An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

November 29, 2009

An Early Morning Walk

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

- Henry David Thoreau

Like many Americans, we were away for the Thanksgiving holiday. Fortunately our road is not long to Virginia's beautiful Eastern Shore where my parents live, as well as many other members of my family. Seeing fog out the window when I woke up on Thursday, I grabbed my camera and 2 of 3 hounds and headed out for a walk. It was a good thing I went on Thursday, for Friday was wet, windy and stormy - while Saturday morning was just plain cold with our second dip into the 30's this season.

Most of my walk took me to the shores of Metompkin Bay where a few of the Spartina grasses were hanging onto to their summer greens, but most had on their fall golds waiting for their winter color. The air was still, the bay dead calm, and the crashing waves on the distant islands could easily be heard, even over the din of the geese. The morning was similar to the day after last Christmas that resulted in one of my favorite blog postings.

From the Dam (3.1)

From the Dam (5)

From the Dam (6)

From the Dock  (1)

From the Dock  (2)

From the Dock  (4)

Lang Farm Rd. Wetland 2.2

The dogs mostly had a great time. Penny stays busy and has a full agenda, and it did her a world of good to be able to run at top speed, off-leash and without fence.

Penny and the Geese

Loretta and Penny (5)

Near the end of the walk Loretta was anxious to return home as the sound of gunfire was echoing through the woods. It is prime hunting season for deer and geese, and to her phobic self it all sounds like thunder.

(I have decided to come back and use this photo for the June 2010 Picture This contest sponsored by Gardening Gone Wild.)

Loretta 1.1

You are welcome to view the rest of my morning walk pictures here.


  1. I feel the calm in your photos, and such wonderful color in the grasses. As always Les, stunning pictures.

  2. What peaceful images, so lovely. I'm blocking out the imagined sound of gunfire, the better to enjoy the misty calm of your photos. Cute dogs too.

  3. These shots are food for my soul, Les, thanks for sharing them and the details of your morning walk. I could get lost just studying the colors of the marsh grasses. The fog is pure magic. Imagining the distant sound of the surf conjures even more mystical swirling thoughts. I will come back to peruse the rest of the photos for sure! :-)

  4. Absolutely loverly! What a joy. Great reminders! Great dogs! Great attitude! We can all use a dose of what you got here. Many thanks for sharing!

  5. Les, Your post is splendid...the shots beautiful and so very November! The grasses are fantastic~~It's magical what fog and a good photographer can do! You did a wonderful job of capturing it all. gail

  6. I love fog pictures. They are so magical. Gunshots would get mine bothered as well. Love the last couple shots with the dogs on the walkway and under the tree.

  7. Your hounds look like they're having a blast. Beautiful country there in a haunting sort of way this time of year. I looked at your post-Christmas post too and it was beautiful.

  8. Great photos as always. It looks very quiet and peaceful (well, aside from the gunshots).

  9. Very moody images Les.
    The silence was deafening.

    You live in a beautiful area.

  10. You capture the foggy mood of the November day so beautifully Les. Stunning photographs. The two with the one dog in each are so wonderful as portraits of both dog and nature. I love the geese flying above the sweet spotted dog and the other is so mystical. Love the colors in the grasses. I concur with the doggies ... get me away from the sounds of gunfire ... it can be a very scary sound. Carol

  11. Thanks to all for stopping by and for your postive comments.

  12. Les,
    Thoreau knew what he was talking about! I bet you and your dogs were all the better for your walk. I particularly love the shot of your dog running towards you on the boardwalk. It shows big time enthusiasm!
    Thanks for sharing these pics.

  13. Les those are some cool pictures. I went to the flickr site and viewed the others. It occurs to me that we nature lovers never have a down season. And those like yourself who can see it through the camera lens can share it with the rest of us.

    How come there are vertical sticks out in the water? When I visit the coast I always wonder that? Are they holding something in place--like bait of some sort? They don't look like trees that have died.

    The dogs look happy.

  14. You are such a great photographer. You always manage to capture magical images. And great morning glories! Mark demanded we grow Heavenly Blue in our very first garden together.

  15. Maybe this makes sense, or not, but these images remind me a lot of my own similar walks on plains prairies. Sure, there is a lot of spacial and color similarity, but they are vastly different. And yet--everything is linked, evolving from and to one another, connected.

  16. Rosey,
    Penny is the epitome of enthusiasm.

    In this case the sticks are young trees that were cut to sink into the sand and mud to mark the channels. The bay is no longer regulary dredged so the watermen and boaters who use it mark the ever-changing channels themselves.

    Thanks for the compliment, I try real hard not to let it swell my head.

    While travelling across the pretty, wilder parts of Kansas this past summer, I kept thinking how much this reminds me of the coast with all of its grasses and few trees. I kept expecting to go over the next rise and see the ocean. Yes the two ecosystems look very similar, but the great missing element is a vast quantity of salted water.


  17. Beautiful. Striking images. Fabulous place.

  18. What a place to walk! Your images are soothing and wonderfully beheld. When the horizon line is gone, anything can happen! (And does Penny wonder where those geese are off to?)

  19. Wow, you take such gorgeous photos. I feel like I could almost step into them.