Saturday, 1 April 2017

Unexpected Faces

 In the 1980's, when the west towers of the National Cathedral were being built, a competition was held to design modern gargoyles to feature on the towers.  One of the winners was this - a gargoyle featuring  the Star Wars villain 'Darth Vader'.  I did not see the original sculpture - this was a replica available to purchase (and ship,worldwide), in the Cathedral gift shop.


In the 'Human Rights' porch of the Cathedral were a number of modern sculptures of 20th century figures renowned for their contributions to human rights.  One was this statue of Eleanor Roosevelt.


Another, dedicated as recently as 2012,  was this sculpture of the face of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Children's Chapel


One of the side chapels at the National Cathedral is the Children's Chapel.  

Built in memory of a six year old boy by his family, the chapel, font, furniture and even the organ are all scaled to the size of a young child.


The kneelers all feature baby animals..





Many different animals are also depicted in the bronze gates to the chapel.


You have to look closely to identify each different creature..



Outside the Chapel the statue of the infant Jesus is obviously a focus for prayer..


Thursday, 30 March 2017

Doves at Dusk


A pair of Mourning Doves arrived on the decking at the end of the afternoon. A picture of togetherness on their perch.


A little while later they settled down on the rail..


..where they sat for half an hour or so..


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

National Cathedral 'Tea & Tour'


The Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Paul, known more commonly as the National Cathedral, is situated on a hill overlooking Washington DC.  


We first saw it on a sightseeing tour in 2013, when it was closed due to damage during the 2011 earthquake.  There is still scaffolding on the turrets of one of the towers.


Today was my first real visit (I would like to claim that I took this photo but it is not possible to take this view from close by and so this is a postcard).  The Women's Club had organized a cathedral tour followed by afternoon tea in the tower, on the theme of Cherry Blossom.


The Cathedral is built in the Gothic style, with echoes of many great English and French cathedrals - not least in the rose windows.



The sunlight flooding through the side windows of the nave
Gave quite a glow to the limestone pillars - all, we were told, built in the traditional manner (no steel reinforcements here!!).


The idea for the Cathedral began in the 1880's but building did not start until 1903 and 87 years later, in 1990, it was complete.  It operated as a place of worship from 1905.


Whilst there are many echoes of ancient buildings there are also some real differences - the main doors of the Cathedral are wrought iron and glass.


Many of the stained glass windows were commissioned in the 1960's and 1970's and so are very modern in style..


This window includes the Apollo 11 spacecraft and an actual piece of moon rock set into the glass.

It was a very good tour - more photos to follow, but here is the tea..



Served on the seventh floor of the tower.. (accessed by a lift!)


Tuesday, 28 March 2017



I last visited Merrifield Garden Centre, near Manassas, in the run up to Christmas when I photographed their very impressive selection of real and artificial trees, wreaths and ornaments in every possible colour and style.


The indoor displays today focused on different rooms in the home, conservatory and patio items as well as gifts and cards.  One section of the display featured patriotic items for the home, perhaps with Memorial Day and Independence Day in mind.



Outside there were literally acres of trees and shrubs of every size, shape and colour including semi-mature redbud and magnolia trees.  Perennials and bedding plants were under cover..


Pansies and violas of every possible colour including some rather unusual stripy ones..



These hanging baskets also caught my eye..


'Weeping' snapdragons and unusually freckled petunias..


This flower in the perennials area caught my eye but I have completely forgotten its name..


I came away with just a few plants for our tubs and some herbs.

Monday, 27 March 2017

So that's where all the bird seed went..

When our large 'squirrel proof' bird feeder was emptied of a couple of pounds of bird seed in 24 hours, we started to wonder exactly who was eating it at such a rate.

David put a card in the wildlife camera and by the following morning it was clear exactly who the culprits were..


Very agile and, presumably, very hungry raccoons.


We have now bought some raccoon repellant so we will see..


Sunday, 26 March 2017

Beautiful Blues


Just a few of the blue Spring flowers in bloom at Meadowlark yesterday..

Anemones galore..


Virginia Bluebells..