Thursday, April 16, 2015


I am starting off with a few photos for SkyWatch Friday, which were taken on the same walk as those shown below.  Please click here to visit other sky watchers.

The redbuds are blooming in our neck of the woods.

and signs of new leaf growth are finally showing  on the trees

I am also linking with Willy-Nilly Friday 5.   
Click here to visit other participants.  

Thank you to our hosts of these two great memes.

This week will be about the walk we had on Sunday.

1) We took the trail near the Old Stone Bridge at Bull Run.  It was a lovely day, warm and sunny and we were eager to get out and enjoy the day.  There is more than one trail that you can take which are loops.  We took the one that eventually leads down to the water where there is a path that ends back at the bridge.  When we started out we noticed a young lady who was searching for something in the wooded area, and at first I thought she was looking for a wildflower as we see a lot of people doing that.  She was about a hundred yards away holding a stick which she used to turn over the dead leaves and dirt, also small rocks and looking among the twigs and larger fallen branches.  Looking for flowers, bugs perhaps?  Gregg wanted to go over and ask her what she was looking for but me, putting myself in her place I thought perhaps she would prefer some quiet time while she searched for whatever she was searching for, and thinking we might be trampling raining on her parade, said maybe we shouldn't.  Wrong move on my part as it turned out but my heart was in the right place, and more on that later.

2) So we started off and it was quiet at first but the further along we found ourselves with other walkers, there were indeed quite a lot of them.   We made our way along the boardwalk that takes us over  the marshy area, and eventually reach the hill which gives us a great cardiavascular workout.  Then thankfully there is a flat area where we have some wonderful views of the battlefield.  I have always told Gregg he would make a great history teacher.  We stop at several historical markers and he tells me where the North and the South were located, about the generals and their strategies.  It is very hard to imagine that these battles took place here, in such a peaceful and serene area. We meander along the more easier part of the trail, and pass other walkers going in the opposite direction and some overtaking us as we stop to read the markers along the way.  This is the flat part which eventually takes us down a hill towards the river - Bull Run.  

3) We meet Winston Churchill, or at least this lovely little Corgi that this very funny man told me was from the same line as the Queen's Corgi's.  He didn't know I was English and when I said, "Really?" his wife added quickly no, it's his little joke.  He had said the same thing to Gregg out of my hearing a minute before.  I laughed of course and made a fuss.  One of the ladies told me that he was named after Winston Churchill, and I opened my arms wide and said quite happily, "Winnieeeeeee, it's so lovely to meet you!"  Well, Winnie was very pleased for a fuss and a tickle on the ears.  We chatted for another five minutes with these lovely people and after one last tickle of Winnie's ears, we went our separate ways.

4)  We walked on the path next to Bull Run and was happy to find lots of wildflowers blooming.  I spotted Dutchman's Breeches.  I had only seen them before in photos.  There were also Virginia Bluebells starting to open up and Trout Lilies.  We met another friendly man who was kneeling on the ground taking photos of a patch of Dutchman's Breeches.  He stopped as we walked by and started a conversation.  He knew his wildflowers and I asked him what these tiny ones were, which he said were called Spring Beauty.  He told me to come back in a week and I would see the Virginia Bluebells in full bloom.  I'm hoping the weather will have cleared up by then.  It's been a iffy today and I'm hoping those sunny skies will return.

5)  When we arrived back at our starting point an hour-and-a-half later, we saw that same young lady still searching in the undergrowth.  She had some helpers this time, her boyfriend and two other friends and they had joined in the search.  This time we stopped and asked what was going on.  It turns out she had lost her car keys and knew that they were somewhere in this wooded area. I felt a bit guilty for not helping before but as I said, my heart was in the right place.  I really did not want to interrupt her as she was so very focused on her task.  Anyhow, Gregg and I helped with the search. I did my best but couldn't see anything, well, lots of wildflowers and old leaves and such, but my Hawkeye, who is the greatest spotter for when we go out taking photographs and finding tiny flowers, bug or fungi, or birds high up in trees, saved the day. I heard Gregg say, "Look what I found?" and he was holding up her keys with the biggest grin on his face.  He had gone a little further outside their perimeter.  There wasn't any more room where they were huddled anyhow.  He suddenly saw something shiny sticking out of the dirt, and there were her keys. She had such a look of relief on her face and Gregg was most definitely everyone's hero.  Goodness knows how much longer they would have been searching in that one patch of ground.  


When we got in our car we were feeling pretty good and as we were slowly rolling out of the parking lot, who should we pass but Winnie's entourage.  I yelled - in a gentile way and not like a town crier - "Hello Your Majesties", as Gregg gave them the royal wave, and they all looked at us and started laughing and waved back.  Winnie wiggled his body, and with his tongue still hanging out I am sure he had a big smile on his face.  You know something?  Everyone we met was in a great mood, glad to be outdoors and enjoying the warm day and all that sunshine.  That was a great walk and then Gregg, the key finder and hero of the day, drove us home.