Posts Tagged With: Spring fever

Solo Traveling: Surprising Moments with Nature

The wharf at Mount Vernon with nesting osprey on the front piling.

Sometimes nature offers up the best surprises!

Like it did on my visit to Mount Vernon, the home of our first president, George Washington. Among the pristine gardens, the stately riverfront home, the history, and the visitors, was a rough-hewn home and feathered family who captured my heart.

Osprey nest on piling at Mount Vernon wharf – home of President George Washington

Though they’re common place among east coast dwellers, to those of us living in “fly-over” states, the magnificent osprey are a rare treat, indeed.

So often in life, as the saying goes, things come in threes. That’s what happened with my osprey adventure.

  1. Early one morning I awoke and found myself enthralled with a PBS television nature show. More specifically, their piece about osprey, which described their nesting habits, their family patterns, and showed some wonderful demonstrations of their amazing deep-dive fishing abilities.
  2. Little did I realize that just a few short hours later, I would come face-to-face with a real-life osprey family living atop a piling along the banks of the Potomac River at the Mount Vernon wharf. According to an article on the osprey family, the pair have nested on the estate in prior years in the top of a sycamore tree. In the summer of 2010, their nest was destroyed when the top of the tree was lost during a storm. Undaunted, the pair returned this spring and built a new home on the top of the wharf piling – just inches from where the tour boat, Spirit of Mount Vernon, boards passengers six days a week.  That’s how I met them.

    My up-close and personal meeting with the osprey of Mount Vernon wharf – a bit blurry from my excitement:(

  3. A couple of days after my visit to Mount Vernon, some friends took me on a boat ride out into the Chesapeake Bay. To my delight every channel marker seemed to be the home of an osprey family. As little chicks poked their heads out of the nests, parents sat guard or flew off in search of the family’s next meal. My only disappointment was not seeing any of them deep-dive fishing. But nature watching does take patience, I suppose. Thanks to these great videos, however, we can all enjoy the amazing abilities of the osprey to “fish.”

You can watch a brief video I took of the osprey here, and see the parent take flight as the Spirit of Mount Vernon pulls closer. Mount Vernon Osprey nest

A live webcam of an osprey nest can be found here if you’re interested in watching them in action.

Ponder & Chat: Have a favorite nature story you can share with us? Where are you favorite spots for dates with nature?

Advertisements
Categories: Date Ideas, Nature, Reflections, Solo traveling, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smitten with Yellow Fever

“Yellow wakes me up in the morning. Yellow gets me on the bike every day. Yellow has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice. Yellow makes me suffer. Yellow is the reason I am here.” ~ Lance Armstrong

The gorgeous yellow daffodils in the blog header are from my garden!!! They’re a beautiful mid-March surprise filling the weekend with a sense of optimism and happiness, perhaps even sparking creativity and energy.

They shine. They stand tall. They open their faces to the sun and the world around them. They shout, “Hey, look at me. I’m back after enduring the harshness of winter, and I’m blooming.”

Those who study the effects of color upon humans say that yellow stimulates us mentally, activating our memory and also encouraging communication. (Well, there you go, now we know why you’ve got another blog post to read.)

I associate yellow with taking me places, like to school on a bus or around the streets of New York in a taxi with an excitable horn. Any of you out there old enough to remember the Yellow Freight trucks? I wonder if they are still around? (Oh, was that the daffodils activating my memory?)

The contradictions in yellow fruits intrigue me. Lemons smell fresh and inviting yet attack my taste buds with such vengeance that I frown, clench my jaws, and spit. Bananas wrap their sweetness behind a bitter jacket and disguise the fact that both the flesh and the jacket are quite vulnerable. Pineapples, too, mingle sweet and sour in a manner both enticing and punishing me for overindulgence.

Famous artists disagree about yellow:
   “How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.” –Vincent Van Gogh
   “What a horrible thing yellow is.” –Edgar Degas  
Fact is, yellow covers the spectrum of good and evil. From gorgeous flowers and glorious sunshine to jaundiced eyes and yellow-bellied cowards, it follows us through the range of wonder and struggle that is earth and humanity.
Apparently if yellow was my favorite color, it would mean this about me:
You are quite the powerful thinker. It’s this talent that allows you to overcome a plethora of great obstacles. Luckily, this doesn’t affect your ego and you give off a pretty easy-going appearance. You enjoy the finer things in life and also have an attraction to art. If you can help it, you try not to rock the boat. But you also can’t stop yourself from searching for new ideas, methods or styles.
“What’s this post got to do with your 52 Dates with Myself?” (Ha, you didn’t think I heard you, did you?)
Just slowing down enough to notice and give thanks for the daffodils and the sunshine. To consider and enjoy beauty, simplicity, and complexity. Cogitating the contradictions of little things both in my world and within me.
Ponder and Chat: What’s your favorite color? How does that color impact you? What contradictions show up in your world around that color?
Categories: Pure Fun, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Fever Walking

A Little Girl's Chalk Art on Driveway

The unseasonable 70-degree day demanded a date but not even a sweater.

Sunshine burst forth, no clouds to scatter the projection of its rays.

Sidewalks filled with excited runners and bikers.

While puppy dogs pranced their winter muscles.

Lots of hellos, smiles, and “Isn’t it gorgeous!”

No strangers on this magnificent day.

Little girls turned driveway chalk artists, rode scooters and sang.

Little boys shot layups, 3-pointers, and banked it.

Bluebirds and robins flew purposefully.

Even bullfrogs and crickets sang out.

My heart soaked it in.

The warmth, the connections, the joy.

What a simple date.

What a glorious moment!

Categories: Date Ideas | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: