Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rambles.......and taking part in several memes

I am linking with Good Fences today and SkyWatch Friday tomorrow, and then Camera Critters, Saturday's Critters, Bird D'Pot, Nature Notes and Wild Bird Wednesday, and then a new one for me is joining in Tanya's Willy Nilly Friday Five. All the links to each meme is at the bottom of this post.  


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 books 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.



4) Christmas shopping!  We have actually bought some gifts this week.  We went to Henderson Hall which is the Marine Corps base nearest the Pentagon.  It's been several months since our last trip as it's not exactly around the corner but still further than our local shopping Mall.  Henderson is 25 miles away.  Neither Gregg nor I like shopping and tend to stay away from Malls, only going to them when we need something in particular that we can't get anywhere else.  I so dearly want to get better organized for sending off our overseas gifts especially.  I am determined no late shopping and dashing around to get things done this year.  We'll see!



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 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 is 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 site 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.


50 comments:

  1. Denise, wonderful post and photos for the all memes. I love the cute chipmink.. I do not blame for not wanting the raccoon visiting, they are trouble.. Enjoy your day!

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  2. I like the sound of the book you're reading. Will have a look to see if it's on Amazon.

    Denise, you'd better not read my current post. Our squirrels are driving me mad.

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  3. Great images of the birds and wildlife and I love the turtle.

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  4. I love your shot of the Marine Corp Memorial and of your walk. I too hate shopping. I love Amazon Prime!

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  5. love all your critters, looks like you found critter heaven.. the cardinal is beautiful surveying his kingdom and i want to see a chipmunk. never have.

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  6. A great and full post with lovely birds, animals and fences

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  7. Denise, you have captured some lovely shots on your walk...birds, squirrels, chipmunks, etc. Kind of made us feel like we were walking with you.

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  8. When you were at the Marine Memorial you were less than five minutes from our house. Boo hiss! Of course I wouldn't have seen you anyway as I am 3,000 miles away!

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  9. what a great post denise, something for everyone. pretty fences and i love the visitors you are getting to your feeding area. mine has been packed, everyone's eating like there's no tomorrow!!

    i hope you enjoy your book.....and ps, these posts must take forever to put together. i think of that as i read!!!

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  10. a well-packed post! thanks for the beautiful autumn views (and fences!) LOVED that squirrel - just the most adorable thing!

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  11. Oh my the blue heron really looks well hidden in that shot. All your photos are just tremendously beautiful/

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  12. I'm so glad you have started Willy Nilly because it's just the ticket for your "rambles" and we are happy to have you join in! Loved the fences and the Critters! I may be back again for another comment. :-)

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  13. I enjoyed your wonderful post, Denise. The squirrel is so cute. I don't remember ever seeing a red dragonfly...how neat! I'd love to see Washington DC...it is on my bucket list!

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  14. Lovely birds and sunny day photos. I enjoyed it a lot!

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  15. So many pictures to love that I cannot find a favorite!! I love the shot with the downed tree, and the sweet little chipmunk. I can see his cheeks are full of food! I have a friend who feeds the birds and a raccoon ran off with her whole feeder! They are very clever with their little hands.

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  16. Does Gregg now wonder how he had the time to work?!
    Jane x

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  17. The park's beautiful! I'd love to visit.

    Snappers are ornery turtles, after all, and faster than you might expect.

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  18. Raccoons are cute in wildlife areas but not so much in yards! Sounds like you're already attracting some sun birds to watch, enjoy and photograph.

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  19. Great post. Today I'm visiting for Good Fences, I'll comment late on the rest of the post.
    Loved the shot of the fence with the swans in the background. Very pretty.

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  20. Beautiful nature shots I absolutely loved those and thank god you posted it was a snapping turtle or I would have never known what it was. lol

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  21. I've enjoyed your interesting post with nice photos. You have lovely visitors! I know the trouble with the racoons too, we have here in our little town to much of them - sigh!
    I feed only in winter half year too...
    Have a great time :-)

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  22. Great post and wonderful photos! I love all the wildlife that has visited you! It's been a couple of years since going to DC, need to spend some time up there soon! Nick's favorite is also the Marine Corps Memorial and while he was in the Marine Corps, stationed in 29 Palms, I worked at the PX on base...lots of great memories! Thank you so much for linking!! My linkie opens at midnight tonight :)

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  23. Huntley Meadows looks so beautiful in the autumn. great series of images Denise. thanks for sharing

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  24. Some great shots. Your first shot of the meadow I lingered on for some time.

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  25. What a gorgeous meme filled post. Thank you.

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  26. Such a beautiful and inspiring monument! When we lived in New Mexico the Bears destroyed our feeders. Now in Florida we cannot put them out because of the Muscovy Ducks that fly up on them and spill the seed within minutes. Also, it is against the law to feed them.

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  27. Wonderful shots and a moving memorial.

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  28. I so enjoy rambling with you, D



    A problem isn’t a problem until it actually happens.
    Julie A., M.A. Ross and Judy Corcoran




    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^= . <3

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  29. Wonderful post, full of great photos. I love the shots of the squirrel and chipmunk.

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  30. My money says the racoons are responsible for the feeders going missing. It wouldn't surprise me if they were tricking your neighbor into filling them.

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  31. Lovely post, love all the photos you displayed today. I have a couple books by the said author that I have not read yet and will add this title to my must read book list in my notebook.

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  32. Great photos! I'm enjoying all the animal photos you have!...very nice!

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  33. Great set of photos, love the chipmunks. My wife & I have no problem with selfies, just stick the camer out at arms lenght and take the photo, I even do it with my DSLR

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  34. Your photos of Washington, DC brought back fond memories of our 3 day stay there last year.

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  35. Fun post Denise. The book sounds good, love all the pictures of your walk; that's a besutiful spot.. I appreciate the reminder that people who have family overseas need to shop early and that's a good reason for the stores to start featuring Christmas stuff early. You have made me stop griping about one thing anyway.

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  36. Neat critters! Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  37. Denise, this is an awesome critter post.. Thank you for sharing your post with my critter party, enjoy your weekend!

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  38. Adore that bushy tail on the chipmunk. Some gorgeous scenes in this post.

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  39. A super post Denise packed with autumnal colours and interesting wildlife.

    Surprise, surprise it is still shirt-sleeve weather over here at the moment in-between the showers!

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  40. super post, I enjoyed your variety. Great photos..

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  41. Wonderful shots from the nature. Great sequence of shots of the squirrel.

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  42. oh that cardinal I so love them sounds like a good book for me too love Sandy

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  43. it´s beautiful. both wildlife and nature. It is strange how we always find the best sites. :)

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  44. Lovely series of photos! The chipmunks are adorable.

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  45. Lots of lovely photos! The squirrel and chipmunk are just adorable!

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  46. 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.

    I have had the same thing happen, and I have proof! I caught (with camera) the raccoon culprit red-pawed!

    P.S. There is a dragonfly called an Autumn Meadowhawk. They do come out in the fall, and they look just like yours.
    ~

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  47. Oh Denise, such a wonderful variety of images and thoughts in your post! I enjoyed it very much.

    that Iwo Jima sculpture near the cemetery in D. C. is such an awe inspiring landmark! And so many of us Americans don't get a chance to see it up close...it's colossal.

    LOVE the cardinal [a favorite bird for me!!] And your meadow images...such a tranquil looking area.

    Enjoyed every bit today.

    Thanks again for sharing your link at I'd Rather B Birdin'. It's always appreciated!!

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  48. Wonderful nature post. We have to take the feeders in at night due to the raccoons as they do carry them off. LOL... I can't remember if I told you were ramblingwoods is now located... myramblingwoods.com ..Michelle

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