Thoughtful Thursday Anna Ruby Falls, Georgia

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Anna Ruby Falls photo by Maria Vidaurre

There’s something to be said about slowing down and spending time in nature. This past fall I was fortunate to take a hiking trip to northern Georgia with my husband. One of our visits was to Anna Ruby Falls which is in Unicoi State Park, located just outside of Helen, Georgia. It was a stunning drive to the falls as we drove on the windy road through the forest with accents of mother nature’s foliage of yellow, orange and red leaves glistening in the sunlight.

The hike to the falls is about a half mile on a paved path. Officially it’s .4 of a mile, but my Garmin and phone tracker showed it was a bit more. Nevertheless, it was a majestic hike the entire way as the path followed the creek and you were serenaded by the flowing waters. The path was a little steep but there were plenty of benches along the way to rest if needed.

James H. “Captain” Nichols was a Civil War Colonel who retired and moved to Nacoochee Valley in 1870. Even though he had been promoted to Colonel he was reverently referred to as “Captain.” While out horseback riding one day, Nichols discovered the falls and named them after his daughter, Anna Ruby.

The falls are made up of Curtis and York Creeks that run down the steep slopes of Tray Mountain in 2 falls. In the photo above Curtis Creek Falls is shown on the left and drops 153 feet and York Creek Falls is shown on the right and drops 50 feet. These 2 falls combine to create Smith Creek which is what you see when walking on the path.

I hope you enjoyed this little travel tidbit. Anna Ruby Falls was a beautiful place to visit and I hope you’ll be able to visit it too!

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“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu

All photos were taken by Maria Vidaurre

Save Our Oceans and Turtles Journal Pages (Part 2)

The other week I posted Page 1 of this journal spread. For my focal point on the second page I used a tag that I made a while ago and stashed away for later use. I love this tag because it was embossed with a stamp that reads “My heart is at home by the Sea” which really resonates with me.

I made the little turtles using the same stamp as in the tag, colored them, cut them out and glued them into the journal. I wanted a little texture for the turtle shells so I used Inkssentials Glossy Accents.

I had a lot of fun creating this journal layout and hope you will too!

Supplies

  • 9″ x 12″ Journal
  • Torn pieces of tissue paper or pages from a book
  • Gesso
  • Mod Podge or Gel Matte Medium
  • Acrylic Paint: Aqua and Royal Blue
  • Fiber Paste
  • Wave Stencil
  • Palette Knife
  • Assorted ocean themed stamps
  • Staz On Black Ink
  • Inkssentials Glossy Accents
  • Assorted ephemera and embellishments
  • Ranger Distress Ink – Black Soot
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Paint your pages with gesso. Let dry.
  2. Tear small pieces of paper and glue them to the journal pages with Mod Podge or Gel Matte Medium. Let dry.
  3. Paint your background in your favorite acrylic paint. Allow the torn pieces of paper to show through the paint a little. Let dry.
  4. Mix fiber paste with a darker contrasting acrylic paint and apply using a palette knife and wave stencil. Let dry.
  5. Stamp sea life images to the pages with the Staz On Ink and add ephemera you have that will go with the ocean theme. You can also stamp or draw images, color them with paint, cut them out and glue them to the pages like I did with the little turtles. I also added a little Glossy Accents for more texture.
  6. Distress the edges with Ranger Black Soot.
  7. Add your quote.
  8. Add any shading and highlights where needed. Add a little sparkly glitter and that’s it!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Save Our Oceans and Turtles Journal Pages (Part 1)

Sometimes I save pieces of ephemera from things I buy or places I’ve visited. I recently bought a Simply Southern t-shirt which are super comfortable and it had a sticker on it “Save our oceans and turtles.” I kept it not knowing what to do with it but when I was creating another piece of art, I came across yet another piece of ephemera I saved, the canvas seashell tag. So I set the two pieces aside and decided I had to make them work and this is what I came up with.

Stay tuned and I’ll post the second page shortly.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Thoughtful Thursday – Earth Day

Photo taken by Maria Vidaurre, Marco Island, FL

Earth Day started April 22, 1970, as a way to bring awareness to environmental issues and changing the public’s outlook. We are all interconnected on this planet. Every action causes an equal reaction whether it be good or bad.

Everyone chooses their battles to fight. Some battle to reduce air pollution while others battle for the forests. My battle is for the oceans because they are one of the biggest sources of life on this planet. It’s heartbreaking to see the islands of plastic that have formed as a result of dumping garbage into the oceans. Some of the plastic breaks down, pollutes the waters and eventually settles on the ocean floors. Marine animals mistake plastics for food causing them to get sick or even die.

As humans we consume tons of fish, crabs, lobsters and shrimp from the oceans every year. With the amount of plastics, garbage and toxins that have been dumped into the oceans the marine life has become toxic for humans to eat. Yet it still is a very large food source for us, so what does that say about the state of our health?

This is just one small part of a much larger problem in the oceans and I could go on and on about the issues at hand, but I think you get the gist of it. Everyday we wake up we need to be mindful of the role we play on this planet and be proactive in taking care of Mother Earth so we will have a beautiful tomorrow.

What are some of the things you do to help make a better tomorrow?

Thanks for stopping by!

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~Unknown

All photos above in the slide presentation were taken by Maria Vidaurre, Bahamas.

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Maria Vidaurre – Mockingbird hatchlings

Welcome Little Ones

Last week I wrote about the coming of Spring and the Mockingbirds that made a nest in our topiary just outside of our front door. I still find it odd that they did this with all of the foot traffic in and out of our home, but I guess they felt safe enough.

We’ve been watching Momma coming in and out from the nest a lot from our window. One time we saw her come back with a worm so we investigated once we knew she left. When we walked outside you could hear tiny little peeps. Lo and behold, we had 3 new babies in the nest and I was able to get a quick photo before Momma came back.

Life is beautiful, precious and just amazes me at times. We were blessed to see the birds build the nest, lay their eggs and now welcome the new babies. I’m still in awe with these precious little ones.

Mockingbirds are the Florida State Bird and are here all year round. They are about ten inches in length, sing beautiful songs and are excellent mimics. We’re keeping everyone away from the nest area so the babies and parents don’t stress. We can see that Momma keeps an ever watchful eye over her babies as Mockingbirds are known for fiercely defending their nests.

Take the time to slow down and breathe in the beauty and new life all around you during this very special season.

Have a lovely weekend!

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“Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with life itself.” ~L.W. Gilbert

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Spring Solstice

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the Spring Equinox is on Saturday, 3/20/2021. This marks the first official day of spring in the Northern hemisphere. On this day, the length of the day and night are almost equal.

The flowers are beginning to bloom and the birds are nesting. We have a pair of what I believe are Mockingbirds that have made their nest just outside our front door in the topiary tree. We’ve been careful to keep the noise down, lights low and the gardeners away from that tree so that we do not disturb them. But it can be a little challenging since they are right at our front door. You can see the momma bird on her eggs keeping them nice and warm. I can’t wait for them to hatch! Very exciting!!

Have you checked your yard for any exciting new babies that may be coming soon? Would love to hear from you.

Hope you have a great weekend!

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“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.” ~Charles Dickens

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Daylight Savings Time

This Sunday marks Daylight Savings Time. We go to bed on Saturday night and at 12 am we are supposed to set our clocks forward 1 hour. An easy way to remember which way to set your clock is think “Spring forward, Fall back.”

But who started this and why? During World War I, President Roosevelt had the idea to follow the European model and suggested to Congress to start one standard time throughout our country. This was supposed to help us utilize our resources better. Thus they enacted the 1918 Standard Time Act which was meant to only be in effect for 7 months out of the year. After the war, the Standard Time Act was discontinued. However, some states still continued to follow it.

When World War II started, Congress imposed new legislation that was basically same as the 1918 Time Act but would be in effect for the entire year instead of only 7 months. This was repealed in 1945, and again some states kept following the Time Act.

In 1966 Congress passed new legislation that would permanently set a standard time for the entire nation. There are a few exceptions to the rule. Hawaii and most of Arizona do not follow this legislation, as well as overseas US Territories.

So don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead 1 hour Saturday night before going to bed. Hope you have a great weekend!

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Sources:

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/daylight-saving-time-instituted

https://time.com/5005600/states-without-daylight-savings-time

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