Oddities in Our Front Yard

It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while, we scratch our heads about what’s in our front yard. We’ve found several birds’ nests on the ground and a few cicada shells stuck to the trees. But these three photos are of the oddest things that have  happened…

The bird wasn’t afraid of us. It was almost as if he were waiting for us, much like a visiting cat, checking to see what we were up to. He came back for a few days, but then he moved on.

The morning the fish fell out of the sky, we were on our way down the driveway, chatting up a storm. All of the sudden we heard mighty wings flapping, then SPLAT! This fish landed within five feet of us. It took our breathes away, too!

You can see puncture marks on the fish’s body where the bird clutched him. We’d seen birds dive straight down into the water, catch a fish and bring him into the air. But we’d never seen the fish fall out of the bird’s claws.

We ran to get the camera. Then back for the tape measure.

Today, we saw this mushroom growing up out of the gravel driveway.

I learned all about how mushrooms are cultivated at the Produce Marketing Show we visited last month. But those mushrooms grew in rich, black soil, not gravel. And mushrooms don’t need light to grow. This one seemed very happy in the sunlight.

We are anxious to see what pops round to our front yard next.


Thank You for Your Service, Soldiers

            Morgan County Georgia’s Veterans Day Celebration

Like thousands of other communities, Morgan County residents gathered in our high school gymnasium to honor and to thank those who served in the United States Armed Forces.

Many of the veterans attend the ceremony each year, including our dear neighbors, Bob & Jean Baker.

The Jr ROTC filled the bleachers next to the older veterans.

The mayor’s son, a physician currently stationed at Fort Gordon, talked to us about his service. Major Curt Gilbert spent his five year residency in Radiology at Cook Army Medical Center. He told us how far the limb loss programs had come as wounded soldiers from the Iraq War came to Cook to be re-habed and fitted in the limb loss programs.

Major Curt Gilbert, MD

The work was challenging and rewarding, but the Major felt more & more that his calling was to deploy to a war zone. He came back to Fort Gordon, then got orders to serve in the only expeditionary hospital in Afghanistan.

He experienced wartime medicine in spades. “The care a team can give in a tent is amazing,” Major Gilbert told us, “In military wartime medicine, you are waiting for those helicopters. It is the most efficient setting ever. The mission is to take care of soldiers. And we took it personally when we lost a soldier.”

The Marines were making humanitarian efforts on behalf of the Afghans to find clothes and blankets for them. The literacy rate among the local population was about 15%. So the Marines built schools, too.

The Major, in a communication to his parents, Judy and Bruce Gilbert, told them what the Marines needed. Within two weeks, the elder Gilberts’ neighbors were sending hundreds of boxes of supplies. One Madisonian included a note in his box. “Dear Curt,” it said, “Here are clothes and jackets. I’m not sure if I’m giving clothes to future enemies; but I hope they keep the little urchins warm.”

When his tour of duty was over, Gilbert rode home in the belly of a C-130. He was the only live person among the soldiers in the five coffins around him.

Thank you for your service, soldiers. We will never forget your sacrifices on behalf of the United States of America.