Thursday, September 30, 2021


from a trip down south.  It was for a wedding within the family.  We have not seen family members and close friends in well over a year, longer with some who live out of state.  It was a wonderful gathering to see a very special young couple get married.  

My photos were taken at the Williamsburg Inn (opened in 1937), and is where the wedding rehearsal dinner took place. There was hardly anyone around towards the end of the evening in this part of the inn, so I felt I could comfortably take photos of a few of the pieces that caught my attention.  I wasn't leaving there without photos!

Everything was very colonial...
even the wallpaper and curtains.  

I loved looking at all the beautiful flowers in their vases.

There is a video about the history of the hotel here.

Colonial Williamsburg is only a short walk away, and if you would like to see what you can expect if you ever visit or would like to revisit, there is a nice video at this link.  A walking tour down the Duke of Gloucester Street can be seen here.

I was very interested to come across photos of Queen Elizabeth II, who visited here in 1957 and again in 2007.


Part of the history at the Inn's website had the following: "In 1943 General George C. Marshall arranged to host the British Joint Chiefs of Staff at the inn as part of a strategy to strength the alliance between America and Great Britain during World War II. Then, in 1946, future President Dwight D. Eisenhower entertained the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill inside the building following the latter’s famous “Sinews of Peace” speech in Washington. Perhaps one of the grandest visits to ever take place transpired nearly two decades later, when Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, stayed at the Williamsburg Inn amid Virginia’s 350th anniversary. Touring both Williamsburg and neighboring Jamestown, some 40,000 people had traveled just to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. (The Queen and Prince returned in 2007 to observe the commonwealth’s 400th birthday, too.)

I have no idea who are in these paintings, or the artist who painted them.

The birds were hung in one of the hallways.

That's all for today.  Thank you for stopping by and Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021



We have been away for a few days.  Thank you for every welcome comment.  I will be catching up with you as soon as I can.

We had the opportunity to walk around Williamsburg (in Virginia).  This town is one of my all-time favorite places.  One of the many reasons I enjoy it, is that it is definitely a 'dog' town.  I have never had any cause for concern as they all seem to be much loved, beautifully behaved and well taken care of in every aspect.  

"Everything I know, I learned from dogs."
~Nora Roberts~
The expression on this little one's face gave me such a chuckle. It was if Sweetie was saying...
There were those riding in comfort. At this point in our walk I was thinking of asking if I could share his space!
One of my favorite childhood memories is when Dad used to be picked up by his K-9 colleagues.  These dogs, Alsatians as we always knew them, were police dogs.  They would sit patiently waiting while their handlers drank a cup of tea given by my Mum, with a meal ready for them when needed, and she never forgot a treat and a sip of tea in a bowl for their dogs.  We were young enough to hang around their necks and play with them.  Those dogs were very, very patient and as far as I could tell, enjoyed the attention we gave them.  We used to watch those same dogs on annual sports day in our town.  A volunteer would run across the field in a thick, padded suit, firing a fake pistol at the brave dogs.  The sound was loud enough to clap our hands over our ears.  In our childlike mind we did not see its serious side.  It was all very exciting as we watched 'our' dogs charging after the padded man, as they jumped and grabbed the wrist holding the fake gun.  Padded man toppled over and dog would win the day.  Much applause from all of us and on their very next visit to our house, those same dogs would get an extra hug, told how very brave and good boys they were, while we gave them an extra treat and Mum would fill their bowl with a few sips of luke-warm tea, in their very own bowl.  And of course a cup of tea and a sandwich for their handlers, friends of my Dad.  We used to have great conversations with those dogs.  I love these memories and they get sweeter as the years go by.
"Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen."
~Orhan Pamuk~

On the journey home we saw this lovely dog.

She reminded me of our own sweetie our son grew up with.  There are times we still miss her.

Thanks for looking.  
I hope your days are filled with sunshine.

Monday, September 27, 2021


Today's recipe I found at a blog called Savory Moments hosted by Amy.  You can see the original recipe here.  Amy has lots of wonderful recipes on her blog, and I know you will enjoy if you would  like to visit her.  Her Sour Cream and Raisin Oatmeal Squares are something I would like to try soon, among many other recipes.   We made this for the first time on March 6th, 2021.

Easy Pork and Cabbage Stir Fry - serves 4

For the sauce:

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup cold water

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 packed teaspoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon (more or less to taste) Sriracha

1 tablespoon cornstarch


For the stir fry:

1 lb. ground pork

4 green onions, sliced with greens and whites separated

4 cups packed chopped green cabbage

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup white rice, cooked to package directions, for serving

Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a large glass measuring cup or a bowl. Set aside.

Heat a wok or heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the pork. Cook, stirring frequently, until it is cooked through. 

Pour the pork into a colander and drain all but about 2 teaspoons of fat.

Place the pan back on the stove and stir in the cabbage and white portions of green onions. Cook for about 2 minutes, just until the cabbage starts to soften. 

Return the pork to the pan.

Stir in the sauce and let it come to a bubble and thicken. Stir to coat and stir in the cilantro.

Serve immediately with a side of rice and extra Sriracha, if desired.

This was an excellent meal, thank you Amy!

A few changes.

We had no cilantro so used parsley.  A lot of times and when low on certain ingredients, I am using what I have on hand just before our next shopping run.  However, parsley was a good substitute and I like the color it added.

We had no green onion so used regular white onions.

Hubs added a tablespoon of his hot chili paste.  We would add more next time for more heat.

At the table we added a dash or two of low-sodium soy sauce on the top.

There are plenty of leftovers and we are looking forward to enjoying this for two or three days.

I think this would be a good meal to freeze.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by. Have a great week and Bon Appetit!

Friday, September 24, 2021



I found this on Pinterest and thought it worthy of sharing.  It's a beautiful photo and the words are profound.

Thank you for stopping by this past week.  I wish you all a happy weekend.

Thursday, September 23, 2021



(One of the pretty cottages not too far from where I used to live many years ago.  Photo taken in the summer of 2015)

Wednesday, September 22, 2021


Continuing my post from yesterday...

I am not sure how old this turtle was but not one of the big ones I have been seeing lately.
I was trying to get more photos but it jumped/dropped/plonked unceremoniously into the water seconds after these were taken.
It was a hot day, not the hottest we have had, but very humid. Feeling a bit like a wilted lettuce comes to mind.
A pretty one, this is the Purple false foxglove (botanical name Agalinis purpurea), and its other name is Purple gerardia.  
It is a native to the eastern United States and Canada. The caterpillars of the Common Buckeye butterfly feed on the foliage.   
These yellow flowers are called Bearded beggarticks (botanical name Bidens aristosa).  Also known as Western tickseed and Tickseed beggarticks.  It is related to the sunflower family.
I am always drawn to grasses.  Very pretty!  This is Hairy wild rye (botanical name Elymus villosus).  You might also know it as Silky wild rye.
Here is the same stalk of grass with the Bearded beggarticks.  The Hairy wild rye is a native grass of the eastern USA.  It favors damp woodlands and small meadows.  It does not attract insects as it is wind-pollinated.  Birds seldom eat the seeds and the plant is not palatable to wildlife or livestock, because the bristles on the seed heads are so coarse and can injure the animals.
More photos of the New england aster.  It is an easy-to-care perennial.  I would like to grow them in planters and was happy to find that they can be potted in well-drained compost.
Like most asters, it blooms late in the season.  It provides a critical fall nectar source for pollinators, especially Monarchs as they stock up for their Fall migration to Mexico.
This is definitely a place we would like to come back to, and our first impression was a very good one.
We had taken our photos, gotten our exercise and okay, no speed walking for us. We rested on a couple of the benches around the lake and watched whatever came into our view.  The turtles, the dragonflies, the butterflies and all the pretty flowers.  
But now it was time to go home.  
Getting out and enjoying our surroundings can be the best medicine, and so soothing for body and mind.
This fits in with the way I walk.
"One step at a time is good walking."
~Chinese Proverb~
The last plant I am sharing is Linden viburnum (botanical name Viburnum dilatatum).  Its other name is Linden arrowwood and it is a native of eastern Asia.  It will grow from 6-8 feet tall,  blooms from late spring to early summer and produces bright red berries in the fall.  Its dark green foliage turns to shades of bronze and burgundy-red in the fall.  They attract a variety of birds.  
If you ever see anything from any of my posts that you think I have misidentified, I am always happy to be helped with the correct ID, and will change accordingly.  All this research I do is a learning experience, and most definitely a fun hobby of mine.

Thank you for coming along on our walk, and I hope your day is a great one.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021


I found a new place for us to go.  A lot of areas we enjoy are within an hour's drive, and this was one of them.  It proved to be a delightful area to get photos and some exercise.

The man it was named after was a retired Lieutenant Colonel with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The sign with this information read:
"A dedicated soldier, conservationist, researcher and wildlife artist who studied the birdlife of Fort Belvoir for 45 years.  His lifelong achievements remain an important contribution to the installation and the Nation.  Dedicated October 1989 - U.S. Army, Fort Belvoir, Virginia."
As mentioned earlier, Lieutenant Colonel Abbott was a gifted artist.  He is the only individual to take both first and second place in the Federal Duck Stamp contest.  His artwork can be seen above in the 1957 postage stamp. You can read more very interesting information about him at this link.
An interesting sign was at the entrance.  My dear other half pointed it out to me and it gave me pause.  Fortunately I have always stuck to the designated trails, and wasn't about to go tromping off into the woods.  Yes, I stayed on the trail and did not touch any unexpected items.
We walked down a long paved path to get to the lake.  There were five or six dedicated walkers who, while we were there, made multiple trips around, and at least two were speed walking.  They passed us three or four times.  This is a nice, flat area, a great place for doing just that.  We enjoyed our exercise but at not such a great pace, and were busy looking at our surroundings, both of us taking photos of whatever peaked our interest.  
Jackson Abbott Wetland Refuge is a 0.6 mile loop trail located near Fort Belvoir, Virginia, in a great forest setting. The trail is rated as moderate and is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips. Ours was definitely a nature trip today.
One very interesting thing I learned later is that this wetlands adjoins Huntley Meadows Park to the southwest.  We actually drove by the entrance to Huntley Meadows on our way home, but energy level was at a lower ebb by then.  We had left the house early that day and both had had a night-owl kind of a night.  By the afternoon we were in need of a break.  I looked wistfully in that direction and half-heartedly said maybe we should turn into the park, but Gregg said best to tackle that walk when we were fresh.  He is much wiser at realizing our limits than I am.  It will be an easy drive on another day.
And we had had such a good time discovering this pretty area with all it had to offer.  I identified the butterfly below as a female Pearl Crescent.
On line I read. "The males of the Pearl Crescent are similar to the females, and just slightly more open in the hind wing, but the males of the Northern Crescents are much more open and have a very distinctive dark patch in the middle of the hindwing margin below."  My information came from this link. It shows photos of male and female.  I was happy to get these photos and this one stayed in place for several minutes.
You will probably recognize the New England Aster (botanical name Symphyotrichum novae-angliae).  Its other names are Michaelmas daisy, Hairy michaelmas-daisy and Savoryleaf aster and is a native of North America.  
It is both drought-tolerant and deer resistant, though Mr. and Mrs. Cottontail with enjoy nibbling on them. 
There are three seating areas and we made use of one overlooking what you can see in the next photo.  We were hopeful that we would see water birds, and you might be lucky and see a Bald Eagle. None today however.  There are also two other overlooks that would be suitable for fishing.   People can fish here but I saw a sign saying a fishing permit would be needed first, and it gave the numbers where you could obtain one.  
I found a large plant of blooming Orange jewelweed (botanical name (Impatiens capensis).  Other names are Spotted touch-me-not, Spotted jewelweed and Orange balsam.  Another wildflower that is native to North America.  Also considered mildly toxic compared to others but not to be taken lightly as children can become more ill if they eat it by mistake.  I am amazed at how many plants we need to be wary of.
Speaking of which, next you will see the Carolina horsenettle (botanical name Solanum carolinense) and is a member of the nightshade family.  Also known as Sand brier, Devil's tomato, Bullnettle and Tread-softly. Native to the central and eastern United States and northern Mexico. It has been prohibited in Arizona as a noxious weed.  The fruit can be mistake for an unripened tomato don't you think?  The flowers and leaves of the carolina horsenettle are very similar to those of the eggplant. When the fruit matures, it turns attractive yellow, and many people mistake it as edible and it will cause some nasty side effects if ingested.  
Another plant to stay away from when tromping through the woods, but no tromping in these woods!  It is native to the central and eastern United States and northern Mexico.  Once established, Carolina horsenettle colonies are difficult to control or eliminate. I have provided three links where you can read about it in more detail, with photos, herehere (scroll down to the fourth paragraph) and here.  
We came across several small carpets of cobwebs laying flat on the grass.  Ever curious I looked up what kind of spider made these.  It belongs to the American grass spider.  They usually occur in cool season grass with lots of shade.  It's not a sticky web but serves as a vibrating notification system to alert the spider when a potential meal is wandering by.  Non-venomous to us thankfully.  These are also called funnel spiders.  The spider builds its funnel first, and then the 'carpet'.  That funnel goes from the web goes down to its lair, a hole in the ground.   
Grass spiders are actually beneficial as if you try to get rid of them, you will see a rise in non-beneficial pests to your garden. It was said back in the day, that if there is dew on grass spider webs in the morning, it will be a beautiful day.  If you don't have an aversion to these things, here is a link where you can find photos and information.
Gregg took several photos on our walk and he noticed the following insect lying in the grass.  It was very well camouflaged and I could hardly see it.  It is either a female Eastern Common Pondhawk dragonfly, or could be a juvenile.  I am not an expert on these things.  The male as they age gradually turns a powdery blue from their abdomen to their thorax.
The next photo could be the male?  You can look here if you interested.
The next two shots could be the same, but it was too far away for me to be certain, even with cropping.
So, maybe!

I have one more post from this park which I will share tomorrow.