Tuesday, July 31, 2012


YEP, WHO'D A THUNK IT? To be honest, I would not believe it if it hadn't happened to me. As I said in my last post, I have bunches of dragonflies this year... maybe it is because it has been so hot and dry and my place is shady and has several birdbaths, I dunno. Maybe they like all the stuff planted here... whatever. Here they are, and I am loving it! Yesterday, I cut some grass and got the weedwhacker out. It is electric, maybe something in the humming of the motor? Who knows... whatever it is, this one little dragonfly followed me around the yard. I choose to think it is the same one that follows me when I am watering things - I thought it was that he (she?) was attracted to the movement of water, sound of it, the coolness close to the water coming from the hose. As you can see, I have spent considerable time wondering about this. But yesterday, I had the hoses set up in their respective garden areas, careful to not water the Punkin patch snoozing in the last remaining potato bag, while I was weedwhacking in a different part of the yard. I must have been 50 feet away from the hoses, well 100 feet from the hose on the beans, and 40 feet from the cats snoozing or scratching (the ticks have been BAD!) and there he was, buzzing around my head. When I sat down for a little break in one of the Adirondacks, the little fellow came and sat on the arm of the chair across from me. My camera, of course, was in the house. So, I came in and grabbed the camera, returned to the patio, and, of course, no dragonfly on the chair. So, I headed back to the barn and the weedwhacker, and crackle, crackle, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzztttttttttttt, there he was. He sat down on the edge of the wheelbarrow, and I reached into the barn for the camera. These close up shots are NOT telephoto or enlarged by a photo program. The camera was not much more than a foot away. I did not use any color enhancing program, tho I wonder if something might have helped bring out the beautiful soft blue on him, or the turquoise of his eyes. I really wondered if I could slip a finger under him and pick him up, but I did not want to frighten him away.
It is drizzling this morning, so I am not working outside. I wonder where he is hiding. The camera and I will be heading to the Train Station in a few minutes, hopefully to record the hanging of the second half of the Big door. I guess I won't be painting the inside sections to the HVAC fence, since I do that outside. So I guess I will just be a Step-n-Fetch it, or maybe just the photographer. I am glad it is cooler and grateful for the minimal rain. Every drop helps. But I will go looking for him when I get home... or maybe he will find me!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


For several weeks I have had a plethora of dragonflies in my backyard. They follow me around, especially if I am watering the garden. Sometimes I just stand and watch as they dip down to the ground level birdbath, up and down, back and forth. Did you know their wings make a sort of crackling noise as they fly? Maybe it is when they change direction, because it doesn't happen all the time. Today I had 3 of them keep me company. One (a Great Blue Skimmer???) kept resting on a bit of blue sage, but by the time I pushed the button, he was gone. Maybe his blueness blended in real well so that is why he hung out on these branches. The golden winded ones were more skittish, but one fellow finally decided I was not going to hurt him, and he let me get real close. Don't you just love dragon flies? Enjoy!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A DOOR AND MORE (from the SPOTS blog)

I know I have been absent - again - but I really have been so busy. The Train Station has been a big part of that business as a couple of us try to work down there a couple mornings a week before the temps hit 90 or more. To catch you up with what has been going on down the street, here is the blog posting from the SPOTS blog.

Work at the station has slowed down a bit in part because of the extreme heat (note the wet T shirts!) and, well, it is summer time and folks have places to go and things to do. We won’t mention the fact that most of these guys have wives with Honey-Do lists a mile long. I have to do my own Possum-Do list and have no one to push those jobs onto, so I can appreciate all the demands these guys have on their time. But, we have some new workers helping us out on Saturday and occasionally during the week, so we are really seeing some progress. One of our BIG jobs (OK, they are all BIG jobs) but size-wise, this biggie that has been slow to come together, literally, is building the new door on the southern end of the building. We will be replacing the old sliding door with a new door that will open out like shutters. It has been a learning experience, to put it mildly. We built the door several weeks ago, I primed it, Paul painted it, Niall split it in half, Charlie and Paul helped put the hinges on it, Niall and Paul screwed a gazillion screws in it to make it good and stable, then did the same to the other half of the door, Crawford Doors made special hinges for us, and Niall and Charlie managed to hang half the door today. Meanwhile, our newest member, Tony, helped me put the fence up around our HVAC compressor and primed some more boards for the inside of the fence. Dennis and Tom ran the wiring that will go to the rest of the building and the layout. We really did not think we were going to survive more than a couple hours in the heat, but we hung in there and got half the door hung and the other half ready to go up. Last week, our former mayor spent the morning vacuuming the office area so we can move our “stuff” out of the storage unit a couple miles away. I might add, he, John Willis Kellam is in his 80s, so you see, we are an equal opportunity volunteer labor force. Nobody is too old! Imagine someone older than I am! But, it sure is nice to have a couple younger guys working, too.It is always interesting to find out what our members do or did for a living. The newest member, Tony, is an Art Teacher, so that makes 2 of us, tho I am retired. Among today’s crew, besides 2 art teachers, we had an Army colonel and veterinarian, a member of the clergy (Unitarian Universalist), an opera star (from the Met), a furniture maker, a heavy equipment operator, and a construction manager with VDOT, a golfer, bicyclist, a big game hunter, a couple philosophers, a Shriner, a couple musicians, and a Ballroom Dance instructor. How eclectic can you get? We represent a wide divergence in political thought as well as religious inclinations. What do we have in common? We all like railroading in one form or another and to one degree or another. We all believe in volunteering. And we all get along very well, thank you.You are welcome to stop by when you see us there or come to one of our meetings, the 3rd Monday of the month, 7 PM, at the Sage in Onley.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012


FROM A LOCAL NEWS SERVICE: (WESR) A tornado touched down on the Eastern Shore, in Accomack County near Logan Road in Onley on Saturday.A strong storm began moving down the seaside of the Eastern Shore Saturday morning. Heavy rain, thunder and lightening were also reported. As much as 6 inches of rain fell in the Gargatha area. Several reports of heavy rain were also reported as the storms moved south by southwest along the Eastern Shore. According to Greg Lewis of the Accomack County Dept. of Emergency Services there were no injuries and no buildings were damaged. There were reports of power outages in the Burton Shore-Locustville area. Pictured: A confirmed tornado hit the Eastern Shore early Saturday afternoon. The top photo is courtesy of Linda Ross and was taken near Logan Road in Onley. The bottom photo is courtesy of Kate Evans and was taken at 1:25 this afternoon behind Melfa just off of Phillips Drive/Mapp rd, just off of Main Street.
And NO, Pizza Hut did not get hit. That funnel cloud was out in Colonial Village when someone took this picture. Colonial Village begins at the end of my property here in Onley, but on the other side of the street. It goes back to our woods that Elizabeth owned which runs from the middle of my property north and west. The tornado went thru that field on the north side of town, thru her woods and into Colonial Village, then lifted and headed down to Wachepreague and Quinby. Apparently it touched down first near the Custis Neck intersection just above the new Accawmacke Elementary School in Daugherty, then headed down here.

I have been sent numerous other photos, one photo, including the Evans photo has been claimed by several people... a few of these are mine. As I have mentioned before, I have learned not to drive thru flooded areas. Our roads back here are very narrow, so narrow some farm equipment not only takes up the entire road but can rip up bushes planted too close to the road, even knock over utility boxes along the roadways. So, if someone else is coming, it is a guess to figure out where the drainage ditch is along these turtle back roads. And they are turtle backs because it is so flat here, we have to have drainage ditches all over the Shore. The deepest part of this "puddle" might be close to 4 feet next to the field.
I do thank all the folks who called or emailed to see if I was all right. Truth is, Hadji and I hunkered down on the sofa thru most of it. Hadji is scared to death of thunder, and this storm had over an hour of almost continuous thunder. As one blast slowly rolled and rolled the next one hit. Had it been night time, there would have been quite a light show. At times the rain was so hard I could not see my barns out back about 50 feet from the kitchen window. My CoCoRaHS rain gauge collected 1.90 inches of rain, but my neighbor to the south got only 1.5. To the west, Joe's gauge hit 2 inches, and the radio said Gargatha had 6! I do know the first time I ventured out, the road shown here was completely covered, so I turned around on Stonehouse and came back home. The woods in the upper right side of this last picture is where I live. This is about a half a mile from my house. Pizza Hut and CVS are about 1 mile ENE. To my west, they lost power. All I lost was the internet and a bunch of small branches I will have to pick up in a little bit before it gets too hot. It is already steamy out there.

Now you might be wondering, since when is a tornado WHITE? It is white when it starts out as a waterspout... so this is not filled with dust and debris like the tornadoes you see out west, this is filled with water from the Chesapeake Bay! One can only assume then that the rain from this cloud might have been a tiny bit on the salty side? At least that is what one of my fellow weather folks told me. I did not taste it, so I don't know!

Friday, July 06, 2012


PLAYING POSSUM? OR DEALING WITH THE HEAT? Have you seen that new commercial out where the kids have a "pet" possum... it is on the ground looking dead... the kids whine to their father that their possum is dead... he says, "No, its just playing possum, leave him alone." And then it pops up and hisses at them. I have NO idea what the commercial is trying to sell, I just watch the possum and wait for him to roll over and hiss. The weather has been horrible lately, as I am sure you are aware. Hot does not even begin to describe the 100 degree plus temps many of us have been experiencing. So if you can't jump in the pool to cool off, how does a tiny animal cool off? Possum Pics are from friend Bobbie... Its all in the posture...
AND, Seems possums aren't the only ones!
Seems my guys cool off the same way. Hadji... the Rascal... Punkin... Spook...
How do you cool off???????