Most of my cousins have remained living pretty close to the old homestead, which makes for some very large family celebrations that are held here throughout the year. Christmas and Easter are just plain out and out crazy with the amount of relatives that manage to get together each year. And when you include all of the close and dear family friends and neighbors it can quickly fill up one of the larger homes in the family and always manages to spill out into the outdoors and other out buildings. Good weather is always a plus with such a large crowd.
This last Easter my cousin Patricia wasn’t among us. Her new husband was given orders to go over to Germany to continue serving his time for our country in the Army. She was always the one that took charge of the Easter Egg Hunt for all of the dozens of kids that look forward to all year long, but it worked out as well as can be expected without her unique and special touches.
It’s a good thing for the translation companies that are available to the, considering she is refusing to learn any German what-so-ever. This really surprises me because she is such a creative woman with such a great sense of humor. Not to want to reach out and learn the language of the country that you are living in is just crazy to me. It seems that she is planning on staying on the base as much as possible, spending her time with other spouses from America who are counting down the days until they get to go back home and return to the family, friends, jobs and hobbies that they had to leave behind for a few years.
The first seven months of the year happens so fast and before you know it August is here. A seasoned traveller might tell you that summer is not always the best time to go and explore a certain place. For a change, you can try visiting mid- year and bear witness to worthwhile activities that are still in store for you during your arrival. Specifically, at Lord Howe, you get to still enjoy bird watching, apart from that you can still go to leisurely walks, hike the tropic forests and climb majestic mountains. Here’s a list of year round activities that you can enjoy for the second half of the year:
Let’s start with August, explore the Roach island and there you will find shearwater chicks that are coming out of their shell deep in the burrows. At the end of the month, watch the night sky as terns land on Admiralty Island. A few days past August, you can see the arrival of Mutton birds.
When you are visiting Lord Howe in September, you can bear witness to the return of various species of Mutton birds such as the Wedge tailed Shearwaters and also the Flesh footed kind. The ternlet will then lay its egg early in this month. Then the land birds will begin nesting. It is fun to have breakfast outside because you will be visited by Sonthrush and English black birds. When you’re lucky enough you may even see the Golden Whistler.
During October, the red tailed tropic bird starts to breed along the cliffs. It is common knowledge that this island is the largest breeding colony in the world. This is the place where migrant waders coming all the way from the Arctic breed.
When this month comes to a close, visitors can bear witness to the first of summer blooms. The colours coming from the flowers of the Mountain Rose, Sallywood, Pumpkin tree, boar tree and island pine is indeed a spectacle worth seeing. Note that the flowers coming from the wedding lily only last for a single day. This plant is actually endemic and was brought to the island from South Africa.
During your stay at Lord Howe in November, you get to see the different stages of growth of the Masked Booby birds. Grey ternlets and even the providence petrel chicks have fledged. November is also the month where the Black winged petrel arrives. After mating, the mutton bird colonies leave the island then return briefly afterwards to lay their single eggs at the end of the month.
Before you know it, it’s already December where vegetation is at its finest in the island. Actually, the island is part of the World Heritage list because of the unique vegetation it possesses. As a matter of fact, there are about 160 species of native flowering plants found on the island, apart from that, there are also about 57 species of ferns that are sprawled all around the place especially in the tropic forests.
Take a trek among the many mountain summits of the island to see the Giant Health or more commonly known as the Fitzgeraldii or you can explore the forests and see the extra ordinary Pandanus tree beginning to bloom during this period.
It’s good to hear that my buddy from way back in the Junior High School days (you can tell how long ago that was, they still called it Junior High School, not a Middle School as they are known as these days) has taken a job as an cpa in north carolina. Only a short trip from his parents mountain home and property that is right close to the Virginia state line. I believe it is called Fancy Gap. A gorgeous place to live, but they still have Internet connections and cell phone signal issues that would drive me right up the wall!
We have been chatting it up a bit on Facebook these past couple of years. If I didn’t have the Internet I would be totally lost. I seriously think I would lose my mind. But at least I would have a great back yard view.
There is something about school starting that means the weather will be changing at the same time. The month of September is usually one of the best around here. The daily temperatures are warm, but mild. The nights are cooler and as each day goes by, there is a noticeable chill in the air.
Fall is when you break out the long pants and jackets, and do fun things like go to football games. The leaves on the trees start to turn color and then drop to the ground, waiting for you to rake them up and get ready for winter.
I hope you enjoy the fall weather. I noticed today that the days are getting shorter and the nights are much cooler. I actually had to go get a jacket when I stepped out to carry the trash cans down to the curb for pickup tomorrow morning.
My nature loving parents tell me that isn’t too late in the season to put up a hummingbird feeder and are urging me to purchase one quickly so that I can enjoy watching these tiny little creatures this summer as they (and millions of others) do each spring and summer. They even sent me a link to a company, birdfeeders.com, that sells a great variety of hummingbird feeders that they suggest I take a gander at and find one to utilize. They are urging me to purchase a glass hummingbird feeder, they are much easier to keep clean if they are made of glass and these feeders need to be kept clean in order to attract these little migrating birds that we all find so fascinating and exciting to watch.
Since I have been working so very hard to get the backyard cleaned up and I intend to use it more than I have in the past, I’m thinking that this would be a great addition and I look forward to entertaining on the weekends and evenings there when it cools down a bit this summer.
I recommend this site to anyone interested in learning more about hummingbirds and to find good quality products online.
mini hummingbird feeder