Category Archives: Washington, D.C.

August Visit to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens…

between scorching hot summer temperatures and all of the upheaval with our home improvements it had been four weeks since we last visited the aquatic gardensMagpie's Nest Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens wildlife

instead of a packed parking lot like at the end of July we were one of just a handful of visitors bright and early on Sunday…Magpie's Nest Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens August Panorama

even though there were fewer blooms than earlier in the summer the lotuses (loti) did not disappoint standing tall in the morning light with pearls of dew sparkling like diamonds…

Magpie's Nest Morning dew on lotus leavesthere were lots of handsome lotus pods with their rattly black seeds…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Lotus seed heads

and a fair number of fresh buds too…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Loti all stages

the bees seemed extra busy…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Bees

this visit the tropical ponds really captured my attention…Magpie's Nest Tropical lily pond

the plants in these ponds have to be overwintered in greenhouses each year since they are not natives…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Victorian water lily in bloom

we were lucky to catch the big Victoria amazonica water lily in bloom as it only opens when it is cooler in the mornings and closes in the midday heat…Magpie's Nest Fred on Head water bottle

in the photo above you get an idea of how tall the loti are this time of year… surpassing Mr Magpie’s 6 foot 7 inches (measurement INCLUDES the FRED water bottle on his head)…

Magpie's Nest Praying Mantis and Dragonfly

each visit to this national park is a delight with beauty and wonder at every turn (this was our fourth visit this summer)…Magpie's Nest early morning loti

with dew soaked shoes we headed back to Virginia by way of PAUL’s  and had a yummy bite to eat…Magpie's Nest PAULs Tysons 11

joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for TuesdayMagpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz golden lotus painted background

and offering another digital piece combining my photo and artwork for Art Journal Journey’s NATURE’S WONDERS theme ~♥~ thank you for your visit

out and about…

a visit to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens was the only outing we had planned for the 4th of July holiday…Magpie's Nest Loti Samplerfeeling hungry after hours of admiring the loti we thought we would try a local PAUL Bakery and cafe Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Paul Cafe Tysons VA which is located in a shopping mall we hardly ever visit…Magpie's Nest Jardin des Tuileries Paris Franceback in April we had enjoyed a tasty bite to eat at a PAUL concession in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris (above) and were delighted to find out there were a few here in the US…Magpie's Nest Paul Cafe de Teaso on the 4th of July we feasted on silky custard veggie quiche and some delicious French pastries with cappuccinos and brought home a delicious sesame seeded baguette made with organic flour that was baked on the premises…Magpie's Nest Anthro Meant to Beafter all that we decided to walk around each of the three levels of the enclosed shopping mall…

Magpie's Nest Anthropologie Tysons IIyou know how one thing can lead to another… we ended up going into one of my favorite window shopping storesMagpie's Nest Anthropologie displayand made an unexpected purchase…

Magpie's Nest Linea Carta by Diva Pyari cups Mr Magpie was right that we needed the I Paris mug and then I spotted the I San Francisco mug (two of our favorite cities how could we resist)…Magpie's Nest Tysons Corner bldg coming downwe drove home in the rain but stopped for a quick out the car window photo shoot of a building being demolished…

Magpie's Nest Tysons Corner demolished bldg reflectionsit always fills me with a bit of sadness along with wonder and fascination to see buildings being taken down like that (fun reflections in the building across the street)…Magpie's Nest Oak Marr Allium plantingsand finally I just had to share the beauty of some gorgeous allium bulbs planted at the entrance of a community recreation center which looked a bit like fireworks to me…

Magpie's Nest Oak Marr Rec Center entrancewe walked out under umbrellas with me snapping photos while Mr M made sure we didn’t get run over…

Magpie's Nest Loti 10 July 2016on 10 July we enjoyed our second visit to the aquatic gardens and even snapped a couple of photos of the beautiful waterlilies which are quite different from our favorite lotus blooms above and waterlilies below (we also stopped in for a bite at PAUL’s  again = YUM!)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Waterlilies Nature collagewishing everyone a Happy T Day ~♥~ thank you as always for making the time to visit with me here

Fred in Lotusland

this year we have been lucky enough to visit Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. six different times to enjoy the beautiful blooms

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowiczas with any garden each visit is special and exciting in different ways…

Magpie's Nest Lotus and Amazonian waterlily leafwe find the loti irresistible and so very photogenic…

Magpie's Nest Loti Reflectionsearly morning is our favorite time to watch the sunlight dance across the ponds…

Magpie's Nest a better viewwe have a plan for next year to bring a short step ladder to snap a photo like the visitors above cleverly did…

Oil Painter at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardenson a few of our visits we saw this artist painting en plein air (you could smell the oil paints)…

Magpie's Nest FRED recycle bottled waterand here is a photo of our good friend FRED

Magpie's Nest Waterlilies and Turtlesit is not hard to spend two or three hours strolling in the gardens as there is so much to enjoy and discover…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Kenilworth Aquatic Gardenssoon the ponds will be filled with brown lotus pods and yellowing leaves until the magic happens all over again next summer…

Magpie's Nest Mr Magpie and lotus podswishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

MiFoC November { Woche/Week 3 – Strasse/Street }

Magpie's Nest Wash DC streets

early on a chilly Saturday morning is a good time to drive the streets of Washington, DC…

Magpie's Nest Wash DC streets (1)

it is not a long trip on Route 50 from our house in Virginia about 25 miles (40 km) to Capitol Hill…

Magpie's Nest Wash DC streets (2)

our capitol dome is under repair with special scaffolding on the rotunda…

Magpie's Nest Wash DC streets (3)

you too can join in Manuela’s “street” photo challenge this week here

Rinda’s 2014 Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt: Final Part 3

many thanks to Rinda for another great scavenger hunt this year

to see my items 1 – 14 you can visit here and here and below you will find the remainder of my photo finds:

15. A juggler … a juggler remained elusive so I have substituted with Alternative B: a bird house  (I almost shared some photos I took from the television of a medieval fire ball juggler

Magpie's Nest our garden birdhouse

16. A sign in a language other than English

Magpie's Nest Starbuck's in China Town Wash DC

Starbuck’s found in China Town, Washington, D.C.

Magpie's Nest Korea Town in Annandale VA

Karaoke in the suburbs of northern Virginia

17. A lamp post

Magpie's Nest Reston Lake Anne

Lake Anne in Reston,Virginia

Magpie's Nest National Portrait Gallery Lamppost

so many lamp posts!

18. A water fall

Magpie's Nest Great Falls MD Heron on rocks

Great Falls Park, Maryland is a beautiful spot and we found a Great Blue Heron enjoying the view while waiting for his lunch to rush by

19. A public garden

Magpie's Nest Batholdi Park Wash DC (1)

Bartholdi Park in Washington, DC is one of our favorite “secret gardens

Magpie's Nest Batholdi Park Wash DC

it is part of the US Botanic Gardens tucked away across Independence Avenue in the shadow of the US Botanic Garden Conservatory… most enjoyable in every season

20. A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides.

Magpie's Nest Wash DC buses

Washington, D.C.

Magpie's Nest Wash DC buses (1)

21. A photograph of you with something representing the season (recognizing that the season will be Winter for our friends in the southern hemisphere). Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.Magpies Nest Lotus me 2

for the last couple of years we have visited the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens outside of Washington, DC to enjoy the Loti and Water Lilies…there I am with my camera taking a photo of Mr Magpie taking my photo

If you find something on the list too difficult, you may substitute one of the following items for anything on the list, except for Item #21:

Alternative A: A kite, hot air balloon or blimpMagpie's Nest OBX kiteboarding

kiteboarding is a popular sport on The Outer Banks of North Carolina… we enjoyed watching the boarders fly across the water rising up into the air now and again

Alternative B: A bird house substituted for a juggler at the beginning of my post

DSC00136

in case you were curious about the Medieval juggler I mentioned at the beginning of my post 😉 this photo was snapped from our television screen…

this is a scheduled post… I look forward to catching up with everyone soon… 

Rinda’s 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt: Part 2

last month I shared items 1-8 with you here and I have a few more for you now (some of the photos are better if you click on them to enlarge them)…

9. A bakery

sometimes we travel a bit out of our regular stomping ground to visit this nice German style bakery whose chocolate lined fruit tarts are the best…

Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe Arlington, VA

cupcakes have been the rage for sometime now  … I much prefer a fruit tart or scone … but cupcakes are pretty to look at…

Cupcaked Clifton, VA

this is a bakery called Cupcaked in the small town of Clifton, Virginia where there is also a great new papercrafts store in town!

10. A photo bomb (someone found lurking in the background of photo; the lurker may have intended to disrupt the picture or may be doing it unintentionally, but the background lurker is a surprise to the photographer)

Magpie's Nest Museum of the American Indian rooftop

in trying to snap a photo of the National Museum for the American Indian we noticed workers on the domed roof photo bombing our pictures…

Magpie's Nest Museum of the American Indian rooftop (1)

11. A horn

there were lots of great horns in the Washington D.C. Fourth of July parade…

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC Horns

all manner of horns…

Magpie's Nest Music the International Language

from all over the United States and the banner above says it all “Music The International Language” 

12. A mascot

Wash DC  McGruff crime fighting dog

McGruff the Crime Dog turned his head just as we clicked our photo but you get the idea…his motto is “Take a bite out of crime“…hmmm

13. A sunrise

Magpie's Nest VA Sunrise with Redbud treessunrises from our house are a bit obscured by trees and such but I was able to catch this view through our Redbud trees (I seem to see  lots more sunsets than sunrises!)…

Magpie's Nest Sunrise thru German Lace Curtain

and the gleaming morning sun peeking in through our window by my computer chair (we DO get to enjoy some splendid sunsets just stepping outside our front door in the evenings)

14. A parade

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC

the Fourth of July in Washington D.C. turned out to be a perfect day with low humidity and pleasant temperatures…

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC (2)

we had the feeling that people who enjoy a parade would have come out no matter the weather…

Magpie's Nest 4th of July Wash DC (3)

here is a link for the latest scavenger finds over at Rinda’s Gallo Organico…

I will share the remainder of my finds with you in a third and final installment later in September (#15 is proving to be the most illusive)

15. A juggler
16. A sign in a language other than English
17. A lamp post
18. A water fall
19. A public garden
20. A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides.
21. A photograph of you with something representing the season (recognizing that the season will be Winter for our friends in the southern hemisphere). Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.
If you find something on the list too difficult, you may substitute one of the following items for anything on the list, except for Item #21:
Alternative A: A kite, hot air balloon or blimp
Alternative B: A bird house

Rinda’s 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt: Part 1

here is my first installment for Rinda’s Scavenger Hunt
my husband and I are a team so you will see his name on some photos and mine on others…
1. A sign welcoming people to your home town (or a nearby town)

this photo on the side of a building in Washington DC looked a bit mysterious to us … 

Magpie's Nest #1

2. A garden gnome
We had been snapping photos of garden gnomes at local garden centers only to discover we had our very own tiny German (or maybe Swiss) gnome right here at home (top view he is sitting on a bench in my fairy garden and below he moved over to a pot of sedums…he likes to get around)…
Magpie's Nest #2 Gnome
3. Birds on a wire
this one was quite challenging UNTIL Mr Magpie suggested a tried and true spot which had me clicking away…
this one is my favorite shot with thirteen birdies…
Magpie's Nest #3 birds on the wire
4. A group of tourists
living so close to Washington, DC tourists are a common sight…
that said we enjoy going into town to play tourist too 🙂
Magpie's Nest Wash DC Segway tour groups
near the U.S. Capitol building…
Magpie's Nest Tourists near US Capitol
5. A rack of post cards
after looking up the definition of “rack” (1. a framework of bars, wires, or pegs on which articles are arranged or deposited) I decided a handful of my handmade postcards would do the trick on a wire holder I rescued from a thrift shop way back when
Magpie's Nest a handful of my postcards
6. An urban street scene
being in Washington D.C. for the Fourth of July was special and to avoid traffic we booked a hotel for two nights to enjoy the festivities…
Magpie's Nest #6 F Street Musicians
these musicians were really rocking it…
here is a 34 second snippet for you to listen to…
7. A rural landscape
heading west on Rt 50 in Northern Virginia you have to travel further and further to leave the housing developments and shopping centers behind…
Magpie's Nest Rt 50 barnthis barn is now used for some sort of construction business rather than farming…who knows when a photograph is all that will be left of it…
8. A tattoo on a person
here is one from the Washington, DC fourth of July parade
Magpie's Nest tattoo arm
that’s it for now….
the rest of my list below is still in progress…
feel free to join in the fun here as you have until 23 September to complete your hunt…
9. A bakery
10. A photo bomb (someone found lurking in the background of photo; the lurker may have intended to disrupt the picture or may be doing it unintentionally, but the background lurker is a surprise to the photographer)
11. A horn
12. A mascot
13. A sunrise
14. A parade
15. A juggler
16. A sign in a language other than English
17. A lamp post
18. A water fall
19. A public garden
20. A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides.
21. A photograph of you with something representing the season (recognizing that the season will be Winter for our friends in the southern hemisphere). Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.
If you find something on the list too difficult, you may substitute one of the following items for anything on the list, except for Item #21:
Alternative A: A kite, hot air balloon or blimp
Alternative B: A bird house

Grief weeps on the shoulder of history…

this Peace Monumet near the U.S. Capitol Building expresses some of what we are feeling after the tragedy of Malaysian Airlines 17…

Peace Monument Wash DC

sending Peace ♥ Love and Light to all…

Mikrokosmos July “Clouds” Challenge

the MiFoC photo challenge theme this first week in July is “Clouds” and I really wanted to play along so here we go on a little two day trip into Washington, DC where my husband and I played tourist for the fourth of July…

storm Arthur Clouds

these storm clouds show a bit of what Hurricane Arthur had in store for us but we were lucky and only had to deal with lots of wind and rain but no damage…

sun flag old post office

and just in time for the 4th of July when all of America celebrates with fireworks and parades the skies cleared and the hot sticky weather left us with gorgeous and comfortable weather to enjoy…

Environmental Protection Agency Wash DC

we walked all over and enjoyed some of the Independence Day parade down on Constitution Avenue …

clouds near China Town

a nice meal tasted even better al fresco at a favorite restaurant

Poste Restaurant courtyard al fresco

then it was time to walk down to The National Mall to get a spot on the grass to see the fireworks

4th of July

everyone seemed to be in great spirits and it was a melting pot of nationalities with people visiting from near and far away…

smoke clouds 2

the fabulous fireworks made special smoke clouds in the night sky…

Kimpton selfie

all we had to do was walk back to our hotel not worrying about dealing with traffic and leaving the city with the throngs of other people…

Celebrating the gift of trees…

with many thanks to the people of Japan for their gift of friendship in 1912 of 3,020 cherry trees to the people of the United States

Tidal Basin Washington Monument

it is not difficult to understand why flowering cherry trees called “Sakura” in Japan are highly exalted and cherished…

Floating reflected blossoms

thanks also to all those that have worked over the years to preserve and protect the cherry blossom trees here Washington, D C…

Sunrise silhouettes tidal basin

the delicate blossoms are a good reminder for us to appreciate what is…

BLUE sky blossom closeup

the blooms are fleeting and last only about two weeks at the very most and that is if no harsh rain or wind storms hasten their demise…

Parasol Patty

for many years now people have flocked to the United States capital to enjoy the beauty of the blossoms along with the magical fairyland that they create…

12 April 2014 JJJ Cherry Blossoms

our strategy this year was arriving at 6:30 am just before sunrise when the crowds are a little lighter than in the middle of the day…

Cherry Blossom Shade Quote

before we knew it three hours had passed and we had walked all around the Tidal Basin enjoying some monuments along the way…

Tidal Basin Jim and Patty 2014

this rite of spring has coincided with the blooming bluebells usually on time for our 11 April wedding anniversary for some years now…

Sakura Traveling Tea Cup

this is the fourth year that our traveling tea cup has made the trip to visit the Tidal Basin in Washington…

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms

March 2011 was when I first had the idea for a traveling tea cup (more on that another time)…

Cherry Blossom Beauty 2014

I will be a bit scarce in blogland but did want to join in with Bleubeard and Elizabeth to wish you a Happy T Day

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

The light filling the air

is so mild this spring day

only the cherry blossoms

keep falling in hast—

why is that so?

 Ki no Tomonori (c.850-c.904)

2013 Traveling Tea Cup Review…

joining in with Elizabeth and Bleubeard for the first T Stands for Tuesday of the new year sharing part 2 of my tea review to wrap up 2013…

magpies-nest-traveling-t-cup-2

our Traveling Tea Cup traveled overseas in June and had the chance to meet up with three different sweet and lovely blog friends

Traveling T Cup quote

we took it on another plane trip to visit our son in November…

Christkindl markt Denver CO

where we discovered a Christmas Market in downtown Denver, Colorado of all places…

Bluebell Traveling Tea Cup

we took it out in nature quite a bit locally to visit favorite blooming events like the Bull Run bluebells and Washington, DC Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossom Traveling Tea Cup

2013 turned out to be the year of the Wisteria for us…

dumbarton-traveling-t-cup-stone-wall

as we were lucky enough to catch it in bloom at three different gardens over the span of about a month…

longwood-gardens-wisteria-sampler

which included the out of state gardens of Longwood

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup at Longwood

 and Chanticleer in May of 2013…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup

in late June and July we visited a local garden that had the most magnificent water lily and lotus ponds which delighted us on several visits and kept us busy snapping hundreds of photos…

square-paper-parsol-traveling-tcup

we are looking forward to visiting a lot of these local spots again this year…

2013 Traveling T Cup Nature

thank you for joining me throughout the seasons with your always supportive and thoughtful comments…

Atlantic Ocean Traveling T cup (2)

I appreciate everyone’s visits even if you do not leave a comment…cup of kindness

“We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet/ for auld lang syne…”  ~Robert Burns

Blossom Love…

Parasol Painting

Mr Magpie and I celebrated our anniversary last week by enjoying the cherry blossoms in unusually hot summer like temperatures…

Bluebell Traveling Tea Cupwe made time first thing that same morning to visit our favorite bluebells with our traveling tea cup in tow…

Starling with Cherry Blossoms

 the cherry blossoms are in the city…


Cherry Blossom Traveling Tea Cup

and the blue bells are in a park a little nearer to our home…

Bluebell Forest

each place is special to us for different reasons…

Panorama Bull Run Park

the bluebell forest walk is always so peaceful…

Panorama Bluebell Forest

 we had the idea of using the panorama feature on our camera and Mr Magpie made it work vertically to try and capture the majesty of one of the trees in the bluebell woods

Bluebell Woods T Cup

we are lucky that for the fourth year in a row we have been able to enjoy both blooming events…

Happy Wanderers

one year we visited the bluebells six different times…

Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginica

“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things must sometimes fade, before they can bloom again.” ~Unknown

*thank you for visiting this pre scheduled post…thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the tragedies in Boston*

Welcome March …

February was a month of ups and downs for me both physically and emotionally and from what I can tell there are other people who share my relief that the month has ended…

15 Feb 13 Heart Tree Trunk (2)

  one lovely and memorable thing that happened in February was getting to go to the theater with Mr Magpie

Arena Stage Wash DC (1) a

thanks to my sister sharing some gift coupons we decided to take in a show…

Arena Stage Wash DC a

 Arena Stage in Washington, DC was founded in 1950 and this is the first time either of us had been there…

Metamorphoses Patrick Lee

we enjoyed all ninety minutes with no intermission watching ten talented actors brilliantly perform Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses painted pgsI was inspired to create some journal pages beginning with the artwork on the advertising card by graphic artist Patrick Lee

Metamorphoses painted pg right

it was great fun blending colors to try and compliment the card…

Metamorphoses journal pg right

it was hard to cover most of my painted page with photos from the internet depicting some of our favorite scenes (photography in the theater was strictly forbidden)…

Metamorphoses pgs

on the left hand page I attached and painted an envelope to hold our tickets along with the advertisement for the play…

Metamorphoses journal pg left

 there are no bad seats in the 680 seat Fichandler Theater at Arena Stage but we were happy that we were not in range of getting splashed from all of the frolicking in the heated 30,000 pound pool…

Metamorphoses journal pg tickets

there were moments when people in the first few rows would raise big black towels provided by the theater for protection…

Metamorphoses finished

we laughed and cried and did not want this unforgettable performance to end (it would definitely be worth seeing again!)…

if you are interested there are a couple of short video clips and photos to enjoy here

“There is a line in the show from Jung (I believe) that says “Dreams are private myths, myths are public dreams” which is an idea I like very much. Whenever and wherever we have done this show, audiences immediately connect to the stories because metamorphoses — change, unlooked for and often unwanted – is an inescapable fact of our lives; it binds us together. These myths give a kind of comfort in that they assert that it was ever thus — that change is the only constant – and yet, out of any destruction, something new is born. And aside from all this, the stories are also gripping because they have a kind of wit, an unexpected humor in their staging that is born from both their strangeness and their familiarity.”  — Mary Zimmerman, playwright/director

Art Journal Journeys has a theme of “Besondere Momente/Special Moments for March … be sure and stop by for a visit this month to see all of the wonderful and inspiring creativity AND you are most welcome to join in by creating your own art journal pages!