Saturday, 12 March 2016

Trinkets or Treasures?

This morning there was a little indoor flea market at Reston Community Centre just down the road.  I love to rummage and so was keen to be there early!  

For David it was less of a draw but he waited patiently while I delved into boxes and scrutinised little bags of jewelery bits and pieces.

At the end of it all I had quite a few items to clean and sort out, as above and below.

Can you spot the treasure item from these two images?

In the second picture all these items are sterling silver and none cost me more than $1, although the three bangles at the top left are solid, heavy, hand-punched silver from Mexico and the other items are all in good condition and most are hallmarked.

In the first picture, three items are from the same well known American jewellery designer, Hattie Carnegie.  All are from the 1950's I would guess.  The beads are plastic but have an extraordinary clasp.

Did you spot the treasure item?

This is it... (sorry not a very well lit picture)

A 1950's brooch featuring a pair of lovebirds.  In solid 14K gold, the eyes are tiny rubies and the bodies are pink angel-skin coral.  It is not very large, just a couple of inches high, if that.

I researched it a little this afternoon and found a few similar, the closest of which was for sale on eBay...

With the exception of the turquoise rather than coral bodies, that looks pretty similar!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Waking Up

With the extremely warm weather that we have had for the last few days, it is not surprising that the chipmunks seem to have come out of hibernation.

They have been busy running along the fence and foraging on the lawn.

No photograph, of course, but I watched one chipmunk have a very close call with a hawk who flew in, claws outstretched.  The chipmunk just managed to outrun him to the bushes and his burrow..

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Moving On..?

Three years ago this week we were making our first trip to the US for our look-see visit.  Staying first in Washington DC and then at Tysons Corner (between DC and Reston) we viewed lots of different houses in Reston and the surrounding area before making our choice.

This week we have heard from our landlord that it is likely that he will need to sell the house at the end of our tenancy and we will probably therefore need to find somewhere else for our remaining time here.

There are many options (terrible photos I am afraid - from estate agent ads) - we could go for an apartment in Reston town centre.

Or we could think about a town house like the one at the top of this post.  

This house, currently available for rent is identical to one that David was very keen on when we looked before.

Hard to find but a very different option is this lakeside home which has its own floating dock.

We shall see what the next few weeks bring!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Last week we had a visit from a small group of birds that we had not seen before.

After consulting the bird book we established that these were warblers - and after looking at all the different types that either live here or pass through here, we think that it is a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

The reason for the name is slightly more obvious in this second photo!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Warming Up!

It is only a week ago that we had snow, but today and for the next few days it is warming up...

In the garden this means that there is a little more colour to see..

Unfortunately we had a visit from some hungry deer today, they gave the camellia by the decking a little prune..

Can you see the offending creature?  There were three of them passing through and they also chewed the tops off the yellow crocus in the back garden.

In Washington DC the much anticipated 'peak bloom' prediction for the cherry blossom festival has just been moved back from the end of March to 19th March, because of the high temperatures.  We shall see what happens next..

Monday, 7 March 2016

Aldie Mill

On our way back from Middleburg on Saturday we passed through the small hamlet of Aldie and stopped off to have a look at the mill there which is preserved as a historic place (though not open this early in the season).

The mill was a working water mill until 1971 but is now only open during the season for educational and historic visits.

The small mill adjacent to the commercial mill was apparently where local farmers could bring their corn for grinding.  The water wheel on this mill is gone, although the ones on the main building looked to be in good working order.

The canal leading to the mill race was dry and so we assume that the mill is not a working museum.

We will have to try and visit again when the visitor centre and mill are fully open.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

A Quiet Place

Visiting Middleburg yesterday, we wandered away from the main street and came to this Baptist Church on a hill overlooking open fields.  Around it on the hillside were tiny gravestones and memorial plaques - all very neat and even.

A little bit further along the road and we passed this splendid barn.  We often wonder why American barns are red, but have yet to find the answer to that question!

Opposite the barn and separated from the church by iron railings was a large and quite old graveyard called the Sharon Cemetery where the graves varied in size and grandeur.

The view from the graveyard over fields and a lake was lovely.

This circle of gravestones and the central memorial  in the photo below commemorated Confederate soldiers lost during the 1863 Battle of Middleburg.  The memorial was created by an organization known as DAR - 'Daughters of the American Revolution'.

Another memorial which caught our attention was this one..

Quite an old headstone, the tree had obviously grown up next to it and is now gradually growing around it.

David read this evening that somewhere in the graveyard is a Rodin sculpture - though apparently very weathered - we will have to look for that on a future visit!