Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DC Tropics on TV!

Photo:  Michael K. Wilkinson

[Re-posted from November 2013; the episode is re-airing on Thursday, April 2, at 7:30 am (Eastern) on HGTV; check your local listings.]

In 2007, Dan and I started planning a renovation project for our 1927 rowhouse in Washington, DC; construction was completed in late 2008.  Earlier this year, part of our project was featured on an episode of HGTV's "Bang For Your Buck".  In case you missed the episode, it will be airing again on Friday, November 15 at 10:00 am Thursday, April 2, at 7:30 am (Eastern) on HGTV (but check your local listings).

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring forward?

Crocus carnage
Crocus carnage: Bird?  Squirrel?  Gremlins?

Spring is never a straightforward season and March is especially unpredictable.  I had 77 degrees (25° C) two days ago, and a frost last night.  I guess I shouldn't complain too much because it snowed in Buffalo yesterday!  But complain I will, because when I came home from work last night I discovered that, just as they were about to open, some critter had nipped off nearly every bud on my 'Ruby Giant' crocus.  @$%&#!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A bird of a different feather

V-22 Osprey

I've had neither the energy nor inspiration for blogging the past couple of weeks.  It happens.  So to go completely outside the box, here are some photos I took yesterday.  I felt like crap in the morning and called in sick, but as I was trying to sleep in some large low-flying aircraft kept circling over my neighborhood for at least an hour.  I looked out the window and this is what I saw.  This is the kind of thing that reminds me that Washington, DC isn't like other cities!

V-22 Osprey

I had no clue what this thing was until I saw a flurry of activity on Twitter and somebody identified it as a V-22 Osprey.  I've seen many different kinds of military aircraft flying over the District, but this was a first for me.   There were also several large military helicopters flying over, which usually means the President is on the move.  Since I was awake anyway, I grabbed my camera and was able to get a few decent shots from my roof deck, including one that also captured a jet flying far overhead (which I didn't even notice until I downloaded the photos from my camera).

V-22 Osprey

V-22 Osprey

V-22 Osprey

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I hate the Philadelphia Flower Show

Flower show (2)
Marquee should read: abandon hope, all ye who enter here

I hate the Philadelphia Flower Show.  There, I said it.  It's heresy, I know.  The Philadelphia Flower Show, which bills itself as "the world's longest-running and largest indoor Flower Show", is certainly one of the best-known and best-loved flower shows in the entire country, with a practically cult-like following built around it.  I managed to avoid it for over 20 years, having found it just too damn crowded the last time I went.  This time around, I was already in Philadelphia for another event on the first weekend of the show and decided what the heck, I'll give it another chance.  I arrived at the show at 10 am on Sunday morning, and fled at noon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Losing Fort Lauderdale

Poolside view, Alhambra Beach Resort

In a recent post I wrote a bit about our first trip to Ft. Lauderdale 10 years ago.  For that first trip, as I usually do, I made arrangements at the last possible minute.  We were lucky enough to book a single night at a motel just a block from the beach that had been recommended by an online friend.  We liked it immensely, and we've been staying at the Alhambra Beach Resort ever since.  In fact, the last few years we've been making our reservations there a year in advance!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Winter, winter, go away

March snow
Winter in the city

I promised a blog post about my recent vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, but the weather has intervened.  An unusually late snowstorm that produced a record amount of snow for this date (ca. 5 inches) shut down the federal government on Thursday and generally pissed off everybody in the Midatlantic region.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Florida 2005

Strangler fig, Naples, January 2005

It's hard to believe I've been vacationing in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for 10 years.  In 2005, Dan and I decided to spend a day there before traveling to Sarasota, where I was scheduled to give a talk at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.  I hadn't been to Florida since I was a kid, and never to south Florida at all, so I arranged a whirlwind tour that started in Ft. Lauderdale, stopping in South Beach on our way to a tour of Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami, driving across the state to visit my parents and aunt in Naples, up to Sarasota and Selby, then back to Naples for more family time and finally flying out of Ft. Myers, all in the space of 5 days.  In retrospect it was insane, but we enjoyed that trip immensely.  Here are a few more photos from that trip (although oddly enough, I have none from Ft. Lauderdale!).