Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Discoveries Around Every Corner - June 30, 2014

I got up early for the sunrise...and it was nice!

Everything was looking towards another sunny, summer day....

And so was I !

Sun = Solar = Power......right?  Well, this was the day to try out my 100W solar panels!  I was thinking there was probably going to be some kind of catch to hooking it all up....  1) unzip outer case; 2) remove panels; 3) unlatch panels and pull out leg stands; 4) open hood of RV; 5) put red on red, black on black...on the "house" battery.  Voila!  It's a miracle!  Instant solar power!  The green charge light came right on and we're in business!  This solar panel will charge the deep cell house battery that powers the interior lights and a couple of other things.  A true off-grid necessity!  And my plan is to boondock/off-grid the majority of the time!  Whoo hoo!

So I have my breakfast watching the sun move higher into the sky....91* today...it will be a hot one, but like I've said before, "it's summer!"

But, while it is still relatively cool, I decide my hike around the neighborhood should start pretty soon. There's a sort of "path" that runs along the sunflower field.  I'm thinking it was nice of the Dick Cross WMA to make this a little easier than it was over at Featherfin.  I'm just walking along, looking for "nature" things....find several different kinds of "shrooms"....but only one of each.  I won't be taking any of these home for dinner!

And there were different kinds of mosses, which I love for some reason.  

And of course, the wildflowers...some different ones here....

As I'm walking down this path, I'm also noticing a lot of blackberries (I referred to them as "raspberries" the other day...don't know what I was thinking...)  Anyway, I was wishing I had a little container of some kind to take some back home... Oh well... maybe later.  So....I'm just moseying along minding my own business, "this path is nice...this day is nice...all this nature is nice...the sunflowers are nice..." coming around a little bend in the path and the next words out of my mouth, literally, outloud were........................................."Oh wow!"

There's a nice pond right in front of me!  Now this is a good Monday morning!  

As I look around the edge, there are lily pads and other pond plants.  Not blooming, but still.....  a neat addition to this find!

This is great!  I start walking around the pond...not too rough, but lots of briers.  All of a sudden, ants in my pants!  Owwww!  Some kind of red ants...biting right through my jeans and, apparently, going up the leg of my pants. 

I must have looked like a wild person and pretty comical jumping up and down to get them off me and move out of their territory!  LOL!  But, in a couple of minutes, all is back to normal and, fortunately, there are no ill effects  These are prevalent in the south, but not so much in Virginia....yet....maybe these were the first arrivals to scout out the area!  

I go back to finding more little nature things I thought were fun and interesting....without a second thought of the ant intrusion....well, really I was intruding on them!

And, you can't go to a pond without seeing one of my favorite insects .... dragonflies!  Several different varieties!

I stayed down at the pond for a long time...it was still cool enough and soooooooo relaxing, as being "on the water" always is!  But, eventually I had to leave....at least for now.  Took a few last shots...

Headed back to the RV.....sat outside under the awning... it's getting hot and sticky now.  It's close to lunch time so I grab a cold blueberry yogurt and make a pork tenderloin sandwich.

Speaking of berries, after lunch and working on photos,  those blackberries were still on my mind, so I get a container and start foraging....

I see a fruit salad in my very near future!  And yes, I did leave some for the birds! 

Pretty warm out there, so I come inside, turn on the A/C, charge up the laptop, Kindle, camera batteries, and phone.  Have to think ahead when using the generator so you take full advantage of having it on. While all that is generating, I work on photos and this blog and turn the solar panel a bit and put out my solar shower apparatus!  A dragonfly was checking it out, too!  Must have followed me home from the pond!

You just fill it with water and put it out in the sun.  In about 3 hours, the water can be as hot as 120*. Hang it higher than your head (I'll have to work on stringing it up somewhere...it's kinda heavy, but it will be worth the little extra effort!), open the spray nozzle and you have the perfect outdoor hot shower!  Can't wait to try it out later!  It's certainly private enough at this site that I shouldn't have to worry about any Peeping Tom's!  

Snack around for dinner...leftovers....left over, but still delicious!  Then, time for another sunset.  Some think "you've seen one sunset, you've seen them all...."  Well, I don't think that way....they are all unique and I enjoy to taking full advantage of them when a nice day produces a beautiful sunset...each with a special thought and memory behind it.  


  1. It is so awesome you can save your journey with photographs. There is nothing like pictures to remember things you've done. I am sitting here at the desk looking at these latest ones and the phone rang! Really made me mad I had to stop looking to answer it!!

  2. we so enjoy following your travels, and admiring your images.

  3. This is the entire blog that I missed!! No wonder I didn't know about the solar panel! That pond is wonderful! Such great photos!! Love this post!

  4. I"m surprised the blackberries are ripe. They won't be ripe for another month here. I LOVE the photo of the lake reflecting the blue sky and the reeds and plants growing out of the water!

  5. Hey Tif, So proud of you for making a dream come true! See you in the big city soon I hope, well I'm sure it will be a while as you make your way to warmer weather as the cool approaches you.