critters, Family, Lake Waccamaw

Catching Up


Here’s where I spent the last part of March and the first part of April – at Lake Waccamaw in Columbus County, North Carolina. I took a photo of this wonderful map from 1915 (Field of Operations, Soil Map) at Penn’s Grill in Whiteville, where we liked our breakfast so much, we went back for lunch the next day.

I went to Lake Waccamaw for my brother-in-law’s memorial party. My sister did a great job arranging it all, renting a large AirBNB home that accommodated most of the out-of-town guests, although this was mostly meant for the community of Lake Waccamaw. She had not meant to have a large event, but people kept asking about it. Tim was very, very loved.

She included some of the music that he requested for it, including Lucky Man by ELP. She told a lot of funny anecdotes about Tim, two of his best friends from different eras in his life spoke about him, and then Brooke, his daughter, read a poem about him. There was a ton of great food and a bar on the porch. I’m sure that he would have been pleased.


A few days before that, a poetry reading was held in his honor in Whiteville. Many people did not know about Tim’s love of poetry and support for other poets. One day I’d like to print a handmade book of his poetry.

I hung out with my sister and watched Bernie and Liz, her favorite duck couple that she raised from ducklings, bring their first brood of sixteen ducklings to her back yard! We got to see the babies on their first day out, then the next day we saw them take their first swim, close enough that we could see their little webbed feet paddle under the water. We knew that it was likely that not even half of them would survive with all the predators about, and a few nights later, five of them were dead or missing. Lisa thinks it was an owl.


Lisa and I were very laid back. We relaxed and read and played games and ate mostly leftovers from the party. The weather was gorgeous. One afternoon, on the ducklings’ first day, I sat in a chair outside reading and watching them. That’s when I think that I was eaten up by fire ants. I didn’t notice the bites until later, about two dozen! Fortunately, my sister has some good meds for them and so after a week I was not itching any more.

The lake has its beauty and its sadness – the circle of life took Bernie and Liz a couple of days after we left. They simply disappeared. We assume they were protecting their babies from one of these guys, since Liz hatched her babies across the street in the canal:


The good news is that the eleven ducklings were still alive as of yesterday, and one of the mallard drakes who can’t fly because of a wing injury seems to have taken over their protective care. Lisa is feeding them, as she does all the ducks that come to her yard.

More beauty – no one has mowed the back yard of our family house:


More in the next post.

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