Found Friday #29: Look who’s back!

Back in September, I shared some pictures of a little fox family that had made their home under our barn in the spring. It seems Mama Fox liked that spot, because she came back this year.

We’ve seen her out and about pretty frequently, but we’ve only gotten occasional glimpses of two little kits.

They were out this morning, though, and my goodness, they’re adorable. I feel very lucky that I get a front row seat to watch them grow.

Found Friday #28: Redbud in Bloom

Are you tired of my posts about spring and blooms and blossoms yet? Because I’m not! I just can’t seem to get enough of the spring.

Today, I thought I’d share some pictures of our redbud tree.

They grow all around the village, but I’m really happy to have one right in my front yard. And it’s putting on quite a show this year.

I grew up seeing the redbuds bloom every spring in southwest Virginia, so it almost feels like having a little piece of home here in the NOVA.

And, fun fact! A couple of years ago, I learned that there are white redbuds trees, too!

Beautiful in every color.

Found Friday #27: The First Apple Blossom

I’ve mentioned a few times that we’ve been planting some fruit trees over the course of the last couple of years. Just apples and cherries for now, but we’re hoping to eventually add plums, and maybe peaches, as well.

In the meantime, watching our mini-orchard grow and change has become something of a pastime for us. This week, Graham snagged a picture of our very first apple blossom.

Isn’t it lovely?

Our trees are just babies right now, but eventually they’ll grow. And then, I’ll bake all the things.

A Foggy Morning Hike Through a Hidden Gem

*This post is a little shorter than I’d initially planned. I had my second COVID vaccination yesterday, and today I’m feeling a bit under the weather. (It was worth it. I’d do it again. I’m so grateful and relieved and happy and hopeful, and I can’t wait to hug my vaccinated friends and family. I’ve missed hugs.) Now, with that out of the way…*

I’d mentioned in a previous post that we want to do more hiking and get outside more this year, and I’ve featured one of our hikes already. Here’s another.

On Saturday, we pulled ourselves out of bed at 7:30 in the rainy, foggy morning, and made our way to a beautiful hidden gem.

I suppose there are lots of people in the area who’ve visited Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve before, but I honestly had no idea it existed. I’m so happy that’s changed!

It’s an amazing, quiet place with lots of native flora. I kept having to stop and take pictures. It was just so lovely.

It’s bluebell season here in Virginia, and I can’t get enough of it. They’re so vibrant – purple when they’re young, and then their signature color as they grow and bloom.

The hike itself was low-key and easy. The rolling hills weren’t difficult to manage at all, and the scenery was distracting enough that I probably wouldn’t have noticed anyway.

Next time, I think we’re going to try something a little more challenging, but for now, I’m so happy to know this place exists, and I absolutely plan to go back.

Found Friday #26: Daffodils

Remember these guys?

They’ve grown.

I’ve always loved daffodils. They make me think of sunshine and brighter days. I’ve caught these little beauties slightly past their prime, but I still think they’re lovely. And it makes me happy, knowing I’ll see them again next year.

Found Friday #23: The First Flower

I spent most of yesterday staring at my computer screen, absolutely distracted by the gorgeous weather outside. Sunshine, a light breeze, warm air – the kind of gentle reawakening you expect after a long winter.

I try to be pretty disciplined in my work day. It’s crucial to me, actually, since I work for myself, that I set deadlines and stick to them, that I schedule my time and take that schedule seriously, and that I hold myself accountable to getting tasks done. Otherwise, I WILL just read books, take naps, daydream, and spend time with friends. (All good things, to be clear. But the writing still has to get done.)

Yesterday, though, I just had to get outside and play. An impromptu visit from a friend got me out of my pajamas and into the outside, and I’m not mad about it.

We walked around the back garden for a bit as the sun was just starting to set behind the willow tree.

Everywhere, there are little signs of spring.

It’s exhilarating to see the earth coming alive again.

And just as we were about to head out for a quick drink and a bite to eat (outdoors, of course), we spotted it:

This lovely little crocus is the first flower to bloom in our yard this season. More will follow, but I’m glad we happened upon this little beauty leading the way for them.

I love winter and snow, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not excited for spring.

Found Friday #20: A new camera lens and an alien creature on a strange planet…

My husband got a new camera lens a couple of weeks ago, and he’s been getting used to it. Graham is a wonderful photographer, though he won’t say so, and he’s captured some really amazing images in the last several years.

I really like this one from Iceland. I just love the quality of the evening light.

And this one, from Bath.

This one’s an old favorite, taken from our balcony on an Alaskan cruise.

And I love this one, which he took while we were sitting with some friends on the beach one day. I don’t even know how he spotted this kid, since it was a really crowded day in the ocean.

The movement, the sunshine, the joy – he just nailed it.

Graham doesn’t often spend money on himself, and so when he said he wanted to buy a macro lens, I told him he should go for it. We should all feel empowered to pursue the things we love, and that includes setting ourselves up with the proper tools.

He’s not quite happy with the quality of the images he’s gotten so far, but he’s enjoying learning his way around the new lens. He spotted a good opportunity a few nights ago to get some practice.

It’s a Japanese beetle (they invade our house every winter) on a piece of volcanic rock, but it looks like an alien creature on a different planet.

I mean, sure, these images are a little blurry, but I still think they’re really cool. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’ll do once he’s a little more familiar and comfortable with shooting with a macro lens.

And in the meantime, I’ll keep encouraging him, and reminding him that perfection doesn’t exist in this universe. 😊

Found Friday #12: The Last of the Fall Colors

I’m not quite sure when it happened, but it’s looking sort of wintry outside.

It’s still not too cold, but the branches are pretty empty, and there are only a few pops of fall color left.

Our honey locust had a rough summer, but it’s putting on quite a show right now.

The reds and golds have been particularly bright this year.

I’ve always loved every season, and usually, by the time one comes to an end, I’m ready for the next. I’m looking forward to the cold, and maybe, hopefully, the snow. But for now, I’ll enjoy these last days of autumn.

Found Friday #11: Positive Vibes

Still waiting, still watching. Still so tired.

I’ve been glued to news coverage since Tuesday. It’s hard to see a light at the end of this really long, dark tunnel. But I think we’re getting there.

I snapped this picture at around this time last week, while I was having a cider with my husband and a good friend at one of our favorite places. We spent the afternoon and evening discussing what might happen this week, and how maybe, just maybe, the world would look a little brighter very soon.

I’m holding on to those happy thoughts today.

Well, the sky is finally open, the rain and wind stopped blowin’
But you’re stuck out in the same ol’ storm again
You hold tight to your umbrella, well, darlin’ I’m just tryin’ to tell ya
That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head
–Kacey Musgraves, “Rainbow”