The pictures were piling up

10 October, 2021 The pictures were piling up

Plus I was being lazy. Four weeks ago today was my most recent blog post! Awful. Anyway, I’ve gotten a handful of pictures I enjoy. I hope you do too! When this much time goes by it’s difficult for me to pick out a favorite. But I was happy to see this bumblebee right in our front yard two weeks ago today. I know very little about bumblebees but I know I love this picture: 

That picture’s worth a blog post in itself. In our front yard a week or two ago.

This picture is not technically lovely, but I was so amazed and gratified to see it I just had to include it here. I saw this the week before I saw the bumblebee. This was from Three Lakes Park in northeastern Henrico County: 

Two Bald Eagles at one time! On a weekday morning! In Richmond, VA!

When I was young(-er), Bald Eagles were endangered. DDT is unbeatable as a synthetic insecticide. It kills mosquitoes so thoroughly it practically eradicates malaria in areas where it’s used. But it makes egg shells so weak that they break when they’re being incubated. Bald Eagles almost went extinct until we got rid of DDT here in the States. I will never not be amazed to see a Bald Eagle. And to see a pair is just amazing and stunning and remarkable and rewarding and I am beyond thrilled. Bald Eagles eat lots of fish (though they’re equally satisfied with road kill) and Three Lakes Park provides plenty of opportunities to fish. The tower they’re perched on is at a radio station on Wilkinson Road, just a couple of  hundred feet from the water’s edge at Three Lakes. There’s an even bigger lake in a neighborhood just on the other side of Wilkinson Road, and the Chickahominy River is just a few wing flaps to the east. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) says that “the Chickahominy River provides the angler with tidal river fishing at its finest.” 

I hardly ever saw whitetail deer when I was growing up either, but I didn’t live near Pony Pasture. I took this picture earlier this month. “Intense” and “serene” are (IMO) dissimilar adjectives, but they both seem describe her accurately: 

“Intense” and “serene” in the same animal at the same time – amazing

On the same day I saw the Bald Eagles (in the same park) I saw this Great Egret hunting from a branch over the water. It was only when I looked closely at the picture later I noticed the turtle a few feet to its left on the same branch: 

Great egret on the right, turtle on the left

Late summer at Pony Pasture remains colorful. This Silvery Checkerspot is from the third week in September: 

Silvery checkerspot

Turner and I had a nice walk down there this morning. We met a kind lady named Hunter and her polite and energetic daughter August and their enormous and well-mannered Bernese Mountain dog Patron (second syllable rhymes with “bone”) just as we got to the water’s edge. Hunter graciously agreed to take our picture: 

Thank you Hunter and August and Patron!

The sun was warming the bricks on the wall beside our driveway last week and this skink decided it was a good place to warm up: 

Skink sunning itself on our driveway wall, safely out of reach of Dash

A skink made it into the house recently; if Dash hadn’t been on the lookout it might have escaped alive. Now Dash likes to wait by the front door to see if any more crawl in. But he’s unable to resist the smell of cardboard: 

It’s safe to say there are no skinks in that box

I almost forgot a new (to me) flower Evelyn’s been growing. Possibly you’ve eaten “ginger snaps” or “gingerbread cookies” or had a bubbly glass of “ginger ale.” Evelyn grows ginger – yes, it’s the same ginger – in our yard! I’d never even imagined it as a flowering plant but there you go. And the smell is beyond compare. But you’ll just have to feast your eyes. Or grow your own!: 

Elegant, fragrant, graceful ginger flowers – grown by Evelyn in our backyard!

I’ve mentioned Surrounding Counties in a previous blog post – Oxtail kolache from back in May. Their real specialty (in my opinion) is providing warm-hearted and friendly service in  an excellent easygoing spot for coffee and food and other delicious treats. But what truly sets them apart is their kolaches. If you’re unaware (I was unaware), wikipedia describes kolaches as “a type of sweet pastry that holds a portion of fruit surrounded by puffy dough.” They sometimes have sweet kolaches at Surrounding Counties but more often – much more often – they have savory kolaches. Pulled pork, sausage egg and cheese, chili egg and cheese, and many more, plus what seems like an infinite variety of vegan and vegetarian options. They’re wildly creative and when I visited recently I was even able to get one wearing glasses! And it was delicious! Like looking in a mirror: 

Kolache from Surrounding Counties – like looking in a mirror!

I hope to get a post up next week but I’ve become a little unreliable in that regard. We’ll see! Meanwhile, enjoy this one. And have a great week! 

All best, 


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.
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4 Responses to The pictures were piling up

  1. Rob Martin says:

    Thanks for sharing. Jay! Lots of good GTKs!

  2. Nate says:

    Glad you posted Jay. You’ve captured some wonderful pictures.

    • Thank you Nate! I miss blogging when I take long breaks. And I was grateful for some of the pictures I got. Couldn’t believe I actually saw two Bald Eagles at the same time right here in Richmond. Plus that bumblebee on the sunflower was just begging to have its picture taken. And that doe, what a beauty. The skink too! Have a great week, take it easy,

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