Thursday, April 30, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

Click on the Skywatch badge above and it will take you to great sky photos from all over the world.
These skies were taken a few miles from my home on a walk over a field in Manassas, Virginia.

The Robin

This is a cute Robin I found at Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna last Sunday. If you want a more upclose look you can click on the collage to enlarge.

The robin is the one
That interrupts the morn
With hurried, few, express reports
When March is scarcely on.
The robin is the one
That overflows the noon
With her cherubic quantity,
An April but begun.
The robin is the one
That speechless from her nest
Submits that home and certainty
And sanctity are best.
The Robin by Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Neighbors' Garden

This is my neighbors' garden. I took the photo over the weekend when I noticed their Dogwood was in bloom. My neighbors are nice people and they have lived here longer than we have, which has been almost 20 years now. I can't believe how much time we have spent here, considering we moved ten times in about as many years when Gregg was in the Navy. Sometimes I feel restless for another move. I suppose I have a bit of the nomad instinct inside of me. I always love to see what's on the other side of the hill.

When I first came to America and experienced my first Spring here, one of the many things that stands out in my mind was my first sight of the Dogwoods. I thought they were incredibly beautiful and I still feel that tinge of excitement when I see the first ones blooming, as I did this Spring. They are everywhere at this time of year.

We tried planting a small tree a while back and it didn't last, much to my great disappointment. We really should try again but I think this time we will get some expert advice from the nursery before doing so. If I could have my way I would surround our house with Dogwoods.

Do you want to know the other thing that I found incredible my first summer here? Fireflies! Or Lightning Bugs as they are sometimes called. I always remember our first ride down south when we were going to stay the weekend with Gregg's family. It was pitch black and I noticed these tiny twinkling lights amongst the trees. I couldn't figure out what they were at first and I was mesmerized. I suppose I was unusually quiet and Gregg asked me what I was staring at so intently. I remember telling him "fairy lights" and when he realized what I was talking about he laughed and told me they were Fireflies. I still enjoy staring into the darkness at them even after all these years, but it will be a little while longer before they arrive. Right now I am enjoying the Dogwoods.
After all, I don't see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood.

~Anne Morrow Lindbergh~

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Watery Wednesday

Thank you 2sweetnsaxy from Eyes Mind Heart for creating and hosting Watery Wednesday. You can visit by clicking on the button above to either share your own photos or look at other watery photos from around the world.

These are not the sharpest as they are from a while back when I scanned actual paper photographs, and my scanner wasn't really up to scratch either. I still liked them and hope you will too if you overlook their imperfections. They were taken at one of my favorite spots a few years ago, Huntley Meadows in Alexandria. In both photos you will see a Great Blue Heron. The one above is a bit harder to see as he is almost hidden by the beaver dam. He is on the right of the photo. You can maybe see a 'question mark' of his neck and head.

Chinese Proverb

Monday, April 27, 2009

My World Tuesday - Union Street Station in Washington DC

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 on their icon below.

I recently found these photos from when we picked up an Aunt of Gregg's who was arriving at Union Street Station. They were taken a few years ago with an old camera and were actual photos I scanned, so they are not particularly sharp. Click here to learn more about its history.

Gregg and his Dad are crossing the street over to the railway station.

Statues on the building outside and inside.

The rest are photos taken on our walk back to the car. Below the police were on several street corners because there was a bicycle race going on.

Meadowlark Gardens

This is a video showing one of the parks in our area. It is called Meadowlark Gardens and is located in Vienna, Virginia, about half an hour from home. There is a gazebo at the end of a wooden path which extends over the lake. On this visit we found a guitarist who sounded very good to me, with an audience of several people who were drawn to the music. He also had a pleasant sounding voice.
Looking over the side into the water there were the biggest fish we had ever seen. No fishing allowed here though. There were also several geese around, a few ducks, a big old grandpa of a turtle swimming by, several smaller turtles sitting on a mound under the shade of the wooden pathway and overhead there were swallows as well as a few red-winged blackbirds. 

We have visited many times over the years and yesterday we didn't stay too long because it was around 92 degrees F. By noon it was a bit too hot but it wasn't just the heat it was the humidity. There were numerous people enjoying their walks. When we got up to the visitors' center there were also many people who had obviously come in to get cool and make use of the bottles of water on sale. A little while later they had sold out. Next time we will bring our own. It is also a great place to take a picnic along.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


TODAY’S FLOWER’S is a wonderful meme created by Luiz Santilli Jr. and is managed by Luiz, Denise B. Castro and Laerte Pupo. I am also happy to have been asked to join the team. You can find great flowers and also share your own by clicking on the button below. The link opens every Sunday from 7.00 p.m. (GMT)

Finally! I can now show flowers from out of our garden. We have had so much rain recently that this bush is blooming. It has never had so many beautiful flowers before. Just goes to show what a load of liquid sunshine can do.

Our Azalias are starting to look pretty good also.

Days Gone By

These are two old photos of Gregg's grandfather, his Dad's Dad. That side of the family originally came from Norway and settled in North Dakota, where many of the family still live.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Camera Critters

Camera Critters is another wonderful meme hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks Misty. You can find other critter photos by clicking on the icon above.
Many have probably figured out by now that I often take pictures of one of my favorite animals, the squirrel. This is a photo of one nibbling on a dried corncob. The original photo came out very blurry and when that happens, after my initial reaction of dissapointment, I start playing around in Paint Shop Pro and try to make the best of it. This is using the colored pencil effect.

The Missing Peanuts Caper

Thursday, April 23, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch is managed by Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise. If you would like to join in and post your own photos, or just want to look at other sky pictures from all over the world, click on the SWF badge below.
Gregg and I are on our way to look around National Harbor in Maryland.

I found the following information on the Internet: National Harbor is a new 300-acre waterfront destination in the Washington, DC area that opened in the spring of 2008. It includes hotels, restaurants, retail stores, condominiums, a full-service marina, a convention center, and commercial office space. The cornerstone of the development of National Harbor is the new Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center (Gregg said he thought these people also owned the Grand Old Oprey) said to be the largest non-gaming hotel and convention center on the East Coast. Plans are also underway to build the National Children’s Museum on this site.

Above is a cropped photo of where we were heading to. We were on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. What I removed was the concrete barrier which did nothing for the photo. Below is a very interesting sculpture as we approach.

More interesting sculptures of an eagle on top of two very tall posts that where at the top of a long flight of steps that led down to the water's edge.

Here we are on our way home, entering Virginia from Maryland.
There are several posts of National Harbor below.

A few more photographs

Gregg is on another work of art, a mosaic map of the Chesapeake Bay. He's pointing to one of the spots he knows. It was an interesting map and we enjoyed walking to various points on it.

This is a photo of a photo of Teddy Roosevelt. He was hanging on the wall in a restaurant where we stopped for lunch.
Gregg took this one. He likes brickwork which I think I have mentioned before and the fire hydrant was a nice splash of color I thought.
My sore feet were glad to see the sign to where we had parked the car.

There will be one more post from this area - of SkyWatch - and that will be it from National Harbor.