Saturday, 13 February 2016

Garden Cam

David has an outdoor camera attached to a tree in the garden which is triggered by the movement of an animal past the lens - whether at night or during the day.

Looking at the images from when we were away it was interesting to see that animals were out and about even during the blizzard.

In the top image a fox or raccoon and in these images deer searching for greenery.

In the daylight it isn't obvious what triggered the camera but it is clear that the snow was pretty deep!

Friday, 12 February 2016

Countdown to Valentine's Day

With just two days to go, our local supermarket is obviously anticipating a bumper weekend for flower and plant sales..

In addition, giant cookies seem to be popular..

I am really not sure about that yellow one!

Last weekend we saw a display of packs of Valentines cards in another store.  I understand the idea of an individual card, but the idea of sending 24 or 48 is a mystery to me.

For those who wish to keep their Valentine guessing about who their secret admirer is - but who want to give a little hint - then this bear with its slogan 'Somebody in Reston loves you' is just the thing..

Happy Valentines Day on Sunday!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Cream Tea

As I was expecting a visit on Tuesday afternoon from my second cousin who lives near Washington DC, I thought it would be fun to make a cream tea to celebrate our shared Cornish heritage.

I dismissed the idea of making 'splits' - a kind of sweet, soft bread roll that Gran used to make and decided to make scones.

I haven't done a great deal of baking here and my first batch was a disaster - thin and solid.  They went in the bin and I started again.  The problem was that I had not appreciated how much baking powder was needed to convert all-purpose flour to something close to self-raising flour.

My second batch (above) was slightly better but still had a slight graininess from the sugar, since caster sugar is not common here.

A further challenge was the cream and I had to substitute whipped 'heavy cream' for clotted since that is not available here except, mysteriously, in small glass bottles.

Anyway, tea in front of the fire and a catch up chat was good fun..

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Park City, Utah

David is working in Utah and sent these pictures today of Park City where he is staying - a winter sports resort in the mountains above Salt Lake City.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Snowy Morning

Snow was forecast from early this morning and it arrived as promised, causing a feeding frenzy amongst the garden birds.

After a few hours, everything looked very wintry..

..but this afternoon it turned to rain and melted away.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Daylight Visitor

Working at the sink this afternoon, I was surprised to see a raccoon in the garden.

Although we know from pictures taken with David's movement-triggered wildlife camera that they visit the garden at night, it is unusual to see one during the day.

This one pottered along the fence and peered through the railings of the decking and I had time to pick up the camera and take a few (slightly blurry) pictures.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Sunday Walk

The snow may have gone but overnight temperatures are low and so one of the first jobs of the morning is to sort out the bird bath.  This morning I poured a kettle of boiling water into the middle of it and this icy crust was released - allowing for the possibility of a silly photo peering through the melted hole in the icy disc!

This afternoon we went for a walk around Lake Thoreau, another of Reston's man-made 'drainage' lakes.  As we set off the sky was rather dull.

It brightened up a little as we walked around.

There are still quite large patches of ice on parts of the lake - and lots of warning signs not to skate on the ice (the lake is up to 38 feet deep in places).

There are some lovely homes at the edge of the lake - many have their own landing areas and small boats.