Sunday, August 28, 2011


North Currituck Sound after Hurricane Irene
Wow, what a long few days it's been. Luckily, our power was restored late this afternoon. Now the humm of the air conditioner is just buzzing in my head, replacing the brumm of the generator and the roar of the wind. There are plenty of properties in my immediate area in awful states. This is the highest water seen in this area by me and certainly by most lifetime residents.

This morning I took a few shots of the high water on the Sound and this one of the view across the Currituck Sound looking east.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene Final Prep

Hard to make out in the cloudy blue morning, a work boat loaded with crab pots heads west toward Coinjock Bay this morning about 8 am. Final preparations for the storm are keeping the locals busy. Lunch today will be the hard crabs that I have left. Oh, here comes the rain already at 9 am! Better go move some plants.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A young Cardinal

Young Cardinal in Live Oak
The new and the established male hummers were so busy chasing and challenging that I thought I would try to catch a shot. One male hummer sits on a leaf edge in a live oak standing guard over the window sugar water feeder. It bombs any comer, even the finches. Well, the hummers were in full chase and the one was not going to sit on that leaf edge with me so near. He chattered and hid inside the oak between chases. So I did the next thing a photographer does, I shot what I could get. And here a young Cardinal obliged my lens.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just some Zinnias

Zinnias in the Garden
While waiting for some of the regular crowd to show up in the afternoon garden (the hummers, chickadees, wrens and cardinals), the zinnias were front and center.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Silver lining in the Dismal smoke

The smoke from the new fires in the Dismal Swamp comes and goes with the wind. The Swamp is about 50 plus miles northwest by the crow but when 5000 acres are burning that mileage is not a factor. The smoke has obscured the sun on occasion which creates an odd light on the landscape.
With an hour in my pocket and no plans on how to spend it, I headed to my bird blind yesterday afternoon. The smoke gave me the cloudiness for a few shots that a normal 3 o'clock in the afternoon denies.

Cardinal in the Garden
I watched a hummingbird playfully spar with a wren in a crepe myrtle, then spotted this young Cardinal looking for sunflower seeds or perhaps the water from a garden sprinkler.

Wren bathing in the Garden
A wren came in for a nice little shower.

Goldfinch in the Garden
Look who paused on a sunflower head right in front of me. I think I suprised him, too.

Hummingbird bathing in the Garden
This Hummingbird came to the garden to get a soaking shower. Chasing that Wren is hot work!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Harvesting for the year

Summer has been hot but busy with projects inside and out. Tomato season is here and we are getting plenty to eat, and some to put up too. With tomatoes you need herbs for seasoning. I like to dry oregano, basil, thyme, and parsley for cooking year round. I collect the stems in bunches and hang them in my soundside gazebo for drying. It is shady with plenty of air circulation for good drying. That is where I dry my garlic and shallots as well.

Once dried I bring in the stems and strip off the leaves and bottle them up. It's so neat to pull your own herbs out of the spice drawer to season your tomato sauce, stews, pizza! etc.

My platter full of oregano leaves is more than plenty for a year of seasoning.