Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Sunday Walk

Columbia, Maryland is a planned community dating back to the 1970s.  It's downtown is centered around Lake Kittamaqundi - a manmade lake.
Sunday was a lovely day so after church we had a slice of pizza at Whole Foods and then walked around the lake.

Here's a view from the Whole Foods eating area.


The symbol of Columbia is the people tree.



The lake was brown from runoff.


Lots of restaurants border the lake on the westside.


Looking toward the east side as a woman tried to photograph the seagulls.


There were some surprising signs of spring.




From the eastside looking west.



Below is the former Rouse Building.  James Rouse was the developer/visionary for Columbia.  Eventually the Rouse Company was bought out by another company or two and headquarters no longer needed in Columbia.  It sat vacant for many years until Whole Foods bought it.


The store occupies one floor and there are other endeavors in the rest of the space.


It was a nice walk and reconnection to Columbia where we lived for 30+years before building this house in the woods.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

Signs of Spring 2016

I took a walk to the bottom of the driveway on Thursday morning.  

There are signs that Spring is coming!


Down at the bottom of the driveway the snow is melting more slowly but green is appearing where daffodils are pushing up.


The wetlands doesn't get much sun but the snow is retreating there.


Looking from the bottom of the driveway across the wetlands the driveway going up the hill is clear of snow.


The moss and grass are greening.


The ferns stand out in contrast to the drab brown of the earth.


Something is there along the edge of the creek.


First signs of the skunk cabbage.


Here's the same creek looking east as it enters the wetlands.


The woods are filled with young beech trees.  
These trees hold their old leaves until the new ones start appearing.


When the pale beige beech leaves start floating through the air, spring will be here.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

No Takers for the Owl House

In the Fall of 2013 I purchased an owl nesting box. [Read about that here.]

In November I had someone put it up in the sycamore tree that borders our driveway. [Read about that here.] 
I thought it was well sited for owls, but I've had no occupants.


It sits vacant.  Not even evidence of a squirrel taken up residence.


No chance it can be moved.  It will be there until it falls apart and tumbles to the ground.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Tuesday's Treasures #6

These sets of old photographs are treasures in this house.

They are arranged together on a wall in my front hall.


The two on the left are from my family and the two on the right from my husband's family.


On the right is my father, his parents in the center, my grandparents, and my father's maternal grandparents on the far left.

Now if you are familiar with the author Beverly Lewis who writes novels about the Amish, these are the grandparents we share.  Our grandmother was not Amish and neither were our great grandparents.  My father frequently argued this point with my cousin Beverly.

I have no memories of my paternal grandmother because she died while we were in the Philippines in the early 1950s.  I have a memory of that occasion because it was rare for us to get a phone call from the States.  My mother took the call and was crying from hearing the news of the death.



Here is my mother's family with her parents on the left.

My first memory of my grandmother was in 1957 after we returned from the Philippine Islands where my parents were missionaries.  By this time my grandmother was paralyzed from the waist down.  This is the grandmother whose photo I featured in Tuesday Treasure #4.




No one in the above photo is alive any longer.  My Uncle Paul, the young boy on the right died at the age of 102 in November 2015.


These are the Browns.  Dan's paternal grandfather is the man seated, great grandparents are the two standing photos and great great grandparents with offspring on the right. 


Dan's mother is seated there on the right, her parents married the day after the big stock market crash in 1929.  There they are seated on a jalopy and Dan's grandfather stands there with his short tie that was the fashion.  Dan's paternal great grandparents are the couple on the left.

I've been doing some genealogy on Dan's ancestors.  I started this back in the late 70s but have just gotten back to it with the advantage of the digital age.  I find myself with the same puzzle: who was the mother of Dan's great-grandfather?  I hope to solve the puzzle.






Saturday, February 20, 2016

Cornish Flat, NH

I've featured this former church before.  I had a chance to revisit it when I was in New Hampshire earlier this month.  I posted some photos of the inside of the building earlier so here are some other shots.




It's good to see that the structure has received funds for restoration.




The Boy Scouts must have met here in the 50s and 60s.
The old choir loft is their old storage area.



Look closely and you'll see the flags have only 48 stars.




Below the sanctuary this room is set up for meetings.


The building looks to be in better shape then when I first visited. 




Friday, February 19, 2016

What's This? (14)

These are some of the stuffed animals on display at the Rays Town Lake Corps of Engineers Visitor Center.  We stopped in there one cold December day to find out more about the lake.






These critters are native to this Pennsylvania region.

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