Saturday, 12 December 2015

Capital Trees

Today we decided to try to visit some of the places in Washington DC where there are Christmas trees on show.

We started at the Library of Congress with this very tall tree, decorated with a series of books whose titles depicted a particular state.

We were unable to find Virginia, unfortunately.

Leaving the Library of Congress our next stop was the Capitol Christmas tree..

This was a very tall real tree from Alaska.

The decorations appeared to have been made by children out of recycled materials.

From here we moved on to see the decorations at the National Botanic Garden and the National Christmas Tree adjacent to the White House, but will save those for tomorrow..

Friday, 11 December 2015

Seasonal Acquisitions

At the Bargain Loft all day today and I brought home this rather handsome Santa from the film 'The Polar Express'.  He is supposed to raise his arms and jingle the bell in his hand but alas, even new batteries have not brought him to life.  So he is just sitting and watching me write my Christmas cards - I am a little behind the cart as usual ..

Under the Christmas tree sits Mog - I brought her back for David when I bought one and her story book for Theo.

She looks quite effective there and, unlike a real cat, doesn't mess with the decorations.  (In the back of the photo is one of Aunty Hilary's big teddy bears who came with us from the UK.  He normally has his own arm chair but he was evicted for a meeting last week and hasn't found his way back yet.)

On the hearth we have this rather wizard-looking Santa figure, acquired at the community yard sale.  He is mysteriously hollow but we haven't worked out exactly what he is for!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Festive Cookies

Shopping at the 'Giant' supermarket today the fresh cookies in the bakery department caught my eye...

It was not so much that I wanted to buy them - some of them were quite vibrant in colour - but more that I was intrigued to see what they were.

These first two were easy, but it got harder.. maple leaves for Fall?

..Christmas tree and wreaths?

Santa hats..

This last one I am just not sure about..

Is it a kind of surreal, colour reversed Father Christmas?  Or a stocking? Boot?

Suggestions on a postcard please.. prize is the cookie of your choice..

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Reston Lights

This evening we went to Reston Town Center to see the new-ish James Bond film 'Spectre'.  In the main street the cinema is brightly lit - and so are all the trees!

In Fountain Square everything is illuminated, with the large Christmas tree in the centre.

Across the road the skating rink looks quite magical..

Close up the decorations are very pretty..

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


This evening we went for an after dinner walk around our local neighborhood to admire the outdoor lights that many people have now put up.  

This first house was floodlight with red light, giving it quite a glow.

This one was very well decorated around the door.

We liked the little reindeer tableau on this lawn.

On tonight's walk, this one was our overall winner with lots of lights and a cheery snowman too!

Monday, 7 December 2015

New Decorations

When we decorated the Christmas tree it was fun to unwrap all the decorations from last year, but we also have some new ones ...

This snowlady was given to me last year by Claire.

Andrea and Steve brought us two of these glass Christmas trees from York Minster.

Lots of our new decorations feature birds, including this Cardinal bird that Mum and Dad bought for us while they were here..

And working at the Bargain Loft means that there are some quirky new additions too..

And finally, this one will come home for Theo's first tree..

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Five in five..?

I picked up the camera after lunch today to see if I could capture two downy woodpeckers who were fighting around the trunk of a tree.  I didn't manage it because they flew away when this red-bellied woodpecker turned up.  

He was either hiding or retrieving a nut - I am not sure which.

Then a squirrel caught my eye and so I thought perhaps I could do the five (photos) in five (minutes) that Maggie sometimes does for her blog.

Here is number three - a tufted titmouse at the feeder and only two minutes have elapsed.

Here is number four, a nuthatch at the big feeder - four minutes have elapsed.

My fifth photo is a downy woodpecker on the suet block.  

Unfortunately though, at this point six minutes have elapsed as I was sidetracked trying to photograph a dark-eyed junco who was too far away...

and then by noticing that some bulbs are already shooting at the edge of the garden..

Clearly more practice and concentration is needed to get five photos in five minutes.

The final photo I took, in the seventh minute, was a bluebird - the first we have seen this winter...