Team Galapagos has been enjoying a few days in Martin, Tennessee, my ancestral home. We came to celebrate my mother’s birthday, see family and to visit my old stomping grounds.
As you probably already know, Martin is home to the Tennessee Soybean Festival. I don’t have to tell you how important the soybean is to West Tennessee.
On the drive from Nashville to Martin, we stopped at a rest area just east of Bucksnort. I mention this because the rest area had this photo above the water fountain.
I’ve been a Johnny Cash fan since I was a small child. This seems odd to me now and I think it worried my parents a bit but even then, I knew this was the music of my people. I don’t care for country music but I love me some Johnny Cash. Apparently, the folks that take care of the rest area are big fans as well.
I found another soybean fact: Elevators in the Statue of Liberty use a soybean-based hydraulic fluid. That’s two interesting things about soybeans now.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we are surrounded by so much natural beauty that it is hard not to be a little stuck up about it. Still, West Tennessee is not without its charm. Even in winter, we are enjoying the crisp, sunny weather and the wide open fields. This is bottom country, with creeks and rivers cutting across the land and running towards the Mississippi and Tennessee rivers. The fields are bare for now, but this spring you can bet there will be soybeans as far as the eye can see!
Melissa and I have enjoyed seeing wildlife that we never see in Washington State. As soon as we got to my mother’s house we spotted two beautiful cardinals
As we drove to Dyer for my mother’s birthday party, we got to see the fabled white squirrels of Kenton. For some reason, there is a fairly large population of albino squirrels in this community. As we drove through, we were able to photograph a few.
It is an odd adaptation but I suppose the population thrives because their cuteness slightly outweighs the fact that they are incredibly easy prey for owls and hawks. Or perhaps they are the predators. I took the photo below, barely escaping with my life after this guy charged me.
We will head to Nashville soon and spend some time with my sister there. Then it is back to the rainy Pacific Northwest, where the birds are bald and the squirrels are gray.