Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Let's move!

It's a fixer-upper of course. . . . . . . . and someone with deep pockets will
 hopefully come along and turn this country house into a home once again.
It's actually on the main street of a small North Carolina town, surrounded by
smart, well cared for homes. It's sad to see this one unloved.

Driving back from the coast on Sunday afternoon was lovely - everywhere 
green and fresh after heavy rains. The fields were plowed, bright green
 cornstalks were already about a foot high.

Speaking of heavy rains - we were hit by such an intense electrical storm
last evening that serious flash flooding occurred in Raleigh. Here in the 
garden we've got a lot of clean up awaiting when it dries up - especially 
re-spreading all those cypress wood chips we spent an entire weekend
of back breaking work on in such hot weather!  Some have even ended
up in the street after being washed down the driveway in the river of water -
it was quite frightening.
Bob is heading out now to check under the cottage for any water - we
are said to have received up to 5 inches of rain in about half an hour!
Our fear now is although today is lovely, dry and sunny, more storms and
 rain are in the forecast for this week.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

'Down East' North Carolina. . . . . .

We're visiting friends in New Bern this weekend and despite wet weather it's 
very lovely, green, clean, and the drive down through North Carolina's 
countryside was glorious.

A little springtime romance going on between a pair of Laughing Gulls
 at our riverside hotel.

The 'Proud Mary' sailing by.

Well duckie apparently read the NO DIVING sign and carefully entered the pool
 via the steps!

Did you watch the royal wedding?
I've just seen a bit and loved viewing Windsor in the brilliant 
sunshine - it was my mother's home as a child when my 
grandfather was in the Coldstream Guards at the castle.

Off to Morehead City and Atlantic Beach this morning.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Unwanted visitor!

Never discuss cheese with rats, talk bread with birds
 or make moves with snakes.
                                                               ~ Author unknown ~

Love birds, will share my cheese with a rat teeny tiny
 mouse . . . . . . but snakes terrify me!

OMG, thankful again for yet another great neighbor, this time Dale, two doors down.
He's my go to nature guy as he's a hunter (I forgive him), and will save me
from the not so nice critters who visit the cottage.

Picture this - me sitting on the front porch after supper last evening - light drizzle
 falling as dusk fell. Bob upstairs on phone making travel arrangements.
Finch parents making a last check on their babies in the hanging basket overhead,
(I think they'll fledge any day now), cardinals singing in the fig tree, no mosquitoes,
  life was good. . . . . . 
. . . . . UNTIL I went in the house to get a paper towel to wipe a spider web off the
 carriage lamp and on my return this gigantic 5 foot black snake was silently
 slithering across the chair seat cushion and my reading glasses, WHERE I WAS
 JUST SITTING, down onto the porch and over the doormat.
I could have died right then and there as I'm terrified of snakes - and this was
the biggest I've ever seen at the cottage!!!
Calling for Bob to come downstairs (how I didn't scream I don't know) and at the
 same time calling Dale who was the only person I knew could help me - he was
 having dinner in a restaurant but promised to come home soon. 
Bob couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the size of this creature. I went into
 the dining room and immediately saw it looking at me through 
the window as it climbed up the frame and then I realized where it was planning
to go. . . . . . . . to get my baby finches in the hanging basket, help!!!!!!!!
Dale pulled up - grabbed a shovel from his truck - Mary ran out the back door and
 down the driveway (camera in hand of course!), Bob followed and we all 
headed to the front porch.

Dale: "Oh yeah, that's really a big one"
Bob: "Thanks for coming Dale, is it poisonous?" 
Mary: "How can you get it off the window and save my baby birds?"

As you can see in the photos, it was a huge, but not venomous, black rat snake.
 Dale was brave, Bob was relieved he didn't have to capture and dispose of it
 as even non-venomous snakes bite and one can get a nasty infection, and
 Mary's hands were shaking - and heart pounding.
What a night!

The finch babies are safe and enjoyed what could be their last night on the
  porch prior to fledging - they really look ready to fly. Little do they or their
parents know what a close call they had.

Gotta run now. We're off to the coast - it's drizzly and so humid this morning.
More later. . . . . . . . 

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