Not your typical evening in the neighborhood

This is not something you see every day.

Yesterday evening, after dinner, we had a little excitement across the street from us.  Horses, a hot air balloon that appeared to be stuck in the trees… it was not at all a typical scene in our neighborhood.  We do see horses, and hot air balloons.  It’s just that we don’t usually see them at the same time, in the neighbor’s yard.

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283: Coming home

I should be arriving home today.  We said goodbye to my mother-in-law (Jane) this weekend.  If I arrive home before this scheduled post goes out, I’ll fill in a few more details.  I couldn’t post about where I was going due to some family issues.  At this point the issues are either resolved in some way or didn’t happen.

Thank you for keeping up with me while I was away.  I’ll be back with my usual outdoor commitment posts tomorrow.

Robins' nest

An insanely long post (5)

(Balloon reflection.)

It’s day 5 and I’m feeling like I somehow got far behind where I thought I’d be right now.  However, when I think about that statement, it makes no sense.  I am right here, right now.  Where else could I possibly be?

M and I have been so busy getting out and about, and there is so much of it I’d like to share.  I’m going to have to learn how to sum it up quickly, I think.  Otherwise, I’m always going to be a day or two behind in my blog posts when what I’d rather post about is the current day.

(Raindrops on asters.)

Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the ‘right stuff’ to turn our dreams into reality.  ~ James Womack

It is raining here in the Bogs today.  I thought about putting off my outdoor time until later in the day.  I had just finished my yoga and meditation practice, and I was feeling pretty relaxed.  I decided relaxed is a good way to feel when stepping out the door (not the back door, by the way, with the frogs but the door to the garage which is a favorite spot for spiders but they don’t fall on my head).

Rain is one of those weather conditions that usually keeps me indoors.  When I was a young girl, I used to love to go outside and play in the rain.  I did it every chance I got, something my grandmother, who was often babysitting my brothers and me, wasn’t always pleased about because I also had an affinity for mud.  Jumping and dancing in puddles was a favorite pastime.  I’m not sure when that changed.  No matter.  I’m going to learn to enjoy the rain again.

(This morning’s view of the pond.)

As I debated whether or not to take the camera along, the rain stopped so I strapped the camera around my neck and took my new camera bag along with me just in case it did decide to rain.  It’s not waterproof but it’s water resistant and would keep the camera dry long enough for me to find shelter since I decided I wouldn’t stray too far from home.  I have promised myself to leave the camera behind the next time it rains.  That way I can go out and enjoy it without concerns about what I’m carrying.

The decision to stay fairly close to home slowed me down on my walk which made me more aware of what was happening around me.  Or so I thought.  As I was slowly, almost meditatively, walking along the pond, peering into the meadows to see what was going on in there, I heard a splash up ahead.

Usually when there is a great blue heron feeding from our pond, they fly off as soon as anyone starts down the big hill towards the pond even though there is a good distance between the top of the hill and the back of the pond.  I was surprised and delighted when I turned my head to look in the direction of  the pond and saw this heron feeding, not all that far from where I was standing.  It had a long string of pond weeds in its mouth and it was chewing away at it a little at a time until it finally gulped the last 4-5 inches down in one swoop.  Or one gulp.

I watched it for a while and then remembered I had the camera.  I took a few shots.  I slowly tried to get a little closer, more for the sake of a photo than to actually see it.  My movement frightened it away of course, so I had to settle for listening to the sound of its wings flapping and watching it fly away.

There’s a lesson in that.

The Mum Fest

M and I had a good time at the Mum Fest.  The day was chilly and cloudy, but I think the cloudiness contributed to the way the colors of the mums popped.  There were 20,000 mums arranged in beautiful stripes of color throughout one section of the park.  Vendors were scattered around the block on the streets, and a water ski show took place at various times throughout the day on Lake Anna.  There was also a variety of music.  While we were there Heartbeat Afrika were playing their drums and keeping a good beat going.

For more about the Mum Fest, follow me after the break (in other words, click where it says “read more…”).

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You never know what you might see…

… when you step outside.  You might see a hot air balloon getting ready to land on the neighbor’s property.

Or a pair of caterpillars that will one day be monarch butterflies hanging around on a milkweed plant.

A grasshopper clinging to a blade of grass.

Flowers growing in the asparagus bed, where they really shouldn’t be but they were too pretty to pull with the rest of the weeds.  (Can someone please explain to me why the flowers that come up as “weeds” in the garden are so much prettier than the flowers we plant in the flowerbeds??)

(The last of the cherry tomatoes?)

As practice for the upcoming challenge, I wiggled my toes into my Vibrams yesterday morning and went outside for my walk/run.  Although we are in the midst of a warm-up, the morning was still cool with some of that fall wetness leftover from the morning fog.  Leaves were flying off the trees, dancing in the breeze like large, colorful snowflakes.  I went past fields of corn and soybeans, drying in the sun and the lateness of the season.  The meadows, seas of yellow from the goldenrod, are abuzz with bees.

I went out again in the afternoon to do some work in the garden.  It is a riot of flowers and grasses and seeds.  I got down on the ground, under the asparagus ferns, and pulled and pulled and pulled, enjoying the scent and feel of the earth.

After an hour or so I took a short walk around the pond just to loosen up a bit after all the kneeling and bending in the garden.  The leaves on the maple trees are starting to turn red.

You can get a glimpse of the fall colors in the reflections on the pond.

At the back of the pond the cattails look as though they are growing rabbit ears.  Perhaps they get better reception that way.

And near the woods these delicate and fragrant white flowers had popped up all over the place.  I’m not sure what they are.  They smell like lilies-of-the-valley but they don’t quite look like them.  Anyone have any ideas about what they might be?

(Last sunrise for the summer of 2010.)

I got up early this morning to say goodbye to summer and watch the sunrise.  With storms on their way and clouds moving in quickly, it didn’t last long.

(Sunflower greeting the sunrise.)

I’d forgotten how wonderful the light is at sunrise.  I’m going to make it a point (and a priority) to get outside at sunrise more often.

Look Up: Balloons

No Look Up theme would be complete without a few hot air balloons thrown into the mix every now and then.  This photo is from the August 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction celebrations.  It’s one of the many I never finished sorting through.  There was too much going on at the time.