Saturday, 10 September 2016

Community Yard Sale

Twice a year the Reston Association runs a community yard sale where around 100 individuals/families take space to sell their unwanted items.

We arrived at 9am and already it was busy and very hot - the humidity was 71% and the 'feels like' temperature was 31 degrees.  We felt very sorry for the vendors as there was little shade.

My first purchase was a pair of Pottery Barn curtains, followed by a couple of Christmas items.  Then I found a jewelry stall and purchased a bag of 'bits'. (Unfortunately, on getting them home, I found that the description was very accurate - not much use!)

At about the point where David had really had enough and when the heat was unbearable, I stopped at a stall to look at some jewellery, including this little watch. The items were laid out nicely and unpriced so I feared the worst when I asked 'How Much?'.

$1 was the reply - any item...

So all of these came home with me - wonderful items from the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's..

Not all are in perfect condition but all are more than worth their price!!  Most of them will probably find their way to the Bargain Loft to raise funds and will be snapped up by vintage jewellery collectors.

Friday, 9 September 2016

The Herndon Fortnightly Library

Monday of this week was a national holiday - Labor Day - and in Herndon there was a Labour day Festival on the town green behind the town hall - and in the surrounding streets.

Live music, food trucks, wine and beer tastings and an extremely hot day made for a successful event.

For us, with temperatures in the 30's and very little shade, it was rather warm.

As we left the town green we noticed the inscription on a round building - Herndon Fortnightly Library'.  Here is a better photo from the web of this Library, which moved to this building in 1995.

The modern library functions are those of many small town libraries - newspapers and periodicals to read; books and other resources to study or borrow; community activities and meeting spaces to rent.

The original organization - which gave the Fortnightly Library its name - was a women's club, established in 1889 to enable the women of the then village of Herndon to 'mutually improve the education of its members in literature, art, science and the vital interests of the day' There were 11 members and they met each fortnight.

The library grew from initially 40 volumes to 1,000 in 1900 and was then opened to the public as a reading room.  A fire in Herndon in 1917 destroyed the Library as well as much of the town Centre but the collection was rebuilt.  In 1929 after extensive fundraising the Fortnightly Club built a new library to house the books.

  Many years later it was taken over by the Fairfax County Libraries - but the name was retained and indeed the Fortnightly Club still exists!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Rubber Duck

In Winchester on Saturday we visited a toy shop in the town centre.

I am not sure that I have ever seen a rubber (inflatable) duck of quite this size before!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Back to School

The Tuesday after the Labor Day holiday marks the start of the new school year in Virginia.

In Giant yesterday there were some 'Back to School' cookies on offer.

As well as some patriotic designs..

Some 'Fall' coloured cookies..

And some featuring iconic American 'snacks'... Hot Dogs and Hamburgers!!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Fruits of our Evening Walk

We have been trying to get out for a walk 'around the block' each evening after dinner. 

Having walked alongside the now dry bed of the stream below the house, we follow the road back.

We have been watching the fruits on this tree by the road.  They have the colour and bloom of plums but the shape is more like an apple.  The tree itself appears to have been the target of some kind of bug and all the leaves are marked.

I brought one of the little fruits back tonight.  Although it doesn't yet have the characteristic orange colour and is quite small, it is a persimmon - the American Persimmon to be exact.

The rather larger fruit next to it - also gathered this evening - is a Black Walnut.  These trees are apparently particularly prized for their wood, although as I understand it, the fruits are edible in the normal way. 

(We won't be eating either of them - in case you were wondering)!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Old Town, Winchester

We have visited Winchester several times before but last Friday night was the first time that we had stayed - in the historic 'George Washington' hotel..

Inside there were many images of the hotel in its heyday..

In the town centre we visited the Handley Library..

This amazing 19th century building was designed by a French architect - which accounts for the fact that it is very different to the surrounding 'colonial' style and brick buildings.

Inside, the Library is beautifully designed..

We particularly loved the staircase and curved radiator..

Each room made you want to settle down with a good book..

In particular, the very lovely children's room..

Downstairs a sculpture of a small reader..

All in all a lovely building - we wished we had visited when Maggie and Emma did during their 2014 visit!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Sweet-toothed visitors

Hummingbird nectar is a concentrated sugar solution and at this time of year the tiny little birds are feeding frequently in preparation for their migration south.

However, when the nectar feeders had been quite full at dusk but were empty in the morning, we were sure that someone else was helping themselves, as had happened occasionally at the other house.

David's infra-red wildlife camera on the decking revealed that our previous raccoon visitors - who had been taking grain from the regular bird feeders - were now visiting again, with their new family.

The raccoons stayed long enough to drink all the nectar..

This was a week ago and we re-arranged all the feeders onto long arms so that they were out of reach.  Or so we thought..

A couple of nights ago the camera captured this little acrobat.

It is quite difficult to see but the baby raccoon has climbed out along the narrow arm holding the feeder and managed to catch hold of it long enough to drink the sugary syrup!