We went to Fourth Presbyterian this morning with Dorothy and after church decided to go into Bethesda and walked around a little while before stopping for lunch at Tikka Masala, a very nice Indian restaurant on the north side of Elm Street, a half-block from Arlington Road (https://tikkamasala.us/). I took this photo of a bottle of cold water, a small vase with pretty (although fake) flowers, an interestingly textured water glass, and Dorothy’s mango lassi, against the open window to the street. I also took photos of the food, but that’s overdone (even by me) so I decided to skip that. I had lamb saag. Saag, for the uninitiated, is a creamed spinach which in this case had very tender chunks of lamb meat in it. I consider it a good test dish, although that’s risky because it’s sometimes very bad. I’m happy to say that at Tikka Masala it is quite good and if you like that sort of thing I highly recommend it.
Two posts back I had a picture of the bouquets that Dorothy made for Renee and her bridesmaids. Today we see the lovely bride and her new husband. The wedding was delayed a little, as we were late getting there with the last of the flowers, but it was lovely. Daniel and Renee look pretty happy, as you’d hope and expect. You can see the flowers even better in this photo than in the previous one.
From the church we went to a friend’s yard, where the tent was set up and where we had decorated with more flowers. We had pizza cooked in a woodburning oven on a trailer (among other foods). I was honored to be allowed to be part of such a festive occasion.
After we finished getting things ready for tomorrow’s wedding (or at least did as much as we could get done today), Dorothy and I went to Good Harbor Beach. We sat on blanket on the sand and read our books while the sun was setting behind us and the sky turned that wonderful blue that you can only see after dusk or before dawn. There was a layer of low clouds over the ocean and the picked up some wonderful color, which was reflected in the water. Add the moon and here’s what you get. And in case you’re wondering (as I was), Zillow says that house is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $6.5 million. I think you can see why.
The plan was that Cathy and I would drive up to the north shore today, meeting Dorothy who was already there. We’d go to Renee and Daniel’s wedding tomorrow and then drive home on Monday. We’ll, with Cathy’s mom in the hospital, plans had to change. Dorothy was already in Massachusetts and Cathy suggested that I fly up today instead of driving by myself. Having a second car would come in handy, but would also cost (in gas and tolls) about what my one-way flight cost, even with the additional charge for baggage. When I got there this afternoon, Dorothy was pretty much finished with the bridal party’s bouquets, which are shown here. The flowers were a mix of bought flowers and foraged flowers and greens. Included in the foraged materials were some blueberry stems with fruit on them, which I think was a really nice touch. Renee’s bouquet, which was especially nice, is the larger one with the day lilies in it.
Cathy and I walked at Meadowside Nature Center this afternoon, down to Lake Frank and then up Rock Creek a ways before returning to the nature center. I took my new, long lens but only took a handful of shots with it. I got a nice closeup view of the eagles’ nest but we didn’t see any of the eagles. We did hear one call a few times from a distance, somewhere other than in the nest. I got this photo of a northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), and that’s basically the best I could do. It flew away right after I got this one, so that’s all folks.
As mentioned in my previous post, we saw three types of heron on our walk on the C&O Canal. We were along the turning basin just northwest of the Seneca Creek aqueduct. We saw both immature and adult black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), at least two great blue herons (Ardea herodias), and at least two green herons (Butorides virescens), including this one. This is the first time we’ve seen green herons here, so that was quite exciting and I was particularly glad to have my new telephoto. As you can imagine, I’m going to be enjoying this on bird hikes, although it really is quite heavy. I’m also not sure I’m going to be able to get anything worthwhile with it of birds actually flying. It’s simply too much lens for that, at least until I’ve had a lot of practice.
We took another trip to the C&O Canal today after stopping at Mary’s indigo dyeing event today. We parked at the end of Tschiffley Mill Road, on the west bank of Seneca Creek where it empties into the Potomac River. From there we walked a little ways behind the turning basin but decided we’d do better on the tow path. We saw three different types of heron. We saw both immature and adult black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), at least two green herons (Butorides virescens), and at least two great blue herons (Ardea herodias), including this one on a log along with a painted turtle (Chrysemys picta). Once again, this was taken with my new telephoto lens, zoomed out to 600mm (which with an APS-C sensor, makes this the equivalent of a 960mm lens with 35mm film).
Cathy, Dorothy, and I all rode out to the Poolesville area late this afternoon. Dorothy needed to help Mary get some things ready for an event she was hosting tomorrow. Cathy and I chatted with Mary and Ted for a while but mostly we walked around enjoying being out in the country. The sun was going down and the clouds were quite dramatic. I particularly like this one, casting a shadow upwards. It was quite warm and the sun going down did help alleviate that somewhat.
A month or two ago I happened to pull out a small Tupperware type container that had cash in it from when I was selling cards and matted photographs. It’s been quite a few years since I did that and at this point, I’m not going to do it any more. There was quite a bit there and I decided I’d use it to buy a telephoto lens, which is something I’ve wanted for quite some time now. I bought a Sigma 150-600mm zoom lens and today was my first outing with it. It’s quite heavy and I had it mounted on a monopod. That isn’t quite as good as a tripod but without that it would have been very difficult to get anything worthwhile. We walked to Blockhouse Point and then drove around to Pennyfield Lock on the C&O Canal. As we were walking back from a nice walk along the canal, I got four photos of this indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea). While it may not an award winning shot, it’s certainly better than anything I’ve been able to get with my other lenses. In the past I’d have to crop quite aggressively to get anything close to this and then it wouldn’t be nearly so sharp. This picture is the full frame. Hopefully there will be more and better bird pictures coming soon.
When I started posting a photo a day, back in 2011, I only posted one photo a day to my regular blog (and that’s all I’ve moved here from that first year). I had a second collection called Project 365 Extra that occasionally had additional photos. Since then I’ve been less strict about it and would post multiple photos for any given day, sometimes as a single post with multiple photos and sometimes as separate posts. This is my third and final post for today. We went to the Fourth Presbyterian Church evening service for a hymn sing. Getting there a little early, I got permission to take a few photos of the sanctuary renovation in progress.
As mentioned in the previous post, we see eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) in our neighborhood. When I was writing up that post I had forgotten that I had a bluebird photo taken a little later the same day, also at the Agricultural History Farm Park. This isn’t full frame, because all I had was a 100mm lens, but it’s one of the better bluebird photos I’ve taken. They are often back lit, which makes exposure tricky, but this one was let more easily.
After church Cathy and I went to the Agricultural History Farm Park and walked around a bit. We expected the shade garden to be past it’s prime and although it’s not at its peak, it was still quite nice. We were sitting on a bench and this little fellow (or lass) came and went a few times, bring things to his (or her) young in the nesting box. The Master Gardeners’ exhibition garden was also quite nice, coming into its own as the summer heats up. The dahlias are coming up, as well, and promise a wonderful display a bit later on.
We have wrens in our yard and generally have a pair raising two or more broods each spring in a ceramic nesting ‘box’ (it’s ceramic and spherical, so I hesitate to call it a box, but whatever). Some people get tired of these noisy little birds but we love them. We also have bluebirds in the neighborhood, although we see them in other people’s yards more than in our own.
A few years ago my cousin Lyn rooted a rose that’s been growing in his yard for many, many years. It grows and blooms prolifically and it’s become established on our back fence. We had a few flowers on it last year and more this year. Although it looks like ‘New Dawn‘ it only blooms once, so I’m guessing that it is ‘Dr. W. VanFleet‘, of which ‘New Dawn‘ is a repeat flowering sport. ‘New Dawn‘ has the distinction of having plant patent number 1 (October, 1931) and it shares with ‘Dr. W. VanFleet‘ very shiny, disease resistant foliage and lovely, pale pink flowers.
I’ve posted a photo of this bridge before, when we stopped for breakfast at Coffee and Cream on the way home from Lancaster in January (see: Monday, January 3, 2022). We liked this little place so decided to have breakfast here again on our way home from Lititz. I actually fixed myself breakfast before we left the AirBnB and we both had coffee there, so it was as much about stopping at a familiar place as anything else. Being here in June is a little different from January. There were more people about and some small boats out on the river, as well as the greenery on both banks.
As mentioned in my previous post, we drove up to Lititz, Pennsylvania after work yesterday. This morning Rob, Cathy, and I went into Lititz proper and walked around a bit. Rob and Cathy bought a few things, including some Wilbur chocolate. My tastes are a little different and I bought some unusual meats from The Savory Gourmet. I got a pound each of camel and kangaroo. We’ll see. Not cheap, but also not something you see every day so worth a splurge.
The main event was at 3:00 and the wedding itself was lovely. The reception was at the Brick Gables, which appears to be a restored barn. We had hors d’oeuvre outside and then moved in for the actual reception. This photo, as you have probably guessed, is of Carly and Jon at the head table. After a few speeches and a little talking, we had a nice dinner. The bulk the reception was taken up with dancing, which was loud, as you might expect. I took quite a few photos and we had a nice time. By the time we got back to our BnB we were nicely tired and ready to sleep.
After work yesterday Cathy and I drove up to the AirBnB that Susie had found for us outside Lititz, Pennsylvania. We were all coming for Jon and Carly’s wedding this afternoon and (not terribly surprisingly) many hotels were mostly books up this time of year. This place was a real treat, though. It’s a short drive from downtown Lititz, very quiet and comfortable. We got in at about 8:00 PM last night and this is the view from the porch this morning. What a lovely place for a long weekend. Of course having such good friends for housemates made it all the better.
We went up to Pennsylvania today along with the rest of the family. Some had gone up the day before and spent the night, which was nice although the youngest apparently woke up in the middle of the night and cried a bit, making sleep a little rough for the rest. It was a very hot day but always good to be there. Mom and I finished putting the new screen up on the porch and Dorothy did a good bit of weeding in the flower bed in front of the cabin. Other than that, we mostly just sat around, ate, and talked. Standard fare for a day at ‘the farm’. We walked over to our neighbors’ house to see their goats. There were a few young kids that could get through the fence quite easily and although we tried to keep them in, they’d simply come out again. I took advantage of the situation and took a few photographs, including this one of Silas with two goats.
I went to the evening service with Dorothy today. Tommy had asked if I might come and take some photos during the dessert fellowship after the service. This is something they started in the summer of last year (or maybe the year before) and tonight was the kickoff for this summer. I took quite a few photos but many of them are of people I don’t know. I know these two, at least a little. They are Hannah and Thea. It was a lovely evening. The dessert provided was a wide variety of cupcakes. Apparently last year they kicked it off with ice cream and then, as fortune would have it, it was unseasonably cold and ice cream wasn’t as popular as it might have been. So, this year they didn’t take any chances with that. It would have been fine, as it turns out.
I have always enjoyed the U. S. National Arboretum at New York Ave (US 50) and Bladensburg Rd (US 1) in Northeast Washington. Probably my second favorite parts, after the rose garden in bloom, is the Gotelli Conifer Collection. William Gotelli collected more than 1,500 plants from around the world for his South Orange, N.J. garden. He donated his collection to the Arboretum in 1962. I can attest to the fact that it has changed considerably over the years as the various plants have matured. I’m sure there have been losses, replacements, and additions. Nevertheless, it’s a testament to what one person can do if they have a passion. We often are too tired by the time we get to this part of the Arboretum, so I asked specifically if we could make that one of our stops this trip.
This basin has been outside our front door since we moved here. Up until a couple weeks ago it has an hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’) in it. I recently took that out and put it in the ground out front and we reused the container for some small plants. As you can see, there are two varieties of miniature Hosta (one of them is ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ but I’m not sure what the other is), some mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus), and a few other things. I think the green malachite stones go very well with it.