Sunday, June 17, 2012

Coconut Cupcakes and the Smell of Homemade Chicken Soup

Joe Natural's is a delightful store and cafe in little Leipers Fork in Tennessee about 40 minutes out of downtown Nashville.  Joe's sell all sorts of local produce and products from eggs to honey to cheese and breads.  Oh and fresh baked cakes and cupcakes....the coconut cupcake was to die for. We were early in the day so we didn't stay for lunch but the smell of homemade soup coming from the kitchen certainly made us want to linger.

Joe Natural's in Leipers Fork, TN

The local farm store

lsOne of two charming eating areas
Joe Natural's website is:  They are also on twitter at @joenaturals

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Charming Brown Headed Nuthatches at Cape San Blas Light

There were tall long needled pines standing around the base of the Cape San Blas Light.  While enjoying the view of the Light in late afternoon sun I heard the distinctive chatter chirp in the trees of a little nuthatch.  I took these photos with my new Panasonic Lumix and was so happy with how they turned out.  I took and watched the happy trio poking around for lunch in the bark for a long time. It made a nice afternoon memory.
Which way did he go???

Belly up to the bar boys!  There was a small hole of some sort right by the middle birds beak that they kept digging around in for lunch.

Now you see me, now you don't? Hey...I'm right in the middle!

Sugar Sand Beaches, Turtle Nests, Mullet and a Wheaten: St Joseph Peninsula on the Florida Panhandle

On our way north to Nashville we stopped for delightful nights at the Cape San Blas Inn on the St Jospeh Peninsula just outside Port St Joe on the Florida Panhandle.  A quiet, friendly backwater of a place there are no big highrise condos or hotels...just beach homes, a few inns, and a few low rise condo complexes.  There are miles of white WHITE sand beaches with few people on them.  There is a quiet bay between the peninsual and Port St Joe that provides for sheltered boating and kayaking.

The Cape San Blas Inn was a wonderful quiet spot with a long dock into the bay where we sat in a hot tub at moonrise.  We walked across the street and down a sandy lane to the beach within 5 minutes. There were turtle nests marked off as out of bounds, mullets surfing in the swells hitting the beach, families fishing (those mullet weren't biting), and firm sand perfect for walking. Afterwards we had a lovely room to rest in with a small fenced patio and comfy bed.  Breakfasts were delicious and we enjoyed meeting some of our fellow travelers over the meal.

We hope to return to this lovely quiet spot on the panhandle one day to linger a little longer.

Jerry walking on the St Joseph Peninsula Beach. The water was warm that day and there were few people about even though it was a Saturday.

Caution: Turtle Nest.  It is turtle nesting season in the area and we saw at least 5 of these marked nest in just a short 1 mile stretch of beach.  A happy sight.

Jerry talking to the family of fishermen...not catching much, but they were having a great time.

Look careful...those are mullet bodysurfing in the surf...just about 10 feet of shore

The Cape San Blas Light.  No I didn't walk up to the top. If the prospect of walking up the steps wasn't daunting enough...I'd would have had to walk up a spiral set INSIDE that white tube.  No thanks!

Right across from Cape San Blas Inn is a small groups of businesses where you can buy real estate, beer, eggs, hamburgers, souvenirs and of course coffee & ice cream.

Moon rise over the bay off the Cape San Blas Inn dock

Sunset looking towards the tip of the St Joseph Peninsula

Rocky, the adorable sometime-resident Wheaten Terrier.

CMA Music Fest. Something for Everyone in Nashville

For 6 years now we've been making the pilgrimage to Nashville each June to partake in the massive CMA Music Fest celebrating country music and raising money for the Nashville School District's Music Program.  All the performers come with their bands and perform free on one of the many stages during the day throughout downtown Nashville or on the big stage at one of the 4 nightly concerts at LP Field.  All proceeds go to the Nashville regional school district to support music education (primarily the purchase of instruments).  All types of people from 50 states (and this year 27 countries) come to enjoy the madness.  And there is something for everyone: bluegrass pickers on small stages to Carrie Underwood at the massive LP Field, from rockabilly bands to country rocker Jason Aldean.  Here are a few photos to give you a taste of the Fest, you can see the complete set of my photos on my Flickr is the link:

Broadway Signs
Littel Big Town
Glen Campbell giving a poignant performance at LP Field

The Old and the New of Downtown Nashville

One of many stages in downtown Nashville during the CMA Music Fest

Carrie Underwood rocking the Short Shorts on LP Field

Our wonderful Dancing Man...floating and dancing throughout every concert at LP Field

Brad Paisley and special guest Hank Williams, Jr.

Saying hello to the Mounted Police Ponies