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Hi.

Welcome! This is the place I write about Things I Notice in my daily walkabouts as well as what I might think about things in my world.

Saturday Walkabout! And A Hummingbird.

We really had a super day yesterday except that Kirsten was not with us, but she had a great time too with her friends at Kings Dominion.The daily rainstorms made the humidity terribly high and that's what the first shot demonstrates. The photo is literally right out of the camera, no Photoshop, no touchups.Sunrise In The BackyardThis is truly what the sunrise looked like from the backyard. I don't know that I can accurately describe the feeling I had as I watched the sun beams literally wrap around the trees and create a surreal world that made me feel like I was the only one on the planet. Everything was quiet, even the birds were subdued. Actually this was just under an hour after sunrise and the fog hadn't really burned off yet. In fact, later on the fog sort of raised up and became early morning clouds which was a benefit to our walkabout. Diane, Kyle, Kelsey and I headed off to Alexandria for an early (well, early for the family by "Saturday Morning" standards) walkabout. Kelsey had a haircut at 8 so the other three of us headed down to the water to see if there was anything to notice. We started at Founder's Park and walked towards the docks. Just off one of the piers, Kyle spied a large nest with two birds in it, their heads turning as if looking for a parent with a meal. I could have gotten closer if I'd have ignored the "Pier Closed" sign but I didn't. I think the sign was up to discourage people from walking on the pier and waking up the sleeping people on their boats. Nesting Osprey Babies?We wondered what kind of birds  they were and came up with all sorts of possibilities. Of course, the most exciting was that they might be eagles, the least exciting, they might be mutant seagulls. We couldn't see well enough because of the hazy, foggy conditions (sun still not shining through). I took the pictures and Kyle later looked in the bird book and pronounced them Osprey. That seems reasonable to me.Lots of folks were running, exercising, walking, talking...the mood was sort of an old fashioned small town Saturday morning. Along with the people were lots of dogs. Alexandria is a very dog friendly town and there were many, many dogs out walking with their owners. In one part of the docks there is a small inlet and the ducks hangout there waiting for handouts.Today, there were lots of ducks swimming hither and yon, and watching the humans with a great deal of intensity.White Dog Going For The DucksA lady was walking her dog on the path close to the inlet and when the dog saw the ducks, it looked at the owner and then the ducks and then the owner and the ducks and the owner and the ducks and then...it fixated on the ducks. She walked him to the shore and unhooked the leash. Whooooosh! The dog was off. Of course, no ducks were actually harmed in the shooting of this incident, but there was a very, very happy dog. It swam around the shore for quite a while, in fact, we left a few minutes later and it was still swimming down the shoreline, probably looking for more of those elusive ducks. As for the ducks, when the dog was gone, they were back into their begging location.But for me, the first thing I thought of was--This dog is going to really need a bath. The Potomac River is a lot cleaner than several years ago and I know that there are actually some people that going swimming in the river but... I know, but still.... I'd be giving that pup a cleaning. Watching the dog go made me feel good and I admire the owner for being so brave. There were others walking their "water" dogs, too. But no one else was brave enough to loose their leashes. I'm guessing they were thinking of the bath thing, too. It made us smile.Diane & KyleAt about the same time that the dog was chasing ducks, the sun decided to burn through the clouds. That did many things, all impacting our walkabout. First, the temperature seemed higher! Second, the humidity seemed higher. And third (and worse) the great light provided by the fog filtered light was gone. Sigh.  We continued walking toward the Torpedo Factory.Skipjack Minnie V.Anchored next to the Charthouse Restaurant was this old Skipjack, the Minnie V. which I think is currently available for touristy things but it used to be a working boat. If I had a bit more time, I'd like to discover more about the nautical history of the D.C. area and put together a page or two on the site. I know that theme has probably already been done but that wouldn't stop me from adding my perspective, and of course my photos. I am sometimes surprised that the nautical foundation of the area is overlooked by the history our wars or our politics. Yet, there is so much stuff here, from the boats to the rats to the buildings to the traditions. All about sea-faring.Whenever I see something that might have a story, my mind begins to create the "what might have been" world of the people I imagine on that thing. The Minnie V. probably had hard working crew with calloused hands pulling up oysters to make what must have been a hard living. I looked up the boat type and found that there were more than 2,000 of these built but only a handful remain. I wonder about the people that sailed them.A few feet away from the docks, my imagination launched again. Laying forgotten on a park bench...rose petals. There has to be a story. There has to be. I wonder....I'm sure there was a happy ending!Rose PetalsBy this time, Kelsey was done with her haircut so we picked her up and headed for the Farmer's Market. There were LOTS of people there. Normally, of course, just Kelsey and I go and the two of us arrive about 7:45 hence  no large crowds. But, 9:00 equals lots of people. Of course, finding the right stand and the right veggie was the quest and I think we did. Diane bought kale which admittedly, we are getting used to eating.The Farmers MarketOf course, the cynic in me wonders how much of this stuff is really grown here. I look in the back of the trucks and see the same types of boxes that I see in the grocery stores. But, then, I put my Pollyanna glasses on and just enjoy the experience and eventually the veggies. The most fun, of course, is watching the people. It's small town-ish since many of the Old Townites (if that's the right word) do their flower and veggie shopping in the market. At least that's my impression. So lots of laughing, conversations, snacking, etc. (But, no bargaining!)  I was waiting for Diane at the stand pictured on the left, a lady walked up and asked if I was in line, I said, "No, but thanks for asking if I was." She responded, "You're welcome, you know, it can sometimes get quite savage down here about the lines!" That made me smile. I wonder if she's ever been in Germany.Of course, the peaches are in season and so this is a favorite segment of my market walkabout. The shot on the right has Kelsey was going through the piles to get the very, very best ones. The bad part of the peaches thing, though, is that they just don't last very long. They are fairly ripe when we get them. Which, of course,  is what makes them so wonderful. Who knows how long the grocery store peaches have been on the road since they were picked. The Farmers Market growers from West Virginia have told us that many of their peaches are picked the night before. Now that's fresh. Now I would like to make peach pie, peach cobbler, peach turnover, peach anything, but...that's a lot of sugar. And, baking is just not my thing. So, I just eat the peaches. I think that's okay. But, I miss the pie.Then breakfast with our friend, Mr King, and then afterward we headed for Saturday grocery shopping and  errand running. When we finally got home, I figured that as long as I had my camera out, I would take a shot at hummingbird photography. Not a perfect result. First of all, I don't have a "Bird Whisperer" like my brother-in-law so the little critters aren't real fond of me or my equipment being so close by. Nonetheless, I have several photos. I learned a little about their behavior, now I'll use that to be better next time.Hummingbird Buffet

Underwater!

Barred Owl & Doctor after Doctor