Saturday, October 29, 2011


We arrived in Asheville on a spectacular fall day and couldn't resist taking a few pictures of the house.

There are holly bushes in full berry everywhere in Asheville including the one you see at the corner of the house. Here's a closer view.

Here's the view across the street.

and some of the decorations.

The kids were starting to paint the pumpkins (future post)

and nearby was Spike, the praying mantis the kids found during the summer. Spike gave birth to a good-sized egg sac a few weeks ago and now spends her time eating meal worms and baby crickets. She appears to be quite intelligent. If you go near her enclosure to get a closer look, you can see her head swiveling to look at you too. It was hard to get her picture, but she hangs out near the top, so I pointed the camera downward through the top.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chapel Hill

Today we made a quick drive through the campus of UNC at Chapel Hill with thoughts of Wendy and Dave. The campus is very scenic, with beautiful buildings and lots of trees. It was humming with activity when we drove around first thing in the morning.

Of course, Don was interested in the athletic buildings, like the football stadium

and the Dean E. Smith Basketball Stadium

Then we were on the road to Asheville, enjoying the fall splendour.

Arrived early afternoon, took more pictures, and will post them in the next couple days.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Holiday in Nags Head

Tonight is our last night in Nags Head, NC. We took some pictures of the house we rented. It was a very comfortable raised bungalow close to Roanoke Sound. Here's the front view:

and here are a couple pictures of the interior:


and a sunset view out the front windows:

We had a great time exploring the Outer Banks from north (Corolla and Currituck Sound) to the south (Hatteras) and to the west (Roanoke Island and Manteo). A great holiday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sand Dunes

I spent the afternoon at Jockey's Ridge State Park in Nags Head, NC and what an adventure it was. There are several hiking trails that take you past points of interest with interpretive signs and also past people 'sledding' down steep sand hills and others preparing to windsurf or take off in ultralights and still others flying kites - it's the perfect location for all of these activities. Of course, to do anything remotely dangerous, you need to have proper certification.

Jockey's Ridge is one of the biggest sand dunes ever. 

There isn't much vegetation there, but I found these flowers blooming in October.

I took a picture of this interpretive sign.

Here is some more vegetation
and you can see what an amazing day it was in the Outer Banks.

These people were preparing hang-gliders for taking off.

Sand as far as the eye can see!

The park borders on Roanoke Sound. In the distance you can see the mainland of N. Carolina. The way back to my car was along the beach. I met a great blue heron fishing in the shallows, but didn't get a good picture, unfortunately.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Toothpick Art

Stan Munro, who lives in Syracuse, NY, creates complex architectural renderings of famous building, towers and temples using ordinary toothpicks and glue. His website is very informative, with a large photo gallery of his more than 100 works of art.

Here are a some of them:

The CN Tower, Toronto:

Grundtvig's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark

and The Woolworth Building, NYC

Asked how he got started in toothpick construction, Munro said he got hooked in a Grade 5 classroom when the teacher asked the students to build a toothpick tower that would support the weight of an egg. Reminds me of another Grade 5 classroom at PJ Jr. Public School,

Munro's constructions are on display all over the world and he is presently looking for a place for a permanent display. One possiblility is Toronto.