July 30, 2010
I now imagine, at my advanced age, that I likely have more years behind me then ahead. But I am OK with that, because I tend to see my glass as half full, and today its filled with rainwater.
July 21, 2010
My unexpected favorite find was Springer's Point, a 122 acre preserve on the edge of town owned by the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust. Springer's Point has trails that lead past salt marsh wetlands, Eastern Red Cedars, Yaupon Hollies and through a windswept Live Oak filled maritime forest.
Once through the forest you are on Pamilco Sound at Teach's Hole. Edward Teach was better known as Blackbeard. In 1718 the governor of Virginia dispatched Lt. Robert Maynard to Carolina to apprehend Blackbeard who was caught off guard, shot 5 times, cut in 27 places, beheaded and his body thrown into the water here at what would be known as Teach's Hole. His head was put on the bowsprit of Maynard's ship and brought back to Virginia and displayed as a warning (not the Disney version).
This was my fourth trip to Ocracoke Island and my first visit in nearly 15 years, and I enjoyed sharing it with my son. Hopefully I won't wait so long to return.
(My complete photo set from the Village and Springer's Point is here.)
July 18, 2010
The majority of Ocracoke is protected as part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and the much smaller remainder is occupied by Ocracoke Village. The island is skinny, 15 miles long by about half a mile wide with marshes and a few low forests on the Pamlico Sound side, and dunes with some of the most pristine Atlantic beaches on the ocean side. Behind these dunes was where we set up camp, and unlike the mountains (thinking every nightsound could be a bear), it was soothing to hear waves crashing throughout the night. The stars were amazing, and during the day we were treated to shows put on by the ever-changing skies.
We did have several opportunities to enjoy the beach without threat of storms. Saturday afternoon the beach started to get crowded - by Ocracoke standards.
This was the sunrise on the day we had to leave, and I believe the best was saved for last.
We will head to Ocracoke village in my next post, but if you want to see the rest of this set, click here.
July 15, 2010
Many people don't like the Crape Myrtle because of what it leaves on cars, on sidewalks or in the street, but this is one of the reasons I like the tree. When you go out in the morning you find everything has been festooned with blossoms as if a parade just went by while you were still inside brushing your teeth.
Norfolk once had a reputation of being a drab Navy town, and is indeed home to the largest naval facility in the world, but at this time of year it is anything but drab, and even so, battleship grey goes well with pink.
If you would like to see what is blooming in other parts of the country and the larger world beyond, please pay a visit to Carol at May Dreams Garden who each month hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day from the beautiful green hills of Indiana.
July 12, 2010
Patsy never knew a stranger, and while all the other dogs at the dog park were busy sniffing each other, Patsy would be making the rounds among the humans to see who would return her affections, then move on to someone new. She especially liked the elderly and little children, and much to the concern of young mothers, would make a bee line to see who was sitting in any stroller. She was very good as our son was growing up, never once showing anything other than total tolerance to being pulled at and climbed on. Late in her life she became a therapy dog for kids struggling to read. While they plodded through vowels and consonants, she would sit patiently at their feet listening without judgement.
Patsy was a love sponge and wanted nothing more than to be petted, unless of course you could roll around on the floor with her in a human vs. canine wrestling match. When she was very happy she purred like a feline (perhaps because she was left alone with that mean old cat). As good as she was with humans, dogs and cats - she was ruthless with small furry or feathered things. Diana the Huntress managed to catch birds on the wing, a possum in the back yard, muskrats, and let's not forget squirrels, for as any hound can tell you, once you have had your mouth on squirrel butt you are a changed dog.
This is the first line from a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins titled Pied Beauty. It was being read on a show about poetry on NPR. I was unable to listen to the rest of the poem, being incapable of moving beyond that first line, but knowing that we had made the right decision to let her go.
It is said a dog's year equals 7 of ours, but for me, my life is measured out in dog's years.
July 7, 2010
The roads that lead to and from Sandbridge go through some of the last rural areas of Virginia Beach and by several family run farmer's markets. On the way home we stopped at Bay Breeze Farms, and I managed to come away with the best watermelon, fresh tomatoes, peaches, blueberries and the first corn of the season. What caught my eye and made me pull into this place over the other choices were its fields of Zinnias and Sunflowers.