Thursday, February 9, 2017

Writing with a Southern Accent

My favorite form of punctuation is the comma.  I also use a lot of dot-dot-dots (also known as "ellipses") to enable me to continue my "run-on" thoughts in a run-on sentence and to, hopefully, keep it from sounding like I'm "running on."

I confess that I don't always use commas and ellipses correctly, but tend to happily and generously sprinkle them in and amongst my writings to slow down my thoughts as I'm writing ... and to give my reader a chance to pause as he or she is reading my babblings. [Did you notice how you slowed down when you got to the "dot-dot-dots?"]

My own rule of thumb about when to use a comma is quite simple: When I finish writing a story, I read it out loud and when I need to take a breath in between phrases, I insert a comma ... or if I really get short of breath while reading, I will add the little dot-dot-dots, instead of a comma. 

My photography website is called "Photography with a Southern Accent," so I suppose that it's possible that my southern accent could carry over to my style of writing, too.  Could that be the reason I use so many commas to slow it down?

By now, I'm sure you're wondering why in the world I spent valuable time babbling on and on about commas and dot-dot-dots, of all things.  To be honest, as I proofread this, I was kind of wondering the same thing!  

But, at least, in the future ... if you ever read one of my stories again ... maybe you can imagine me reading it to you in my slow, southern drawl, slightly pausing for effect after each little comma and dot-dot-dot.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

It's Been a While

It's been a while.

Well, it's been more than a while .... it's been a long time since I've shared anything here at Southern Lagniappe.  Not even a picture ... or a short story about planting flowers ... or a trip we've taken ... or the blue birds building a nest and having two sets of babies in our back yard.

My last original post was on December 4, 2015, and was a story about a beautiful tree I discovered in Vicksburg -- a Chinese Pistache Tree.

When I wrote that story, little did I know that over a year would pass before I would post an original story again.  It seems to me that it's been a lot longer than a year. I guess that's because a lot has happened during that time.

We sold our house in Vicksburg, and moved closer to our grandchildren (we live about eight minutes away from them now!).  And speaking of the grandchildren -- Avery Grace is 11 now, and Maddox is five ... and they are literally growing up in front of our eyes.

We are blessed to still have my parents with us.  They are doing well for their age (Mama's 90, and Daddy's 92 now), and they enjoy their independence, living each day to the fullest in their sweet little house in Louisiana, about two hours away from us.

I hope this finds all of you, my sweet blogger friends, doing well.  I have missed your sweet spirits and kind words, and look forward to dropping by your blogs for a visit to catch up on what's going on in your lives these days. 

I also look forward to sharing new pictures and stories ... especially with a promise of Spring just around the corner. Until then, my friends ... may God Bless and keep you.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Reminiscing ... from June 2013

One of my favorite landscaping trees, the Chaste Tree, has gorgeous blue spiky blooms during late spring and summer.  The flowers grow in 6"-12" spikes, and some trees bloom two or three times during the summer months.

Some of you may know the Chaste Tree as Texas Lilac, or Lilac Chaste Tree, because its blossoms are reminiscent of the common lilac.

It's a sprawling plant that can grow to be 10-20 feet tall and about as wide.

Butterflies, hummingbirds, and bumblebees love the bright blue blossoms ... and I was delighted to see this little guy happily flitting from blossom to blossom, practically ignoring me and my camera.

Although he was keeping an eye on me, he didn't seem to mind having his picture taken.

He couldn't get enough of the nectar ... and I was delighted to have the opportunity to capture him as he darted from blossom to blossom.

He was a happy, happy, happy little hummer!

The next picture is my favorite. His delicate, gossamer wings are truly awe-inspiring.

I like this picture, too ... I don't see hummers with their beaks open very often.

Bumblebees love Chaste trees, too ... and will even spend the night on the flowers. However, when I took these pictures, they were too busy gathering pollen to bother me.

As I snapped pictures of the bees, I noticed that this little fellow had "globs" (for lack of a better word) of what appeared to be pollen attached to his back legs.

I was curious about how a little bumblebee could carry that much pollen around on his legs and still be able to fly, so I turned to a blogger's best friend, Google, and discovered an amazing thing:

bumblebee's legs are covered with sticky hairs that help it collect pollen.  Hollow holders on the outside of each back leg, called pollen baskets, are yellow to red when full of pollen, as shown by this sketch by Sheri Amsel ( Bumblebee: Exploring Nature ).

I think this little guy's pollen baskets were about to "runneth over!"

As I captured these pictures ... of the chaste tree, and the hummingbird, and the bumblebee ... I couldn't help but experience several "How Great Thou Art" moments.

Who ... but God ... could have created such an awesome tree -- its glory and beauty brightening the hot summer months, and its glorious blossoms a nourishing source of nectar and pollen for the smallest of His creatures.

O, Lord, my God,
When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all Thy hands have made ...  

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art!

May your days be filled with God's Grace and countless "How Great Thou Art" moments.  They are everywhere, if we just take the time to "see" and appreciate them.