With the great Spring weather we had the coolness left us throwing the
widows open at night and if Lacy was out we would let her come back an
forth getting the pecans I had picked up through the winter months.
She was pretty picky and I ended up cracking out a lot of the really
good ones for cooking, which my friend Lisa had sent me from up in
They were Lacy's favorites and mine. Hopefully I
will get a pecan tree out of some of those. We are now out of
those bigger nuts and Lacy is happy to take the smaller ones from here.
She can pick up a nut and tell immediately if it is empty or
not. She will toss it aside and I pick it up and I know by its
weight that it has no meat. Pretty smart squirrel gal.
Time is often measured here by which Festival falls in that month.
The biggest of them all is The Shrimp Festival which began over
50 years ago. The Shrimp Festival Parade always is led by the
colors and then the police, sheriff, and firemen. This year
there were around a hundred different participant/groups registered to
be in the parade.
This was my favorite Shrimp in the whole parade. I always tell
everyone "you are either in it or watching it" if you live here. We
always watch it from the galleries front porch with friends who drop by.
Last year the parade was changed to the Saturday and you would have
thought those who made that decision had chained the doors of the
churches. Change is not easy here when it is deals with
tradition. It had always been on Thursday evening, kicking off
the first of 4 days of Shrimp Festival...so once again Thursday
was Parade day. Of course last year Thursday would
have been a terrible night as it poured rain. But this year's
weather was great and it stayed that way the whole weekend, with nice
cool breezes and just warm enough to be comfortable. These
dates begin to float through your mind, wonder what I will be doing
when that class graduating. Dealing with The Golden Girls, my mom and my aunt, makes
you wonder about your own later years.
As always there are lots of beads and candy...
also balloons which hopefully will not be released to go out over the
ocean. Almost all the turtles who are found dead have plastic in
their digestive system, especially lethal are the balloons.
...and of course Pirates are the main characters outside of Shrimp. In this case Pirates with Shrimp.
There is always a theme and this year I did not really know what it was besides Shrimp.
Wells Fargo sent their beautiful horse drawn stagecoach.
And did I say children? Of course always children, who are the most important part of any community.
This one big Shrimp seems to make it back year after year.
Then there are children who are pirates...and now with our own Pirate Store it is easier to get the right garb.
Many of the children are Pirates and they are really into being pirates to the best of their abilities.
Vintage vehicles are a good addition to any parade.
When the grownup Pirates show up in large numbers then you know that the parade is almost over.
The truck with the eight flags, symbol of our island, and part of the
of its rich history, is pulling the Pirate Ship and the Pirates,
Swabbies, and Winches walk along with the ship and some ride on
it. Shooting the cannon is always the sign that the parade if
actually at an end.
And if you don't know the signal that the cannon fire is the signal the
parade is over then the vehicle behind it has someone holding up a sign
saying, "The End".
The Pirates will continue to be around the whole weekend and even have
a booth at the waterfront from which you too can buy clothes to dress
like a Pirate.
The clear skies are certainly welcome and the evening comes to an end.
For the first time on Friday we did not stay to watch the
fireworks but the day was just too long. Seems as if the days are getting
longer but the weeks, months, and years are so much shorter.
Shrimp Festival always signals the beginning of Sea Turtle Nesting
Season even though the turtles don't usually lay for another couple of
weeks. Sunday my first day, I found the beach was still in a mess
where the beach renourishment project had just ended that week.
It will take a while for rain an winds to smooth this back out.
There were no nests yet but a few Horseshoe Crabs to rescue where
they were stranded on the beach.
One of my favorite events is the Parade of boats who come for the
Blessing of the Fleet and a flash back to old days when this was the
focus of the whole thing over 50 years ago. Shrimp Boat races and
the Blessing of the Fleet were the beginning activities to what
eventually became the Art Show, entertainment and other parts which
have added to what we see today.
The Georgia Bulldog is always the lead in the parade. It is a
study ship and is outfitted to be a real shrimping vessel but does a
lot of ocean research. They often pick up turtles in trouble.
A wreath was brought from the Marina by boat out to the middle of the
river to be placed on the water in remembrance of all the shrimpers
and others who have lost their lives.
Then afterwards each boat parades by for their blessing by the priest, then they line up
again to parade by the reviewing stand to be judged as to the best
decorated boat. This of course is the Captain Jack.
This was an especially patriotic one with a huge flag and patriotic music.
The reviewing stand was a bit different this year. The treasure
hunting vessel was taken to the middle of the river where with the poles
lowered it made for a stable but central place for both the blessing and the judging to take place.
Jet Stream was certainly decked out with lots of live dancing shrimp and even palm trees growing on its deck.
Judge was last years winner.
After the Shrimp Boats comes all and any others who want the blessing for a successful year ahead.
...aaaahhhhh, that we do. No one who lives here would eat shrimp
when we are at inland restaurants after having our local shrimp on a
All decked out in their finest these Shrimpers represent the best of them
in the present times and pay homage to those who went before.
It's about tradition.
Working on getting my plants ready for a summer of butterflies, I hope.
The passion Flower is for the Gulf Fritillaries and the Zebra
Longwings. Fritillaries like them in the sun and the Zebra Longwings like
them in a more shady environment.
I don't make it usually to the waterfront this time of the year even
though we have lots of beautiful sunsets I can still get a glimpse from
my own backyard, just not as spectacular.
Our newest addition to the family "Spot" if finally growing. It
is hard to know how much to feed as he is starting to want food and
will come out from under his hiding place to beg for the food sticks we
use. You don't want a turtle to grow too fast as their shell will
deform. I still don't know the sex of the turtle but Bruce has
been changing his name to her name, Patty. He says she doesn't
look like a spot any more but more like a cow patty.
One of the early days was a pretty windy day with wind blowing spray as the waves try to fold over.
Jellies, in this case the Cannonball Jelly, litter the shore and since
they are a favorite food of Sea Turtles, their arrival forecasts
of the coming of he Sea Turtles will not be far away.
We are busy documenting our earliest babies. This Momma Wilson's
Plover is not that fat, but is hiding her little ones underneath her
belly feathers. You can see the rear end of one of the little
ones sticking on the right side of her white underside. They
usually have 3 eggs/chicks although it is tough for them to raise them
all. The little ones are equipped to run the beach from the time
they hatch until they fledge. Even as adults who can fly most of
their time is spent chirping what seems like 24 hours a day as they
forage the beach looking for food.
I am trying to hurry with
this story to get it out because by now we are into a full two months
of Sea Turtle Season and it is what I believe to be the most exciting
one yet and I can't wait to bring you up to date on what is
happening...so stay tuned for a wild Turtle Ride.