Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

For whatever reason our area is caught in a rain pattern right now. We are in our third day in a row of rain, with another three forecasted ahead. While there is a tropical storm out in the Atlantic Ocean right now, it is not anywhere close to the coast of the United States. So I'm not sure what is causing these storms. We did manage to get in a little pickleball early Monday morning before the rain began, but since then all outdoor activities have come to a halt.

Sunday I took my husband out to a local brewpub for Father's Day, and we stopped at the Mount Holly Community Garden to look at the garden beds. The flowers looked amazing, and since I am tired of the gray around me I'm posting a few of my favorites here. They are the only color we will see for a bit.

Mount Holly Community Garden

Monday, June 19, 2023

Hawk Eyes

Sharp-shinned Hawk
The other day we heard a loud bang on our sliding patio doors, and looked out to see feathers floating to the ground and a smear on the glass. When we walked out back, we saw a hawk up in the tree. We assumed it was the bird that hit the window as he sat very still on the limb. 

After a bit I went outside to wash the window, and I saw a mourning dove next to the patio doors. Its neck was bent at an unnatural angle, and it was not moving. It became clear that this was the bird that had hit the window. We assume the hawk was chasing the dove when the dove flew into the glass when trying to get away.

I asked my husband to dispose of the dead bird, and when he went out to pick it up he was startled by the hawk grabbing the dove off the pavers.  I guess the hawk was surprised as well since he ended up dropping the dove back to the ground. 

I know this is just the circle of life, but all I could think about is that some mourning dove will now be missing its partner since they normally mate for life. That made me a little sad.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

When Friends Come to Call

early morning on Mountain Island Lake
Last week some friends from St. Louis came to visit us for the first time since we moved to the Charlotte area. It was fun being able to show them our new house, and drive them through the neighborhood to let them see why we chose this particular development. While our lot with a lake view certainly speaks for itself, all the other amenities such as the pool, game cabin, library, pickleball courts, sewing and ceramics cabins, fitness cabin, etc. were certainly a big part of our decision-making process. After showing them around, they said they understand why we made such a big move several years ago.

We also took them to a couple of our favorite waterfront restaurants, showed them some of the quaint towns in the area and drove to a beautiful old mill that we had visited in the past. They really enjoyed the history and beauty of it, as well as the covered bridge that is located a few miles from the mill.

cherry jam
The guys took off on a motorcycle trip, so I busied myself with pickleball clinics, attended a dueling piano concert here at our pool, and tried my hand at making cherry jam. I made blueberry jam for the first time a couple weeks ago, and I saw that our local produce market had cherries in stock. I absolutely love bing cherries and cherry jam, but had never attempted making it due to the hassle of removing the pits. But then I remembered that I had picked up a pit removal tool, and decided I would give it a try. At $5.99 a pound, the cherries were certainly not a steal. And it took nearly two pounds of them to make four pint-size jars of jam. But I have to say the results were worth it. It is delicious! Now I will keep my eyes peeled for a better price so I can make some more while the cherries are in season. Soon it will be time to make peach as the freestone peaches from South Carolina will be arriving in a couple of weeks. About the time my granddaughter will be coming for her first visit!