Saturday, February 25, 2012

Walking With The Queen and Friends

It's that time of year for the Winter Walk-off.   This walk is hosted by Les over at 'A Tidewater Gardener'.   Last year I participated with this post ' Walk Through the Neighborhood...'   Last year I came out of the driveway and turned right.  This year we turn left....The gravel in the top center of the picture is the top of my driveway.  I share this picture to show the dip in the land.  This will be referenced later in this post.   And now, we turn our back on the driveway and walk..


 The 'we' I keep referring to is of course the doggies.   The black and white and gray one is Skyler, our Aussie, the only purebred.  Newton, the black one, is part Aussie and Shepherd.

 Serving as our anchor (she stops and sniffs, re-sniffs, stops again, ready to turn back every few feet) on our twice a day walks is Monroe, our Chow/Shepherd mix.  She is a tough old gal.  This week marks her 18th birthday.   I never thought she would make it so long.  Our drive from Virginia to South Carolina was about 8 hours long...she paced the back seat, back and forth,  the entire trip.  That was 2010.   She doesn't like walking this way because of the slope of the road....hard for her old bones to make it uphill.

 I know Les said not to take pictures of our garden...this is my septic field.  I share this one only because I want you to see the slope of the land.   See the rocks along the road?  There is a low area on either side of the road...and a stream that runs under the road after a rain.  In the top photo the rocks are on the left side of the picture.   Some of the daffodils from last year are up and blooming...this will be my wildflower meadow in a month or so.

Coming next to the low spot we can see down into the woods....  I love how the sunlight dances through the trees, illuminating the forest floor.
 In the photo above you see my name,  this is where the wild blackberries are starting to leaf out.  Last year some of the weekend folks came by with a carload of kids and picked it clean!    See all the new growth?
 A big thicket of berry brambles.
 See how the brambles line the edge of the forest?  Makes it tough to get through to wander in the woods.
 Wanted to share another picture of this lovely little blue/violet flower.  Initial thoughts of it being a Bluet are agreed.
 A few of the neighbors have some nice natural rocks emerging from their property....these are at the top of two driveways.

 As I shared last year, I love the native grasses that turn a lovely shade of tan this time of year.



After I put the dogs in the house I thought I should continue the Winter Walk-off.   I traveled about 400 feet north... to the lake.  I then turned in the same direction that I walked with the dogs along the road.  The lake is still lower than what it will be in the summer.  The level started coming up January 31st.   During the winter the level is lowered for the health of the lake as well as allowing folks to do dock repair, and the turbine maintenance at the dam.   It comes up about a half a foot every two weeks.
Since no one lives on the 5 lots next to us in this direction, it feels like a nature preserve.  The shoreline is lined with Hibiscus moscheutos.  Love the seed heads that stay all winter.    The dock you see in the distance is in disrepair, on a lot that has no house.   The Herons like sitting on the roof and fishing for dinner from there.








Another plant I have come to learn a bit more about it the Hazel Alder Alnus serrulata.   The new female flowers are the red ones at the top of the photo, the male flowers are the catkins.  The spent female flowers look like little pine cones.


As the lake level is down, there are some really cool stumps--- I first thought this could be a neat piece of driftwood.  WRONG!  It is an old tree, still anchored quite firmly in the bed of the lake.

 At the corner of the cove by this driftwood is a large Vaccinium blueberry, not sure on the species.  The flower buds and leaf buds are ready to open soon.

I reached the cove, the end of my walk for today.  Remember at the top of the post where I showed you the low spots on each side of the road?  I said there was a stream that goes under the road when we have rain.  Well, this cove is where it empties into the lake.  Since we just had rain I decided not to walk further, it gets soggy underfoot.

Thanks for coming along with me on my walk(s) today.  Be sure to join Les in his challenge to post YOUR Winter Walk-off.


©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

38 comments:

  1. That was a very nice walk and I didn't even have to leave my couch. Thanks!

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  2. What a lovely area! Your pups are adorable, and Monroe is a trooper...slopes are tough on those achy joints. Janet, is that Lake Hartwell? It's such as shame how low all of the lakes are. A lovely walk--I envy your empty lots next door! Thanks for sharing the pretty buds!

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    1. Julie, Yes, Monroe is a trooper. There are some days I am not sure how much longer she will be with us...then she is romping back up to the door ahead of the other two.
      We are really glad there aren't folks around us on Lake Greenwood.

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  3. What a pretty area to go on walks. There's so much to see there. How cool that Monroe is still going on walks at 18!

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    1. Catherine, it is a great place for walks. We are only limited by time and energy.

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  4. It's amazing what you can find when you stop and look. Great photos! Looks like you had some nice weather for your walk.

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    1. On My Soapbox, I agree! Love seeing all the little details. We have been having great weather. Spring is here.

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  5. Dear Janet,
    thank you for this refreshing walk! Such a nice change to the park-walking I do here (though some woods are awaiting around Berlin) You have such a vast landscape - everything on a big scale! Love the bluets - I never have seen them before.

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    1. Britta, Glad you came along. We do have a vast landscape. The bluets are new to me since coming to SC.

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  6. Your area looks very much like mine. I have many empty lots around me and frankly I am going to be very disappointed when they actually start building again. I love all the natural area, as you said it is like a nature preserve. Your doggies are adorable!...and 18 years old, WOW! We had a lab that lived to be 16 1/2 which I thought was amazing. Thanks for sharing your walk.

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    1. Karin, Isn't is grand to have all the quiet around you? We hope no one builds on our neighboring lots! thanks for coming along on the walk.

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  7. Thank you Janet. You are my second official entry, so if no one else joins in you are guaranteed a fabulous prize. Monroe is amazing, elderly dogs try so hard to keep doing what they have always done. I know they love the familiar and a routine, so it is great she has adapted to her new home. When they are young they don't care where they are as long as they are with their people.

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    1. Les, thanks! Monroe is all about routine, she needs it. She is still going strong.

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  8. I loved reading about your walk. How beautiful. Your lake comes up in summer,and ours goes down because of dehydration. I hope we get more rain this spring before the summer sun tries to turn us into crisps.~~Dee

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    1. Dee, Our lake went down a little bit in the summer because of the drought, though nothing like many other lakes. Since our lake isn't a municipal water source for a major metropolitan area, the drain isn't as great. thanks for visiting.

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  9. Janet,

    You area looks like a retreat to me, so peaceful. I'd think the blackberries would not be much of an harvest there unless there was ample water to make the berries grow big and sweet.

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    1. Randy, Our area is a retreat...to us. The blackberries got large enough...not sure how sweet, between the birds and the kids, they were gone quickly.

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  10. It's fun reading blogs where I recognize terrain and plants as similar to my neighborhood! Looks like a great walk. :)

    Hope you get more of the blackberries next year, though!

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    1. Eliza, Yes the Upstate has its wonderful terrain. I hope to get SOME blackberries!!

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  11. Hello Janet,
    Enjoyed your photo walk, love the dogs!
    How amazing to have one 18 years old!
    Have a great week!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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    1. Lea, thanks for coming by for our walk! The dogs are certainly a big part of my day.

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  12. 18 years is QUITE feat for a dog! What a sweet life to be able to walk along with you in such a beautiful area!

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    1. Tina, Yes, she is one for the books for age. Pretty amazing.

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  13. Hi Janet, I always enjoy coming along with you and always learn a little something about native plants along the way. It is snowing here and I wish we had buds appearing like the ones in your photos. Like most other commenters I have to remark on the age of your oldest dog. 18! Wow! Sadly, I have never had a dog live longer than 13. It seems that Shelties never make it past that mark.

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    1. Jennifer, I am glad you came along with me. Super that you like learning a little about native plants...it is a new area of knowledge for me! Monroe, my 18 y/o is part Sheltie we think....who knows, she is a pound puppy.

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  14. You really live in a beautiful place, Janet, surrounded with many differing ecosystems. It looks like such a peaceful place too. So many photo opportunities along your walk, it really makes the walk interesting and fun. I was surprised your Aussie is 18, and looks pretty good for that age. What a milestone. I used to take my two dogs along on the walks to the parks, but never could take the camera at the same time. The dogs were just too big and I always had to keep alert with them.

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    1. Donna, thanks, we think it is a little slice of heaven here. Very peaceful, usually the most 'noise' is either the frogs or the birds singing. Juggling a camera with three dogs on the leash is always a challenge!

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  15. Enjoyed the walk with you, Janet! So many interesting plants surrounding you. Dear Monroe--how wonderful that she is still able to join you on these walks. A very happy, happy Birthday to her!

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    1. Rose, thanks for coming along. We do have lots of interesting plant material, learning about more and more. Oh Monroe, she is something!

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  16. What a nice stroll today! It looks like you have a peaceful place there on the lake. Our lake is low but due to Mother Nature. It is a Corp lake and they control it thus during drought periods (such as our last 2 years) they do not close the gates for us boaters. Sigh. Hopefully, she will rise soon with the spring rains we are having lately...

    And of course your Eagle would not show up for the count over the weekend. And the turkey are awesome! We have yet to see them in our yard or woods. We have seen them dead on the roadside so we know they are in the area. Usually everything comes into our yard so we are surprised we have yet to see them....

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    1. Skeeter, thanks for stopping by. We do have a peaceful spot. Ours is not a Corps lake, so we don't have quite the issue that you do with levels.

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  17. Looks like a great walk with happy dogs!
    Lisa

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    1. Lisa, thanks! They love their walks, every day, twice a day!

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  18. What a nice walk for you and the dogs. 18 years is a grand old age!

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  19. Compared to our icy setting in New Hampshire, your lovely SC property looks lush to me. I do miss seeing blooms at this time of year. Enjoyed your Winter-Walkoff!

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