Last Extant Sand Candle Found Living on Jones Mountain!
J and I set out late yesterday to do a little exploring on Jones Mountain. At the base of the Ruins Trail he found this small collection of fungi-- ghostly white, crisp on the edges, and glowing in the dusk-- growing inside the hollow of a tree trunk. Across the trail we found a larger trunk, also splitting open, but this one with a termite-eaten center, the remnants clinging like lace curtains in a haunted house window .
When we reached the overlook the first thing we noticed was an odd lumpy rock-like-but-w thing balanced on the log that people sit on. J had no idea what it was, especially since it had an eye-like part with a black dot of something. Parts of the surface were gritty with the red clay that covers much of the surface of the overlook. All of a sudden I had a memory of a similar object sitting on a windowsill under a macrame spider-plant hanger in our house in NO in the 70s. A sand candle! The eye part was a stub of a votive candle , the black thing the burnt wick. I gave J a brief lesson in sand candle making (dig hole in sand, bury a wick or a candle wick-down in hole, fill with melted wax-- preferably dyed with lurid colors from powdered tempera paint or food dye--, let it cool and harden, remove waxy gritty lump, brush loose crumbs off and there it is). He was not interested in making his own. This one is more properly described as a clay candle since the hole was dug in the red clay, and that's what was clinging to the waxy surface.
Then this morning we were up at 7:00 in order to go out to the hill behind our house and watch the sunrise. On the right you can see J huddling down on the slope taking pictures as the sun came up behind the mountains.
We stayed out there in the chilly breeze for nearly an hour, long enough for thorough documentation of a gorgeous sunrise. On the left you can see J at bottom center down at the bottom of the hill and a gaggle of geese flying by like a ribbon. The colors were pinks and apricots and lavenders as you can see on the right. Be sure to check J's blog for his post about the sunrise.