Secondhand is Grand

Yesterday, my mother and her partner arrived in town for a visit: a Southern stop on their grand new RV adventure.  With them, they brought the gift of a dresser from their old life.  It’s a perfect fit to the baby’s new life.  The filling of the drawers has already begun!

For children’s clothing, Matt and I are big fans of secondhand goods in 100% cotton — so many great deals to be had!  Since we’re waiting until the birth to learn whether the baby is a boy or a girl, for now, unisex clothing is the name of the game.

We are actually thankful for this gender-neutral requirement!  In a world so full of beguiling baby goods, it keeps our preparatory spending in check, and ensures that much of what we buy can — with luck — be used again for baby #2 someday.

In our shopping, we’ve also been limiting ourselves to clothing for the very first weeks and months.  Some of the most frequent advice we’ve been given by other parents is not to stock up on too many baby clothes ourselves, as they are a gift that the baby is likely to receive in abundance!

When we were in upstate New York recently, we took advantage of two consignment shops there: this one, where you can peruse big bins of onesies priced at 3 for $1, and this one, which just expanded into a huge new retail space bursting with fantastic stuff.

Back in Williamsburg, I made a trip to this giant twice-yearly consignment sale and found some wonderful things.  (Next stops on the consignment shop list: Sugar and Spice in W’burg and the hip-hip Clover in Careytown in Richmond.)

And with that, the baby has the beginnings of a wardrobe!

My favorite item so far: a little onesie printed with dragonflies and honeybees and lines of text that include this one:

Let’s wander through the woods

A sentiment near and dear to my heart!


Heronry on the James

Did you know that mating pairs of Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) build nests of sticks high up in trees?  Or that when many herons nest at the same site, the breeding ground is called a heronry?

I sure didn’t, until yesterday, when a friend took us to witness a growing heronry in Richmond.

The heronry is isolated on an island in the middle of the James River.  In the photo above, all those black dots in the treetops are nests!

This heronry — over 40 nesting pairs and counting! — cropped up within the last four years.  No one is sure exactly why so many herons have come to choose it.  Hypotheses include an improvement in water quality in the James River, and the fact that the island location is safe from egg-sucking marauders like raccoons.

Too, too cool.

* * * A dozen more photos — prettiness!  people!  pipelines!  — from our Sunday Richmond adventure are on Flickr, beginning here (browse to the right) * * *


Cross at the Falls

Yesterday, we had a Richmond adventure with our friend Robert.

(Everything is an adventure with Robert.  This is one of many reasons why we love him.)

Many photos from the day will be forthcoming on Flickr — a secret garden, a riverside heronry, a pipeline hike.

But this morning, I’ll begin with this photo:

A cross erected to mark the date (24 May 1607) and point at which waterfalls first impeded Captain Christopher Newport and his ship of gentleman mariners in their upriver exploration of the James.

I am not a religious person, but I do love a scene that marries terra cotta and turquoise.

(And, after all, it was Palm Sunday afternoon.)


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