Jonas and the good neighbors

It’s 5 am, the wind is no longer howling and the snow has stopped falling.  A quick look at the thermometer says it is 17 degrees outside.  We still have power, and that is a good thing. Continue reading

garden of weeden

In the garden of weeden.


It was a grey morning and the humidity hung thick in the air as I headed out to the big garden to sit and drink my morning coffee.

I rather like the overcast mornings in the garden because the colors seem so vivid and saturated and the camera loves it too.

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As I head down the path my furry companions follow along.

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TC stops to wander through the garden and Betsy settles in at my feet.

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Eventually That Cat jumps up on the bench next to me and hugs me with his paw.

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As I sat there on the bench I thought back to this spring when

I planted a section of wildflower seeds.   This is where flowers and weeds would spring forth harmoniously and it would be ok.

Silly me, somehow I thought the weeds would remain contained to that one area.

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Like a metaphor of life.

Sometimes the weeds take over, your path gets covered and plants pop up unexpectedly.

I find that if  I see and hear with my heart, I discover the beauty hidden among the weeds.

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The birds,bees and other flying, crawling creatures certainly don’t mind that I have weeds.  So why should I?

tattered wings

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The humming birds dart through the waist-high maze and find flowers to their liking.

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Here is hoping you are finding some beauty hidden among the weeds.

See you later, bye!


Dream lists

Up there on the top menu you will find my dream list, or a partial there of.

I’m not talking about a serious save the world kind of list, but a fun light-hearted kind of list.

Some people call them bucket lists.

One of my dreams was to hold and hand-feed hummingbirds.

holding a ruby throated hummingbird

holding a ruby throated hummingbird



Way back early spring, this sweet baby flew into our window and knocked himself silly.

I carefully picked him up with a tissue and cradled him close.  I could feel his little heart beating what felt a million times a second.

After a few minutes I gently took him over to the feeder and held my finger out until he hopped over and grabbed on to the feeder.

Then I went and sat in the chair near by and watched him for a few minutes to see that he was ok.

He then flew over to the chair where I was sitting and sat next to me on the chair, for a few minutes.  He said his thank yous, and flew away.

Several months later I went out to the garden one day with a small humming-bird feeder and stood still holding the feeder, and to my amazement, over came several of the hummers and drank from the feeder.

It seemed like a miracle given to me from nature.

Scratch one off the list!

Do you have a list?  Have you achieved a special goal?

See you later, Bye!


what does the woolly bear say

I’ve heard woolly bear caterpillar winter weather predictions, for as long as I can remember.

I’ve heard tales like, the more black, the harder the winter will be, and if you see them crossing the road the winter will be hard.

Even if you don’t believe, I think there is something about folklore that just kinda warms the heart, don’t you think?

I have to admit though that until today, I never bothered to find out that woolly bears are  Pyrrharctia isabella (Isabella Moth)

I found this one moseying among the weeds in the pepper garden.


Look at those feet! – Okay I’m sure that isn’t the proper term.


The color is amazing

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According to The Farmers Almanac the weather predicting folklore of these beauties was made famous in 1948 by Dr. C.H. Curran.  Read more here.

Did you grow up hearing Wooly Bear Folklore?

See you later, Bye!


the red headed beauty

Beauty can be so elusive.

Last winter I tried repeatedly, without success, to capture the red bellied woodpecker that graced our bird feeders on a regular schedule.

To quote the Scarecrow from the Wizard of OZ, ” Oh Joy! Oh Rapture!”

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I finally caught him/her on the feeder at the front porch.

Not to confuse anyone but this is the Red-bellied woodpecker.  They are pale, medium-sized woodpeckers common in forest areas of the East.  Their strikingly barred backs and gleaming red caps make them an unforgettable sight – just don’t confuse them with the Red-headed woodpeckers, that are mostly black on the back with white wing patches.

Success at last!

Hope y’all have captured a little success this week that gives you happy.

See you later, Bye!


silly in the shade

purple rose of sharon

purple Rose of Sharon

Our Rose of Sharon trees are in full bloom.

Hibiscus syriacus is a species of flowering plant in the family Malvaceae, native to much of Asia.  Common names include Rose of Sharon, in North America, rose mallow in the UK and St. Joseph’s rod in Italy.


The bees and the humming birds are attracted to them.

 They aren’t alone.

From a distance, I spy That Cat laying in the shade from the Rose of Sharon.  Spent flowers all around him look like purple cigars.



He turns and spies me.


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And then plops down at my feet.


Cause my feet are the perfect place for a cat to lean on and take care of business.


To make sure I don’t go anywhere he rolls on both feet.

Pure silliness.


What a big smile!


Hope y’all have found some time for silly in the shade.

See you later, Bye


Dragonfly fever

Hi Y’all mermaid Kim here posting from Coral Cottage South.

The strangest things happen at parties.  Ok maybe I should say the strangest things happen to me at parties.  Several years ago, Mr. Cottage and I went to a pool party hosted by the owner of a store that sold my art-work.  When we arrived most of the guests were already in the pool.   Immediately we saw them in the pool standing or floating or sitting on the edge of the pool with one of their index fingers raised straight in the air.  We did not know any of the people there, and barely knew the hosts.  I have to say my immediate thought was, what the heck had we gotten ourselves into?  What were these people doing?

Talk about people doing strange things.

Recently I was spotted doing the funky chicken dance down at my home in Southwest Florida.  Why you ask?

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I saw for the first time, these red dragonflies.  I was enchanted immediately, as I have never seen a red one back home in Virginia.

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No easy task trying to catch a photo, I looked rather kooky running around dipping high and low trying to catch them in flight or sitting still.  Wow a pair of them zip across the surface of the water, snap!

Like so many, I too have been struck by dragonfly fever.  The shimmer of their iridescent wings, those cool rotating eyes and excessive speed in which they zip by.  Did you know, that they can fly between 20 and 30 mph.  Cool – huh.

Pond, lake, sea or pool – dragonflies skim the surface dancing and performing acrobatic feats.  I find it enchanting and inspirational.

 People ask me all the time where I get the inspiration for my art.  Most of the time it is from nature, dragonflies are no exception.  My fellow artists at Boardwalk Artisans must feel the same magic as I do, they have created some beautiful work, don’t you think?

Giclee Print by Mary Ellen Golden

Giclee art print Red Dragonfly from original watercolor by Mary Ellen Golden

Framed mini art tiles by The Coastal Soul

Tiles by The Coastal Soul

I’d say my fellow artisans have captured dragonfly fever quite nicely.

Note card by beach combers cove

Note card by Beach comber cove

Window panel by 3 Wishes Studio

Window panel by 3 Wishes Studio

Back to those people at the pool party – there were hundreds of dragonflies zipping around the pool and they were all sticking their finger up in the air with hopes that a dragonfly would land on them.  Once they explained what they were doing, I thought it pretty cool.

I’m off to catch a wave  and maybe a dragonfly too!


freedom flyers


This is the third  summer we have hosted the same Phoebe family.  They have built a lovely condo for themselves up in the corner of our front porch roof.

I took these photos through the glass of my front storm door.  The smudges on the glass are from me pressing my face against it trying to get a better look at the babies.  There are three in this group, the fourth fell to his death during a storm last week.  That was horribly sad and broke my heart.

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They poop all over the porch and make a mess with their nest droppings and bug guts.  Each summer we say perhaps we will pull it down after they fly away, hoping they will re-locate.  We don’t though.

For a few weeks twice a summer it feels like a great honor to have them.  I am always amazed when I come down stairs and open the front door and discover that the parents have moved them out of the nest in the dark of the night.  It seems so brilliantly smart, especially when you know that my cats lay on the porch under the nest each day patiently hoping that one will slip out and into their waiting paws.  Rest assured it hasn’t happened yet.


Both parents take turns catching insects and feeding the young.  I am not sure which one is placing the moth in the little waiting mouth.  Too  sweet.  Sigh, I am going to miss their sweet peeping.

I feel fairly certain they will fly away either tonight or tomorrow – just a gut feeling, and so I’ve named them the freedom flyers in honor of the holiday.

For my fellow Americans celebrating Independence Day tomorrow – I hope you have a safe day.


 I’ve made an attempt at cutting some red,white and blue flowers from my garden to place on the kitchen table.

See you later, Bye!


P.S.   6:15 am July 4th – The Freedom Flyers safely left the nest in the night.  My porch seems very quiet and still this morning. If they keep the same traditions as the past few years Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe  will return in a few weeks for a second brood.

P.S.S. 8:00 am – I just discovered one of the babies, has been left behind in the nest.  It is crying to be fed.  I will keep you posted.

country roads

We pulled out of the driveway and zipped past the corn fields and the barns.  My camera snapping away.

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Yep, I hung out the window like a dog, snapping photos as we flew down the country roads.

Bright blue skies with big puffy white clouds.

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Along rolling hillsides.


Down to the river.

The James River is Virginia’s largest river, flowing across the entire state from its beginning at the headwaters of the Cowpasture and Jackson Rivers in Bath and Highland Counties, to its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton Roads. The James is Virginia’s largest tributary to the Chesapeake Bay. The river is 340 miles long, which makes it one of the longest rivers in America that begins and ends in the same state.


A blue damsel fly rest on the banks of the river in a mud flat.


The recent heavy rains have turned the mighty James into roaring mud.

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A ride in the country would not be complete without barns.



and rusty buildings

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A yard full of bugs.


I have a special place in my heart for country churches.

We came upon this charming little church hidden among the grand old oaks.



The old slag glass with beautiful greens, purples and browns I wanted to capture in color, sadly I didn’t do it justice.

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The cemetery calls for me to explore.

For my friend at Southern Rural Route – this one is for you.


I know how you love those lizards!




This particular cemetery had headstones for several children, and with all the sadness there is a certain sweetness too.



Back on the road we find an old school house.

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And a haunted house, well if it isn’t it should be.


A great day riding with my man.  Back home, a beautiful night sky unfolds into a super moon kind of night.



Looking up through a canopy of pine needles it looks kind of lacy.


Hope y’all have a great weekend with the one you love, doing what you love.

See you later, Bye!