Saturday, 6 September 2014

Rain... but only for a while

Thunderstorms in the night and a wet start to the day....

But it has improved..

In fact another beautiful day at the beach and in the sea.

Brown Pelicans flying over us and diving in the water were quite a sight and David 'caught' them today..

As well as some more familiar birds..

Friday, 5 September 2014

Rodanthe, North Carolina

This is 'Northwind' the house that we are staying in at a tiny 'village' (series of windswept houses and holiday businesses) on the Outer Banks.

We visited the beach for a swim but after an hour or so we had to retreat from the sun.

It was a huge treat, whilst swimming, to see Brown Pelicans flying over, landing and diving for fish.  At the water's edge were yellowlegs and spotted sandpipers (we think).  No bird photos as yet, David will be on the case tomorrow!

We drove along the Hatteras Island coastline which is protected and headed for the beach for a picnic lunch.  However the sky started to darken and some (quite refreshing) rain fell.

We drove on to Cape Hatteras and visited the lighthouse there, the tallest in North America.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Off to the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks is a series of narrow connected islands separated from the North Carolina coast by a wide Sound.

We are flying to Norfolk, in the south of Virginia where we will meet Andrea and Steve and drive on to the coast.

We thought that we would be staying in the above house but unfortunately have had to be moved due to an internal flood..

Flying in to Norfolk we had a good view of the estuary and of US navy ships in the dockyard.

We watched the sunset from our table at a restaurant overlooking the Sound.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Elusive Hummingbirds

The hummingbird, having at first only made very infrequent visits to the feeder, has started to appear quite frequently (or of course it may be a succession of different hummingbirds, but only ever one at a time).

So many times we have grabbed the camera but been too late to focus properly or get a clear shot as they move so quickly and only stay near the feeder for a few seconds.

This evening, though, David was successful in capturing several good pictures..

Next I think we will attempt a video as they are so light and elegant as they hover, feed and then fly away at speed to find another feeder or flower.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Silver Diner

Last evening we went to Reston's 'Silver Diner' for dinner.  Although having the appearance of a traditional diner, it is one of a chain which markets itself as the 'Next Generation Diner' and as well as traditional dishes it has lighter, calorie-counted options too.

The music was very traditional with a 1950's style jukebox in the foyer and at each table it was possible to make your own music selection - to be played throughout the diner - for a quarter dollar for each track.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Charlottesville and Monticello

The hotel where we stayed in Charlottesville last night was at the end of a pedestrian street full of interesting shops and restaurants.

We were able to have dinner outside at a South American inspired restaurant with matching weather and accompanied by some very chatty cicadas in the trees above us.

Indoors in a rather cooler environment students from the University of Virginia were practising their ice hockey.

After dinner we did a little window shopping including this shop featuring everything for the cat lover..

This morning we headed to Monticello.

It was very sunny and warm - almost too hot to walk around the garden and vegetable gardens in the full sun.

It was surprisingly cool in the conservatory where the shutters had been closed.

This is a poor attempt at a very nice photo taken by Maggie when we visited in June - I still haven't got the reflection right.  Maybe next time..,

Sunday, 31 August 2014

More Butterflies

The sunset last night viewed from the balcony of our lodge room at Skyland Resort promised a better day and we were not disappointed as today was much sunnier.

The bears remained elusive - we saw just one, almost at the end of the drive, but the butterflies were beautiful.

David even managed to capture a Monarch and some great pictures of Eastern Swallowtails of various sorts.

We visited the waterfall at Dark Hollow but found it diminished in size compared to our June visit with Maggie and Emma.

It was still lovely (and still a very steep climb back up!).