So here we are into the second half of June and I haven't posted since early on the first, before we headed south for my grandmother's funeral. Suffice to say it's been busy as all hell since I got home, and I'm just beginning to feel like I'm breaking the surface a bit to catch my breath. So I guess the thing to do at this point is backtrack a little and talk a bit about the trip.
Mostly it was just good to spend time with family and catch up a little with members of the extended family and people who may as well be family, some of whom I hadn't seen in years. It was also nice to be there with everything all leafed out and lush (And HUMID! Sweet FSM, was it humid!). I'm pretty sure I could never live in that climate again, but little doses remind me of my childhood, and I'm perfectly okay with that.
Another echo of my childhood came the day after the funeral. I had an errand to run and on my way back to my parents' house I spied this beauty on the side of the road:
As far as I can tell, she's an Eastern Painted Turtle of considerable age and, had I weighed and measured her, possibly of record size. She'd left a small farm pond nearby looking for some nicer real estate, but if I hadn't stopped to pick her up, she'd have likely ended up as a turtle pancake on a hot country road.
So after taking her back to my folks' and snapping a few photos, I took her off to the edge of the woods, through which she could get to my grandfather's pond and the creek. I sat down for a bit to see if she'd come out of her shell for a better photo, but she was having none of it. I did, however, manage to pick up a mess of these:
That, friends, is a genuine chigger, a true Southern institution and a rite of passage I really don't enjoy repeating. On the other hand, there were some ripe blackberries near at hand, so just maybe the pleasure slightly mitigated the ungodly itch.