Saturday, 4 July 2015

Meadowlark Garden

Yesterday we visited this local botanical garden which had a fascinating mix of plants  native to Virginia and other exotic flowers, together with native wildlife.  It was also much bigger than we had realized.

My favourite plant there was the lotus - I am not sure that I have seen one before in flower.

There were also some beautiful water lilies..

Amongst the lilies were families of painted turtles.

In the big lake there were some huge koi carp and rather large and ancient looking turtles..

Wheeling around above the water were swallows..

And many different dragonflies..

There was much to see and we will no doubt visit again.

In the meantime, today is of course Independence Day and tonight there is a huge concert and fireworks on the National Mall in Washington DC.  The weather forecast is not great though and so, after the wettest walk ever this afternoon in the woods... (Yes, Mum, definitely a Saltash Rig)

We are watching it on the TV...

Friday, 3 July 2015

Bluebird Feeding Time

Outside the kitchen window, a young bluebird waits patiently to be fed, looking fluffy, appealing and a little helpless.

It works!  The parent bird arrives with suet from the feeder.

Carefully the suet morsel is passed over to the hungry little bird.

The young bird then seems to spot that he is being watched..

Then flies on to the feeder and helps himself.  Now looking sleek and grown-up and not at all fluffy and needy!

Teenagers, eh?

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Village at Leesburg

This afternoon, having done some shopping at the Leesburg outlet stores, we went to have a look at a different shopping centre known as the Village at Leesburg.  This is an entirely newly built 'village' of shops and restaurants with flats above.  There are a number of social spaces including this one where there were comfortable outdoor armchairs surrounding a combined fountain and fire pit.

Another reason for visiting was to see a film at the cinema there where, in addition to 3D they have 'd-box' seats which move according to the action in the film.  We weren't sure that this was an improvement but it was certainly novel!

As we set off for home this evening the streets were illuminated with tiny lights in the trees and art installations..

On our way home the full moon seemed large and rather red (no photo unfortunately).  Apparently the red colour was due to smoke particles in the atmosphere from fires in Alberta and Saskatchewan recently.  

Whilst looking that up I discovered that tonight's moon was also a 'blue moon'.  This has nothing to do with colour, though, but is the name given to each of the full moons when there is the rare occurrence of two full moons within the space of one calendar month..

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Resting in the sun

Looking out of the window this morning, this little fox had found a patch of sunlight between the trees.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015


In the parking lot adjacent to the Giant Supermarket there is a space used for seasonal sales.  At Christmas - trees;  in Spring - bedding plants and now ..
fireworks for Independance Day.

The variety of fireworks available was quite surprising, with a wide range of prices..

Monday, 29 June 2015

Hungry Baby Birds

Yesterday David took these pictures of a red-bellied woodpecker in the garden.

He is quite a frequent visitor at present, collecting food from the suet feeders and passing it on to his 'baby' offspring, who is almost as large as he is!

Today a large grackle was on the feeder, whilst his baby - again large - waited patiently on the decking rail to be fed ..

There are so many young birds around at present.  They can look quite helpless like this Carolina Wren - I thought it had flown into the window and was hurt..

But it was just being cute and helpless to encourage its parent bird to come and feed it....

The interactions between the parent and baby birds are great to watch but so hard to capture!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Storm Season

Over the last few weeks, temperatures here have been high and thunderstorms and very heavy rain have been frequent.

We walked up to Giant this morning and there were some very large trees which had been brought down..

Unfortunately a little too far away to claim the wood for firewood!