Well, here it is the last day of May, and all I have to say is, where has the month gone?
It seems like there was one sunny day, when I managed to see this heron across the creek.
And then the rest of the days it rained.
(Please disregard the strange object in the upper left corner of these two photos. Not only am I a self-taught photographer, I still haven't mastered use of my new camera, which is immensely smarter than I am.)
Yes, the month of May flew by in a blur of wind and rain interspersed with a day or two of the normal sunny, warm, gorgeous clarity that is typical this time of year. Whether it's due to the rain or I don't know what, we've noticed the stinging nettles have arrived much sooner than normal. There are tons of baby nettles lounging about in Queens Creek. They normally don't make an appearance until late June. Farm-grown oysters are growing at a very rapid pace, and there are way more snakes than usual for whatever reason this year.
Aside from those casual observations from this unscientific observer, life is whizzing by at break-neck speed. I am looking forward to something settling down soon, but until it does I take solace in staring out the back window at sights such as these for instant blood-pressure-lowering relief.
This beautiful beginning to a day occurred several weeks ago, at the end of April.
May is my favorite month, and this year I seem to have missed it--all I did was blink and it's practically over. All I remember is it was hot for a day or so, then it rained for what felt like weeks, then it turned cold, and now it's all but done.
It's astonishing to me that Memorial Day weekend is upon us so soon.
I'll be ushering in the summer with a cookout on Sunday. Middle Sister will be in the creek on Boyfriend Ronnie's boat. Baby Sis and Boyfriend Mills will be here from Richmond. And my blog friends Lauren (from Nashville) and Angie will be in attendance.
It's my favorite weekend of the year.
Speaking of weekends, this one was a pretty busy one here in Mathews. The bikers who visited for the county's annual Tour de Chesapeake enjoyed breezy but beautiful weather. The party at Williams Wharf was once again spectacular. You just can't beat dancing to live music watching the sunset over the East River.
I hope all is well in your world. Thanks for stopping by for a small glimpse into mine.
Saturday was an interesting day in Mathews. The inaugural May Faire, devoted to springtime, May Queens, funnel cakes, clam chowder, and local history from 1600-1791, was launched.
OK, so it wasn't necessarily devoted to funnel cakes and clam chowder. But from my booth, that's pretty much how I saw it. The frigid brisk winds kept ushering the smells of food my way, making it very difficult to stay focused on telling passersby about the lovely items for sale in the Mathews County Visitor and Information Center.
In addition to a working blacksmith, an archaeological dig, musical performances and funnel cakes a pound cake competition, there were representatives from the Wolf Creek Cherokee Museum in Henrico on hand to talk about their culture.
This was sort of like a mini-Market Days, spring time edition.
I sat at the Visitor Center booth with my friend and across-the-creek neighbor Frances.
We were lucky enough to be situated right next to Ed Jordan and his wife, who is a remarkable artist.
They came to Mathews several years ago, all the way from Idaho!
Although the day was way too windy! brisk, and there was an episode or two of light rain, the foot traffic was light but steady. Former May Queens (CBW represented the class of 1982) were recognized and Bayside Youth Ballet performed maypole dances.
Here in Mathews, it's been raining for forty days and forty nights what feels like forever. Just when you think it can't get any drearier, it rains some more. Today it's supposed to clear up. But so far, nope.
It's still overcast.
I took these pictures of the new kayak launch at the court house this morning after a six-mile run. I needed some pictures of the court green for a blog post I did on the county's visitor site, and while I was there I decided to stop in to see how this place was doing.
One of these days, it will stop raining I intend to bring my kayak here and do some exploring. It's a great launching point.
There's a lot of activity in the court house area these days. In addition to some pretty major improvements to the streetscape, a new pavilion has gone up right near the kayak launching site.
On days like today, it would be a nice place to briefly escape the raindrops while staring towards Put-In Creek. But here soon, the sun will be out again and it will provide a nice respite from the impending heat and humidity that inevitably accompanies summers.
Speaking of heat and humidity, my favorite month, May, is right around the corner. It's my favorite because everything here is so green and warm. Although it can be stifling hot, it's usually not the same oppressive heat and humidity that June, July and August usually bring.
These cages, which are used to grow oysters, live off Stutts Creek in Redart.
I've been lucky enough to sample many of the oysters pulled from these cages, and let me tell you what: They are tasty. Especially when they're fried.
Last night I was treated to a dinner of fried oysters--fresh from this oyster farm--and a cucumber salad. Let me tell you what again: TASTY.
After a long commute, a brutal day at work, and another long ride home, something as simple as a fried oyster and a slice of cucumber swimming in balsamic vinegar and sugar can really make all the stress and worries of the day evaporate.
Not to be confused in any way with the highly competitive Tour de France, our tour involves a day of leisurely cycling through scenes such as these, and includes lots of activities for avid and casual cyclists, friends and family.
Friday night there's an opportunity to cruise the beautiful East River and learn something about our local history. Saturday morning the 101 miles of routes that cover Mobjack, Gwynns Island, Bethel Beach and New Point Comfort will open to bicyclists. Chesapeake Bay Paddling will offer kayak and paddle board trials; the Bay School will host an art show and sale, and the weekend of fun culminates with a seafood feast and party at Williams Wharf--my favorite part of the whole weekend.
Open to the public and overlooking the beautiful East River, the Party at the Wharf includes live entertainment from Lynda Smith and 7th Street--a fabulous band that can coax even the most awkward dancer out on the dance floor. (Ask me how I know. My middle name is Awkward. My other middle name is Uncoordinated. But the music beckons!)
This year's weekend of fun and festivities will be on May 20th. If you live here and are interested in volunteering, if you wish to be a sponsor, or if you wish to participate and need more information, contact the event director at Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
This endearing structure lives in a field near the end of the road at Freeport, just up the road from Mathews. I stopped in recently on my way home from having lunch with a friend in Saluda.
The wonderfully weathered wood and the vestiges of vines made it impossible for me to drive by without stopping to say hello and take a few shots.
Pretty soon, the weather will take its turn towards warm, and the weeds will take over my house greenery will take over everything.
There are signs that the process has already started.
I just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime cruise with Baby Sister, which is why this blog hasn't been updated in a while. On board, we saw tons of live music from bands of the 1970s, including Firefall, Ambrosia, Little River Band, Player, Orleans, and my favorite: Peter Frampton. Although the best days were the ones at sea, we also visited Cozumel and Key West.
Now, it's a slow return to the town called Normal Life, where my workload will gradually increase, and much of my spare time will be devoted to work for the Mathews County Visitor and Information Center.