Monthly Archives: October 2015

Another Antoine Antic

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon cleaning the garage. It was a perfect day for the job.

As I worked at sweeping, throwing away and  tidying up, I glanced out the garage door window. There was Antoine; apparently he’d been waiting so long for me to notice him, he decided to sit and stay awhile.

antoine garage door

So, of course, I gave him some corn, and went back to my chores.

A little while later, something outside the window caught my eye. And I just had to video it. (There are sound effects.)

I’m not sure if he had a problem with that flag, or thought it was something he could eat. If it hadn’t been on the pole, would he have carried it away? At any rate, it’s now been moved to an area of the yard he doesn’t frequent….at least, not yet.

Oh, and the garage is all clean.

~These Days Of Mine~


All Aboard!

For several years, Motor Man and I have been going on train excursions with our friends, Bev and Bill. We’ve done steam trains, as well as diesels, some short trips, some lasting nearly all day.

Saturday we drove about 2 1/2 hours to ride the Autumn Leaf Rambler, which is part of the Buckingham Branch Railroad, out of Dillwyn, Virginia. Information about the ride stated that 45% of the cars were open-sided, so we arrived early to be sure we had a seat in an enclosed car.  (The temps were in the 50’s.)

When we’re riding, I always look for a shot of the front of the train as it’s rounding a turn. This was taken through the window.

engine 10-10-2015 9-39-58 AM

We were happy to see a little fall foliage during our ride.  The trees in our area haven’t start changing color yet.

foliage 10-10-2015 11-31-10 AM

Our ride took us across the James River, which is quite a bit narrower in that area than in ours (where it’s 4 miles across).

the james 10-10-2015 10-57-21 AM

The river was near the end of the line, at which point, the engine would push us back to the station.  In this picture, the bridge over the river is to the left of the train tracks.  After this picture was taken, the engineer backed the train up on the tracks to allow us a better view of the river.

rr track over james 10-10-2015 10-53-41 AM

We sat “over the river” for several minutes.  Motor Man and I walked to the section of the train between cars, and he suggested that I take a picture of the track below us.  Not much there between us and the river…

looking down at tracks 10-10-2015 10-59-23 AM

The trip lasted about three hours, and once back at the station, we did our customary photo session beside the train.

bev bill locomotive 10-10-2015 12-43-20 PM

It was a brisk, autumn day with not much sun, but, thankfully, no rain.

jrdb 10-10-2015 12-42-48 PM

 And another fun train ride with friends is in the books.

~These Days Of Mine~

These Days R5F

Once again, it’s Friday and time for five random thoughts:

1.) After SO many days of rain, wind and tidal flooding, the skies and sunsets this week seemed more beautiful than ever. This  photo was taken Tuesday evening as Motor Man and I waited to see the International Space Station fly over.   FYI, sign up at for email notifications letting you know when the ISS is visible in your area.

sunset 10-6-2015 7-13-03 PM

2.) Since beach-combing is supposed to be exceptionally good following a nor’easter/hurricane, my friend and I went in search of treasure Wednesday afternoon.  We saw quite a bit of changes in the beach since the storm. And there was a relic there that we didn’t recall seeing before.  I took a photo and showed it to Motor Man when we got home. He decided that he’d like to see it in person, so we did that yesterday. We spoke to the property owner and learned that it’s an old steel buoy from a boat building business in that area not long after the turn of the century. Hurricane Isabel moved about 500 feet from its original location. We aren’t sure why we haven’t noticed it before. (Please  pardon my footwear: those are my beach-combing shoes. As for the white socks, well, there’s just no excuse….  I didn’t realize there was going to be a photo shoot.)

db on buoy

3.) Last week, I stopped in to see Marshall at the flag/gift shop he and his dad own and operate.  As I was walking in, an older couple was coming out the door.  I overheard the man say to his wife: “Interesting young man.  I enjoy talking with people like that.”.  Yes, this proud mama smiled to herself.

marshall db sundae 12-25-2014 8-15-09 PM

4.) Last week, during our trip to the Outer Banks during the storm, we met a local couple who had come to the oceanfront to see the waves.  We took a photo of them, and they returned the favor. At that point, we were definitely sporting the windblown look.

dbjr1 10-3-2015 11-56-27 AM

5.) On our way back from the beach, we took a different route home.  As we drove through the town of Edenton, we spotted this beautiful old Victorian home for sale.  Sigh….

victorian 10-3-2015 3-19-31 PM

Enjoy the weekend!

~These Days Of Mine~

Powerful, Beautiful, Sad

Not having a day trip in mind for this week, on Monday, we decided on the spur of the moment to drive to the Outer Banks to see the ocean’s wrath. She was angry as a result of Hurricane Joaquin, which thankfully, turned out to sea before reaching the east coast.

We had learned that a section of the “beach road”, Highway 12, which runs along the ocean, had been destroyed by ocean wash. As we approached that area, we noticed the spray from the ocean coming over the dune.  The grass looked as if it had been sprayed with artificial snow.

ocean wash on dune1 10-5-2015 2-11-31 PM

We just happened to be there around the time of high tide.  Motor Man took this picture; that’s me on the right, recording a video of a wave coming over the highway.

db and ocean wash 10-5-2015 2-50-00 PM

Although it was raining, and the wind was strong,  people were coming to see not only the damage to the road, but also the power of the ocean. (That’s my Motor Man on the far right.)

folks 10-5-2015 3-08-23 PM

 Every time I thought I’d taken enough pictures and was ready to leave,  I’d see another huge wave coming ashore, and I’d keep snapping.

wave 10-5-2015 2-58-39 PM

This section of highway was damaged by a storm back in the spring and repaired soon afterward.  See the wooden beach access walkway in the background?

street 10-5-2015 3-06-12 PM

Motor Man and I were there in May and walked out on that access. You can see the newly-completed repair of the highway.

road repaired 5-22-2015 11-25-040

And that beach house in the distance right on the ocean?  That’s Pelican’s Watch, and she’s still standing!

pelicans watch1 10-5-2015 3-15-35 PM

I apologize for the shakiness of this video; the wind was so strong, I was having a difficult time holding my cell phone still.

Once again, Motor Man had a great idea for a day trip. The ocean was angry/beautiful and a sight to witness.  We were sad to see the damage it was causing, but thankful that it wasn’t worse.

 ~These Days Of Mine~

The Tide Is High

To begin this post, let me say that the tidal flooding we had in our yard this week was what meteorologists refer to as “nuisance flooding”. Yesterday, Motor Man and I listened online for several hours to emergency services frequencies in Columbia, South Carolina.  A firefighter was swept away by flood waters and clung to a tree for nearly two hours before he was rescued. A Blackhawk helicopter was brought in to rescue residents from their homes, because the streets were impassable. So, what we experienced in the way of flooding was nothing.  Some of those folks have lost all their belongings and their homes, and quite possibly, family members or neighbors.  The only inconvenience to us is what we’ll pay to have all this tide debris removed from our yard.

But, it does make for interesting photos.  I’ve attempted to find some before shots to give you a comparison.

This photo (taken from our balcony on a normal day) is of a crape myrtle tree just outside our kitchen window.

crape myrtle no tide 7-13-2015 6-07-13 AM

And this next picture was taken yesterday at high tide from the same location. The worst flooding we’ve had was during Hurricane Isabel in 2003, when the water came up higher than the base of the tree. (The 100-year flood plane levels for our area were revised after Isabel.)

crape myrtle highest tide 10-4-2015 1-26-56 PM

This is the breakwater at the marina in front of our house – again, taken on a normal day.

osprey nest no tide 4-10-2015 7-24-12 PM

And yesterday – at high tide.

breakwater highest tide 10-4-2015 3-10-32 PM 10-4-2015 3-10-32 PM

A picture taken from our balcony a couple of years ago.

flag on balcony 5-28-2011 3-31-50 AM

And those same trees in the background in this picture from yesterday. (We’ve also had new railings installed since the before picture was taken.)

from balcony 10-4-2015 1-27-05 PM

 This photo shows the “other” side of our yard from where I  take pictures of the sunsets and the old boat.  (By the way, the old boat is fine: the tide wasn’t high enough to affect her.) In the background is a little inlet, which is normally marsh and not filled with water.

side 10-4-2015 1-53-21 PM

An old picture of the little fence in that area, decorated for Christmas .

christmas fence 12-13-2012 3-26-56 PM

And one taken yesterday.

fence high tide 10-4-2015 3-27-01 PM

This shows our “front” yard, the side facing the river. I took this a few years ago during morning’s golden hour.

lobster trap no tide 7-28-2013 6-13-54 AM

And yesterday, when there was no golden hour.

1lobster trap high tide 10-4-2015 3-26-16 PM 10-4-2015 3-26-16 PM

During a break from the rain yesterday, I took this little video of the waves “crashing” in our yard.

This morning, once again, we have wind and rain, and the forecast is for minor flooding during the next two tide cycles. And we’re hoping to see the sun by Wednesday.

Again, we are so thankful the hurricane didn’t actually come ashore anywhere in the U.S. We’ll be thinking of our neighbors to the south as they recover from the devastation from this storm.

~These Days Of Mine~

These Days R5F

We’re on hurricane alert here in southeast Virginia, so let’s begin this week’s Random Five on that subject:

1.) At this time, Hurricane Joaquin is expected to pass just off our coast. We’re hoping that track will continue. We’ll still have strong winds, rain and tidal flooding, but it will be much better than a direct hit.  It’s been raining here for several days – unrelated to Joaquin. Yesterday morning, my rain gauge was full: 5 inches, and we could get 8 more.

morning 10-2-2015 7-12-37 AM

On a lighter note, yesterday, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund posted a picture of one of this year’s foals (born in May), with the comment: “This is the version of Joaquin we all love”.  As it turns out,  Joaquin is the foal in this picture I posted on Monday (and submitted as an entry in the 2017 Corolla calendar).  It’s nice to know his name.

mombabe 9-10-2015 1-44-43 PM

2.) Tuesday evening, I realized I’d missed a text message from my neighbor. This is what she had to say:

This was pathetic – white swan just banged on your back door several times with his beak and squawked, then walked away dejectedly – what a scene!! Should have thought to take a pic!!

Rest assured, I apologized profusely to Antoine, and he has received ample nourishment since that time. I’ve discovered that he likes “corn soup” (water and corn) in a repurposed Cool Whip bowl. And yes, he has now officially been IN our garage. The can to the left holds corn for him and his duck buddies, waiting outside.


Doesn’t everyone have a swan in their garage?

3.) It’s usually around lunchtime each day when I get to our shop.  Most mornings, Motor Man will send me a pic of Gypsy – usually it’s a selfie of the two of them, and she’s lying on his chest. Wednesday morning, he was holding her and took this picture.  Sweetness!


4.) Since I try to remember to always have my camera near at hand, that usually means that, when I’m in a vehicle, it’s on the floorboard.   Wednesday afternoon, as I was getting out of the car,  I bumped my camera with my foot, and it hit the asphalt pavement.  My heart sank, but, thankfully, it seems to be fine. Whew! Close call.

5.) As I  mentioned in an earlier post, this week marked five years that I’ve been blogging. I enjoy sharing pictures and snippets of our life with my readers. But, once in awhile, attempting to keep to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule seems like having homework that must be done.  So…don’t be concerned if my posts are a bit more sporadic.  Blogging should be fun, not work. Isn’t that right, fellow bloggers?

Happy weekend, and let’s all hope that Joaquin (the storm) heads out to sea.

~These Days Of Mine~