Though the first home on the tour is small and is just a summer rental, it has a commanding view. This year's occupants, the ospreys, have just recently taken a flight to South America where they winter.
The Pyracantha on this home's wall was impressive.
At the same home I was able to get my kayak right under a Natchez Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia x 'Natchez') to appreciate its superb bark.
All the plants along the river have to be tolerant of salt flooding, and the dominant tree species, Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda), certainly is.
I like this old-school boat.
Speaking of old, this impressive house looks as if it has been here since the early 1900's, but it was built only about ten years ago, and this is Hampton Roads, not The Hamptons.
Behind this marsh, on the other side of the Loblollies is where my son went to elementary school. I hope the teachers bring the kids out every now and then to look at the river.
Just yards away from the school's baseball field egrets can be seen.
Another salt tolerant tree is Magnolia grandiflora, and this home had a spectacular specimen.
This ranch house had the most diverse garden on the tour.
At the same home was a flood zone combo of Castor Bean (Ricinus communis), Chindo Viburnums (Viburnum awabuki 'Chindo'), Ruellia brittoniana and a large Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica).
When not frustrating me with the weather, Mother Nature has been very busy planting Saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia). The local stands of this plant are just a week or so away from being in full bloom.
Here it is again with some Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana), which I think always looks best in other people's gardens.
Not normally thought of as shorebirds, crows can make a home anywhere.
I am quite fond of crows.
I like this house, but like its natural setting and view better.
Comorants are funny and skittish birds. You can usually tell which way the wind is blowing by what direction they are facing, but when approached they contort their necks side to side to get a look at you, as they can't seem to see you face on. They can use their wings under water as flippers and are graceful swimmers and divers. This grace is not extended when they take off from their perches.
If you would like to own a home by the river, this one is for sale. Hurricane Irene tore up the dock, and some ignorant person limbed-up the Live Oaks (Quercus virginiana) to improve the view, ruining their natural beauty (and the view) in my opinion.
Every garden should have a piece of well-chosen sculpture. This one is a mosaic made from broken China.
This heron played statue and let me get very close.
This is one of the hardy Hibiscus and was planted...
... on the back side of this house, which I love for its over-the-river balcony and for its wonderful asymmetry.
I love this house equally as much, but for its traditional symmetry.
This garden had a massive grove of Live Oaks, not limbed-up and allowed to reach their full potential. After Loblollies, Live Oaks are the next most dominant tree species, and quite salt tolerant as well.
Pelicans have not always called Tidewater home, but in recent decades have expanded their range here. His or her perch will be the last stop on our waterfront tour, and we will leave just a second before the pelican takes flight.
I hope you have enjoyed the tour, I know I did.