Saturday, 11 January 2014

Day 72 - Shopping in the rain

Today was mild but very wet indeed so we headed to Reston for a quick look at the shops.  

David had been very keen to buy this rather fluffy bird which was featured on a large Christmas tree display at the Pottery Barn.  Today he was pleased to discover that it was in the clearance sale and so it will be stored for next Christmas!

A little further down the road,  with a selection of cards, gifts and craft kits, Papersource was encouraging its customers to think about Valentines Day.

We were particularly intrigued by the packs of 10 cards on sale - how many people do you know that you would want to send the message 'I'm just nuts about you!' to??

Friday, 10 January 2014

Day 71- Leftovers

When we went home for Christmas there was some butternut squash left in the fridge which was past its best on our return.  I put it out for the birds, who were fairly suspicious of it.  However, it soon attracted the attention of the squirrels, one in particular..

He was very taken with it, especially the seeds and soon knocked it down onto the decking where he trundled it along like an oversized bowling ball..

I put it back on the feeding dish and he was not discouraged but kept eating.

It looks as if the best bits may be at the bottom..

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Day 70 - Twelfth Night and beyond..

Houses and gardens are still decorated for Christmas - as shown above, two homes in the same road that I passed on the way to the supermarket today.  At night they are still lit up.

After a few dodgy walks along busy roads with no sidewalks it is clear that acquiring a US driving license is a priority and hence I have embarked on a series of driving lessons with a very patient young woman who also works as a wedding photographer.  Small world..

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Day 69 - A new garden visitor

Making a great deal of noise and hence frightening off the squirrels and other birds, we had a visit from the rather splendid, very black and  quite huge Pileated Woodpecker this afternoon.  The photo unfortunately doesn't do her justice, when I reached for the proper camera she flew away.

Later we had a visit from our more frequent visitor the Downy Woodpecker and the two are at each end of the spectrum in terms of size - the Pileated is the largest in North America and the Downy is one of the smallest.

I shall hope for a further visit with the camera nearer to hand.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Day 68 - Brrr... Chilly Chickadees

It is a struggle today to provide the birds with water as it freezes almost as soon as it is put out..

It then becomes a handy platform for your sunflower seeds..

I have run out of suet blocks and so put together a makeshift mix of out of date cream cheese, bread, oats and raisins.
The birds are holding out for the real thing...

(It doesn't look that appetising, does it?)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Day 67 - A Place for Everything..

Today's main activity has been the unpacking of all the gifts, supplies and clothes that we brought back with us from the UK and packing everything away..

Now that Christmas is well and truly over I will also have to pack away this rather lovely dish that I bought in the museum shop at the Musee des Beaux Arts in Montreal. 

It is something which will, I hope, bring back happy memories of our time in the US when we fetch it out for future Christmases at home.

In terms of the real birds, I filled the feeders this morning at first light but they have been very slow to return and so far the head count is only three varieties of birds - plus a couple of squirrels of course.

We are still awaiting the promised polar blast - it has been milder today and the snow is gone.  We will see what happens overnight as the forecast temperature is minus 14C...

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Day 66 - Back to the US

An early start this morning to get to Heathrow for our flight back to Washington.

As the sun came up it was a lovely morning.

We had a good flight although we wondered what we would find in terms of snow, with the stories in the press of the 'polar vortex'.

In fact when we landed at Dulles and drove back to the house there was only a few inches of snow, although very low temperatures are forecast for the next couple of days.