Saturday, 20 February 2016

Orchids in Focus

We went into Washington DC today - as it turned out it was not the best day to go as the metro was undergoing scheduled maintenance with single line working - so not very quick in either direction!  

We called in to the National Botanical Garden to have a look at an exhibition of photographs 'Flora of the National Parks'.  Again we were a little unlucky as there was a yoga class in progress in the gallery where the photos were on show!

However, the garden will shortly host a major orchid show 'Focus on Orchids' from 27 February and so, although we were too early for that today, in preparation for the show there were more orchids in the greenhouse, including some unusual ones such as this Cradle Orchid..

To really understand how it got its name, you have to take a peek inside..

Others that caught our eye..

I expect that we will be visiting again once the new exhibit is open at the end of the month!

Friday, 19 February 2016

Irish Verse

Now that Valentine's Day is behind us, the featured displays in the Bargain Loft and elsewhere have turned to the next 'festivals' of the calendar, namely St Patrick's Day and Easter (in the US, Mothering Sunday is in May).

I have never really thought of this verse as being Irish, but I have always liked it..

Thursday, 18 February 2016

George Mason at Lake Anne

It was sunny but cool at Lake Anne this morning when I went to the Women's Club meeting.  The lake is mostly frozen - which it wasn't, fortunately, a couple of weeks ago when the annual 'Polar Dip' swim in the lake took place.

The speaker at today's meeting was Don McAndrews who is a historian and actor who specializes in portraying the eighteenth century Virginian plantation owner and politician George Mason of Gunston Hall.

His presentation described the situation in 1787 when he attended, as the delegate from Virginia - one of only 13 states in the Confederation at that time - the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.  

George Mason had been a principal author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and drafted a Bill of Rights section for the Constitution.  This was not agreed at the Convention and so he did not sign the Constitution, which ended his long friendship with George Washington.

It was an interesting talk and he afterwards answered questions in character.  His home, Gunston Hall near Occoquan was one of the first plantation houses that we visited and we were surprised at the time at its modest - especially as he and his wife had 12 children as well as frequently entertaining George Washington and other politicians.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Books Galore!

I have been at the Bargain Loft today sorting and pricing jewelery and, as usual, have been looking at the books.

I have quite a little pile of 'current' books but I don't quite seem to be able to get to grips with any of them.

Disregarding the one at the bottom of the pile (buying a book to help you be more 'clutter free' is probably slightly bonkers anyway), the rest are fiction - two from the UK and two from the US.  They are just not very exciting.

I would love to know what you are reading/what you have recently read and would let me know.. otherwise I will have to turn my back on the fire and return to the TV!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Big Melt

We woke up this morning to a steady drip drip noise as the snow and ice melted from the roof and trees.

By this afternoon, with the sun out and the snow melting rapidly, we had two water features, one either side of the drive..

Monday, 15 February 2016

Snow Day

We woke up to snow this morning and it was forecast to continue snowing all day.
David's office was closed for a 'Snow Day' so he was working at home.

We put extra bird food out, which was soon appreciated by a variety of garden birds.

And also by the squirrels..

One of our favourite winter visitors is the bluebird..

The Northern Flicker appreciated the defrosted bird bath..

At lunchtime we went for a snowy walk.  The road was still very white although some cars were moving.

As usual I got left behind taking photos!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Earth stood hard as iron..

...water like a stone!

Certainly true today - although this midwinter day has been bright rather than bleak, it has also been very cold indeed.

This was the temperature and forecast when I got up this morning and it certainly felt pretty chilly.

Once we had been out and about and chores done, there was only one place to spend what was left of Sunday afternoon..

Hope you had a happy Valentine's Day and have a good week..