Monday, August 31, 2009

My World Tuesday - Another visit to Huntley Meadows Park

On Sunday we found ourselves heading in the direction of one of our favorite parks in Alexandria, Huntley Meadows. It is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable walks you can find yourself on, going through a beautiful wood and then finding yourself on a wooden path as you view the wetlands, and then back in the wood on your way to where you started.

Usually there are families here with their children but I think with the start of school many of our young people are either in school or getting ready for it. Consequently we only passed a few people along the trail and they were around our age, some with cameras, some with binoculars. This is a great birding area but unfortunately we didn't spot any other than a couple of Robins. Even the Red-Winged Blackbirds weren't around. We could hear lots of bird song in the trees but they were staying where they were, far too high for us to see them.

We have been passing this old vine along our walk for years. This time Gregg took a photo of it. We find it quite beautiful and say so every time we see it.

A friend, busy eating a nut and not taking much notice of us but when he did spot us he scrambled up the nearest tree trunk and was out of sight with his prize.

We see beauty everywhere, even in the old tree stumps.

At this time of year we also see the lichens and growing fungi, all different kinds, all different colors.

The leaves are changing colors but even though its pretty hot I think nature knows and can turn the switch.
There is also new life here showing no signs of giving in.

We see a few leaves that have fallen and are hanging by a golden thread, actually cobwebs. I tried desperately to get this one in focus but it was at the end of our walk and I was getting a wee bit tired. Gregg took the photo and captured it perfectly.

Like anywhere else there are signs that tell us what is going on in the park.

We noticed how lush and green it was here, such bright, healthy looking vegetation. There were lots of interesting plants and beautiful wildflowers. I don't know their names unfortunately so any help with identifying would be gratefully received.

With the flowers came their visitors. This Tiger Swallowtail was very active but landed long enough for me to take its photo.

The bumblebees were as always very active but I couldn't find one who was willing to turn around, so a back shot it was.

I found this insect extraordinary and I have never seen one quite like this before. Any ideas?

A nymph from a Cicada?

Here's a Skipper on a flower attached to a very interesting orange vine-like plant.

I have seen most every creature on this marker, all except the raccoon.

Gregg took these photos of the beautiful White Egret.

I don't know this water bird either but I am searching for his identity.

Lots of turtles sunning themselves on logs....

and one unexpected surprise, a deer out in the middle of the day. What a lovely way to end our walk.

Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise for hosting My World. You can see other ‘My World’ photos or join in and share your own by clicking right here.

Old Family Photos - My Father, Stanley Douglas Haig Goodall

Dad with his dog Tony
Going through my old family photographs I came across these of my Dad. They were taken in the 1920s. His name was Stanley Douglas Haig Goodall. Dad always told me our name - Goodall - is a derivation of the name "good ale" - and that way back our family were brewers. That gave me pause to investigate a little further.

I found three things:

a) habitational name from Gowdall in East Yorkshire, named from Old English, golde 'marigold' + Old English halh 'nook', 'recess'.

b) from Middle English gode 'good' + ale 'ale', 'malt liquor', hence a metonymic occupational name for a brewer or an innkeeper.

c) Goodall, a fine hall or mansion; or good-ale.

Dad used to enjoy a pint down at the pub and well, I find as I get older that I enjoy the occasional cold beer on a very hot day. There, my secret is out and I'll go with Dad's explanation that back in the middle ages we must have been in the brewery business. "Bottom's Up!"

I remember many years ago when we were living in San Diego, my dear Mom and Dad came over with an Aunt and Uncle whom I also adored. I had been married for a while, and had been to many navy parties and had to throw my fair share as well, both when Gregg was home and when he was away at sea. The wives used to have get-togethers pretty regularly. I hasten to add that whether the ship was home or away, we never had wild parties by any means - always fun but not wild - but I had become quite good at making Strawberry Daiquiri's, which was a popular drink at the time. My Mom was a tee-totaller but my Aunty was curious when I asked her if she would like me to make one for her to try. I only had a recipe for 'a crowd' and decided in my infinite wisdom that it was too much trouble to figure out individual portions and that it was a much better idea to make a big batch anyhow, with the idea that we could have the occasional Daiquiri over the six weeks that they were staying with us, and it would remain frozen until needed.

My Dad walked in as I was pouring a whole bottle of rum into one of my mixing bowls and I still remember the startled look on his face as he asked me what was I doing? As I explained he slowly shook his head. When I showed him the recipe he didn't say anything but he shook his head. When I poured my Aunty and I a glass and popped the strawberry on top along with the sprig of mint just as I had seen it in the picture, he shook his head. When she and I sat in the back garden and sipped on our Daquiri, he shook his head. I was too happy with the look of it as I gave it to Aunty to truly understand, and I was trying to show my family how grown up I was, a married lady who gave parties and could make a fancy drink, and basically take care of herself when her husband went away to sea for six to eight months at a time. But Dad had sheltered my sister and me all his life and this was too much. His little girl was drinking hard core rum, no matter that it had a whole bunch of other things in it to dilute the taste of the alchohol. To him I might as well have been drinking out of the neck of the bottle. His little girl was on a downhill slide, and he shook his head.

Dad, you needn't have worried. I haven't had a Strawberry Daiquiri since. We won't tell him that Gregg and I enjoy the occasional beer but I think he probably knows and is no doubt looking down shaking his head. I love you Dad!

And I absolutely love this photo. My Dad is the young lad standing on the left. Six young rascals who are obviously having a good time. On the right I think that other lad is using a sling shot. You can see something that looks like one in his hand. And oh my gosh that young boy is drinking out of the neck of a bottle. I'm guessing it is only soda pop.

Dad used to be in the Boys' Brigade and these last three photos he is in his uniform. In the above photo he is standing in front of the fifth boy from the left at the back.

He is on the right in this photo.

And what an outfit this is. I remember him telling me that he had to take part in a parade. I hope it wasn't in the middle of the summer.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Only a few flower photos today, ones that we took while walking around Lake Anne Village Center, which I mentioned in my previous few posts.

We noticed that all the balconies in this high-rise condo complex were designed to display flowers at the end. You can see them in this photo. One balcony just has an empty space waiting to be filled with a pot.

Two walkways shown here, the wooden one next to the lake and a brick one at a higher elevation next to the shops. Inbetween were concrete slabs slightly separated at an angle, to allow flowers to grow through.

That's it from me for today. Have fun and a very happy Sunday, and a great week ahead everyone.

TODAY’S FLOWER’S is a wonderful meme created by our good friend Luiz Santilli Jr. You can find beautiful and unusual flowers from all over the world by clicking here.

Farmer's Market Challenge.

Often on the weekend you will find us at various farmer's markets in the area and I have already shared one we went to in Reston which you can find here. This one we found in the city of Fairfax, Virginia.

Many of these places have their own entertainment, a nice background music while shopping.

With Fall fast approaching the Farmer’s Market season will be coming to an end until next year. I was listening to Rachel Ray the other day who is a big advocate of farmers' markets. She said why not buy more than you need and freeze or can their produce to last you through the winter months. I might not have time to do that for the whole winter, but I thought what a great idea . The next one I go to I will definitely be buying more than I usually do.

I am participating in The Farmers' Market Challenge, hosted by the Squirrel Queen. What a great way to get the word out in support of our local farmers. Thank you Squirrel Queen. You can join in by clicking here.

Added note:

I love to read all the comments to each post, and try to answer every one of them but sometimes it’s a little hard to keep up even with all the trying. I just wanted to say here and now how grateful I am to you for stopping by my blog and to thank each and every one of you who let me know that you have. I promise I will do my best to return the visit eventually. To all the drop-byes who don’t leave a comment because of the time factor or who speak another language, thank you.

I read my comments to this post so far and thought it would be a good idea to mention this one from Lily at“blahwg Life on the Farm.” She has some good tips on freezing food and writes:

It takes very little time to freeze the produce. For our green beans, I just snap off the tips and break the biggest ones in half and drop them in a quality zip-lock gallon bag. They last for months. I do not wash them until time to cook. We freeze our corn the same way, without removing it from the cob. We even freeze tomatoes! We grate up the extra zucchini and freeze it too, so it's ready whenever we want to make fresh zucchini bread. So listen to Rachel and stock up for winter before it's too late!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Camera Critters

Leaving the parking lot I spotted this huge pig being pulled behind the truck. Silly me, I thought it was probably advertising a BBQ stall at the market we had just left at Lake Anne. I was so totally focused on the pig that I didn't see the writing until enlarged on the computer screen. Meet Porky, the Dulles Rail Pig....

a protest pig.

"Pork" is a name used for wasteful government spending.

Camera Critters, another great meme created by Misty Dawn and hosted by Misty and Tammy. You can find other critter photos by clicking here.