Southern Beauty

Submitted by Christi

I am always in awe of the beautiful things in nature. Today, for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer, I want to show you some pictures taken by Jim Gaston of Gaston’s White River Resort. Photography is one of his hobbies and he does a beautiful job at it.

Enjoying Bull Shoals White River State Park:

2397_10BSWR park

A bluebird in flight:


And, a bluebird at home:


A bluejay posing on the fence:


A flock of geese in the evening:


And . . . the majestic eagle:


Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not;
and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
Luke 12:27

Today’s Lagniappe:  Fig and Mozzarella Bites
Do I love figs? YES! I found this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis that sounds divine.

  • 6 sheets phyllo dough
  • 6 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 6 equal pieces
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 8 ounces dried figs, stemmed and quartered
  • 3/4 cup honey, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 teaspoons black sesame seeds

In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F.

Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a dry work surface. Place one slice of cheese about 5 inches from the top of the narrow end of the sheet. Fold the top of the narrow end over the cheese, leaving 1 inch between the fold and the cheese. Next fold over 1 of the long sides then the other, again leaving 1-inch between the folds and the cheese. Then fold the cheese over, again leaving 1-inch between the fold and the cheese. Continue folding to make a package about 3 1/2 by 4-inches. Continue with the remaining pieces of cheese and phyllo.

Fry the phyllo and cheese packages, 2 or 3 at a time, in the oil until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Meanwhile, heat the figs and honey in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is warm. Set aside until the cheese packages have finished frying.

To serve, place 1 cheese package on a plate. Spoon some figs and drizzle some honey over the top of each cheese package. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve immediately.

32 Responses to “Southern Beauty”

  1. amy Says:

    Oh just wonderful!

  2. KBeau Says:

    Those are beautiful pictures. You know, I used to see blue jays all the time, but I don’t see them much around here. I think they are pretty, but my daddy never liked them.

  3. Miss Bloomers Says:

    I just love bluebirds! Such a great picture of one in flight. Great pictures! Sonia

  4. Debbykay at Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm Says:

    Great photos! LOVE the bluebird in flight–amazing!

    Great recipe, too!

    Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures!

    Debbykay at Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm

  5. ellen b Says:

    Love this post Christi~! After taking photos as a blogger I appreciate a professionals work even more.! Love the scripture you added and the recipe looks really good!! On my walk this morning with a bloggy friend I saw some figs ripening on a tree…wanted to pick one and eat it right there :0)

  6. Christine Says:

    Beautiful photography!…Christine

  7. Regina Says:

    Awesome! love All of it.
    Great post!

  8. Regina Says:

    Awesome. Love all of it.
    Great outdoor post!
    Blessings to you.

  9. Joyce M Says:

    I love the way Jim Gaston caught the Bluebird’s wings while in flight. Excellent post.

  10. Ebie Says:

    I love the photo of the birds in flight. The bluebird flying is beautiful too! Great outdoor post!

  11. Jane Says:

    Beautiful photos. I love the photo of the blue jay…such rich color! Thanks for sharing.

    Jane (Artfully Graced)

  12. Elisabeth Says:

    Thank you for these lovely photographs. I particularly like the one of the sweet (and often elusive) blue bird. Hope you have a grand day.

  13. Kathy Says:

    What beautiful photos. I love the bluebirds, we don’t have them here. Bluejays we have plenty of – they knock the neighbor’s cat off the fence all the time! Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

  14. Marina Capano Says:

    What beautiful photos!! amazing!


  15. HOOTIN' ANNI Says:

    Beautiful!!! That one of the blue jay is just so strikingly clear!!!

    My Outdoor Wednesday is photos of surfers/the Gulf Waters…come on over test the water temperatures!! I’d love to have your company today.

  16. Riet Says:

    Beautiful pictures. I love the pne with the couple on a swing and that beautiful blue bird.

  17. Sandi Says:

    Happy Outdoor Wednesday! The photos are wonderful! Love the scripture verse you’ve shared too. Have a lovely day.


  18. Kathleen Says:

    Love that first picture, looks so peaceful!

  19. Maryrose Says:

    Great photos, I just love the outdoors. Your recipe looks good too, I love Giada. Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

  20. Becky Says:

    Beautiful photos…and what an interesting recipe!!!

  21. Becky K. Says:

    I was attempting to get a photo of two finches eating the seeds from my black eyed susans when my neighbors parked in front of the house and have scared them away….arrgghh…

    Your bird photos are great.

    Becky K.
    Hospitality Lane

  22. Mary Says:

    I love the photos you’ve chosen to share with us today and your recipe will be tested the next time I have a gang in the house. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

  23. Robyn Says:

    Thanks for sharing those photos with us today, They are spectacular. I especially love that bluebird in flight. ~ Robyn

  24. Anja Says:

    The photograph with the eagles is great, this is really my favorite..

  25. LaVoice Says:

    You did a super job on capturing these shots of the blue bird. Very relaxing and interesting post.

  26. Puna Says:

    I love that bluebird! Nice capture.

  27. jeanne Says:

    I am loving the photos you shared today, and especially the birds. The blue bird in flight is terrific. Also the eagle. They are hard to get in a photo. Beautiful pictures and talent for taking them.


  28. paula Says:

    I like so much pictures of birds but they are so dificult to photograph. Yours are beautiful.

  29. Cindy S Says:

    Love your photos of birds. I love to watch birds, but I find it hard to photograph them. Thanks! Hugs, Cindy S

  30. Bromography Says:

    Lovely photos. Everything tastes better when we stop to enjoy the world around us.

  31. Miller Racing Family Says:

    What beautiful photos. The first photo looks like it could be a postcard. The blue bird pictures are great, The photo of the blue bird in flight is awesome.
    Have a fabulous Wednesday!

  32. Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut Says:

    Well now, I actually like the pic of the bluejay on the fence, posing every so sweetly.

    But honestly, figs and mozzarella? This just sounds too good for words!

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