Posted in Air, Beach, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Play, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Travel, Walking & Wandering, Water, Winter

A Monday meander

Playful waves. (Kill Devil Hills, NC)
Playful waves. (Kill Devil Hills, NC)

A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.

~ Bill Watterson

The mystery tree in the meadow early this morning.
The mystery tree in the meadow early this morning.

I find the opening quote to be true.  Today has been one of those days, a day of avoidance, and it has managed to slip by quickly.  I’ve been avoiding the unpacking, the laundry, and any of the chores that can afford to be avoided.  There are some, of course, that must be done no matter what.  Cleaning the cats’ litter boxes, for example.  Or washing dishes and cooking meals.

Layers of petals.
Layers of petals.

There was a corned beef brisket that needed to be cooked, too.  I am not in the mood to cook today, but the brisket was easy enough.  Put it in a Dutch oven, throw in cheesecloth-wrapped herbs and spices, add two quarts of water, bring it to a simmer, and then throw it all in a 275°F oven, covered, for 2.5-3 hours.  M and I normally don’t eat meat very much unless there are carnivores and/or omnivores visiting us, but the briskets were on sale when we went grocery shopping on Saturday and I couldn’t resist.  The carving part is M’s job and he can take care of that when he gets home.  I want to have it carved, packaged in serving sizes for two, and frozen for future use.  That way we can take some out whenever we want corned beef hash or Reuben sandwiches or whatever else you can do with corned beef.

One of the statues in the Sunken Garden. Elizabethan Gardens, Roanoke Island.
One of the statues in the Sunken Garden. Elizabethan Gardens, Roanoke Island.

I don’t know why I’m feeling so lazy today.  Perhaps it’s just post-adventure slothfulness.  I’ve spent some time sorting through photos from our brief trip, but mostly I’ve been staring out the window watching the bluebirds on the fence, the kingfisher doing his circles around the pond, and the wind shaking the trees.  Every now and then I read a little bit.  Soon I will get up and go for a walk.  I haven’t been outside yet today, and it looks rather pleasant for a day that supposedly started with snow.  I can’t say for sure it did snow.  I missed it.  Apparently it came through in the early morning hours while I was still sleeping.  All evidence of it was gone by the time I woke up and looked out the window.

Tiny white flowers.
Tiny white flowers.

Our meander today is a continuation of the walk through the Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island.  I would like to go back someday during the summer months when the hydrangeas are in bloom.  The hydrangeas are one of their featured collections, and I bet it’s beautiful when they are all flowering.

White azalea.
White azalea.

Did you know that Roanoke Island has the distinction of being one of the three oldest surviving English place-names in the U.S.?  It was named in 1584 by two of Sir Walter Raleigh’s men, Captains Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe.  There were people there long before Raleigh and his expeditions showed up.  There is archaeological evidence of a settlement dating back to around 8000 B.C.E. (or B.C., if you prefer).  I can’t find anything conclusive on when the original inhabitants became the Roanoac tribe.  Somewhere around 400 B.C.E., maybe.  The Roanoac tribe is listed as extinct.

More pink azaleas. Pink seems to be a popular color in the Elizabethan Gardens.
More pink azaleas. Pink seems to be a popular color in the Elizabethan Gardens.

The Roanoke Island Freemen’s Colony was established in 1863 during the U.S. Civil War.  Slaves migrated there after Union forces took over the island.  They were considered contraband, but the military forces did not want to return them to the Confederates so those who made it there were allowed to stay on the island.  The colony became a kind of social experiment for the U.S. government in terms of what to do with the freed slaves.  When the war ended, most of the freedmen left the island.  It had become overcrowded and they had to contend with disease, a limited food supply, and a lack of work.  Better to leave and go to the mainland since the army was providing free transport.  Only around 300 freed people of color remained after U.S. troops left the island in 1870.

In the shade.
In the shade.

Before I forget, I want to show you what I can of an ancient live oak tucked within the Elizabethan Gardens.  It is thought to have been living during the time when the first English colonists landed.  Imagine all the things this tree could tell you if only you knew the language of the live oak trees.  It is much too big to show you the entire tree in one photo, but perhaps you can get some idea of its size by looking at the bottom of the trunk.

The Ancient One
The Ancient One

Well, I should probably get up and take a little walk.  It will soon be time to make some decisions about dinner, and start prepping and cooking.  I’m thinking about making a cauliflower and potato curry with beans and brown rice.  The other possibility is some kind of stir-fry, but my mouth is in the mood for a good curry.

A textured daffodil. (Processed in Pixlr.)
A textured daffodil. (Processed in Pixlr.)

Thank you for dropping by and meandering around the gardens with me.  If you’d like to stay for sunset, I think it’s going to be a good one.  There are lovely puffy clouds floating around in the sky ready to take on any color the light of the sun might want to provide.  Sunset is at 7:16 PM.  Let’s meet on the dock.  I’m feeling too lazy to go down to the Point.  Besides, a walk through the woods at sunset will be pleasant and we can see what’s going on out there.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Elegance.
Elegance.

Today’s joys:  The luxury of laziness; the tiny pink flowers blooming on the shrub outside the office window; the whistling of the wind; peony shoots popping up out of the ground; a hawk soaring over the meadows.

March 2016C 068a-001

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

18 thoughts on “A Monday meander

    1. Thank you, Mary. 🙂 I sometimes worry my walks will begin to bore folks. It’s nice when I can get away from the same old paths and travel somewhere new.

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. 🙂 I know how you feel. My energy level has been up, down, and all around lately. Some days I do two days’ worth of work, and some days nothing gets done that doesn’t have to be done.

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  1. I enjoyed the meander. Very pleasant! You are a brave soul with your feet in the water this time of year. I bet it was Calvin of “Calvin and Hobbes” who first uttered your opening quote!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Karma. Thank you. 🙂 I bet it was, too. As for being brave, bravery would have been going all-in. lol! I’ve been thinking about participating in the Penguin Swim (a local swim similar to a polar bear swim that takes place in January or February) next year. I’m not sure I have the courage for it, but it looks like fun.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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