Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Water Scene from Williams Wharf

Happy Halloween

Who remembers when cutting holes in an old sheet to be a ghost was considered a clever costume?

If you dressed up for parties this weekend, what were you?

I love Halloween and the idea of dressing up.

I'm almost always a witch.

My family might tell you that extends to many other days in the year, not just Halloween.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Maritime Heritage

View of East River

This week's Gazette Journal  contains an article about a new interactive website which features key points on the Mathews Maritime Heritage Trail.

And let me just say that I wish I'd known about this informative site before taking pictures of the East River Boat Yard and thinking it was Hicks Wharf.

Except the chances are still good that I'd have done that even knowing about the website.

Slightly adjusted view. Better light.

Developed by the VIMS (Virginia Institute of Marine Science) Center for Coastal Resources Management and sponsored by the Mathews Maritime Foundation, the site lets you cruise up and down the East River (via satellite as opposed to sailboat or kayak) and trespass without trespassing take a cyber-visit to various points of interest including Tompkins Cottage, Poplar Grove, Woodstock, Davis Wharf, Captain James William Miles' House and many others.

Once you've decided on a particular site and have zoomed in, click Site Information and/or Photos in the right column to access additional information.

Right now the focus is on the East River but eventually 90 miles of local waterways will be featured.

Click HERE to access this incredible site.

Honestly, as informative, educational and helpful as this site is--and it most definitely is--I spent most of my time highly entertained and amused zooming in and out of the satellite images, barely noticing the wealth of words.

  Similar to this blog.  Life in Mathews:  I look at the pictures and don't worry about the words.  

Then after all that, I realized that if I can zoom in and out of satellite images of homes lining the East River, someone out there can probably zoom in and out of images of my home on Some Unnamed Creek in a county that may or may not be located in Some Random State in a country that begins with U. Maybe.

Note to Self: No matter what the circumstances, do not ever--EVER--dash into the yard in your pajamas or bathrobe--or worse-- again.   Even if the neighbors aren't looking, you never know when a satellite is going to snap a photo of your house and slap it up on the internet.  Oh, and pick up the trash from your yard and the cat food cans from your back stoop. It's time to pull up those tomato plants too. Thank you

Enjoy the interactive website by clicking here, it really is a great source of information.

And most importantly, enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three Things

Welcome to Three Thing Thursday, where anyone reading is free to share three things, whether they're related to anything I'm talking about or not.  In fact, the further you steer from what I'm talking about the better. In fact you don't even need to read my stuff in order to share.  In fact, I'm going to stop saying in fact now.  

Let's begin.

1.  The photo above, pulled from the archives, is from my Memorial Day camping trip over on the Eastern Shore with the Chesapeake Bay Children.   I absolutely love this place and wish I were there now with no other places to be; absolutely nothing to do; no logistics to coordinate; no animals to feed; no book deadlines and no chores to complete for at least three solid weeks.

2.  The Mathews High School Cross Country teams won their district meet yesterday in Williamsburg.  Although I couldn't make it due to my paying job, reader Bay Browder, who used to coach cross country himself, was in attendance. He  really needs to help out with spring track (the 400, 800, mile and 2-mile or at least the mile and 2-mile) and I will continue to pester him about it.

3.  While waiting for the cross country bus to arrive at the high school after the meet, I scrunched down in my car and pretended to read a newspaper, all the while spying on some teenagers gathered not too far from where I was parked.  Rolling my window down allowed me to tune in to their conversation which went something like this:  "Call him for me."  "No!  I'm not calling him. You call him!"  "No. You."  "He's not my boyfriend!  You call him."  "No, you!"

I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that my windows quickly came back up not because of this stimulating conversation but because the mosquitoes sucked six pints of blood from my arms while I was trying to hear this riveting exchange.

Yes, it's almost November and we still have mosquitoes the size of chicken hawks.

Yes, I'm 45 years old and the most exciting part of my day involves eavesdropping on teenagers' conversations that are as mind-numbing as the list of ingredients on a box of Twinkies.

Somebody save me. When did this become my life?

Now it's your turn to share. In addition to your three things, can you tell me one exciting thing you did yesterday? Seeing as my definition of exciting involves spying on teenagers while mosquitoes eat me alive, I'm sure you'll have no problem thinking of something.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Williams Wharf

..."Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs

The boathouse at Williams Wharf

Blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind

Just a random No Trespassing sign

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?" 

( Youngsters who have never heard the song, click here. )

It's a swamp filled with fiddler crabs and water moccasins.  

CBW's answer:  Yes, I can read the sign.

But I can't seem to heed the sign....

And really do we need the sign?

Because maybe the sign just makes me want to do the very thing it's discouraging all the more.

But for the record, I am a long-haired freaky person a law-abiding citizen.


Are there any unusual or noteworthy signs near you?

Who here remembers the railroad crossing sign next to the high school?  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

HIcks Wharf

Across the river from Williams Wharf, located between Cardinal and Bohannon, is Hicks Wharf, however an alert reader informs me these photos are not Hicks Wharf.

The extent of what I know about Hicks Wharf can be summed up in exactly two sentences: I went to school with Richie Hicks and played summer softball with his older sister. They may or may not be kin to the original Hicks who ran this wharf, who knows. The End.

This wealth of factual information and historical detail is brought to you by the very same person who is supposed to be compiling a pictorial history of Mathews County.  As you can see, I am thoroughly qualified. 


A post office and a store operated at Hicks Wharf until 1933--which was also the year of The Big Storm.

Recently, while doing some research in the offices of the Gazette Journal, I stumbled upon several newspaper articles describing that storm, which was actually a legendary hurricane. 

It seems one Captain West, known as the unofficial "Mayor of New Point," failed to realize the strength of the storm until the water was well into his house and the winds threatened to tear it apart. Realizing the house could collapse at any moment, he attempted to flee to higher ground but was quickly overcome by the elements.  To survive the fierce winds, pounding rain and encroaching waters that were already very deep, he climbed up the flagpole that stood in his yard and strapped himself to it.  

He stayed that way overnight.  Overnight.  Tied to a flagpole, with his feet on the cleats that would ordinarily hold the rope to the flag.

 The next day he told someone he clung to that pole so tightly he nearly squeezed the blood out of his hands.

These are the sorts of stories that distract me when I'm in the library or the Gazette Journal trying to find facts and figures and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! details and dates.  

These are also the types of stories that help put things in perspective.

While most days I feel like I've been strapped to a flagpole during a major hurricane, I've never actually had to spend a night doing so.  

So, there's always that.  

Does anyone out there have any information to share about Hicks Wharf?   Anyone? 

Has anyone had to endure hurricane-force winds, horizontal rain and flood-level tides while clinging to a flag pole? Bueller? 

p.s. Reader Bay Browder has informed me that Hicks Wharf was located just up the river from the point shown above.  Thank you, Bay Browder, for keeping me straight.  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Williams Wharf

At the very end of Route 614 below Mathews Court House lies Williams Wharf, currently the home base of the Mathews crew team, the Mobjack Rowing Association, and the Mathews Land Conservancy.

I drive down here every once in a while to go walking, because the road is flat, relatively straight and none of my neighbors are there, so it's possible to walk for an hour without having to stop and talk.

Isn't that a strange problem, having to locate a place where nobody knows you so you can walk without stopping to chat? It sounds anti-social because it is but otherwise I wouldn't be exercising I'd be talking.

Seriously, whenever I go walking down my lane it's one thing after another.  This neighbor waves you over to his yard to catch up.  That neighbor is arriving home from the grocery store and stops in the middle of the road to talk.  Another neighbor's dog is on the loose. Or the census people want to know who lives in the empty house and how long it's been sitting vacant and whether the people who own it have children, hamsters or freckles.  For example.

Anyway, sometimes it's best to do your exercising as far away from distractions as possible, and Williams Wharf Road is an excellent place for a walk.

It's also a peaceful spot to take photos or just relax.  There is a boat launch and a pavilion overlooking the East River.  Hicks Wharf is visible across the way.

According to Mathews County Panorama, A Pictorial History of Mathews County 1791 - 1941,"Mathews was an official port of entry for the registration and enrollment of all United States and foreign vessels from 1802 through 1844.  Vessels over 20 tons were "registered" while those under 20 tons and engaged primarily in the coasting trade were "enrolled."  During this period records in the U.S. National Archives indicate that over 10,000 vessels called at the port of "East River," many several times with some making this their permanent port.

Located at Williams Wharf, the Custom House was the center for maritime activities in Mathews County.  Since all incoming and, at times, departing vessels had to see the customs agent, the wharf became a meeting place.  Ship's masters, mates, crewmen  seeking employment, owners, chandlers, builders, riggers, merchants and many others gathered there for the latest "intelligence."  Many businesses were located at the wharf and those who did not usually had their agents at the chandlery next door to the custom house.  By 1808 there was even a "taxi" (carriage service) between the wharf and the Court House."

My grandmother, who lived in Gloucester, used to talk about coming to Mathews and Williams Wharf when the steamers and floating theaters were in town.  It was The Place To Be.

It still is, albeit for very different reasons including being the one spot where I can walk uninterrupted.

For more photos and information on the history of Williams Wharf, click here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


This is a shot from a few weeks ago of  Haven Beach in the morning.

I hardly ever go to Haven any more because I don't have time to do anything much less lollygag at the beach prefer our other two county beaches,  Aarons and Bethel.

What a shock to see how much of Haven has eroded away - even with the county's efforts to take protective measures to preserve it (note the rocks just off the shore above).  One of the big nor'easters last year certainly took a toll, but I think it's become even worse here lately.

I'd love to see pictures of our beaches from decades ago, and perhaps in doing my research for the book I'll come across some.  But if they exist they are few and far between - so far I've not found any.

For now, though, this recent trip to Haven made me realize how important it is to document the beaches as they exist right now, because the next big hurricane or nor'easter could do some devastating damage.

Rather than end on that depressing note, I'll close by saying there should be no devastating storms this week, anyway.  If you believe what the weather people are saying, we can expect 80-degree days filled with sunshine.

Enjoy the day and have a great, storm-free week.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Here are a few shots I took earlier in the month over on Gwynns Island at sunset. This basket decided to plop down on the beach and admire the views of Hills Bay and the Piankatank River.

I boldly plopped down right beside it and started taking its picture.  The basket really didn't want its picture taken, but I couldn't help myself;  the sun was hitting it just right. Also, I just discovered I love the word "plop."

Even a seagull feather looks better in the evening sun.  

Dawn and dusk are scrunching our hours of daylight like a vice. 

Scrunching?  Really?  

Take Two:  

Dawn and dusk are squeezing our hours of daylight together in a vice-like grip.

This Vitamin-D depraved lunatic deprived individual does not look forward to the cold, dark days ahead which stand between her and spring.

In the meantime, however, she will try to stay focused on the positive aspects of the impending doom and gloom of winter the change of seasons. 

For example:

1.  No ants!  At least not until spring, when they will hijack my house, carry me to the end of the dock and throw me overboard.
2.  No mosquitoes!  
3.  No fiddler crabs!
4.  No ticks!  
5.  No sunlight! No humidity!  Which also means no frizzy hair!

What are some other positive aspects of the November to March doldrums time frame? 

In other news, a few brief announcements:
  • The Mathews High School Cross Country teams competed yesterday at King William. As of last evening I had not heard the results for the girls, but the boys won.  Next Wednesday is the District meet in Williamsburg.
  • Tonight is Homecoming for Mathews High. Parade, football game, the works.
  • The Bobby Stewart 5K will be at Williams Wharf Saturday morning.
  • Sandpiper Reef holds its annual costume party next Saturday night at 9:00 p.m.
  • Urbanna Oyster Festival is the weekend of November 5th.  
  • Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here in three blinks of an eye.
  • I guess that means spring and summer aren't really that far away.
  • Have a great winter weekend.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three Things

Glimpse of the barn near the public landing at Harcum.

Welcome to Three Thing Thursday, where we share three or more things related to whatever is catapulting around our addled brains:  frustrations, observations, proclamations, exclamations, obfuscations, realizations, special occasions, questions, statements, sentiments, predicaments, commitments, resentments, current events, and Oh, for cryin' in a bucket, CBW, just get on with it!

Well then. Since some people seem to be in such a hurry, let's begin.

1. Several weeks ago, I ran into someone I hadn't seen in 30+ years.  Just a few short sentences into the conversation, he asked me how my three daughters were.  That's because he thought I was Chesapeake Bay Mumma, who happens to be 23 years older than I am.

2.  This week the doctor's office neglected to call me back with the results of some recent blood tests.  Coincidentally (?), my mother (who has cholesterol concerns) came over to say the very same doctor's office declared her test results to be spectacular. When I called to inquire about my blood work (cholesterol was not one of my concerns),  they determined there had been some confusion based on our same last names and more. It's truly a very long story involving a Big City Regional Hospital.  The Little Local Doctor's Office was not to blame. Nevertheless, when you add (1) above with this, you can see where a person named CBW might start to get a complex.

3.  Not too long ago, an invitation to join AARP appeared in the mailbox.  With my name on it.  My name. Not my mother's name, my name. And a complex, weighing in at 4,000 psychological pounds, was officially born. Pass the cigars.

3b.  Just shoot me now.  When you reach a certain age and things start to fall apart;  when every little ache and pain is translated into the first sign of The Big One, Elizabeth (I'd love to link to an audio clip of Fred Sanford but can't find one); when people start confusing you for your mother and you receive invitations to join AARP, you realize a few things, including:

a) Your mother looks great for her age.  
b) You look great for your mother's age.  
c)  Except, oops, you aren't your mother's age.

The End.

Now it's your turn.  Please share three things or twenty three things, and if only one of those things are tips for hiding wrinkles, well then bless you.   

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wandering Wednesday: The Harcum Edition

This is the old service station at Harcum, in neighboring Gloucester County.  The road from which this photo was taken leads down to a public landing on the Piankatank River.

Welcoming you down to the river and the landing is this gorgeous barn, which I've photographed before at a different time of year.

It is physically impossible for me to drive past this barn without stopping to say hello, so I did.

Just past the barn at the end of the road is the Piankatank River and the public landing.  And something I wasn't expecting at all:  persimmon trees.

There were more of them lining the shoreline here than I've seen in many a day, and the persimmons were ripe for eating.

If you've never had persimmons before, they're just as sweet as candy--but only the ones which have dropped to the ground.

If you eat a persimmon that isn't quite ripe?

Your mouth turns inside outwards; your tongue curls backwards; your eyes roll back in your head; and you stomp the ground profusely--all the while gasping for breath and crying for your Mumma (pronounced muh' muh).

Note:  This is the same reaction most people have to CBW's cooking, too.

The persimmons were such a nice surprise. (Above is an example of one that's ready for eatin'.)

They remind me of my childhood when I'd roam around the yard  looking for anything to eat the fallen delicacies.  Those trees have long died or been cut down.

Hoping to share these memories with my children, I picked up a few and put them in the car.  Later that evening after picking Son and Daughter up from their after-school activities, I handed them some to sample.

Much to my surprise they snatched them up and gobbled them down like it was old hat.  When I asked them if they'd had them before, they said, "Yep. You gave us some once. Or twice.  A few times, actually." Then they proceeded to recite my own persimmon story back to me.

My forgetfulness incessant repetition is paying off.  Maybe one day they will share persimmon stories with their children.

Hopefully they'll gloss over the part about their mother's cooking  their mother telling the same stories over and over again.

Have you ever had a persimmon? Have I already asked you this before? 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Trio

Hiding down a winding road that connects Harcum with Route 14 in Gloucester is the site of an old Texaco station.  This sign is all that is left.

It's a great sign.

But it looks so lonesome standing there on the side of the road all by itself.

This old Texaco emblem can still be seen in various places around Mathews and Gloucester.  Short Lane Ice Cream, a former post office and general store, still sports a Texaco sign above the entrance.  The old service station that's now a car wash at  Edgehill used to be a Texaco, although I believe they've painted over the beautiful old sign. (It truly pains me to think that someone painted over that antique sign.)

Not too long ago there was a Texaco station at Hyco Corner in Mathews, where the infamous Hardees now stands. (Hardees is infamous because it has The Longest Drive Through Wait Ever In Recorded History. Slower than molasses in January does not even come close to characterizing the pace.)

Although I may be confusing buildings, isn't the Dilly Dally Emporium in a brick building that has a Texaco insignia near the roof?  I know I've seen the Texaco star somewhere but my ADD inability to retain details prevents me from specifying exactly where in the court house I saw it.

The Curves here in Mathews used to be a Gulf station that my sister and I rode bikes to for the sole purpose of purchasing penny candy. Nowadays you'd be run over flatter than a pancake if you tried to ride a bicycle along Route 198. 

And now, recognizing that I could go way off on a tangent involving penny candy or riding bikes with my sister, I will draw this to a close so we don't drift too far off course.

If you have any memories of some of the old service stations, please chime in.  

And pass the penny candy. I'll take a root beer barrel, a fireball; some Pixy Stix and a pack of candy cigarettes.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Sometimes all anything or anyone needs is a little TLC.

Take, for example, the Volkswagen above my father is trying to sell.  No, really.  Please take it.

This is a perfectly wonderful vehicle that just needs some attention. Someone with love and patience and a friend who owns a body shop could really bring her back to life.  

I hope this same Someone likes bird nests, because one is conveniently located over the driver's side visor.  But that's not what I'm here to talk about today.

This car, which sits at the end of our lane, is for sale, and there is someone out there right now who would make the perfect owner.  He or she just doesn't know it yet.

Unrelated to Volkswagens but along the lines of providing attention and care to things which need a new home, I'd like to help spread the word about an urgent need for foster homes for some dogs who are being displaced in the near future.

Commenter Bay Browder and his wife volunteer at a local shelter that will close at the end of this month.  They recently sent me a list of 40--that is forty--dogs who need homes.  Ideally these would be permanent homes but if you're able to provide foster care that is just as valuable at this point.

Among some of the many dogs available are:

Margo is a 1-year old 35 lb. tri-color spayed female hound. She has very long legs and a face that will make people look twice at her. She came in with her brother and misses him since he went to rescue.  She needs more work on a leash. This is one perfect miniature fox hound. Precious! Her size will make her adoptable even in a city. 

Bonnie is a tiny 20 pound tri-color beagle spayed female probably about 5 years old. Bonnie’s skin condition has kept her at the shelter far too long. It would probably go away if her stress level was reduced. She is also a bit shy about loud noises and loud people. She is an adorable size and an adorable girl. She is crate trained.

Bandana is a beautiful neutered Boxer mix with brindle markings. He has lots of fun and unconditional love to offer a loving ,active forever family. 

Christie is a beautiful black and tan coon hound, about 3 years old and has been spayed. She is also crate trained.

If you are able to help in any way, please let me know.

Also, if anyone is interested in a killer goose with his own Facebook page, there's one named Gustav up for adoption as well. Just don't tell my mother. Among his redeeming traits are (insert the sound of crickets here).  Needs lots of training.  Good luck with that.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Marina

Above is a shot from this summer of some boats at the Islander marina on Gwynns Island.  My sisters and I spent practically every hour of every summer day at the Islander, and it wasn't until I saw this picture and let the memories come out to play that I realized we always called the Islander--the entire complex--The Marina.

The Islander consisted of a pool which accepted memberships from us locals; a well-equipped marina; a motel; a restaurant; and a snack bar.  It also had tennis courts and a playground. The only reason we went was for the pool.

And yet for some reason, whenever we wanted  to go to the pool, we'd ask our grandmother or mother to take us to the marina, which really meant the pool.

I wonder why that is.

These and other mysteries, such as why it's nearly Halloween and I still have to cut my grass and worry about being taken over by weeds, may never be fully understood.

Have a fantastic Sunday.

Friday, October 15, 2010


About a week ago, searching for any excuse not to do the work in front of me, I picked up my camera and drove to Hell Neck Road in the neighboring county.

Yes, Hell Neck Road. Because nothing says procrastination better than a trip to Hell Neck Road.

Actually, the main purpose of this trip to Procrastination involved the public landing at Harcum, but when I saw the sign for Hell Neck, I couldn't resist the urge to dawdle further to investigate.

In spite of its exciting name, however, there was very little to photograph.  Just as a wave of irritation started washing over me, I happened to glance in a recently harvested corn field and noticed an eagle hovering over a dead animal that looked like a deer (but could have been anything, especially since our raccoons and opossums grow to be the size of small ponies, especially the ones who live in my yard and eat 9-Lives cat food all night long).

Intrigued and perplexed, because I've only seen them eat fresh fish, I asked Google about eagles eating dead deer, and this site provided some information:

Raptors (predatory birds), bald eagles are at the top of the food chain and fish in both fresh and salt water. They feed on fish, small animals like ducks, coots, muskrats, turtles, rabbits, and snakes and carrion (dead animals) occasionally. Fish account for 90% of their diet; however, they will prey on whatever is available and easiest to get. It takes them about four minutes to eat one pound of fish. While catching their prey, they rarely enter the water, they snatch the fish from the surface with their talons. They also steal fish from ospreys which are smaller. Historically, ranchers and farmers shot and killed them in large numbers because they were grouped with raptors that killed chickens, lambs, and other domestic livestock.

Speaking of stealing fish from ospreys, below is a recent shot (from my fishing trip) of the Queens Creek eagle sitting in a tree that is also favored by ospreys.  Except now the ospreys have packed their bags and headed south.

The eagles, having no ospreys from which to steal, evidently have taken to flying to Hell Neck Road where they eat dead deer or dead opossums or whatever happens to be lying around in a cornfield.

At least that's what I take away from all this.

So, to recap:

1. Eagles eat primarily fish and have been known to steal fish from ospreys.
2.  Ospreys fly away from here in the cold weather. 
3.  I often dream of flying away from here in the cold weather too. Maybe next year I'll hitch a ride with an osprey, preferably one headed to Bora Bora.  
4.  With no ospreys flying around doing all the fishing, eagles sometimes eat dead animals--large dead animals.
5.  This means my dog Buddy better not lie around too long in the back yard lest they think he was  a beached whale  an afternoon snack.
6. The word "coot" is guaranteed to make me laugh.
7.  After all this, I don't even know for sure that was a dead deer because I can't tell from the picture.  All I know is that eagle was eating something large and dead and it sure as hellneckroad was not a fish.
8. There really was something worth photographing on Hell Neck Road.
9.  Have a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three Things

Welcome y Bienvenidos to Three Thing Thursday, where we share three things and just about anything goes.

I'll go first.

1. Has anyone else noticed that Reynolds Wrap/tin foil/aluminum foil no longer works like it used to?  No, I mean  there is something seriously wrong with it.  The other night I pulled off a piece and wrapped it over something that was not even hot, just warm.  A few minutes later?  Holes!  Teeny tiny holes in the foil where it came into contact with the food being covered.  Another night I baked some potatoes wrapped in tin foil.  (Pardon my calling it tin foil. I fully realize it's aluminum and not tin, but this all dates back to my grandmother and it's a tribute to her, just like when I call a fridge an ice box. Just play along, if you will.)  The foil would not detach itself from the potato properly, and now I'm convinced I have some sort of lethal condition caused by ingesting tidbits of tin foil.  Something is rotten in the state of foil.

1b. Tidbits of Tin Foil could be the name of something, like  an episode of Mystery Diagnosis a band or a cooking club or a hair salon even. 

2. The Mathews Cross Country teams did exceptionally well at last night's meet at Rappahannock Community College.

3. I love how the white fence above is slightly awry.  There is something very satisfying about that, as if it's saying, "Sure, your white fences typically denote perfection, but in this case we're just a hair imperfect or off balance and we just don't care."

Or, more to the point, it's just saying that facing east/northeast takes a toll after the first one or two nor'easters. I really like this fence.

Now it's your turn to share three things or thirteen things on whatever topic you wish. Whatever happens to be swirling around in your brain just waiting for the right time. Go ahead, and let it out.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wandering Wednesday

Today we're wandering down Bohannon way to an old place loaded with charm and character.

Not only was she photogenic...

...but she also provided a lovely frame for some of the surrounding homes and scenery.

Everywhere I turned there were scenes within scenes, if that makes any sense. Like the shot below of a door framing a glimpse at the interior and that distant window framing a glimpse at the other side. Frames, that's what I see everywhere.

Yes, I'm weird.  But that's really no secret.

In doing some research on the county for a side project, I happened upon a folder that contains all sorts of information on this place, and I took copious notes.  But I'm too tired to dig out all those notes because of a day that went like so:

  5:30 alarm, got dressed in the cold and the dark, grabbed strong, black coffee on way out the door to drive 50+ miles to work where I sat in agony for 8.5 hours because I've thrown my back out and no amount of pain reliever works but it only hurts when I sit except all I do all day long is drive sit at a desk and then I raced to my daughter's soccer game and then home to make dinner and then back in the car to the high school to retrieve son who watched volleyball game and then tried to come up with a blog post while still in agony from back pain and exhausted due to Life and don't forget school forms & fees due tomorrow and make sure you have clean clothes for work and the cat threw up and GET ME OFF THIS CRAZY RIDE!

You know, one of those days.

So for now let's just enjoy the scenery and not worry too much about the details, although if you have any background on this place, feel free to chime in.

p.s. Thanks for letting me vent, and of course I really don't want to completely disembark this crazy ride, I just want it to slow down some. Also, it would be nice if the ride came with a one-way ticket frequent flyer miles to Bora Bora, where I'd relax in my thatched over-the-water hut that had room service and daily maid service. Oh, Bora Bora, wherefore art thou?   


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Trio

Saturday's fishing trip wasn't just about trying to get someone else to bait my hook for me  fishing.  For me, it was also about gazing out at the sparkling water and taking in the sights. There were tons of other boaters out relishing what soon will be a rarity - a very warm, sunny day.

The boat above was going a mile a minute out of Deltaville headed towards the bay.  I'd give a pretty penny or maybe even an ugly one for a glimpse inside. If she could talk no doubt she'd have many exciting adventures to share.

Along with your run of the mill fishing boats and the occasional yacht,  there were several sailboats making the rounds.  I've not been around many sailboats other than a sunfish when I was a kid.  One of my only memories involving a larger sailboat was when I had dinner on a catamaran off Grand Cayman circa 1990.

Now that was memorable.

And also a lifetime or two ago.

Do you ever feel as if you've lived three or four different lives in the same lifetime?

I do.

Each segment is like a very distinct chapter of a book with seemingly very little connection to the other chapters. I"m probably not explaining it very well. Perhaps I'll try again some other time.

For now, none of this has anything to do with boats, and I believe that's what we were talking about.

Yes, this is a repeat photo from yesterday.

Have you ever been sailing?  When was the last time or when was the most memorable time?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Gone Fishin'

Once upon a weekend, Chesapeake Bay Woman and a small party boarded a vessel called the Seagull and went fishing.

The captain and crew headed out on a chilly Saturday morning that later turned into a spectacularly warm day.

Below is a shot of the calm waters as the optimistic party headed out of Queens Creek to points beyond which included the Mud Hole, Fishing Bay and the Spike.

Yes.  The Spike.

 Now CBW had heard of the Mud Hole, near the mouth of the Piankatank River, and Fishing Bay, which hugs the Deltaville side of the river.  But when Cap'n D (shown below) said they were going to go to the Spike, CBW wasn't sure she had heard correctly.

In fact, CBW was so confused she thought maybe he said they were going to "get some spike" as in a particular type of fish called spike, even though CBW wasn't sure any such fish existed at all anywhere on the planet, much less in the Piankatank River at this time of year.

Still, she kept an open mind. And she also kept all these questions to herself.

CBW's mind is a very, very confusing place to live, but you already suffer her rambling writing so you know that of which she speaks

Of course he wasn't talking about going to get some spike, whether or not such a creature exists.  Rather, he was talking about a fishing spot called the Spike, known to everyone in this hemisphere the 804 area code except for CBW.

So, the happy party dropped anchor amid a very large number of party boats at the mouth of the Rappahannock River, at a spot where the depth drops from 15 to 30 or so feet.

It's important for CBW to clarify that in this instance "party boats" refers to chartered fishing boats which may or may not have people aboard who are partying.

The Seagull was very well stocked with pretzels and beer  every possible fishing contraption, gizmo or gadget.  Below are some of the fishing poles, one of which CBW ended up breaking ( the rig anyway) when The Big One got away.

There were lots of other boats in our midst that day, and many beautiful vistas.  Below is one of the many sailboats out enjoying the perfect weather.

Of course, there were some not so pleasant vistas as well.

Below is the cutting board for bait.  CBW steered plenty clear of this for about the first hour and let someone else bait her hook and pull off the hundreds of fish she caught.  After a while, though, she finally warmed up to the whole worm on the hook thing.

Everybody else was doing it, why couldn't she?

I'll tell you why she couldn't.

It was all just okay until the first time a segment of bloodworm wriggled in her hand.  After that she had no further use for the whole thing and went back to letting someone else do it for her, claiming that they did it way better than she did. (All together now:  Blech.)

After several hours of soaking in the warm sunshine and breathing in the salty sea air, the happy party began to smell fishy returned to the dock with about 15 or so spot that somebody else cleaned  because CBW doesn't do that either.

Last but not least, somebody else fried up the delectable spot fillets which CBW happily gobbled up, because one thing CBW does do is eat.  

The End.

p.s. My thanks to everyone on that fishing trip for a fantastic day.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Serendipity:  n. a seeming gift for finding good things accidentally.

Herondipity:  n. having the good fortune to be invited on a fishing trip; remembering to bring your camera; and accidentally finding a heron who was most displeased at having his morning sun bath interrupted.

(This photo is not the best in the world, but I was on a moving vessel. The heron, which blends in very well with his surroundings, is on the dock.)

Yesterday was gorgeous, and I did in fact have the pleasure of spending the better part of the day fishing.

For the time being, no references will be made as to who caught the most or who caught the least, but rest assured if such references were to be made, CBW would have nothing to be ashamed of.

Hopefully there will be time today to download and upload photos from the fishing festivities, but for now I need to figure out how to get the fish smell off me.

Have you ever been fishing?
When was the last time?
Did you catch anything?
Who cleaned them?

p.s. Today's date is 10/10/10. Not sure if that's serendipitous or what, but it's sure worth  mentioning.