Sunday, April 24, 2022

Look up to the Clouds

Looking up can be quite rewarding.  While on our daily walks,  I am usually the one to look at the trees, the houses, the birds, and whatever else we pass.  Grayden is one to look up.  A bald eagle caught his glimpse the other day and we both had to stop and gaze at the wonder of his beauty.  I have no photos to share of him, but he certainly thrilled the two of us.  We both thought his mate was riding the thermals way above him.  Of course we were just surmising that!  We live between the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers and often see eagles flying between them. 


 When we were at the beach we love watching the birds that live nearby.  The pelicans are some of the best flight birds ever!  Their formations are the envy of pilots.  As lovely as their flights are when they are on land they are quite awkward.


 

Looking up to the clouds rain appears on the horizon.




"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky."

Rabindranath Tagore



It's hard to believe the last week of April is upon us.  I hope you will look up dear reader friends.







 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Spring Days

Springtime joys come in so many forms.  The warmer weather signals new growth in our garden.  As buds appear the hope of new life signals warmer days ahead.  Well, maybe as the days of April are fickle with 80 degree days mixed with near freezing evenings.  



 

It's almost, well almost, an embarassment of color that blooms in our garden!  


Our youngest grand had Spring break recently and we were able to all go to our favorite place, the beach.  It's wonderful to be with our grands as their busy schedules limit our time we can see them. 


 Alex was able to spend the weekend with us before returning home as he still had work and classes in college to attend.  


It was so good to spend time with our son as well.  It's so hard to believe his sons are practically grown.  It doesn't seem so long ago that he was their ages.  


 Our youngest grand, Miles has been visiting colleges where he hopes to continue running track.  


Grayden and I had such a good time with our grands.  We're so thankful to have three wonderful grandsons.  As most of you know our oldest grandson Samuel lives with us and was holding down the fort at home while working and attending classes. 


Daily long walks were enjoyed by all of us as we gazed at our favorite, the lovely ocean!


I come from a long line of beach lovers.  My late cousin and his wife were as well.  Many benches at the beach are left with memories of loved ones.  Grayden and I found Elizabeth and Jerry's near our hotel.  

Our time away was a balm for our souls.  Full of great memories of time well spent with our loved ones. 








Monday, March 14, 2022

March Days

As when all seasons change, the former season hangs on.  Though Spring doesn't officially begin until March 20,  she has been knocking at our door since February.  Winter doesn't give up easy.  Our daily walks are as varied as the weather.  Going from heavy winter gear to lighter sweaters and jackets tell us Spring is coming! 


Our Susan Branch calendar hangs on the side of our refrigerator in the kitchen.  March words are particularly beautiful and so meaningful. 

In the garden we have been busy doing our winter cleanup.  The last of the leaves that hang onto the oaks began falling as the new leaves push them away.  New life is emerging everywhere.


When our temperatures dropped to 17degrees and snow fell I knew that would be the end of those daffodils that are blooming.  



Have you noticed the change of sunbeams as they shine in your home?  I really have as the angles of the sun change heading toward Spring. 


The sun shining through our bedroom curtains caught my attention as well as the sun shining in the living room.


Change comes in subtle ways when Spring makes her entrance.


Another sign that Spring is coming is when the Eastern Bluebird visits us!  It was thrilling to have him stay long enough to take his photograph.  They are always on high alert and don't linger too long at the suet.  We have an old bluebird box on one of our trees, but sadly they have never found it suitable for nesting.  Some folks offer them meal worms, but we have not. 

What signs of Spring have you seen around your home?  Are the trees beginning to bud along with snowdrops or crocus or daffodils?  I know some of you are still snow covered, but Spring will come in all of its glory.  Look for her!





  

  

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Something a Little Different

Realizing I haven't posted for a while, I began looking through my photos for inspiration.  Our life tends to follow the same pattern each day and the sameness doesn't seem worthy of posting. 

Same old, same old can be boring but there is great comfort in that for me.  I do admit the last couple of years have been a challenge for me and no doubt all of us.  Now with the world situation growing more tense daily rituals are even more important to me to keep my sanity.  


Traveling during retirement has always been a dream for us.  We have had four major trips cancelled during these times.  Without sounding like a spoiled child, I will stop beating that drum.
Over Valentine's Day we were able to take another trip to Colonial Williamsburg.  Yes, I know my last couple of posts have been about there.  But this is our "go to" spot for now.  The above photo shows a very large oak with large clusters of mistletoe.  Trees during the winter months are so interesting showing off their silhoulettes against the blue sky.  Milstletoe is hemi-parasitic with most large trees able to survive having it on its limbs.

Back at home we have been cleaning up after our January 3rd snow storm.  We unfortunately have lost 3 large arborvitae trees.  Thinking we would need to hire someone to remove the 35-40 ft trees left us thinking we would wait until our tree guys weren't quite as busy.  These trees were leaning almost to the ground, so we felt we could take care of them.  So over the last week Grayden has taken them down and we had our wonderful trashman take them away.  I sure do miss their presence!  


Grayden and I took a walk around the lake for the first time in a while.  We certainly enjoyed the lovely walk, but were very sad to see the many downed trees there as well. 


One morning while lacing my shoes for a walk, I spotted out the window a very large bird on our fence!



We often see turkey vultures flying,  but not this close to our home.  Though he's not the prettiest bird in the kingdom, we would all not be happy without these very interesting birds.  Seeing him sent me on a search to learn more about him.  I learned they really don't have a song, but will hiss if threatened!  Their V patterned flight is quite noteworthy as they soar on thermals in search of carrion.  I noticed no evidence as to why he chose our fence that morning.  It's always exciting to see what critters pass our way, but I must admit this was quite a surprise!

It's hard for me not to mention the people of Ukraine.  I'm praying that peace will come soon.  Please remember the people of eastern Europe in your prayers. 







   

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Snowy Days

Virginia is not really known for receiving a lot of snow.  So most of us that grew up here delight when the meteoroligist mentions the word.  Snow has come to us for the last few weeks.  Some of us dislike it and some of us love it.  I happen to be a member of the latter group.  How about you?


I love how the snow quiets the world around me.  The hush that comes when it's snowing feels peaceful. 


My garden doesn't look particularly great this time of year, but when it's snow covered it looks better.


The snow covers up a myriad of things including all the leaves that have not been raked yet!


Grayden and I decided to "fly" away to one of our favorite places again.  If you read my last post we went to Colonial Williamsburg after not having visited for a couple of years.  So we took a little trip south there for a few more days.  And guess what?  It snowed there twice while we were there!


Bundled up with our winter gear,  we still were able to take our daily walks.





My favorite Compton Oak looking lovely as usual with its snow skirt all around its base.





This American Sycamore tree looks lovely against the azure sky!  There is a great variety of trees that are easy to see their form in winter.



It's always a pleasure to visit Colonial Williamsburg.  Each season reveals more beauty.  Thank you for visiting with us on this snowy afternoon.  Stay warm and cozy wherever you are!






Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Colonial Williamsburg Decorations

One of our favorite places to visit is Colonial Williamsburg.  It's been over two years since our last visit.  Since we would be outside, we felt safe to spend a few days walking around the Colonial Historic area viewing the lovely decorations that grace the homes and public buildings there.  


Walking in Colonial Williamsburg is so joyous for us!  Viewing the decorations that volunteers fashion for the buildings is quite inspirational to me.  I adore using dried and fresh greens at Christmas.  In my younger days I tried very hard to do this in our home.  As I'm sure you all are well aware, it takes a lot of time! 



In 1937 The first Historic Area Residents Doorway Decorations Contest took place.  They wanted to encourage residents to go for a more old fashioned appeal than the modern.  


The use of dried materials, peacock feathers, oyster shells and fruit make gorgeous wreaths for windows and doors.  Colonial Williamsburg landscape employees and volunteers begin making decorations for over 200 public buildings and unoccupied residences in November.  They use all natural materials harvested from the Historic Area gardens.




 

The huge old Compton Oak always bekons me.  It is a hybrid between a live oak and a overcup oak.  It was planted by C. Justus Brouwers during the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg sometime between 1932 and 1936.  He transplanted it from the Pungo Woods area of Va Beach.  It is the largest known Compton Oak in the United States.  Standing over 70 feet tall and 97 feet wide, its trunk circumference is 14 feet.  It's one of the most beautiful trees I've ever seen!


Residents decorate their homes with the same care that the foundation does.  They have discovered over the years that the homes and buildings that are in direct sunlight should not use fruit as it will rot quickly on warmer days in Virginia.



















If you have looked at all of the decorations, congratulations!  I couldn't leave any of them out.  Do you have a favorite?  I can't possible single one out, for me they are all works of art.