Saturday, June 15, 2013

First Butterfly Capture of the Year!

SmugMug Daily Link

In the last few days, the butterfly bushes in the area and at Donnie's house have started to bloom  Yippee!  I am more than ready to start taking some butterfly pictures.  Granted, I don't have a lot of time right now due to the move preparation (to Donnie's house) that's underway, but I'm hopeful to have some opportunities I can take advantage of.

I was fortunate to spot this American Lady on the butterfly bush beside Donnie's driveway today.  Camera in hand, I snapped as many shots as I could before she flew off.  I liked this one the best of the bunch and have cropped it 16X10 and used it as my new Facebook cover photo as well as for my daily photo today.

There were two other exciting critter happenings yesterday.  First, we saw the bluebirds nest building in the bluebird box they used earlier this year.  The babies were back with them helping.  I haven't seen ANY of the bluebirds since the day the babies fledged, so I was very glad to see them.  Here's momma with nest building materials in her mouth.

SmugMug Link

Second, we had a deer pass through the yard today.  I got this shot through the bathroom window which unfortunately has a screen on it.

SmugMug Link

The painting really is coming along well.  We painted blue primer on the main bathroom and dining room today.

SmugMug Link

We'll be putting the real paint, which should be about the same color, today.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tree Downed by Storm

SmugMug Daily Link

We had one heck of a storm roll through the Raleigh, NC area yesterday.  They predicted 80mph winds and hail.  There were no reports of hail, and we didn't get much rain with it, but the winds were downright strong and scary.

I was about 30 minutes from home at a dental appointment for Joey, and the sun was shining brightly around 5:30PM, but I could see very dark skies to the west, and the MyRadar app I was using on my iPhone showed me that the storm was getting pretty close to the area.  I thought Joey and I could make it home before the storm, but I was wrong.  As we headed southeast to the house, the storm was barreling southeast too.  About half way home, the storm caught us, and boy did it catch us.  Leaves and dirt and other debris started blowing everywhere.  I was stuck in a long line of traffic waiting to go through a major intersection but not near any major building that we could take cover in.  Eventually we got through the intersection even though the traffic lights and power there were off.  I could have ducked into a local grocery store but decided the worst of the winds were past us.  Well, not really.  As we continued, the winds really picked up again and the trees were swaying everywhere.  It started to rain pretty good too.  Joey and I were both nervous and admitted that we were a bit scared, but stayed as calm as we could.  We were within 5 minutes of home when we came across a tree completely blocking Old Stage Road.  I had to turn around, and basically drive back into the storm, to use an alternate route to the house.  Thankfully we didn't encounter any other blocked roads.  I was never so glad to be home!

In our neighborhood, we had two trees down.  One landed harmlessly, and another on a dog pen.  What a relief.  However, we didn't know if Donnie's house was OK or not.

This morning as we drove over to Donnie's house, we saw many downed trees.  Sadly, one was through the middle of someone's home, some were across the street leading up to Donnie's house, and another just missed the restroom building at the local park.  We were nervous that there might be a tree on Donnie's house especially since the new roof is less than a month old.

As we drove down the 400ft. driveway, we immediately saw a huge, Donnie says 70ft. tall, oak tree across the driveway.  Wow!  First look at the house showed no issues.  Bummer but a relief.  Closer inspection of the house including going into the attic showed no damage to the house itself.  So relieved.

My daily shot is a pano I took of the downed tree using my iPhone.

Donnie got out his chainsaw and set to work to clear the driveway.  We didn't try to saw the whole tree up today.  We can do that on a cooler day when we don't need to be painting, but we did clear safe passage to the house.  Donnie also wants to pull maintenance on his chain saw before he tackles more of the tree too.

Nothing like a little storm excitement to stir things up.  I could have done without it.  My heart goes out to those effected by the storm.  As we watched the news, there were many reports of trees on houses and very sadly of a UNC student killed by a tree that fell on her as she walked down a sidewalk during the storm.

Here's hoping the weather settles down for the nation.  Seems like night after night there are just reports of floods and tornadoes and droughts on the news.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Flag for Flag Day

SmugMug Daily Link

From the US Marine Corps Museum website:
The Mount Suribachi FlagsLocated in the World War II Gallery  
Perhaps the most important artifacts in the care of the National Museum of the Marine Corps are the pair of original American flags raised by the Marines on Mount Suribachi on 23 February 1945. The attack transport Missoula donated the smaller flag, raised by the Schrier Patrol on the summit. Landing Ship Tank (LST) 779, then unloading at Green Beach, donated the larger flag, raised later in the day and portrayed in the famed Joe Rosenthal’s photograph. Frayed by strong winds, the second flag flew from Suribachi for the balance of the battle for Iwo Jima.
To reduce exposure to harmful light, the two flags be displayed on a rotating basis. At all times, one of the two Mount Suribachi Flags will be on display at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
The Mount Suribachi Flags

The Mount Suribachi Flags

Take on our trip to Washington, DC October 2012,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Purple Room

SmugMug Daily Link

This is a before and after collage shot of the room Donnie and I painted today.  I like!  Joey picked out this color for his and Johnny's bedroom.  Not your typical boy color maybe but a great color none-the-less.  Today we used primer tinted to the same color and the paint, and tomorrow we'll put on the actual paint.  Left to do is the main bath, the master bedroom, and the kitchen/dining room area plus all the doors.  I have us on target to finish on 6/29.  Days like today when we get to paint a new color reinvigorate me to keep going.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dad and Juvenile

SmugMug Daily Link

These red-bellied woodpeckers were seen a few feet from the suet feeder today.  The dad on the left was feeding the juvenile on the right.