Saturday, 18 April 2015

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia

Today was sunny and warm and we headed for Harper's Ferry National Park which is on the border of West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland.  The state borders are marked by rivers..

Harper's Ferry sits at the confluence of the Potomac (which divides Maryland and Virginia) and the Shenandoah (which divides Virginia and West Virginia).  

The little town - which was strategically important during the Civil War as it held the United States Armoury and was very well connected by canal, rail and road, is preserved as a living museum.

In the general store there were special exhibits showing how President Lincoln was mourned in the town after his assassination in Washington DC, 150 years ago this week..

The general store was very interesting.,

Now that it is warmer, the trees are 'greening up' very quickly.

This beautiful dogwood was in the grounds of the church..

Friday, 17 April 2015

Blue Velvet

Yesterday I went to the monthly Women's Club meeting.  There was a presentation for those who have run activities (trips, book clubs, canasta, bridge etc) through the year and a special 'Blue Velvet' cake which was even more blue than it looks in the above photo.  It had been made by a member of the club and I confess it did remind me of those packet mix cakes from the supermarket - how many packets do you think??

There were also some deviled eggs, artfully dyed to a selection of pastel colours...

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Tufted Titmouse in Spring

The tufted titmouse is a frequent visitor to the feeders and is usually quiet and unassuming.  However, now that the nesting season is here he is spending a lot of time 'displaying' and looking at his reflection in the window.

He opens and closes his beak slowly and at the same time beats his wings..

He reminds me so much of a traditional wooden cuckoo clock with the wooden bird popping out on the hour..

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

In the space of a month..

This is what the camellia bush at the end of our decking looked like just over a month ago and over the winter period it was frequently glazed with or even encased in ice.

Today, encouraged by warm temperatures and rain yesterday it is in full bloom.  Some of the edges of the flowers are browned by the cold but it is more protected from the cold winds than the red camellia.

It was noticeable that, thanks to the deer who frequently pass by, the bush had been substantially trimmed up to a certain level.. And that there are only flowers high up and at the back....

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Springing Ahead

It seemed to be a long wait for Spring here - and with a few false starts.  Now that the temperature is rising, everything is 'greening up' and coming out at once.

The camellia has been coated in ice for a good part of the winter and some of the leaves and flower edges show signs of being burned by the cold.

These slightly unusual double daffodils came out and are starting to go over in the space of a couple of days as it has been very warm.

A few hyacinths and the tiny blue Scilla flowers have appeared through the ever present carpet of leaves..

..and a sprinkling of periwinkle.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Volunteer Appreciation Night

It was a very nice surprise to be nominated by Herndon-Reston FISH, the charity that benefits from the proceeds of the Bargain Loft, to attend the above event last night.

The event was held at Herndon Community Centre.

It was hosted by the Mayor of Herndon, seen here giving her address, and other members of the Town Council.

It was a very pleasant evening - a chance to meet other volunteers - there were 350 of us in all, from many different local charities and non-profit organizations.

Each of us was given a gift of a commemorative tile depicting a scene from the old town of Herndon, painted by a local artist.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Magnificent Magnolias

On our way to see the cherry blossom yesterday we visited the Enid Haupt garden of Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall, where the magnolias were in full bloom.

There are a number of varieties ranging from narrow white petals - highly scented - to large pink blooms.

As well as the magnolia there were other lovely flowering trees..