Snow

26 12 2010

Larry and I went out for a walk this afternoon to check out the snow covered neighborhood. It’s so pretty and quiet. We were the only ones out walking but there was a constant stream of vehicles moving on the main road. All in all, we received a couple of inches of snow.

My Burford Holly is loaded with red berries.

The bird feeders are full and open for business.





Portland Head Light

15 10 2010

While we were in Portland, Maine, we took the Portland Trolley out to the Portland Head Light. The lighthouse was built during colonial times.

I love the rocky, jagged coastline. The view is stunning in person.





Forecast Says Rain

12 10 2010

There’s a chance of rain tomorrow and Thursday. The lean-to roof needed protection. Larry had to lay roofing felt and install the flashing. All of this took place in the few hours of daylight remaining after work.





The Shed Project (continues)

11 10 2010

The shed project continues. You didn’t think it was finished, did you? Come on now. This project will never be finished.

So here was our dilemma. Look at this picture. Do you see the big wide open area to the right of the shed? That is unused space, my friend. It would have made a great compost area or small garden since it’s out of sight from the house but the shed casts some mean shade back there. So we settled on building an addition to the shed – a lean-to.

Here’s Larry using the post hole digger. As you’ll see coming up, we’ll be putting in (4) 4×4 support posts parallel to the shed. See the large shrubs behind him. They’re leyland cypresses. We had to chop them down for this project. I thought about moving them to another part of the yard but I couldn’t find a good place considering their height at maturity.

So the posts are in and the rafters are going up. The rafters are 14 ft long. The short end of the lean-to where the four posts are located is 12 ft long.

Here is Larry nailing the sheathing to the rafters. I had all good intentions of helping him with putting down the sheathing but the rafters shook too much when you hammered a nail. Gave me the willies. I had to get down.

Here’s the view from under the lean-to. Even though I loved my shrubs, it’s going to be nice moving some of the bigger garden gadgets like the tractor wagon and wheelbarrow out here instead of taking up floor space in the garage and shed. We plan to raise the ground in this area and put in a gravel base. We will be installing gutters connected to rain barrels.

From here he looks like he’s smiling but he was in pain. It’s hard to have a desk job 362 days a year then build a structure on the other 3 days.

We’re not done with the lean-to yet. We still have to add some side trim pieces, flashing, and then shingle it. I’ll try going up there again. Now that the sheathing is down, the roof should have a more solid feel to it (I hope).

As you can see in the pics, we don’t have any siding on this side of the shed. The other 3 sides are done but we’ve been waiting (on ourselves) to get this part of the project going so the ledger board, flashing, and siding come together well.

That was our Columbus Day Holiday weekend. What did you do?





NYC – View From Our Hotel Room

26 09 2010

The Empire State Building is across the street from our hotel.





BRP: The Cascades Trail

10 07 2010

During our recent trip to the mountains, we spent the majority of our time exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). The parkway is rich in parks and trails that surround the Boone/Blowing Rock area.

One such park is the E.B. Jeffress. It’s located north of Boone not too far from where the Blue Ridge crosses Hwy 421 at Deep Gap. There are two marked trails in Jeffress Park, the Cascades and the Tompkins Knob. On this trip, we took the Cascades trail.

The Cascades Trail can be found at mile maker 271.9. There is plenty of parking along with restrooms. The Cascades trail is approximately a mile long – round trip. The trail is fairly easy. No special footwear or hiking gear required. The only hazard you might encounter is tripping over an exposed tree root.

The trail follows Falls Creek as it meanders down the mountain. Native vegetation is highlighted by interpretive markers along the trail. Eventually, the trail descends stone steps to an overlook as Falls Creek tumbles down the mountain as a beautiful waterfall.





In My Garden: Spring 2nd Look

8 04 2010

We have some storms coming in tonight so I made it a point to go out and snap some photos of the spring explosion going on in my yard.

Spirea

This spirea is loaded with buds and blooms.  Click the photo to see how dense it is.  The following pic shows how enormous this bush has become. If the rain doesn’t weigh the branches down tonight, it should be a big white pom pom this weekend.

Rhododendron

Talking about a bush loaded with buds. Check out my rhododendron bush.

It’s interesting. Every time I take a picture, I end up with two pics. The first picture is the one I intended to take. The second pic is what I discover when I finally view the picture.

Look at the following picture. I intended to capture a closer view of the rhododendron bloom. What ends up being interesting is the glistening silver balls hanging on the tips of the flower’s stamen.

Cupflower

I bought this ground cover from a mail order catalog. I believe it was Bluestone Perennials. I have it growing along the path beside the house.  The flowers look like mini-orchids. It’s such a dainty looking plant but it can stand up to foot traffic.

Knock-Out Roses

First rose of the season.

Swamp Jessamine

You’ll see this plant growing in the wild all over eastern North Carolina. Mine is growing on the back fence.