Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
While Gregg and his Dad spent some quality time together, Celia and I headed for the garden. It is only about 15 minutes away from their home. Below you can see a beautiful large vase of flowers inside the visitors' center. We wanted to find out about the eagles that were nesting nearby. You can see a video I posted of both parents feeding their chicks right here.
We passed these young mothers enjoying a stroll and further along there were several photographers with tripods and long lenses, all hoping to get a good sighting. Often you can observe the eagles sitting on branches in the tree tops or flying into the nest. We were told by a gentleman that the best spot was at the designated viewing area, which that day had been ignored by most people, who preferred staying as close to the nest as possible. We took his word and headed for the observation area which you can see in the photo below.
This little boy's mother, at his urgent request, lifted him up so that he could get a better view through that telescope.
We stayed there for two hours but did not have any luck spotting them. From what a photographer told me, one of the birds had just returned to its nest before we arrived and she showed me a good shot she had taken. I made do with a photo of the nest which you can make out below-center of the next photograph.
The only 'bird' I got was this wasp crawling up the pole. I am not sure if he is a mud dauber or a paper wasp.
While waiting I became somewhat restless but thanks to these interesting little creatures, I found something to photograph, a mud dauber or a paper wasp? I don't know enough to know for sure but I do know that the elongated nest below is that of mud dauber.
This is a different type of nest made by the paper wasp. It goes around scraping bits of wood off structures such as this, and his nest does indeed look a bit like a collection of paper swirls.
I have photographed this statue before surrounded by daffodils. The last time I arrived passed their peak and was hoping for better luck this time, but they had been replaced by other flowers. Maybe next year the daffodils will be back.
We were very sad because Saturday we were to go to the wedding of two young friends of ours and looking forward to it tremendously. However, we were so ill there was no way we could attend. At first when it looked like I wouldn't be up to it, Gregg said he would go representing both of us. Then the day after we had made this decision he got sick, and along with all his other symptoms he lost his voice.
We were trying to come up with all kinds of scenarios. Would we look out of place wearing masks? Threw that idea out and we weren't really serious. We thought at first to go and sit way in the back, so that if we had a coughing fit we could leave without disturbing anyone, tossed around a few other ways of how we could get there, then finally good reasoning won out because the thought of that very dear couple getting sick on their honeymoon and us being the cause of it sealed the deal. We decided to be responsible and not pass on the blasted germs also to our son and daughter-in-law and to everyone else. We stayed in bed all day with the energy level of a couple of sloths, suffering with fits of sneezing and coughing, chills and fevers, passing the box of tissues back and forth along with the cough drops, and feeling thoroughly miserable, not just because we were feeling so lousy but because we had to miss this lovely wedding. Blasted colds! It's been a donkey's age since we caught one and have to say have never gotten sick at the same time before.
Daddy Fell into the Pond
by Alfred Noyes
Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And then there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Then Daddy fell into the pond!
And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
"Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He's crawling out of the duckweed!" Click!
Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft,
And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.
Oh, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
When Daddy Fell into the pond!
(All photos were taken at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia)
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Son of Saturn, Lord of the Sea, King Neptune stands at 26 feet tall and is the largest statue erected in the United States since the Iwo Jima Memorial.
The sculptor is Paul DiPasquale and it was erected in 2005 in honor of the annual Neptune Festival. . The process required 80 tons of clay, 25 tons of plaster, 1 ton of glue and 7,500 grinding and sanding discs.
And here I am at its base. There is also various marine life displayed. Each time I visit I am always in awe of this magnificent statue, always as though I am seeing it for the first time.
There is also a lot of activity on the water. This is the first time I noticed someone wearing a safety helmet while riding one of these things. Smart man!
We drove down on Saint Patrick's Day and couldn't help but notice a lot of marquis were being set up along the beach. This one was big enough to hold a thousand people. Lots of parties and I also found out there was going to be a marathon. Glad we came this day and not the weekend. It would have been a zoo and I think they were closing off a lot of the streets for the marathon.
There is a separate lane for rentals such as this, and in the summer there are many cyclists. You have to be careful when crossing over to the other side. I nearly got run over one year by a policeman who yelled, "Use your eyes!" I probably gave him a scare too. They get up to quite a speed. So, it's best to look both ways beforehand and use your common sense just like you would when crossing a busy road.
Be still my beating heart, I am in love! This adorable Wheaton Terrier caught my eye just about the same time he saw me when he started wagging his tail furiously. Friendly little fella!