1) I have started reading a new book called Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand. It is about the owner of a Nantucket Inn who has four grown children. They all have their problems, slightly dysfunctional but very likable I read in one description. It is very different from the usual cops and robbers/mysteries that I normally gravitate to but I am on page 66, enjoying it very much and finding it a nice change of pace. I found it on Diane's blog, Bibliophile By The Sea. She does wonderful reviews, and even though she hasn't on this one yet, Diane always gives a great variety of book that I often put on my reading list.
2) I started putting the bird food out again and I welcomed back the chipmunks, the squirrels and yes the birds. In the first day I saw a Downy Woodpecker, several House Finches, Cardinals and for the first time, a Grey-slated Junco. The Junco's always disappear at Springtime and at the first sign of cold weather they are back again. A welcome sight as were all my other backyard visitors.
I stop feeding them in the warmer months because I know they get plenty of food in their natural world. Also there is a lady just across the way, our gardens are kitty-corner but backing on to each other, and I see a half-dozen feeders hanging on her deck which are filled throughout the year, so no worries there.
Another reason I stop filling the bird feeders is that once the raccoon's start raiding them I see that as a sign to quit for a while. Don't get me wrong, I love raccoons but we have so many neighborhood cats and dogs that I worry about skirmishes, and rabies. I've also had bird feeders disappear and though I have no proof, I have often wondered if the little bandits take off with them. Or maybe the squirrels are dragging them over to the ladies deck as they know she will fill them, and yes I am joking. Throughout I do make sure the water dish is filled each day, knowing they badly need it in the hotter months especially, not only for drinking but also for a bit of a splish-splash to keep cool. No photos of our first feathered arrivals as I was too busy enjoying them without a camera between us, but I did get a few of a chipmunk and a squirrel as you can see above.
3) We went to Huntley Meadows this week on what can only be described as a perfect day for a walk. Sunny, cardigan weather at first but I could have done without as I felt almost too hot. There were people still in short sleeves.
We always seem to arrive too late to see lots of birds, when the sun is high in the sky, but Gregg got this lovely shot of a Cardinal. My favorite photo of the day, and I shared it in a previous post but like it so much here it is again, uncropped this time.
What did we see? When we reached the boardwalk the first thing I noticed was a red dragonfly resting on a tree trunk. It is the first time I've noticed this color here. Usually they are blue or brown and we saw several others, which surprised me. I guess they were enjoying the glorious weather as much as we were.
a big old Snapping Turtle under the water, he surfaced momentarily and obviously didn't like us staring at him because he swam under the boardwalk as soon as he saw us.
There were signs of Beaver everywhere and the park have started putting wire meshing around the base of some of the trees they want protecting. The Beavers have enough to choose from to sharpen their teeth and build their lodges. We didn't get to see any as the best time is at dusk or perhaps in the early hours of the day. There were lots of Canada Geese flying in and kicking up a fuss, getting very territorial with each other. I saw the splashing and flapping of wings and chasing in circles from way off. As we got closer we found them very entertaining, they were noisy and their antics made us laugh but no doubt for them, serious business was going on.
We saw a Great Blue Heron and a few smaller turtles on the same log, and two other herons in other areas, a couple of birds that were hard to see flitting in and out of dense brambles and impossible to photograph. The Cardinal was our only cooperative feathered subject. And there were those beautiful Fall colors, crimson and golden leaves and red berries on bushes everywhere. After such a walk we feel tired but rejuvinated.
We stop at the Iwo Jima Memorial (this is Gregg's photo). After our shopping we pass by. It has been a long time since our last visit, and we decided a quick stop would be in order. We ended up staying for a half hour. It is a magnificent memorial. Two very nice tourists asked if they could take our photograph, seeing the difficulty we were having trying to do a selfie. Not good on those and we didn't bring our tripod. Had no idea we were going to stop you see. These people were very nice and they were happy for Gregg to return the favor. We need to keep that tripod permanently in the car. Gregg was driving his van and the tripod is in my car. Oh well, next time or maybe we will buy another, one for each. These tripods are so reasonable and I will always be grateful to Debbie at It's All About Purple for her recommending it.
From the Memorial you can see Washington DC. The Washington Monument is clearly visible, as is the dome of the Capitol Building on its left and the top of the Lincoln Memorial on its right. We are in Virginia but when you cross the Potomac you are in Washington DC. The day again bright and sunny with beautiful blue skies, though the clouds were moving in when we left. Better to enjoy it now as a cold front is heading our way. We have been lucky with our weather this week. Today I was in short sleeves, tomorrow winter woollies? Maybe!
5) Not too exciting, a trip to CostCo's where we do a bit of bulk buying. Bought some freezer items and had 'fun' trying to fit it all into our small freezer, but I managed. We always buy the larger paper items in bulk, like kitchen towels and toilet tissue, and also a big box of Ziploc freezer bags. Bought one of those family size packets of fresh croissants from the bakery. I have a recipe for make-ahead frozen breakfast sandwiches but I'm sure I can find a space in the freezer for those. I am becoming a Freezer Queen lately and though I like to buy fresh to cook that day, freezing meals comes in handy for those days when energy level is lower than normal, or if we have been out and about. It cuts out the temptation to grab a quick bite somewhere and we are doing a pretty good job eating healthier at home. It rained today and was dull and overcast. I wore a sweater and a raincoat. I go to the weather underground sight and it said the high was going to be 68 degrees F. Honestly, I doubt it. Right now it is 54 and that sounds more like it.
I am linking to several meme's today and you can click on the links below to see other participants. A big thank you to our hosts who run them so well.