Monthly Archives: August 2011

Golden Hour

Last Wednesday evening was a busy place around the ol’ homestead during  “Golden Hour”. That’s a term I recently learned from my blogging friend, Dee, over at The View Out Here.  Last month, Dee featured some gorgeous photos she had taken during Golden Hour.  Click here to view that post.

Golden Hour, sometimes called Magic Hour, describes the time (not strictly an hour) just before or after sunrise or sunset.  I’d never thought about it before Dee’s post, but the photos taken during that time have a special lighting you don’t get at any other time of day. 

On Wednesday, our resident ducks were visiting during Golden Hour. I love how the setting sun softens the brown of their feathers.

They were soon joined by Groom Swan, who was probably afraid they’d eat all the bread.

He always seems to forget that it’s difficult for him to eat while he’s on land, so I walked him back to the water. When I see this picture, I can’t help but think of the children’s poem, Mary Had A Little Lamb.

Groom Swan then re-joined his duck buddies, they shared an evening meal and went for a swim.

With the bread all gone, it was time to relax and enjoy the sunset.

I’m so glad Dee taught me about Golden Hour, especially since it happens during my favorite time(s) of day.

Irene – The End

Those of you who have been affected by Hurricane Irene probably feel the same way about the storm as I do right now. I am ‘over it’.   Here are a few pictures taken during the day on Saturday. Irene didn’t actually hit us until after about 8 that evening. Of course, it was dark then, so I didn’t get any pictures during the storm.

Groom Swan and 8 ducks spent all day Saturday right at the water’s edge. We’re not sure where they went to weather the actual storm.

Although we brought in everything in our yard that could be blown around, we left Mama Dove’s hanging basket because we didn’t want to disturb her. She sat on that nest all day Saturday. I’m not sure about Saturday night during the worst of the storm, but Sunday morning, she was there. I looked out one time Saturday, and the nest was being blown around, she was sitting on the plant, and one baby had taken cover on the hook. I haven’t seen either squab since the storm, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t survive. I’ll keep you posted.

This photo was taken a few months ago. It shows the corner of our yard opposite the old cedar tree and wooden boat. There are two birdbaths in this little area. The smaller one is barely visible in the bottom left corner of the picture.

This was the same area Saturday afternoon. You can see the little birdbath in this picture, but the larger one is hidden by a tree.

And, after the storm. This shows how high the water was in our yard.

 Remember the photo I posted last week of the poker run party? This is that side yard now.

This is another area of our yard. Massive clean-up of tide-line trash awaits.

And to recap: the tide wasn’t as high as Isabel, but the winds were stronger than I can ever remember experiencing. We lost many, many tree limbs, but no trees. And our electricity was restored yesterday around mid-day.

I’m overwhelmed by all the comments you all left for me showing your concern for our safety. It was a rough couple of days, but we know how fortunate we are to have come through the storm with such minor damage.  Thank you for every thought and prayer you sent our way.

And now. Enough about Irene.

Sundae Says…..Who’s Irene?

Hi. It’s Sundae. I’m posting today so Motor Mommy can rest. She’s been pretty stressed out lately by Irene, whoever that is.

And Irene gave me a major headache, too.

My routine has been seriously interrupted lately. All that wind and rain, and still no electricity!

I think Motor Mommy’s planning to post some “after storm” pictures tomorrow. Then we’re going to put Irene behind us and get back to more pleasant blog topics. Like sunrises, sunsets, that swan character and me!

I’m going to go check on Motor Mommy now to see how she’s resting. I may need to join her for a cat nap.

Sunrise After The Storm

We survived Irene.  She was a mean storm, and hopefully, we won’t ever have to deal with the likes of her again.

The worst of the storm hit us between 8:30 and 11:30 last night. We lost electricity around 8:30. So hearing that ferocious wind and not being able to see anything was difficult.

We’re heading out to assess the damage; we don’t think we have any major problems. But tomorrow, I plan to write a longer post and include pictures.

I hope, if you’ve had to deal with Irene, she didn’t treat you any worse than she did us. Thanks again for all the concern and prayers sent our way.

Looks Like We’re In For Nasty Weather

6 pm update:  the storm is 1-2 hours from our area.  The wind has intensified, and they’re predicting tides could be 1-2 feet higher than any storm we’ve ever seen. That’s a little concerning to us. Water may get under our house, but it won’t get IN our house.

Mama Dove has remained on her nest through this entire storm. I don’t think I’ll attempt to post the picture I took – this laptop is tempermental at best. We still have power, but not our internet. I’m using a Virgin Mobile card and it’s “iffy” sometimes.

We had a major issue with windows leaking, but Motor Man came to the rescue and realized what was happening and fixed the problem. I’ve been rinsing and drying towels most of the afternoon.

I’ll really be surprised if we don’t lose power this evening, and will post a longer update with photos once my “real” internet service has been restored.  We’ve also lost our cable tv, so we’re listening to our local tv station’s simulcast on radio.

That’s the latest.  I may update later this evening, but if not, definitely in the morning.

Thanks again for your concern and prayers!


Noon update:  tide is rising, but not near our deck. Windows on the water side of the house are leaking, but we still have electricity!Oh – and the wind is howling!

Irene is knocking on our door, and things are getting interesting. Here’s the radar image from just a few minutes ago; we’re just to the left of the “N” in Norfolk. Right about where that red watch-box line is.

The rain woke me at 3:30 this morning. The wind and rain woke me again at 5.

Here are a few facts so far:

  • We already have water coming in around our windows. That’s a given when we have northeast winds. So I keep a stash of old towels to use at times like these. The only problem comes if when we lose electricity and I can’t use my dryer.
  • Sundae keeps staring at the ceiling. She’s obviously never heard wind and rain like this.
  • Poor little Mama Dove. We removed everything else in our yard that could blow away, but didn’t want to upset her, so we left the hanging basket. She is now “swaying”, to put it mildly.  But she’s still sitting on her nest. Wish I could bring her inside, but she’d probably prefer the hurricane force winds over a visit with Sundae.
  • Motor Man is so concerned about the storm that he’s still asleep. He napped during most of Isabel, while I paced. So today may be a repeat of that.

Sorry, readers, no sunrise Saturday this week.

This is our side yard; I see that we already have a limb down. Probably the first of many.

 I’ll update this post later today, if possible.  And thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers.  We appreciate them!

Irene, Don’t Be An Isabel

(But, PLEASE, don’t be any worse.)

Having always lived in southeast Virginia, the word “hurricane” was in my vocabulary from an early age. My memories of a few storms from my childhood include lost electricity, rainwater in the house, and power lines on the ground after the storm passed.

Since I’ve been an adult, there’ve been a couple that have gotten our attention. Floyd, in 1999, was one to remember, but probably the worst was Isabel in 2003.

We’re now under a hurricane warning, and preparing for Hurricane Irene. And she’s predicted to be a doozy.  So I thought I’d share some pictures of Isabel. Just to give you an idea of how our scenery changed around here while she was in town.

If you’re a regular reader here, you may recall seeing pictures of this pier out to the marina in front of our house.

During Isabel, it floated BY our house.

The following day, the marina was pierless.

This picture of our side yard was taken from our garage door earlier this summer, during our little Poker Run party.

This next photo is of the same side yard during Isabel. Yes, that’s the Pagan River IN our yard.

And finally, this is looking down on our deck from an upstairs window – on a “normal” day.

And this was taken during a most abnormal day, the day of Isabel. Once again, the river IN our yard.

We didn’t evacuate, our house didn’t flood, and although we lost approximately 20 trees during the storm, none of them fell on our house. Oh, and we were without power for several days.

Is it easy to see why we’re not looking forward to the next 48 hours?

Done With School

For Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop today, I chose the prompt:
5.) Top ten reasons why you’re glad you’re done with school.

(I began this list with my more serious thoughts, so I could end the post on a light-hearted note.)

10.  My mom and I were extremely close during my childhood. My dad died when I was an infant, and my sisters were grown and married by the time I was 5 years old. So I simply didn’t want to leave Mom to go to school.

9. Because I didn’t want to leave Mom, I cried almost everyday when I had to board the school bus. That, of course, was just fodder for teasing from some of the other kids on the bus. That didn’t exactly make for a happy school experience. And the teasing worsened as the years passed.

8. Also, because of the closeness to my mom, I was always afraid that something bad would happen to her while I was away at school.  And in my child’s mind, I was afraid to tell anyone, because I thought that would cause it to happen. Anxiety? You bet.

7. School is especially difficult when you’re painfully shy. Now I realize that I would have enjoyed school much more had I been able to relax and not worry about what the other kids were thinking or saying about me.

6. I never liked getting on the school bus by myself, but living in the country, that’s the way it was.  Many’s the time I wished for a brother or sister to ride the bus with me.

5. Not being athletic, I was the one always chosen last for a team. Regardless of the sport. 

4. School projects were always cause for alarm. They seemed to usually require illustrations or drawings,  and nothing was more daunting than a blank sheet of poster board. (Thanks again, June, for the help with the life stages of a frog.)

3. Oral book reports.  I remember once, I was so nervous, I noticed as I was looking at my notes that I could see my skirt shaking.

2. Riding a school bus. I mean, really, is there any other mode of transportation as uncomfortable?

And the Number One reason, I’m glad I’m done with school?

1. Two words: math and science. Instead, give me grammar and spelling any day. 

These days, I do most of my learning in blog-land; I’m done with school.

First Grade

Mama’s Losin’ It