Road trip!

3 June, 2018            Road trip!


It’s after 10:00 on Sunday and I just got my two favorite pictures from the weekend. And the blog post was done! My phone “dinged” and I got two pictures that belonged at the top of the post. I’ll put them here, then the regular post begins. Evelyn and I went to Blacksburg this weekend and met our newest niece for the first time. I am strictly minor league when it comes to making Evelyn smile. Our brand new niece Teagan really knows how to do it: 

Two of the three prettiest girls in the house this weekend. The third
 one took the picture. Thanks Kristin!

Yay! My newest niece! I will never get tired of being an uncle!


Evelyn and Mackey and Turner and I drove to Blacksburg yesterday and spent the night with my brother Shane and his wonderful family. And visited with friends! Not long after we arrived we went hiking! With dogs! Here’s the whole crew. There is one very small head just visible on his mom’s back in the center picture and his brand new sister is invisible (from this angle) in the stroller in the center. Family, friends, dogs and hiking – I hope your weekend was this much fun. Kristin, thanks for making this image happen:

Hiking with friends and dogs in Blacksburg – it’s fun wherever you do it!

The small head on his mom’s back in the preceding picture? Here is him today with his dad flying a Guillow Jetstream balsa airplane:

My brother and my nephew launching the Jetstream:

After a couple of low altitude practice launches they moved to the second floor:

Future pilot?

Evelyn and I drove a pretty long round trip and although our car has a full tank of gas, I personally am running on fumes. So I’m going to pop in a few more images than catch up on my sleep. Speaking of “running on fumes,” I have to look at Mackey and Turner from time to time to make sure they’re breathing. They’re out like lights!

The most fun I had in Blacksburg was with my family and friends, but I’m an obsessive photographer and I got this goldfinch picture about a hundred yards from where the plane was flying:

Blacksburg goldfinches are beautiful too:

Okay – tables turned. My nephew was carrying my camera and I was walking the dogs. He took this picture. I don’t know what kind of photographer you were before your third birthday but I don’t think I’d ever even held a camera. Check this out: 

Me, Mackey, Turner and Tara this morning in Blacksburg. Thanks for the picture Wesson!

Okay – sorry to break the spell – back to the usual boring photographer on this blog – yours truly. I took this picture on the same hike:

Green fly, green leaf, Blacksburg:

This one was from Blacksburg too – I took this picture less than twelve hours ago!:

Mackey and Turner this morning in Blacksburg. Turner falls asleep with a ball in his mouth – not even kidding.

I’ll close with a shot that will be boring to many, but I’m thrilled with it. There were two Red-tails at one time on a cell phone tower – only seventy-five yards from my house! I walked and took this shot! One on the left and one on the right. Fifteen years at this house, Tuesday was the first time I’ve ever seen this:

Red-tail double about 75 yards from my house (1 on left, 1 on right):

Oops! One week ago today I was walking five dogs at the river. I hardly ever feel more alive. But the river was going down from a flood and the bank was slick. My feet went out from under me and I caught myself with my left hand and got spiral fractures in a couple of bones. But the fractures are well placed and I’ll just wear this cool cast for  a few weeks and I’ll be good as new:

How could I not love a cast like that?

Have a great week! Come back next week! All best,


Wait! I almost forgot! Thanks to Evelyn’s ongoing efforts we are still surrounded by gorgeous, fragrant gardenias. It’s an embarrassment of riches – I can never narrow it down to one image. But I’ll leave you with this beauty: 

Gardenia of the week

Nasturtium of the week:

Rose of the week





About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Dogs, Flowers, Fun, Gardenias, People, raptors, Red-tailed hawks, Rivers, roses, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Road trip!

  1. Jean Yerian says:

    I can’t see even one thing about this post that isn’t an absolutely glorious celebration of being human! You have a special gratitude about life that shines through all your writing. Keep observing, keep photographing, keep sharing!

    • Thank you Jean! Anyone would be grateful about life after a weekend like that one – what’s not to love?! The entire trip was a treasure and I can hardly wait to do it again!

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