Just Showin’ Off: Spring Across the South

Stately magnolias with their glossy, dark green leaves provide the lush backdrop for our Spring Fling across the South.

Live oaks shed their dusty, leathery leaves, only to be immediately replaced by new mint green leaves and catkins bearing pollen that sends Southerners reaching for the allergy pills. White dogwood blooms play hide-and-seek through woodland branches, and the ever-present Spanish moss sways in the breeze.

Lavender wisteria tumbles over everything in its path. Dilapidated fences and abandoned homesteads become mere props for the show; then the vines curl their way up through tree branches to add an unexpected purple pop to the verdant treetops.

Giant pink ruffled azaleas stand as footprints of where cabins once existed. All that remains is the old stone fireplace and the azaleas planted in the past century.

Wildflowers flow like a carpet beside the road in shades of pink, yellow and blue. Sprays of wild roses bounce in the wind from the weight of the bees jockeying for position on their alluring yellow centers.

And most importantly, the turtles are back out catchin’ some rays … and just showin’ off.

Ahhhh … Spring.



Author: gallivance.net

We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at gallivance.net.

72 thoughts

  1. Terri can I share that we had fresh snow this morning? I hope you are taking in the sun and scents on my behalf! I absolutely love the turtle photos. Well done!

    1. Oh no Sue, not more snow! When does is usually finish up there? The sun and scents down here are wonderful – I just keep my allergy pills close at hand. 🙂 The turtles were hilarious. At one point we counted 15 on the log, but as a new one got on, one got pushed off. ~Terri

      1. I would have loved the turtles. Not something we see here in Snowville, oh I mean Alberta. Well the only month I have never seen snow here is August. Typically by now we are getting more consistently warm days but more snow forecast for the weekend. Can you see what we travel so much? 🙂

      2. Oh my goodness! Only August! Wow. Yes, I can see why you travel so much. I’ll remember that the next time I’m complaining about the heat and humidity down here. 🙂 ~T

      3. Well typically May through September are lovely but often a huge storm in May and then some unbelievable out of the blue sprinkles in the summer months. But definitely at least 6 months of winter. Lots of Canadian ‘snowbirds’ head to the Southern US for those six months. Have you met any?

      4. There are lots of Snowbirds from both Canada and the northern US across the South and we love them. We understand why they visit, for sure! What do you call the Southerners who come to Canada for the summer? ~T

    1. Andrew, it’s my favorite time in the garden, too. I know when we lived in London I would spend all my daylight hours out in our tiny patch. Have you posted any photos of your garden? ~Terri

      1. Hi Terri, no, I don’t think I have. We have a traditional 1930s house with a long front garden and a smaller plot in the back. Right now it is overrun with blackbirds – I love to watch them!

      2. That sounds lovely Andrew. I love the birds too. Last evening in camp we were watching a pileated woodpecker fly back and forth to feed her babies as they popped their heads out of the hole in the old pine tree.

    1. Lisa, the wisteria is truly at its peak – like lacy lavender filigree everywhere. It’s particularly rampant around any of the old homesteads. I’ve also noticed some white wisteria, which I had never seen before. Is this part of the world your old stomping grounds? ~Terri

      1. i grew up in the mississippi delta, though i also lived in natchez in the 1990’s. what a great little ‘town/city’ – and most every year i painted the wisteria when it was in bloom. i can almost smell its unique fragrance from here!

        yes, the white is unique, but i’ll always have a soft spot for the lavendar.. oh, and mock orange – wow, talk about knock-you-over fragrance combined with white beauty —- maybe i should fire up the magic carpet and make a fast visit!

      2. That’s amazing Lisa because we’re heading to Natchez next week! We’ve visited before and fell in love with it, so we wanted to head back in the Spring. Do you have any recommendations of things to see, do, or experience? ~T

      3. natchez should be gorgeous!

        for sure paus at the corner of orleans and commerce and peer at the white colonial revival/victorian with the corner turret. that was my home and a grand restoration projet turned bed and breakfast.. we moved in 1998.

        if you’ve never seen longwood, that’s a must.
        margarey byrd, who helped me with the bYb is now at dunleith, and if you’re there, please ask to meet her and tell her that ‘miss weesa/miss fast tail/miss priss’ said to tell her hello!

      4. http://www.island63.com/natchez.cfm
        i received an email this morning w/this link.. i dont think i can link to the email but here’s a try…

        i don’t know this person but it would be a great trip.. i plan one day to make a clarksdale trip w/my niece and nephew.. the nephew is the one in the wheel chair, and he has his own kayak….

        gotta run for the day.. say hi to ntz for me!


  2. Wonderful! Only 29 degrees here this morning, that’s almost spring right? At least it is supposed to warm up nicely this afternoon. Enjoy the flowers while I go out and deal with mud season and pot hole hell!

    1. Only 29 degrees!! You New Englanders are a hardy lot. And hearing about mud season and pot hole hell convinces me to delay any travel to the Northeast. Hang it there, Spring will get there … eventually. ~James

  3. Spring has always been my favorite season, probably because I have been fortunate to not have allergies. After skiing my butt off for 3-4 months to make winter worthwhile, I always have welcomed the blooming daffodils, tulips, azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons and the kaleidoscope of roses that lead into the warm months ahead.

    Just like Easter represents new life, springtime is full of optimism and promise, from the beginning of baseball season to the fields, forests and mountains teeming with the new generation of wildlife. Thanks for the colorful, cheerful photos. Happy Easter and Happy Spring to you both, James and Terri!
    – Mike

    1. Thanks so much Mike! We’re really enjoying swanning across the South, taking in all that Spring has to offer. And it’s putting on quite a show. I’m even coming up with plants I can’t identify – and I love that because it sends me off on a quest to discover what they are. 🙂 This weekend we’re heading to the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, and that’s a guaranteed good time. But I’m still craving some of those tapas you wrote about. Happy Spring and Easter to you and Florence. ~Terri

    1. Many thanks Diane! It seems that every part of the country has its own “first signs of spring.” Are they crocuses and daffodils in New England, or something else? ~Terri

  4. Love all the beautiful flowers and the turtles all in a row but it is also time for my least favorite things to be out and I saw one last week trying to crawl under the deck.
    Happy Spring.

    1. Joyce, I swear that you must be a snake magnet (and I bet you do to). We haven’t seen any creepy crawlers on the trip yet, but we’re in swampy Louisiana, so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. But the other day a black bear loped across the road in front of us, we saw a coyote, a bald eagle, and a dead gator belly-up in a small lake by the highway (all on the same day). So a snake seems like small beans at this point. Love, JH & T

  5. Gorgeous photos, Terri! Ahhh… Spring. It’s slowly making it’s way up to the mountains. And what a beautiful time of year it is. Thank you for sharing your spring beauty!

    1. Thanks Liz. When we lived in Asheville the yard of our apartment was crammed with daffodils and azaleas. When spring finally does arrive there, it really is beautiful. ~Terri

      1. One year I tried going to Canada in the summer, Quebec City and Montreal. Guess what? They were having a heat wave! (Still wasn’t as bad as NC, though.)

    1. Aren’t they cute! Someone was walking a dog on the other side of the pond and I think they were pretty wary of it. They were so distracted that they hardly noticed us. 🙂 ~Terri

  6. People turn poetic over Spring in Paris and it’s no wonder, it is absolutely beautiful here now. I’ve realised though how much more beautiful it is when you’ve been through the cold gloomy winter. Love your photos as always.

    1. Thanks Keiry. You make such a great point about enjoying spring more when you’ve been through a grueling winter. We’ve lived at so many different latitudes that we just love spring … anywhere! 🙂 ~Terri

  7. Don’t know if I’ve mentioned my brother Marshall, who likes to identify himself as a homeless man with a van and a bank account. Anyway, he migrates with the birds and basically camps out for free. In the winter he makes his way in to southern Florida and in the summer in to the mountains of North Carolina. He knows lots of Canadians, who also like free camping. 🙂 I’ve joined him occasionally at his campgrounds. Always interesting. Once he focused on making money with all of the accoutrements. Must say he is much happier now. –Curt

    1. Curt, I can already tell I will like your brother Marshall. I do love how he identifies himself.We stumbled upon a free campground in Florida for our first nights and it was great. And we’ve been talking about heading to the North Carolina mountains for part of the summer. How does Marshall go about finding these great places? ~Terri

    1. Thanks LuAnn. You’ve been in some of the perfect places to enjoy spring. And you’ll get to continue seeing it as you travel north. Are you continuing up the east coast or taking a westward turn? ~Terri

      1. We are continuing northward for the rest of the month, then stopping in DC and doing some volunteer work for the summer.

      2. Not at all. We will be volunteering at Greenbelt Park as camp hosts, which is almost like not working at all. We will be a mile away from the Metro so on our days off we can hop on and explore DC and surrounding areas. 🙂

      3. Wow, that’s a dream job! How wonderful. We’ve been trying to figure out how to spend some time in DC and it looks like you found the perfect solution for you. Congrats and Yea! ~T

      4. We are hoping. We have asked plenty of questions and it sounds like we will have lots of time for exploring. 🙂

    1. Hey Ruth, great to see you. The turtles hold a special place in my heart and these were particularly amusing as they played “King of the Hill” on the log. 🙂 Are you starting to see signs of Spring there at home? ~Terri

    1. It’s my favorite season too, Marie. Sorry you don’t have any turtles, but I do remember that area is so naturally beautiful. I guess it’s more colorful in the summer – is that true? ~Terri

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