A Drive in the Country

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We have been having a spectacular fall here in the Northeast.  October has been a near perfect month with warm daytime temperatures and cool nights, with no frost yet.  The deep blue skies have set off the colorful foliage beautifully.  So on Mr. D’s. birthday which was last weekend, we set off on (another) foliage drive.   Even though some of the color was fading in a few areas it was still quite beautiful, and I was able to capture a variety of scenes with my camera.  Come along with us for a ride.

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For my readers who live in parts of the world where nature does not put on a show like this, I thought you might like to see some of what we experienced through my photographs.

A stream by the side of the road.

A stream by the side of the road.

Every bend in the road brought new delights.

Every bend in the road brought new colors.

I love these old farm houses, especially if they're red.

I love these old farm houses, especially if they’re red.

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A group of kayakers were out on the river, enjoying a beautiful day.  A short distance from this scene we came upon an old covered bridge spanning the river.  The following photos are from that spot.

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One car at a time can pass through this bridge.

Side view of the bridge.

Side view of the bridge.

Along the riverbank, orange leaves and evergreens mixed.

Along the riverbank, orange leaves and evergreens mix.

More of those orange leaves, so bright against the greens.

More of those orange leaves, so bright against the greens and browns.

Continuing on our drive,  we came upon another old farmhouse, beautifully maintained.  Note the stone chimney.

Another old red farmhouse.

Another old red farmhouse.

Another bend in the road brought new sights:

Bend in the road!

Bend in the road!

IMG_5429In New England there are many stone walls.  Constructed by hand to mark property boundaries, you see them everywhere, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one along a river bank like this.

IMG_5446Red barns are a common sight.  This one has an unusual round window on the side.  The weathered barn in the center is attached to the back of the house, seen at the right.

Big and little barns.

Big and little barns.

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Another style of old barn with a silo attached.

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I guess we know who these folks will be rooting for. 😀

At the end of the day,  a scene in my own back yard.  As I look out my kitchen window, I see this tree set “on fire” by the setting sun.  Gorgeous!

Sugar Maple tree lit by the setting sun!

Sugar Maple tree lit by the setting sun!

Hope you have enjoyed the day’s outing with us.

Waiting for Sandy

11:00am. ESDT.   I’m not in the habit of posting on Sunday, but I wanted to let you all know what may be happening in the next few days here on the East Coast.  Everyone seems to be scrambling around getting stocked up and filled up while we wait for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.  I, like everyone else have done the same, so I’m as ready as I can be.  In addition to preparing for the storm, I baked yesterday for my father-in-law’s big birthday party which is today.  I finally decided to make apple cobbler cupcakes with caramel frosting, which I ‘ll be telling you about real soon.  For now though, I want you to know that I have a series of postings lined up to self-publish, however if we lose power for any length of time the internet will go out and you will not be hearing from me.

The weather here yesterday and today has been so weird.  The skies are dark and threatening with hugh dark clouds, but the air is so still; not a leaf is moving.  I guess that’s what is meant by the calm before the storm.

It is now 7:00pm EDST. and we have returned home from the party.  Outside a misty rain is falling and the wind is picking up.  Forecasters tell us to expect the storm to start earlier than previously predicted.  I took some photos of the sky on my way home to share with you.  As I close down my computer for the evening I will note that we are expectantly waiting, but hoping things do not get as bad as the weather forecasts are predicting.  I hope to be back on line and “talking” with you very soon.

Atlantic Beach and the Crab’s Claw Restaurant

 

 

Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

When you live in New England a day spent at the beach in October is a rare thing; the weather is usually too cool.  But in Eastern North Carolina it is not at all unusual.  So that is what we did on a beautiful sunny day, when the temperature was in the mid -70’s.  Driving a short distance from where we were staying, we took the Minisotte Ferry ( a free ride) to Morehead City and on to Atlantic Beach.

This whole area of the coast is made up of creeks, salt-water inlets,  sounds, and various other bodies of water which require that you drive  around them to get to the next town down the line.  These are all beach-oriented communities that have summer visitors who rent the cottages lining the beach, but by fall most have left the area, and the communities become quiet with only the local full-time residents left.  Surprisingly there were quite a few stores, restaurants and other business still open, so we drove around enjoying the sights of pastel cottages, quaint streets and very friendly people.

Pretty, pastel-colored beach cottages line the shoreline.

Atlantic Beach is located over a cause-way from Morehead City, and is comprised  of one street running parallel to the beach, along which you find many very pretty cottages, interspersed with beachy-type shops and restaurants.  At the very end of this road is Fort Macon State Park.

We came to this narrow strip of land in search of a seafood restaurant in which to have lunch.  We were in luck to find the Crab’s Claw, an oceanfront Caribbean restaurant situated right on Atlantic Beach and featuring locally caught fish.  It was a warm, sunny day, so we chose to sit outside on one of two decks overlooking the sand and the water.  What a lovely spot!.  We relaxed and watched walkers and bikers on the boardwalk as well as a few folks out on the beach.

Looking up the boardwalk from where we had lunch.

A biker making use of the boardwalk.

Our waitress was knowledgable about the menu and the day’s special offerings.  Most lunch entrees were very moderately priced  ranging from $8.00 – 12.00.  The special offering for lunch was fresh sushi-grade tuna, lightly seared and then chunked for a tuna salad with added finely grated carrot, red onion, and a “bite” of chipotle. This was served “open-faced” with a melt of Swiss or American cheese   on the top, and accompanied by triangles of toasted flour tortillas.  Two of us chose this offering and we both loved it.  The tuna was cooked just right, tender and flavorful, not overwhelmed, but enhanced by the additional other ingredients.

Fresh Tuna Salad with Tortilla Points

My husband ordered the Cuban Sandwich on a Kaiser Roll.  This consisted of thinly sliced ham and pork with lettuce and tomato and melted cheese.  It was served with sweet potato fries.  He enjoyed his choice and said it was very good.

Cuban Sandwich on a Kaiser Roll with Sweet Potato Fries.

The other gentleman in our party ordered the Caribbean Barbecue Burger, also served with lettuce and tomato and french fries. He ordered his burger rare, which it was, and he really enjoyed it.  There were slices of hot peppers in amongst the lettuce and tomato, giving it that Caribbean kick.

Caribbean Barbecue Burger.

All of us were well-satisfied with our choices, and left this delightful place feeling that we had been well fed.

If I lived here I would be going to the Crab’s Claw frequently for lunch, so for anyone vacationing in this part of the country, be sure to make a visit.  Since the season is winding down, they will be closing on select days of the week, so call ahead to check about days they are open.