Saturday, 8 July 2017

Concert on the Town

Every year on Saturday nights from June to end August, Reston Town Centre runs 'Concerts on the Town' - free, open air concerts under the Pavilion.

I am not sure why it has taken us so long to attend one of these but here we are this evening with our folding chairs and cool bag!

Many, like these two couples sitting in front of us, had the event planning down to a fine art with a three course meal in a wheeled coolbag and folding tables as well as chairs.  We watched and learned..

The music was great and, as night fell,  it was quite atmospheric..

We were lucky to have a warm evening that was not too humid - it was very pleasant.

Oh yes!  We met a lady who keeps Angora rabbits as therapy pets for her volunteer work.  This was a 12 month old bunny, clipped for the summer, which gave her quite a unique look..

She was very comfortable with her lead and harness in a wheeled small dog carrier (push chair) complete with lettuce.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Pileated Woodpeckers

We have got used to seeing these large woodpeckers on the suet feeder and around the decking - alone or in pairs.

Yesterday this young (but not small) bird waited patiently for his turn on the feeder.

When he saw the parent bird coming he became more alert but also noticeably more fluffy.  

The strategy of looking like a baby bird, even though almost as large as his parent seemed to work well.

Once he had been fed he carried on looking hopeful for a while..

He then approached the feeder..

Again his patience paid off..

Great moments to see and very lucky that I had the camera to hand!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

After the Rain

It has been raining fairly solidly for the best part of 24 hours and the creek below the house - which was largely dry with a few puddles last week, this afternoon looked a little different..

No evening walk along the trail for us!    I did take a video which gave a better impression of the speed, force and noise of the water, but I haven't yet worked out how to insert it into the blog (Maggie??).

I went on to look at an area next to the road where the water rises fast from a small stream - now with the trees waist high at least and resembling a mangrove swamp!

When David drove home from work the traffic had been stopped by another driver to allow turtles to cross from one side of the swamp to the other!  I guess the tunnel under the road was full.  No photos, unfortunately... (words have been had...)

Wednesday, 5 July 2017


When David's Mum and Dad visited us in April they bought us this beautiful orchid from a grower in Vienna.  Since then it has been flowering constantly on two stems.

This smaller orchid was given to us as a house-warming gift a year ago.  We were very pleased when it grew a new flower stem this year and it is now in full bloom.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

At the National Arboretum

On Saturday, after visiting Kenilworth Aquatic Garden, we crossed the Anacostia River to visit the National Arboretum.

It was a very warm day and our thinking was that amongst the trees, it would be much cooler.  This turned out to be slightly flawed logic as the Arboretum has a number of different tree gardens but it also has large swaithes of open grassland.  (Afterwards we discovered that many people use their cars to get from one area to another..)

These extraordinary 'Capitol Columns' were removed from the Capitol Building during a refurbishment around fifty years ago and found their new home as a focal point in this large meadow.

The herb garden, featuring this neatly clipped knot garden parterre at its centre,  was interesting - and featured the only elderflower bush that I have yet seen in the US.

The roses were over, just a few final blooms..

The bees were busy of course..

At the edge of the herb and rose garden, some colourful chillies..

There is a wonderful collection of bonsai trees at the Arboretum..

Unfortunately it was just too hot and bright to spend the time looking at everything, we will definitely visit again, perhaps in the Autumn or next Spring.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Who's been eating my Sunflower?

A couple of days ago our solitary sunflower was looking splendid.

Then a little of the seeded centre was nibbled away.  We saw the culprits a few times before we managed to capture a photo.

We set up the camera and waited for the finches to return..

These goldfinches were thoroughly enjoying their snack - taking it in turns to pull out the seeds.

Great to watch!  I only wish I had more sunflowers for the birds to enjoy.