Saturday, 20 September 2014

Home again!

Last night we flew home from Dulles to Heathrow.

A high point was David's sparkling wine jelly in the Virgin Atlantic lounge before we left, a low point was the very long wait  in a traffic jam on the M40 when James kindly collected us from the airport..

Arriving at Whitnash we were very pleased to meet Ginty, the new addition to Lauren and James' feline family.

She is very friendly - and very beautiful!

Friday, 19 September 2014

September Leaves..

As we are going to be away for the rest if September I thought that I would record the colour of the leaves to compare with our return in early October.

For now the trees are mostly still green but there are hints of colour in some of the shrubs..

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Carolina Mantis

David encountered this not so small creature on his lunchtime walk the other day.

It was around 5 inches long and is a Carolina Mantis, apparently quite common in this area.

Although not adopting the familiar stance with front legs in the air, it is type of praying mantis.

Harmless to humans, large specimens, by hanging from trees, have been seen to catch and kill hummingbirds!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Deer and fawns

Late one afternoon this week we saw a family of deer in the garden.  They moved through the gap by our windows and settled to grazing on our next door neighbours front lawn.

As well as the adult female there were three fawns, two of which were still quite small.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Sky is Falling!

We have a very tall American Oak tree beside the house .  It towers over the roof.

Last night we were disturbed several times by the sound of a 'crack' on the roof.  It was loud and we wondered what on earth it could be.

Like Chicken-Licken in the fairy story who thought that the sky had fallen when an acorn landed on her head, we were fooled.

The tree is large, the leaves are large (and starting to turn and fall)...

.. and the acorns are huge too and very hard..

After an interrupted night and some practice throwing acorns up in the air to land on the roof to test our theory,  we are fairly confident that Andrea and Steve - on their flight home tonight - will sleep well!

We have had a lovely time together - our final fling today was a visit to the Bargain Loft and a trip to the Wieners Circle (all wieners, no losers) for the genuine American Hot Dog experience...

Monday, 15 September 2014

Great Falls and Riverbend Park

This afternoon we returned to Great Falls, in search of Blue Herons, which we had seen here earlier in the year.  No luck, unfortunately, and we were advised by the Park Ranger that they had moved on in July - we shall have to look for them in the Spring.

We then moved up-river - just a mile or so - to Riverbend Park, where the river was so much quieter.  Very few birds here too - unlike our last visit on a very cold winter's day when we visited with the Bird Club and it was very busy.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Halloween on the horizon?

It seems a little early as yet but now that the schools are back, the mornings are a little more chilly and the first few leaves are off the trees , thoughts are turning to 'Fall' and to Halloween.

This display of pumpkins outside a local supermarket was one of the more tasteful displays, inside were animated 'hag' figures, several feet high, to hold a dish of Halloween treats!

The Halloween Oreo biscuits are in the shops and even the Bargain Loft is joining in.  The box of autumn and Halloween items has come out if storage and they are selling well..