Saturday, 1 August 2015

Mount Vernon, by boat

We set off early this morning to get to old Town Alexandria via the underground for the 10.30 river cruise to Mount Vernon.  Although it was cloudy it was a very warm day with temperatures over 30 degrees and we were glad of the breeze on the boat.

We crossed the Potomac to pick up more passengers at National Harbour.

Then we cruised down the river for an hour until Mount Vernon came into view in the distance.

At this point the river is about a mile wide and, aside from the navigation channel, only 2-5 feet deep.  At the mouth of the river some 90 miles further on the bay is 23 miles wide.

It was disappointing to find that the house itself was under renovation and covered with scaffolding.  However we did the guided tour and visited the outbuildings too, before heading into the gardens. 

The flower garden was looking beautiful and the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies were enjoying it too..

In the vegetable garden everything was looking very lush, green and orderly..

It was soon time to return to the wharf to wait for the boat.  On the way we had a quick look at the farm..

The boat soon arrived and we began our trip back up the river and home..

Friday, 31 July 2015

Sweetcorn Treat

We don't normally encourage the squirrels but felt sorry for this very skinny female.  She had eaten some of the suet which has chili added to deter mammals (birds don't notice it).  She was rubbing her eyes and nose!

I put out some pieces of rather tired sweetcorn and initially she tried to carry them away, before settling down to eat it..

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Tiny Visitors

When I lifted up the bird bath this morning to clean it out, this little frog was hiding underneath.  It was already very warm and so he was perhaps sheltering from the heat.

He seems to be a Grey Tree Frog and he had impressive 'fingers and toes'. 

He was really very the photo below he is sitting on a small piece of box hedge..

A second small visitor to the garden this morning was a Goldfinch in his vibrant yellow summer plumage.  

He was interested in collecting the seeds of the daisy flowers which had attracted the deer last week..

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

White Ibis and Snowy Egrets

Large groups of Ibis seemed to be very at home around the lakes and pools at Seaworld, whether perching at the edge of the water or scavenging around picnic tables..

In the dolphin arena there were also a couple of Snowy Egrets - fairly common birds in Florida who seemed intent on joining in the show.

The dolphins and other performers seemed unphased..

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A wet day at Seaworld

A rather grey day dawned and although the temperatures were still around 30 degrees when I arrived at Seaworld,  there was little sign of the sun to cheer up the view over the lake.

It was soon raining very hard and I headed for the Shamu Stadium to watch the extraordinarily beautiful killer whales being put through their paces..

The front twenty-five or so rows of seating were labelled the 'soak' zone and warnings were issued about just how wet it could get - but there was still a collective sharp intake of breath as the whales jumped and splashed and hundreds of gallons of cold sea water sloshed into the crowd..

This was not the only opportunity to get soaked through..

These rather small children were on a Seaworld 'camp' and were led through the rainstorm (albeit warm rain) singing rousing marching songs at the tops of their voices!

On the 'Manta' roller coaster ride (no I didn't) the fearless (but screaming) riders were also pretty wet.

Some of the residents of SeaWorld seemed to be just resigned to the weather..