The Brood X cicadas have returned after 17 years underground…this is what they looked like and sounded like, near The Train House in Virginia…
This is one of many that landed on our back porch…they are very gentle and let you get pretty close to them!! They are about an inch and a half long, notice how beautiful and intricate the wings are and the bulging red eyes.
This guy and plenty of others, were found on the foundation of our house!! They appear in mid May when the temperatures reach 64 degrees, and will be gone by the end of June!! This Brood X is found around Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, Indiana and eastern Tennessee!
We found these on a fence pole in the cemetery, up the street from us, and there are LOTS of them, mostly near trees!! According to an article by National Park Service …”By coming out in huge numbers, all the predators that eat cicadas can get their fill and there will still be plenty of cicadas left to breed and perpetuate the species. It’s a survival strategy called prey satiation. There are more cicadas than all the combined predators can eat.” These predators are just about every animal, including dogs and humans😂 Because the cicadas are formed and live most of their lives underground, they are similar to shrimp, so if you have a shell fish allergy, you are advised not to eat them🤣
These are cicada shells, found around the base of trees…A cicada shell is the exoskeleton from which a winged, adult cicada emerges. Once the exoskeleton is shed, it is left behind, attached to a bush or a tree branch and falls to the ground!!
The bakeries are selling cicada cookies, not made from cicadas!!
Here is the sound of Brood X Cicadas, in a treed area around a home we visited… If you have any questions about cicadas, just ask me and I’ll try to answer them!! I found them fascinating, but loud!!
On our latest visit to Virginia, we took a trip to Charlottesville, to the lovely Boar’s Head Inn and then to visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello!! We gave this trip to Gina and Family for Christmas!!
The Boar’s Head Inn, in Charlottesville, is known for it’s state-of-the-art athletic center, it is a top 25 ranked tennis camp in the world, also the home of University of Virginia’s Tennis Team, and the golf facilities aren’t too shabby either!! But we weren’t there for tennis or golf, we were there to relax, visit Monticello and enjoy their restaurants!! What we also discovered was it gave us a reprieve from the cicadas…no cicadas in the middle of Virginia, only northern Virginia!!
There are 14 outdoor (10 hard, 4 clay) and 12 indoor hard courts as well as 4 pickleball courts (2 indoor, 2 outdoor). That does not count the new stadium with 6 hard courts reserved for UVA tennis teams and competitions.
This is a rock climbing wall, which the boys wanted to do, but we ran out of time!! Photo on the right, me playing cards by the pool with Aaden❤️
Aaden brought his clubs, knowing they had beautiful golf courses…the putting green was right off an outdoor restaurant, that Aaden could enjoy…the only one in our party that enjoys golf!!
And an unexpected surprise!! Parker is up early, usually 5 am and so is Gina, not me, although I would have enjoyed this sight!! One of the mornings they were out early for a walk around the grounds of the Inn and they saw people preparing for a double hot air balloon ride!!
Parker was in awe of it all!!
And they are free…Gina said the people in the balloons were waving to them!!
🌳 Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello🌳
This is the front of Monticello, his estate was built entirely by slaves…Jefferson inherited the land and started building this house at the age of 21 in 1764, a project that occupied his imagination throughout his life.
He began planning the major renovation and expansion of his home in 1790, the year after he returned from France, where he was inspired by the architecture he saw. One of his ideas was, that staircases took up too much room in houses, so he put his off of a small hall next to the foyer. As you can see from the left photo, the foyer was filled with artifacts from his time, but no grand staircase.
This is a portrait in the foyer, of Jefferson, called the Final Portrait, done by the famous painter, Thomas Sully.
This is part of his library, he sold his vast personal collection of books, maps and pamphlets to Congress in 1815. The books that are behind the plastic covering belonged to him, the others are books that he might have had from his era. My Parker, who loves books, was reprimanded for touching the books!
Another idea Jefferson got from France architecture was to build his bed into the wall, to save space, give him privacy and be able to roll out of bed, either in his office or his bedroom chamber!!
This a photo of Victor and me, with the Thomas Jefferson reenactor, behind us is the back of Monticello!
The kitchen of Monticello is in the basement…
A grandfather clock that sits in a corner of the kitchen, interesting note in the right photo about this clock and Jefferson. It speaks to the “times!!”
In order to get to Monticello, we parked in the visitors center and had to take a bus up a long winding road, that was very steep, to the estate. This led me to think of how Thomas Jefferson got up there in his day…well this was it, a one seater carriage with narrow wheels!! An interesting fact: People who came to visit Jefferson, would park at the bottom of the estate’s hill and walk up 2 miles up, even women in their fancy clothes.
The revolutionary garden, as written in The Official Guide to Thomas Jefferson’s World: “Ever a Man of the Enlightenment, Jefferson in 1812 divided his vegetable garden into 24 rational plots, or squares,” according to the part of the plant to be harvested: fruits, roots, and leaves. Built on a terrace facing southeast with a 1,000 foot long retaining wall, the garden was a grand experiment. ‘I am curious to select only one or two of the best species or variety of every garden vegetable, and to reject all other,’ Jefferson wrote. He kept meticulous notes on the day seeds were sowed or plants harvested. To supply salads, Jefferson had lettuce and radishes planted every week. Elderly slaves did most of the gardening, directed by enslaved head gardeners.
An aerial view of the estate. You can see the slave quarters, called Mulberry Row, off to the right, as you face the house. We did not get to see that important part of the historical estate, but our next visit will include nothing but that!!
The family cemetery on the grounds of the estate…
The above words are inscribed on Thomas Jefferson’s gravestone. Where is “Third President of the United States of America?” Before his death, Thomas Jefferson left specific instructions for a monument to be constructed on his grave site. In reference to the words to be placed on his gravestone, Jefferson said, “On the faces of the Obelisk the following inscription, and not a word more.” He continued by writing, “because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.”
And then we visited the University of Virginia, in which Jefferson designed, and called “the hobby of my old age.”
With Juneteenth becoming a holiday in our country, this past weekend, it is up to us to educate ourselves and others on slavery. I didn’t realize that slaves built Monticello and also, aided in the building of The University of Virginia, Click on the highlighted area, for a good resource regarding Slavery at Monticello.
I have only scratched the surface of the history of Monticello, I hope I have piqued your interest…there is so much information on this subject, on the internet, I will be taking advantage of it, and will be going back to Monticello to gain more knowledge!!