Thursday, May 28, 2009


'Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name. Amen.' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A little boy was overheard praying: 'Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am.'
After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, 'That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys.'
One four-year-old prayed, 'And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.'
A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they were on the way to church service, 'And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?' One little girl replied, 'Because people are sleeping.'
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Taylor, 5, and Brian, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. 'If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.' Taylor turned to his younger brother and said, ' Brian, you be Jesus !'
A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand. 'Daddy, what happened to him?' the son asked. 'He died and went to Heaven,' the Dad replied. The boy thought a moment and then said, 'Did God throw him back down?'
A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, 'Would you like to say the blessing?' 'I wouldn't know what to say,' the girl replied. 'Just say what you hear Mommy say,' the wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, 'Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?'

Monday, May 25, 2009


On the eagle cam this morning, they had a picture of a papa osprey and 2 chicks from the Potomac Refuge. I just had to share it with you. What a shot! The photographer's name is on the shot.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Possum and blossom - Blossom the Possum... has a kind of ring to it, eh?
Just need to share the latest possum baby. I decided to name her Blossom... the name seems to fit. Is she cute or what?????

Monday, May 18, 2009


Yes, our little guys are now BIG babies, but still in their baby colors for a while... And YES, they have fledged and YES, they are fine. One reader who checks the cam periodically said she has not seen but one eaglet in the nest and often the nest is empty. She was worried. Soooo, here for all you Real Eagle fans is a pic from just this morning of the 2 youngsters in the nest at the same time. I doesn't happen often anymore, so enjoy this shot.

Coming up next - BABY POSSUM pictures and maybe a photo challenge.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Some of us LOVE the fragrances of late spring. Then there are those of us who spend this season with a kleenex in our hands. I am glad I do not fall into that category! As I go out the door, the heavy scent of so many blooming things just hits me. Not far from my back door I have a number of holly trees. Have you ever smelled a holly tree in bloom? Awesome. The woods are full of wild blackberries. And if you look up, you might notice the blooms on the honey locust trees. Sweet! I have discovered many people have never seen a fringe tree. Well, if you ever see one in bloom, go stick your nose in one... well, actually, it is so fragrant, you don't have to even get closer than 10 or 20 feet!
Even my irises are fragrant. OK, I planted the Iris while most of the rest of the things came up naturally here.
The rambling Rose grows wild around me and in the woods. I found another one yesterday while cutting along the bank on the John Deere. Reminds me of the way roses USED to smell! One thing you won't find in my yard is Wisteria. It overpowers me. Wisteria and Gardinias... they take my breath away, literally.
The honeysuckle is just starting to open. Soon the world will be bathed in the fragrance of their tiny sweet yellow and white blossoms. The poor butterflies won't know which way to turn! And just starting, the magnolia! Magnificent - or is it Magnifi-scent?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Snakes also known as Garter Snakes (Thamnophissirtalis)can be dangerous.Yes, grass snakes, not rattlesnakes.Here's why.
A couple in Sweetwater, Texas, had a lot of pottedplants. During a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing alot of them indoors to protect them from a possible freeze. It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden in one of the plants. When it had warmed up, it slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa. She let out a very loud scream.
The husband (who was taking a shower) ran out into the living room naked to see what the problem was. She told him there was a snake under the sofa. He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it. About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the behind. He thought the snake had bitten him, so he screamed and fell over on the floor. His wife thought he had had a heart attack, so she covered him up, told him to lie still and called an ambulance.
The attendants rushed in, would not listen to his protests, loaded him on the stretcher, and started carrying him out.
About that time, the snake came out from under the sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and dropped his end of the stretcher. That's when the man broke his leg and why he is still in the hospital.
The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on a neighbor who volunteered to capture the snake.. He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the couch. Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the sofa in relief. But while relaxing, her hand slipped in between the cushions, where she felt the snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under the sofa. The neighbor man, seeing her lying there passed out, tried to use CPR to revive her. The neighbor's wife, who had just returned from shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband's mouth on the woman's mouth and slammed her husband in the back ofthe head with a bag of canned goods, knocking him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches. The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed that the snake had bitten him. She went to the kitchen and got a small bottle of whiskey, and began pouring it down the man's throat.
By now, the police had arrived. Breathe here... They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when the women tried to explain how it all happened over a little garden snake! The police called an ambulance, which took away the neighbor and his sobbing wife.
Now, the little snake again crawled out from under the sofa and one of the policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table. The table fell over, the lamp on it shattered and, as the bulb broke, it started a fire in the drapes. The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and fell through the window into the yard on top of the family dog who, startled, jumped out and raced into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and smashed into the parked police car. Meanwhile, neighbors saw the burning drapes and called in the fire department. The firemen had started raising the fire ladder when they were halfway down the street. The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires, put out the power, and disconnected the telephones in a ten-square cityblock area (but they did get the house fire out).
Time passed! Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was repaired, the dog came home, the police acquired a new car and all was right with their world.
A while later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. The wife asked her husband if he thought they should bring in their plants for the night. And that's when he shot her.


Sub Title – the Price of Stubbornness?
Ever since I can remember, people have been warning me of the dire consequences of my actions. I listened to some of them, not to others, and went on my stubborn way, trying, as Frank Sinatra sang, to do it MY Way. Sometimes this was a good thing. Sometimes it was not. However, life is a learning experience and I do believe we will all learn our lessons eventually – in this life time or the next (or the next…) I have also learned not all bad things are all bad, not all good things are all good. If you really think about it, I mean REALLY think about it, you will see what I mean. But when people warn you that you are doing too much, you need to sit down, get someone else to do that, etc… well, my answer has always been to go until I drop. And so I have dropped.
As many of you know, I am very determined to take care of myself as much as possible. Not meaning to toot my own horn, but I spent most of my life taking care of someone else – or more than one someone else, seldom resenting what I felt I had to do, often neglecting myself in the process. I have this “duty” gene, I call it. Some folks have it – some do not. You know what and who I mean. Now, in my old age, the struggle is to take care of my own needs. Some days are better than others. This is a tough day to be me. If you looked at my previous post you might understand why I am not walking on my own today. Yep, my garden has done me in. I am back on the walker. But, that means I will have some extra time on the computer to get caught up with some neglected friends and to answer some questions I have had about some of the plants in my yard.

One nice thing about my little corner of the world here is, at least at this time of year, every window I look out of, I see beautiful flowers, the fruits of my efforts over the years. When I first moved out here, the yard was completely devoid of anything other than trees and weeds. The woods grew to within 20 feet of the house on the sides and the back yard extended about 50 feet from the house. This place was covered with mostly old growth pine trees – by old, a 50 year old pine tree is old here on the shore. There are stumps out back with a diameter of greater than 3 feet. The woods were impassable due to an amazing undergrowth of poison ivy, honeysuckle, Virginia creeper, and briars. I still have not found anyway to get rid of those damn briars. I slowly ate away at the vines with an old push mower and sheer determination.
If I were to “name” this place, as so many folks do, I think I would have to call it Serenity Acres, because even though it took a ton of work, it brought me a lot of serenity in the process. (Sometimes ya just gotta keep busy!)

As the years passed, I planted things which did well under the woodsy conditions, azaleas, camellias, digitalis, Lily of the Valley. Friends and loved ones gave me plants or bulbs for whatever occasion. Many of those friends are now gone. It’s like my yard is now one big memorial garden. I cannot look in any direction that I do not see a tree, camellia or something that did not come to me as a gift. I think about those people every time I open my eyes around here. Their love surrounds me in beauty. For the things I bought myself, I can usually remember who was with me and helped me make this selection or that.

About 8 or 10 years ago, pine bark beetle went thru here. My neighbor had a bunch of his trees cut down. After that, my trees started to snap off in a modest wind. My house was surrounded by trees, many of them within 20 feet of the building. I had to have them cut down. Have you ever seen what most lumber companies do when they timber your land off? They take the good tree trunks, leave the branches, and scrub, leave deep trenches and basically do not care what kind of a mess is left in their wake. They are lumbermen, not landscapers. With the pines gone, I had sunlight in places where the sun hadn’t been in 40 years. All kinds of new stuff came up to fill the emptiness – Devil’s Cane, poison sumac, gum trees, more poison ivy, poison oak, and some things I still can’t even name. With the pine trees here, I could cut my “grass” in 20 minutes with a push mower. The back yard was all pine needles, called “shatters” here on the Shore. It did not need cutting. Suddenly, I had an acre of weeds coming up in what should have been a yard.

Friends to the rescue! For my next birthday, I asked my friends for a gift – a tree or something they could just dig up in their yard – stick in a pot or plastic bag – forget the nursery stock – just something they would probably have pulled out as a weed anyway.
I tried to rescue the camellias I had planted when I moved in that the workers had run over, or flattened with fallen trees or heavy equipment. Some made it, some did not. I lost all my dogwood trees. They just ran over them. I brought plants down from our place in Pennsylvania. Some made it, some did not. Every year I tried to add to the landscape that a friend(?) had once called “bleak.” I can still hear her words. It is no longer BLEAK here!
For years now, I have had people pull in the yard to tell me how much they enjoy driving by, it cheers them up on their way to work or home after a hard day. I guess that makes it worth while. So on days like today when I can’t walk worth a damn, when the pain almost makes me scream (but that would scare the cats – can’t do that) I sit here and look out whatever window is handy and see reminders of my friends, past and present, and beauty that keeps my gratitude list going.
I took these pictures the other day… first, some of the iris…

a close up of the fringe tree, and yes, it is very fragrant, kind of like the honeysuckle… a new miniature rhododendron (no, supposedly it won’t get beyond 3 feet tall)… a wild rambling rose I found in the woods years ago, now on the corner of one of my little barns, also very fragrant, like roses USED to smell...… these peonies came from our house in Pennsylvania. My grandfather planted them up there in the 40s and my father brought a few down here around 20 years ago. This is a sweet potato I thought would look good when I get the other things planted around it… and you know I could not take any pictures without Punkin following me around yowling for attention. He sleeps in the garden under things where he is barely visible and then yowls as you pass by. Like a little motion detector with sound! See him in front of the Buddha?See that little orange area in the lower right corner? My Buddhas all sit on tree stumps, by the way. This was a pine about 20 feet from my kitchen. It is one of the 3 foot diameter pines.
Thanks for sharing my yard with me. Now if you would only pull a few of these weeds………

PS - the first eaglet has fledged!

Monday, May 11, 2009

EAGLE BABIES latest pic

This is the first time in a while I have seen both babies in the nest at the same time and a bonus - with a parent. But, as you might have noticed, I have been outside WORKING in the mess I call a yard and not eagle watching. The youngsters are "branchers" now, and have been for a couple of weeks, which means they are hopping out of the nest onto the branches where they can try out their wings. Often, one will be in the nest while the other one is sitting on a branch nearby usually with a parent.
Remember, you can visit the eagle cam at with a link to the osprey nest.

The ospreys' eggs should hatch around the first of June.

And - Lucy's eggs should hatch this week.

SOOO much excitement!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


This is a most beautiful time of year. The yard is amazing, filled with beautiful blooming things. The azaleas are either at their peak, starting to fade, or just coming into bloom, so there is something pretty somewhere. Although yesterday was a scorcher – 89 degrees – and we had a heat run a week ago in the upper 80s, normally the temps are just great this time of year. We are just barely pre-mosquito, though I think I saw my first one yesterday, we have not been plagued with them yet. We have certainly had enough rain for mosquitoes, but, the upside is, we are no longer under drought conditions, AND I have not had to water the garden in a week! The rain has also been a big help in making the ground soft enough to be able to dig holes, and I have been busy digging holes!

The local Hermitage, a continuing care community a couple of miles away, had their annual plant sale. I always get in trouble There. They have some very special things every year, and, I, well, I kind of lose control. This year was no exception. My biggest excitement was when I was told they were selling Mountain Laurel. I am a sucker for Mountain Laurel – maybe from all that time spent in Pennsylvania where it is the state flower, and especially in the Poconos where it grows like a weed and occasionally towers over the roads so driving thru the state park near my home up there is like driving thru a tunnel of Mountain Laurel. In fact, we time our vacation with the blooming of the laurel. As the laurel begins to fade, up in the Poconos, the rhododendron takes over. The Hermitage had some unusual rhododendron this year – red ones. Purple rhododendron is common here on the shore, but the red is harder to grow. I have tried before, and failed, but I will try again.
The sale usually has only a few of this or that, sometimes only two or three of something, some years none – like the fringe tree. Anyway, I bought 2 Mountain Laurel and 2 different varieties of red rhododendron.
I walked away from the azaleas, but they were tempting. I do have limits, and my biggest limit is my back and knees. I figured I would be pushing to get 2 plants in the ground.
By 3 PM, I had managed to cut most of the grass (it was long from a week of rain) and I had pushed to get my laurel and rhodos in the ground. I was just about to step in the shower when Anna came in, exhausted from a day of selling plants (one of her many chores as Director of Leisure and Wellness) and she announced that she had brought me a few presents. Sitting out next to her van was another collection of plants – 2 azaleas, a small rhododendron, and a Mountain Laurel! There were also a few little things, but they are still sitting in their little pots.
Saturday was spent digging more holes. Truly, I don’t know where I would put any more plants! The azaleas I have here from my early years on this property are getting BIG! Everything is getting BIG! But, I have tried to keep it looking kind of naturalized, not formal. More like organized chaos – like my life on a good day!
The irises are starting to bloom. Mine are later than most people’s, probably because of living in the woods. But the combination of other flowers to the azaleas is always fun to see. They kind of show each other off. My blue hosta is huge this year. It came from their plant sale. The deer eat all my neighbor’s hostas, but so far, they haven’t eaten mine!
Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed a little stroll round my yard, and have enjoyed my flowers. If you are ever in the neighborhood, stop by, have a glass of iced tea, and enjoy the flowers!

Thursday, May 07, 2009



But they ARE cute!

This is Lucy taking a break from the nest. All this nest sitting, a lady needs a nice luxurious bath to keep up appearances. Yes, Lucy has her own private pool. Do not say spoiled. DO NOT even THINK it! A goose with her own private pool?


Interested in Eagles???? The Norfolk (VA) eagles are also on camera...
Check out this amazing sequence of pictures from Norfolk.

I'll be back later with more baby pictures - of the goosey variety.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009



Sorry I have not had baby eagle pictures on here for a while… you would not believe how busy I have been. Well, OK, maybe busy is not the right word… Ummm, let me see… the truth is, I have been having a tough time keeping it together. I'M GETTING OLD!
The eagle babies are branching right now. This means they are often on a near-by branch, flapping their wings, dreaming of flying, and out of camera range. This one is covering his food,

another sign of maturity.

The ospreys have 3 eggs. Mama is waiting patiently. You will notice she has a much nicer nest this year. Guess they grew up, too, over the winter.
Spring has sprung here on the Shore. That means gardens to be taken care of, grass to cut, weeds to pull… Buddha looks like he is sitting in a jungle! Then add to it a couple sick cats, trips to the vet’s, an almost trip to Roanoke to celebrate Caleb’s 8th birthday (as in van packed, reservations made, 4 cats at the vet’s) and we got a phone call the night before we were to leave that Caleb’s cold was NOT better – in fact it had turned to pneumonia.

But, what would I do without my friends? One friend built a stand-up garden for me… I do have a few plants in it now and seeds in pots, as one of my little friends said, “Waiting to hatch.”

Civic duties have been ramped up, town meetings, party meetings, spring plans… And, my computer seems to have slowed down even more as my frustration level has gone up. Then there are loved ones in Crisis… and the frustration and helplessness that goes along with that. When I am not saying my OM Mani Padme Hum's I am saying the Serenity Prayer… Sometimes it seems everything just happens at once. Maybe I am just getting too old to handle it all!
Anyway, to catch you up with things… here are a few shots of this Little Corner of the World.

Punkin and Spook are very happy to be back home after having spent some serious time being separated while one or the other one was getting meds at the vet’s. Usually Spook spends his days mostly hidden, either in the tool shed (it has rained everyday for weeks it seems) or out in the woods where I can only catch a glimpse of him. Punkin tucks himself into parts of the garden closer to the house, to keep his eye on his people, and stays there until the rain gets too heavy for me to go out with the camera. It was misting as I took this shot on my way to check the rain gauge.
We had a very gutsy little visitor on the carport. I am used to the bluejays coming up and stealing the boy’s food, but one day, I saw something I could not believe. Mighty Mouse – or mighty vole or shrew… the little stinker would sneak in behind their dry food dish, pop up grab a bite of food and hide behind the dish to eat it, then pop up again. This little dude seems to have more, ummm, more athletic equipment than brains… HEY, DUDE, THAT'S THE CAT'S DISH!
Just got a phone call phone call. Another clutch of goose eggs has hatched, not Lucy’s, yet, she got a late start… but another mama has waddled her new 5 over to the pond. Pictures when we can get them… this is not a good time to go chasing after her, not on their first outing.
OK, I guess we are caught up, sorta…