Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday - Female Northern Cardinal

This cute little bird visits our garden regularly.  She's not as brightly colored as the red male, but still as pretty in my humble opinion.  You can find out all about her here.

I am linking with Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday which you can find here.   Thank you for hosting Stewart, this is a very enjoyable meme and one I enjoy participating in.

The Allee House at Bombay Hook, Delaware

One of the places we came across on our trip to Bombay Hook at the beginning of this month was The Allee House.  Unfortunately it was closed and has been for many years, but we were able to walk around the property and take several photos.  

It is a Queen Anne-style farmhouse built in 1753 by Abraham Allee.   Abraham was a General Assembly Member, Justice of the Peace, Chief Ranger and the son of John Allee, a Huguenot refugee from Artois, France.

The Huguenots were French Protestants most of whom eventually came to follow the teachings of John Calvin and who, in the 16th and 17th centuries, were forced to flee to other countries from France due to religious persecution.  Some remained and practiced their faith in secret.  A large number of Huguenots migrated to British North America, especially to the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. They were known to be very talented in the arts, sciences and industry, and by many considered to be a great loss to French Society, but were a very welcome addition to the locations where they eventually settled in America.  

The house was closed to tours many years ago due to badly needed structural repairs but The Friends of Bombay Hook are trying to collect funds to restore it.  

Everywhere is pretty well overgrown and ready for some tender loving care.

At least the daffodils were there to lend some cheer.....

along with a few other wildflowers.

Even the humble dandelion was doing its best.

It's been a long time since anyone used a hammer and nails on this roof....

but the birds still find it a comfortable rest-stop.

The old barn is losing its red paint....

and the old window shutter fell down long ago.

I hope one day The Allee House will be returned to its former glory but even in its much weathered and rundown state it is still beautiful.  I will always have a great love for those older homes.

In the woods leading away from the house there were daffodils growing wild.....

and I couldn't help but wonder if the Allee family planted them all those years ago.

There is more historical information on The Allee House if you go here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Anni's Bird D'Pot - Gulls caught on the wing.


This week I am linking to Anni's Bird D-Pot here.  My thanks to Anni for hosting this great meme.


The link to Today's Flowers should be open by now.  We start a new link each Saturday morning at 12.15 a.m. Eastern Time (US).  This is so that our overseas friends can share earlier if they wish.  To see beautiful blooms from around the world you can click here.

Our latest walk, around Cabell's Mill, which is across the road from Walney Pond.   We come here often throughout the year as it is only about ten minutes by car, if that.     I read the following online here and there is more information here.

"Built between 1753 and 1759, Cabell's Mill operated until 1916, when it was purchased by Ellanor C. Lawrence and converted into a guest house.  Over the years since it has hosted many Washington dignitaries, including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.  In 1971 Fairfax County acquired the property and converted it into Ellanor C. Lawrence Park."

My interest today was in the Dogwood trees.  This one in particular I enjoy as there is a bench where you can sit and look up through the branches.  The sky was a real pretty blue.

I like how the branches of the Dogwood tend to spread out in tendrils, a filigree almost.

The Dogwood is Virginia's State Flower.  They are a lovely addition to any garden but my favorites are the ones I find in the wild.  In the Spring they can be seen next to the much larger forest trees.

 It is a small tree, usually 10 to 20 feet tall and 4 to 6 inches in diameter.  Occasionally it will reach much higher, up to 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 12 to 18 inches.

What people think of as the 'flowers' of dogwood are actually four large, white (sometimes pink) petal-like bracts that are notched at the end.  The true flower is an inconspicuous, greenish white or yellowish compact head in the center of the more showy bracts.

The bright red, oval fruit (a drupe) is born in tight clusters.  It ripens in October.   The leaves are opposite and 3 to 5 inches long.  The veins curve like a bow and tend to parallel the margin of the leaves.

The bark of flowering dogwood is dark-brown, dividing into small scaly blocks on older trees.  The brown to red wood is hard, heavy, strong and very close grained.  It is used for textile shuttles and spools and for handles and mallets.

Much nicer to think of them growing in the meadows and among the forest trees and yes, we're thinking of planting one in our garden.


(A message that will be repeated every week.)

I wish to show my appreciation for all the participants in the previous week's Today's Flowers Meme, by sharing their links here.  I always try hard not to make any mistakes but please let me know if there are any, the same if I have missed anyone.  I do make the occasional mistake and I have already been made aware of one or two.  Believe me, I appreciate it as I like to get things correct.  The links are in the order they were received on the home page.  Consequently, this list won't be alphabetical.  Clicking on the names will take you to their blogs.

With my thanks to last week's participants who were:


Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.

TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.


I am also linking up with Tina's Weekend Flowers which you can find at her blog here.


and also Mona's Floral Love which you can find here.

Floral Love

Friday, April 26, 2013

CAMERA CRITTERS - Burke Lake Park in Northern Virginia - Part 3 - The Visitor

As I mentioned at the end of my post here, we were sitting at our picnic table when we saw a v-shaped wake coming towards us moving fast.  It was hard to see what it was at first as there were no submarines in the area and we were nowhere near Loch Ness, after all the chaotic territorial honking going on at the other side of the lake which we had enjoyed listening to, I had a pretty good idea what it was.  An observant Canada Goose had seen us sit down at the picnic table and he decided to pay us a visit.

How nice of you!

"I'm afraid not Mr. Goose, we don't have any food for you today."

Well, we have walked a long way and we needed a rest.  We are resting and it is also a great place to enjoy the scenery.  We forgot to bring you some food, very sorry dear!

Somehow I don't think he believes us.  He is still heading our way.

We have checked our pockets, not one crumb.  We weren't expecting company you see.

 Look at that expression, he looks absolutely disgusted and I'm feeling a little bit guilty.

Uh-oh!  Suddenly remembering years ago being chased down by a goose when I was carrying a sandwich, all of a sudden I felt a little uncomfortable.  I was eight and I remember running away screaming with the goose nipping at my legs, wings flapping all over the place, which only added to my horror.  I haven't screamed that loud since.  I've probably mentioned this before.  It was as though it was yesterday and being told by my Aunty that I really should have dropped the sandwich didn't help.  I was eight, I didn't connect the dots.  I was too busy trying to get away from that rampaging goose.

 You know, you have a whole lake of clean water, why are you drinking out of a muddy little pool?

I think that was the wrong thing to say.  I was getting "the look!"

 And what a look it was!

 He was staring long and hard and.....

 just wouldn't quit!

Have you ever been stared down by a goose.....or chased by one?

 I haven't been stared down like that since I was five years old and thought my cat's whiskers needed a trim, this after I had given my own hair a trim.  My cat gave me the same stare but he forgave me, as did my mother when she saw my hair.  Except her look was coupled with one of total shock.  I think I have also mentioned this before somewhere.

I hope that little girl connects the dots! 

I will, I will.  We will have a whole loaf of bread, and we will have enough for your 500 relatives.

All joking aside this was a very gentle goose, probably tired out from all the honking across the lake.   I hope the family at the next picnic table had some food for him.  We continued our walk.


Thank you Misty for hosting Camera Critters and please click here to visit critters from all over the world.

Camera Critters