been nice if you could’ve come to Tampa! You could’ve got all that heat and said that you wanted.


  4. So, so sad about the removal of your oak trees. We’re losing 90% of our ash trees due to the emerald ash borer here. We had to cut our only ash tree down at our lake property thanks to the pest. Losing any tree is a tragedy, but oaks especially hurt. They are so stately and provide incredible resource for wildlife (and us).

    I can very much understand your Butterfly Thrill. That’s me when I see a new bird (or every single time the bald eagle swoops low over our shoreline). A red-shouldered hawk buzzed me and perched on our fence last week, and I almost fainted. I’m sure all the squirrels and chipmunks did, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ninety % of your ash trees is huge. I am so sorry to hear that. That really does change your landscape.

      Nance, I also lose my marbles a tad bit when I see a new to me bird! I’ve only seen a handful of bluebirds in person, and I get excited every time.

      I agree, that hawk created some nervous tension for a lot of critters in its vicinity!


  5. What a bummer about the trees. We lost all of our ash trees because of the Emerald Ash Borer and it still makes a difference in our neighborhood that all those mature trees were taken down.

    I went down a bit of a rabbit hole on the viceroy thing and boy is the Wikipedia article quite specific! Some editor really went into the scientific weeds on that one!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have an opposite story: When we just moved into our house, one of the front yard trees looked like a scrawny little weed… We asked the landscapers, and they told us it was an oak seedling. We now have a mighty oak in our front yard 🙃

      I’m curious: what has you going back to humid-laden-Florida when you have such a magical place in Georgia?


    2. I had no idea about this Ash Tree issue; it’s rampant now that I see how many people have been affected. I mean, how many trees have been affected!

      Well, I also went down a rabbit hole with the viceroy. For me, this was very interesting as I thought I knew quite a bit about butterflies; this one is very different from my monarchs.


  6. I’m laughing so hard at Ernie not knowing who Darius Rucker is.

    That hydrangea bush is MAGICAL.

    So, we know that beetle. A few years ago, Ash Borer’s destroyed all of our Ash trees in the Chicago area. Our beautiful front tree had to be removed. I actually cried the day they chopped it down. But in the spring, they came and planted something (I can’t remember what it is) beautiful for us, and it is now huge and lovely. Friggin’ bugs acting as if they own the place.

    You’re a butterfly charmer. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We knew she wouldn’t know, right?

      The hydrangea is magical!

      I think every person who commented mentioned the ash trees dealing with the borers! I had no idea. How sad is that for the trees?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my goodness, I had no idea there were monarch doppelgängers flitting around! So pretty! How fun that you got to meet one in person! And those hydrangeas are gorgeous. Very sorry to hear about the oak trees though — they are very stately and it is so sad that they have fallen prey to the Asian beetle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doppelgangers are everywhere! You might have one too. 🙂

      Oak trees are stately and we will miss them terribly. We’re hoping that we get these taken down before the beetles spread.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh wow, that hydrangea!!! Oh my goodness. That is gorgeous.

    Here for the butterflies! I’ve been missing your butterfly posts and I hope that we are coming into butterfly season for you? I mean, I’m not sure what that means but MORE BUTTERFLIESSSSS

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Our hydrangeas are pathetic. Sadly. Spunkless and seem to be a favorite snack of deer. Thanks for reminding me of this. I’ve rescued a butterfly from our garage door so that it wouldn’t get whooshed into the garage when my husband opened the door. I like to think the butterfly was grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. M

    Oh, the hydrangea is beautiful! It obviously likes where it is. So sorry about the oak trees, though…that’s awful. I love oak trees and hate the thought of so many dying!

    Your GA home sounds and looks lovely! What a treat it must be to have a place like that to retreat to — surrounded by nature. I long for that type of environment; vacations don’t need to be at a beach — and our big trip to Alaska and British Columbia showed us that the woods/mountains have so much appeal!

    How fun to have such an encounter with a never-seen-before butterfly! I’m sure you were ecstatic, the butterfly-loving-lady you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s just something lovely about an old oak tree. Hopefully, not too many more will be destroyed. *fingers crossed*

      It is a treat to visit our retreat! We also share it with family and friends, so others also get to enjoy our haven.

      British Columbia has much to offer, too…and ONE day, I will get there for a visit.


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