Sunday, June 15, 2008

Flowers of June

I am very excited about my sister and her family coming to visit Floyd this weekend; I am going to head down early this week and get things ready. If only Claris knew she was getting her Mia back; she had such a wonderful time playing with her the last time they visited, and poor Claris moped around the house for days after Mia left!

The house is getting closer to being done, and Oscar bought a chainsaw at Lowes this weekend to begin cutting wood for the winter and clear some of the trees that were taken down by the power company last year. We bought more paint (I am sure we have bought enough to cover the entire Taj Mahal at this point), but of all the home improvements paint seems to be both the least expensive and the gives the most impact so I am not complaining (yet).

Some of the neighbors trekked up the hill last week and as a favor cleared some tree branches that were hanging over the house; I am hoping they will come up again this weekend and meet my family and have a glass of wine or two with us. Floyd is like that... I really can get used to it!

Early June brought lots of flowers:

While these have already come and gone, there are plenty more things to see (just maybe not so pink):

I am sure we won't be disappointed. The troop of chipmunks that have moved in under the back deck will provide some entertainment (and if Disney has not lied to me all these years, a few well-placed peanuts in the shell will bring out their precocious natures). I hope to get some photos of them this trip-they were too shy last time for me to catch a good shot of them playing by the frog pool!

Tomorrow I go in to the office for a team breakfast, and our 10-hour/4-day workweek begins for the summer. My body will be at work, but my mind will be daydreaming of the tulip poplars on the hill...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Porsche: What Fast Looks Like

Today we joined in on the fun at the Richmond Porsche Meet (RPM), and had a chance to enjoy both a great lineup of beautiful cars and fun people. Oscar III got to try out the Boxter, which he seemed to enjoy (how can you not?).

I am an odd fan of the Porsche: unable to drive them, but madly in love with the drive nevertheless! The cars are a strange mix of power, engineering and even a touch of practicality. What other car makes your heart beat very fast, but
is made to drive every day? Leave it to the Germans to make this unlikely combination work so well. Oscar has even gotten 36MPG driving it on the highway... for a sporty convertible, that is amazing to me.

I am always attracted to the older models. There are so many Porsches with decades on the roads still out there to enjoy; I think it is because of how well their loving owners treat them (even though they also seem to "open them up" whenever they get the chance).
This little beauty stole my heart today:

Doesn't it look like a good time waiting to happen? It is older than me by a few years, but like all classic beauties, she has aged with grace.

Ah, but then there are also the ones that just scream power; A deep guttural growl that makes you want to find a stretch of quiet country road to see what you are really made of...
Team Synergy & Euroclassics brought out a few of the nastier beasts to round out the feast of plenty that this concourse had to offer.

Along with the driving joy the Porsches give their appreciative owners, they also allow them to express their creative sides with an seemingly endless selection of styles, colors and add-ons. This was immediately evident in the glorious lineups on the shady lawn of our wonderful hosts. Sigh... how can you possibly choose a favorite from amongst these? I imagine the judges had a tough time deciding today!
I think I will take one of each...

The setting was equally wonderful. Off of Richmond's River Road, set right along the James River the cars had a perfect backdrop. Plenty of shade protected vehicles and owners alike, and their was lots of room on the lawn to step back and enjoy the cars on this hot lazy Saturday.

After we had enjoyed all of the sights to see, we jumped back into our cars and went around the corner to Mosaic for another sort of feast... All in all, a great day!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Into the Woods

The forest around Dog Days has some great flora and fauna, and we are just starting to discover the wonderful things around us! In our last hike we even found a road... well, it is more of a trail, but we love it! It flows from the bottom of the hill, up the mountain and over the ridge. We have not investigated all the branches of this path yet-I hope we can get to walk more this weekend!

Claris is loving the walks we have been taking, and for most of her time is but a blur...

A happy, muddy, yellow blur!

The path leads through a grove of rhododendrons, and the branches make a beautiful archway. It makes me think of fairy tales...

I think it would look even better with a little fog on the mountain. We will sneak up there again when the atmosphere is right and get some really special photos.

The forest is filled with ferns, which gives it such a lush and almost tropical feel.

I have always loved ferns, and now I have a forest full of them to enjoy. I had no idea how many different kinds I would find, but I keep finding new ones all over. I suspect some of them are not native, but they still look beautiful and fit in nicely...

We even found some brand new friends. Really, as you can see they ARE brand new. A beautiful set of twin fawns who were so young they did not know to run away from us until their mom coaxed them back into cover.

The Secret Garden

Claris and I have been enjoying hiking in the woods around Dog days, and we have found so many interesting things! The property is becoming more and more interesting as the spring season progresses and we are trying to not miss anything that comes up!

The Secret Garden we found is at the bottom of our hill next to the drive. There are bearded Iris coming from the wetter part of the over-grown garden, and lillies of the valley and pachysandra cover the ground all around. Arches, fountains and gates are covered with overgrown vines and plants.
I am not sure what we are going to do with this space, but it is fun to play in even overgrown as it is...

There is a small stream running to one side and Claris enjoys getting muddy in it while I poke around and check out the plants coming up.

The power of paint

It amazes me what a little new paint can do. Oscar tackled the mustard/bile yellow and replaced it with a bright, clean white paint in the living room, and I cannot believe the difference:



We are down for another round of painting and cleanup soon, and I cannot wait to see those results!