Just in case you wonder where I’ve been, Kim’s niece Michelle flew in for an end-of-high-school visit over the last two weeks – it was her little summer adventure before starting college. (She got out just in time, too, since Katrina came in right behind her and started dumping buckets of rain.)

So, rather post while she was here, I thought I’d just drop this uberpost today.

The most eventful thing we did with Michelle is take her out to Savannah. We liked the places we’d seen well enough last time and didn’t look up anything new, so I won’t bore you with all of the same pictures. Here are a few different ones instead:

Someone managed to take this on the road there:

Kim and Michelle resting in a square:

A Demon-Squirrel. Look closely – his eyes are glowing!

My new computer wallpaper:

Two different Golden-Silk Orb Weavers, each with a sneaky little male waiting for the perfect time to dart in and mate.

Michelle caught this Marty McFly wannabe taking the bus to … nowhere. After two or three minutes following behind the bus around the squares, he didn’t end up more than 40 feet from where he started, and he was heading back that direction.

Michelle helped us break our eremetic streak, to the profit of AMC’s concession stand. We saw Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Fantastic Four, and The Brother’s Grimm.

The Smiths were my favorite of the bunch – a good summer action-comedy, somewhere between True Lies and Charlie’s Angels. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had great chemistry, which apparently made it harder for Kim to watch, since she kept thinking of poor Jennifer Aniston. I was thinking more about Angelina Jolie.

The Fantastic Four were no X-Men. If they could have brought the movie out before Spiderman – when George Clooney’s Batman and the odd Punisher or Darkman were the best Hollywood had to offer, this would have been a great comicbookmovie. But the TV-star cast had daytime performances, and the special effects were largely lacking when compared to its more recent competitors. It’s a reasonable rental choice, but I think you would enjoy The Hulk more.

The Grimms had excellent scenes, ideas, and images, trapped in a labyrinth of a story with a much less complex plot and an almost oppressively tight-feeling and repetitive set. For a movie so much of which took place outdoors, this took a heavy toll on the movie. Monica Belucci was great in her brief scenes, but they were brief.

Yesterday we drove out to Amicola Falls – the tallest falls east of the Mississippi, and only a little more than an hour drive from our house!

This dragonfly was near the parking lot at the beginning of the trail up the falls. I think he might have been dying, because he let me get as close as I wanted with the camera.

When we started, we didn’t really know what we were getting into. We didn’t even really plan on hiking very much, just third-mile to the “Base of the Falls”. What we didn’t realize was that the base of the falls was not at the base of the mountain, which meant we went a long way up a path like this:

But the falls were beautiful:

As was the landscape along the trail:

There was another very long set of stairs going up to the top of the falls, but we were all tired by that time, so we took the car to the top. You couldn’t see the falls from the top, really, but there was quite a view: