Tag Archive for Outdoor Wednesday

They’re Back…

They’re back . . .

Squatting on our neighbor’s dock. . .

 Squawking. . .

 Soaring. . .

 Sunning. . .

Providing us with a show & some smiles :)

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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 Outdoor Wednesday~

  Watery Wednesday~


 Seasonal Sundays~

Mosaic Monday~

A Coastal Reunion

I had the good fortune to be invited to the beach for a weekend reunion with former roommates & suitemates to celebrate our milestone birthdays this year. . .

The six of us happy & lucky to have a friend/roommate with access to a beach house. . .

Enjoying the scenery while reminiscing on our college years . . .

Reflecting on old times. . .

As we had just begun to spread our wings. . .


Strolling on the beach. . .

Catching up on the status of classmates. . .

Basking in each other’s company. . .

And enjoying good meals & conversation . . .

Many thanks to our generous hostess and also to our talented chef for our weekend of fun :)

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Great Expectations

 We’re all looking forward to Fall at my house~ anticipating its arrival with great expectations. . .

Eager for cooler weather & less humidity. . .


Anxious for the smell of Fall in the air~ apple cider, pumpkin pie & fires burning. . .

Longing for cooler nights~ sleeping under blankets with windows open. . .

Under clear skies~ watching the moon rise. . .

 Anticipating fewer boats on the lake~  enjoying the peace & scenery. . .

Hoping to glimpse golden sunsets. . .

Longing for more outdoor chair & reading time. . .

Yearning the arrival of pumpkins & Fall color. . .

Now if only the weather will follow the calendar’s lead :)

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Bottled Sunshine

BEVERLY EAVES PERDUE, Governor of the State of North Carolina, hereby proclaims September 2011, as “NORTH CAROLINA WINE APPRECIATION MONTH” in North Carolina and commends its observance to all citizens.

Well OK then. . .

I’m more than happy to observe :-)

 Until last year, I was completely unaware there were 106 wineries and 400 commercial grape growers in my own backyard~ most within an hour & a half drive~

We recently took a day trip to appreciate some NC wines with a visit to a few wineries~

Shelton Vineyards~

Located in the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area, the vineyard shares a similar climate and growing season to that of some of the best wine growing regions in Europe and is one of the largest on the East Coast.

From VisitNCWine.com:

Not long after Sir Walter Raleigh landed in what would become North Carolina, the grape vine was first introduced and cultivated in the New World. In fact, by the dawn of the 20th Century, NC was the leading wine-producing region in the nation.

It seemed nothing could stop us.

But we hadn’t counted on an act of Congress.



Suddenly, products from distilleries in undisclosed locations in the Piedmont hills and dales were rather more lucrative than those from the gnarled grape orchards of yore. When we spoke of fruit, it was shriveled in white lightning.

When we packaged, it was in Mason jars rather than Chardonnay bottles.

Other pursuits followed. Often at high speeds.

The sudden professional interest of G-Men and revenuers gave rise to moonlit, midnight chases across the humble countryside, engendering a motorized pastime that became a sport that became NASCAR.

Our land is rich and many textured. The vines are wide in variety. And the people who grow them are as interesting and diverse as the state itself and, led by pioneers, farming families and glorious chance-takers, North Carolina has returned to its original roots.

Elkin Creek Vineyard ~

Inspired by one man’s passion, along the foothills of the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina, Elkin Creek Vineyard with the hand-hewed beams of the winery and the hand-tendered estate vines sits waiting for your visit.

With a glass of wine in hand,  stroll by the creek, old mill, and waterfall~ where time seems to stand still.

Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery~

Nestled in the Yadkin Valley Region of North Carolina, family-owned Raffaldini Vineyards brings Old World charm to the Old North State. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas” Raffaldini currently produces both varietal wines and blends with its signature wines.

Raffaldini Vineyards Pino Vino III Rescue Dog Wine Label~ a portion of Pino Vino III to be donated to local animal shelters.

 The dog chosen for this year’s label, Chloe, is a Rough-coat Jack Russell Terrier from State Road, NC.

Chloe is the ambassador for all animals in need of rescue.

I’m a sucker for anything benefitting animals or dogs~ so add a dog named Chloe to a wine label & I’m happy to raise a glass for dogs in need of rescue and in observance of Wine Appreciation Month :-)

“Eighty years ago we bottled moonshine. Today we bottle sunshine.”

A wine map & travel guide from NC Wineries can be found here.

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It’s Good to be Queen

A city rich with history, Southern hospitality, and casual seaside charm~ Beaufort, South Carolina is the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands”~ discovered by the Spanish in 1514 and chartered by the British in 1711.

This year Beaufort celebrates its Tricentennial~ a special and historic birthday ~ that’s a lot of candles and a lot of cake!

 A National Landmark Historic District with gracefully restored antebellum homes, centuries-old live oaks, pristine waters, and some of the best fishing anywhere~

Beaufort has a way of reeling you in. . .

While Beaufort proper is the area’s Queen Belle, attracting admirers with her pre-Civil War mansions and sail-dotted bay, the town’s outlying provinces are also must-sees. . . Port Royal, Parris Island, Hunting Island, Lady’s Island, St. Helena Island and Harbor Island (an annual summer destination for us) just to name a few. . .

Queen Beaufort’s peaceful, watery realm is abundant with wildlife and remnants of the Old South~

Beaufort County rules over & encompasses more than 200 islands~ nestled between Charleston SC and Savannah GA~ most of which remain wondrously pristine. . .

A point of local preference that sets apart the Carolinas: In Beaufort, South Carolina, the name is pronounced BYEW-fort. In North Carolina, a coastal town of great similarity with the same name is pronounced BO-fort.

And yes, it matters :-)

Beaufort has an active and enthusiastically supported Arts Council. Mermaid statues, embellished by area artists in 2006, were auctioned off to endow a fund for public art.

 A few mermaids remain sprinkled throughout town. . .

 You can read more about Beaufort’s Mermaids here and see a little of sculptor Kevin Palmer’s mermaid-making process here~ from wood frame to fiberglass.

Miss Beaufort, with her streaming locks of copper wire, stained-glass tail, and beauty queen banner, greets drivers as they come onto Bay Street. She happily swims near a Palmetto Tree at the Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.

A Celebratory Cupcake in honor of Beaufort’s 300th Birthday~ complete with a molded brown sugar mermaid & chocolate seashells :-)

Happy Birthday Queen Beaufort~ long may you reign!

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Beach, Birds, Boats & Boys


Harbor Island, a barrier island in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, is a private residential community, located between Charleston and Hilton Head Island.  Its three-mile stretch of beach is visited mostly by pelicans, herons, horseshoe crabs and is a nesting site for Loggerhead Sea Turtles.





A great beach for boys. . .

To see some boats. . .


To watch the birds. . .


To watch others watch the birds. . .

And a great place to:

“Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Blooms, Bees & Bliss

A few pink Rose of Sharon blooms~

 Providing a pop of color~

Attracting busy bees. . .

Buzzing from bloom to bloom. . .

In a state of pollen-collecting-bliss. . .

“Like the bee, we should make our industry our amusement.”  ~Oliver Goldsmith

Wishing you a little bliss & amusement in your tasks :-)

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Garden Variety



A little garden stroll and the wonders of photo editing and I have more variety in my garden~



My peonies have finished blooming. . .I used Picasa’s soft focus & warmify effects, to create a new & dreamy flower image that I can enjoy, despite the fact that I can no longer enjoy their heady fragrance~




I’m easily entertained  experimenting . . .





My magnolia is just beginning to blossom ~





More peonies, using saturation, focal black & white, soft focus, warmify & sharpening ~




 The first hydrangea blooms~




Roses that are past their peak, look more romantic & less shabby, with all signs of black spot eliminated :-)




 My Oakleaf Hydrangea with soft focus, warmify, sepia, focal black & white~




Wishing you lots of garden variety~



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A Lakeside Picnic


Still a little cool for a pontoon picnic, we enjoyed a little waterside dining  instead. . .


 Some pasta salads~

A baguette~

A little fruit & cheese~


 A beverage with bubbles~

With glasses held in place by Steady Steaks~

No bees to buzz around us this early in the season, except the ones on the flatware & beverage bucket :-)

 I hope it’s picnic weather soon where you are :-)

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