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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunrise on the Hampton River


I am spending the weekend with Deidra and Taylor at their home on the northern tip of Sea Island, where the mouth of the Hampton River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The drive into Ocean Forest, their neighborhood, takes you down Sea Island Drive, lined with spectacular houses and even more spectacular Live Oaks dripping with Spanish moss. The terrain becomes more heavily forested as you approach their house, trees hanging over the road.

Across the river is Little Saint Simons Island, a tiny, privately owned wildlife preserve with a small lodge, which can accommodate about 30 guests. Years ago, Clint and I spent a weekend over there in April, when the migratory birds were moving, and with the help of an expert naturalist, increased our bird list by about half.

Yesterday morning, I took photos of the sun rise over the Atlantic, then cast its brilliance over the Hampton River. I watched a Wood Stork soar across the river toward Little Saint Simons, a most magnificent sight. When I walked my dogs yesterday afternoon, we ran across a Bald Eagle sitting on the bank of a pond. When he sensed our presence, he spread his incredible wings and planed off to the other end of the pond. Bird Nerd that I am, I was thrilled at both sightings.

In this incredible house, my room faces the river and the ocean, and I have my own porch from which to gaze out over the magnificent view. Every morning, I have gone downstairs for coffee and brought it back here to write and sit and think and be grateful, both for my delightful friends and their hospitality and the beauty all around.

Taylor and a friend went fishing yesterday morning and brought in some beautiful trout. Deidra took them to the chef at Ocean Forest, who cooked them for our dinner last night. Trout caught in the morning and consumed that night! Chef prepared the three ways for us - sautéed, broiled and very lightly Panko fried. We were in heaven.

Today, we went to a very interesting Sunday School class conducted my Deidra’s good friend and my pen pal, Mr. X. He doesn’t want to be mentioned on the internet, so I am honoring his wishes. Maybe one day I will convince him that all blogs are not created equal!

We lunched at Frederica, which is on the north end of Saint Simons Island and were once again surrounded by natural beauty - marsh views, magnificent Live Oaks, and ponds. We lingered over a second glass of wine, and when we returned home, Deidra and I lay around and played lazy while Taylor went to hit golf balls. I made mushroom risotto to go along with the steaks Taylor grilled for our dinner tonight, and after another relaxing evening, I am preparing for bed.

Tomorrow, I must return to Macon - and reality. I am refreshed and energized and very, very happy.

© cj Schlottman


injaynesworld said...

Wow. How heavenly. Lucky, lucky you. The photos are gorgeous. The bald eagles are returning to our nearby lake right about now. I want to get out and try to see one. My favorite bird sighting was my first great blue heron. Oh my. The whoosh sound of those wings as it took off.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

Kat said...

This sounds like the perfect weekend. What an amazing way to greet the day! The photos are lovely, and how neat that you saw a bald eagle! Enjoy! Kat