Monday, September 08, 2008

Hanna Who? A Good Weekend Anyway

These flowers at Mount Vernon obviously like the sunshine that came Sunday after Saturday's deluge from tropical storm Hanna. Since I had an appointment in Baltimore on Friday we checked with Erica and Geoff to see if we could impose on them for the weekend. The original plan for Saturday was for the four of us to take the dogs and go to the distillery at Mount Vernon. However, the rainy weather on Saturday made us decide that that would not be a good idea. The rain started somewhere between 10:00 p.m. and midnight on Friday and continued through 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. At times it fell in what seemed like steady streams. The wind was not much of a factor but my oh my was it ever wet outside.

Deciding not to call the whole day a loss, Erica, Bill and I went to see Afghanistan Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul at the National Gallery of Art. The exhibition has been in Washington since May 25 and was closing on Sunday. The National Gallery of Art is always a wonderful place to visit. I love to visit the tower where the Henri Matisse Cutouts are displayed. The color and simplicity make me happy, especially in a tropical downpour. From there we went to the Afghanistan exhibit. What a thought provoking and beautiful exhibition this was to see. I do not have photos. There are several websites that show some of the items and tell of the bold steps to preserve the culture of the country.

Sunday was a beautiful day so Bill and I headed for Mount Vernon. We decided to take in some the exhibits on the way to the mansion even though we planned not to visit the mansion. The estate still is a working farm. There are sheep, cows (these are the animals I have seen so far), gardens and some small field crops. The sites we took in on this visit included some slave quarters, the shoe makers shop, the "archeology and restoration" museum, the back porch of the mansion and a couple of the gardens. In the scheme of things it was not a lot but being able to go at my slow pace and enjoy the scenes was wonderful. Of course, we will return and take in yet more of the estate.

This restoration of the "Dove of Peace" weathervane on the mansion was in the "archeology and restoration" museum. I am such a fan of representations of the dove. The museum was small but had some very interesting items including how the columns of the mansion are painted to appear as they are made of stone. This was a money saving effort ordered by Washington.

This picture was taken from my favorite (to date) spot on the estate. The first time I visited Mount Vernon was in 1999 when Geoff took me on Columbus Day. We had just been through the mansion and came outside to sit on the chairs situated on the back veranda. There one has views as this one. When Bill and I visited yesterday we came to an open pathway and sign that indicated we might be able to get to the porch without going through the mansion. This is but one of the pictures I took from the chair I sat in yesterday. Bill, who has visited the mansion before but had not come onto the this area before was delighted with the views.

It was hard to leave that spot on the Potomac but we had to proceed with our trek however slowly. We somehow managed to miss an upper entrance, if there is one, to the garden we had chosen to visit. So, we backtracked a bit. Some of the plants were showing signs of the fading summer and torrential rains of the previous day. There still were some beautiful flowers to be seen along with butterflies, bees and the like. Here are some more of the 170+ unedited pictures I took last weekend.

Capturing the images of this butterfly was the highlight of the day.

That is until I was able to get one of a bee.

I love the red of this plant.

Another butterfly. I must research to identify.

This one flew rapidly from flower to flower.

Another butterfly.

…gossamer wings.

Sheep seeking relief in the shade and enjoying a friendly pat.

It was a good weekend.


Alexandra said...

Never been to Mt Vernon but it sounds lovely. I took love dove representations and am looking to making an advent calendar with doves on it for Kiki this Christmas...

Terry Grant said...

Your butterfly pictures are amazing. I tried shooting butterflies in Ecuador with very little success. They move too fast.