The daffodils are pushing up; daffodils, being the easiest bulbs to grow when you have a lot of deer, I plant more of these than any other, although I’m trying to build a good effect with grape hyacinths. The birds are making their spring plans. The redtailed hawk couple have been circling to locate a nesting site for the year. The other day one was being chased by a flock of crows, and when she or he sped off, the other arrived. That suggests the hawks take advantage of the crows’ behavior. I don’t know how you’d prove it, but I suspect the hawk watches, flying over, to see what shelters the squirrels run to, and keeps its eye on the brush heap, knowing prey will emerge from that spot after awhile. A pair of cardinals have been at the feeders, the male very bright…the local cardinal population has seemed a little down the last couple of years. Today, I saw a mockingbird fly up into the oak, calling in imitation of a hawk and some other bird I didn’t recognize. So he also is staking a territory to make use of in the next few weeks.
The hellebore languished for some years after I planted it. But then, I think in 2017, we had a huge cicada generation born, and the emergence from deep in the ground must have freed up the roots from struggling against those of the giant oaks. That summer the hellbore took off, and it’s been a big, healthy plant ever since, spreading out and making new hellebores. This lenten rose always blooms early and prolifically.
Below are some ornamental burls in a young phase. At center, you can see how small these two are, by comparing them to the acorn caps. They make interesting little ornaments for the flower bed they push themselves up into.
I saw my trees had what looked like several large birds roosting in the branches…but when I used my camera, they turned out to be just an unexciting bunch of squirrels and mourning doves. Earlier this week a neighborhood cat who comes to eat leftovers at my back door—and who’d just eaten both leftovers from my indoor cats’ food, and a handful of treats, started gathering himself while perched on my patio storage box. I thought he couldn’t do it, but the squirrel he was eyeing got behind a large flower pot. The cat made one huge leap, and landed in position to outmaneuver his prey. I saw him walking off with the squirrel in his mouth, and read the signs by the marks of his feet where he’d landed in the mud. So, some unhappiness in the squirrel community this week.
Transcriptions from the Alexandria Gazette and Daily Advertiser, September 1, 1819
The New Orleans Gazette of the 4th inst. states that a most dreadful hurricane took place on the coast of New Orleans, on the 28th ult. in which the U.S. schooner Firebrand, officers and crew were entirely lost; several others have met a similar fate or have been sunk. The officers on board the Firebrand were Lieutenant Grey, Dr. Wardle, and Messrs. Perkins and Adams, midshipmen. The schooner Thomas Shields was also capsized at the bay of St. Louis, and all the hands lost. All the houses at the bay of St. Louis were seriously damaged, and most of them blown down. The extent of the damage, it appears by the New Orleans Gazette, are as yet but partially known.
[The hurricane would have struck N.O. around July 28, 1819, the one reported below, striking the Virginia coast, was a separate event, of late August 1819]
We do not recollect to have ever witnessed at this season of the year, a heavier fall of rain than we have had in this place within the last eight and forty hours. With very little intermission it poured a perfect torrent, from Thursday afternoon, about four o’clock, until nearly the same hour yesterday, blowing a heavy gale of wind the greater part of time from Northeast to West, shifting frequently. The sudden change of wind from the former to the latter point, on the first of the floodtide, checked the water passing up James River, and caused it to raise so high in this harbor that all the wharves were overflowed, and most of the warehouses contiguous had their lower floors covered from one and a half to two and a half feet. The damages sustained from this source is a little short of, if it does not succeed, 2 thousand dollars. Messrs. J. and W. Southgate, J. R. Harwood, W. Ashley, and S. & P. Christian are the principle sufferers, the three first by injury done to perishable articles in the lower story, and the last by the tide sweeping off a quantity of shingles from the end of Moran’s wharf. Spars, plank, heavy timber, and wharf logs were seen floating about in the harbor, and deposited in places on the wharf where they had been left at the recess of the tide.
Several vessels were driven on shore in different parts of the harbor, but, we believe, sustained no damage.
The wind blew with intense violence until about 5 o’clock yesterday evening; and when our paper was put to press the weather had not assumed any thing of a settled appearance.
We anticipate shocking accounts from such vessels on the coast as were unable to make a harbor before the gale set in. Our harbor is full of vessels that had put in in expectation of bad weather.
100 Dollars Reward
I will give the above reward to any person who will return to my possession, negro LAWRENCE, who assumes the surname of FENWICK. This fellow left my farm, on the Wicomico river, in Charles county, Md. on the 6th July, in consequence of his own outrageous conduct towards my overseer. He is a negro of a fine erect figure, good features, a smooth black skin, rather above the middle stature, of a youthful appearance for one of thirty years of age, and of great plausibility and natural smartness. His ears grow remarkably close to his head, and on the inside of his lower lip, he has a white mark or spot. I purchased him 4 years ago of the estate of Mrs. P. H. Courts, of this county. I am led (by circumstances which have come to my knowledge since he absconded) to believe that he will endeavor to make his way to King George county, Va.; should he not take this route, he will probably be met with in the District of Columbia, or in the upper counties of this state, on his way to Pennsylvania. I apprehend he will change his name, and if committed to jail, refuse to state to whom he belongs, as the misconduct which preceded his departure, & his absconding, have all appeared since to be premeditated. He took all his clothes with him, of which he had a large number; among them—a new bearskin overcoat, a long, close-bodied blue coat, a pair of striped jean pantaloons, one or more of white waistcoats, besides many articles of coarse clothing; these, however, he will probably exchange, or sell them for cash to defray his traveling expenses.
I will give the above reward to any person who will bring him home to me, or FIFTY DOLLARS if confined in jail, and notice given me, so that I recover him.
Should he be taken out of state, I will also pay all reasonable costs and charges which may attend the bringing him home.
I. T. STODDARD
West Hatton, near Allen’s Fresh Post Office, Charles county, Md.
Fifty Dollar Reward
Ran away from the subscriber living in King George’s County, Va. on Monday the 22nd of March, a yellow man names JAMES, about 22 years of age, his fore-teeth wide apart and cannot speak very quick—had on Virginia cloth clothes and carried off a shaggy great coat, he has a father named Peter Hall, who lives with the widow Morgan at Oak Hill, Farquier Co., and his grandfather old Frederick Hall, is supposed to be living at Mr. Terrett’s near Alexandria, and it is likely he may be lurking about there. I will give the above reward for apprehending and securing said fellow so that I get him again, and reasonable charges if brought home.
J. H. WASHINGTON
Masters of vessels and others are forewarned against harboring or carrying off said fellow.
All classes of citizens concerned for the welfare of their posterity and the community at large, are informed there has just been published an ornamental sheet, entitled an
Antidote for Dueling;
Containing the folly and wickedness of that practice, in forcible and energetic language; mostly selected from the sacred scriptures. They are to be had from the bookstores of Messrs. Davis and Force at Washington, and at the different bookstores in Alexandria.
To the jail for the county of Alexandria on the 28th ult., as a runaway, a mulatto man who calls himself JERRY MORE, and says he is free born, and that he served his time with a Mr. Francis White, living on Big Capon, Hampshire Co., Va. at Cold Stream Mills, and that he is recorded as a free man in the clerk’s office, at Romney, Va. Said mulatto man is about 23 years of age, 6 feet high, stout and well made, has lost the first joint of the forefinger on his left hand.
The owner is desired to come prove property, pay charges, and take him away, otherwise, he will be disposed of as the law directs.
ANDW. ROUNSAVELL, Jailer
Missouri and Illinois Bounty Lands
The subscriber has for sale a number of the most valuable tracts, in both of those rich and improving bodies of lands, and can supply applicants with any number they may wish, and in any part of either territory. Every person who visits the Western Country, particularly those who intend settling there, should take with them a few quarter sections of those lands; every man who has a young and growing family, and can spare a few hundred dollars, should not miss the present opportunity of getting some of those lands; as it will insure to his children a greater certainty than any other type of investment he can possibly make for their benefit. From the immense emigration to both Illinois and Missouri, particularly to the military lands, it is certain there must be a great rise in the price very soon, and those who miss the present opportunity will never again have the chance to do so well. The patents will be sold very low, for cash, good notes, or bonds at short dates, or bank stock in the Central Bank of Georgetown and Washington, and the Farmers and Mechanics Bank of Georgetown. As I am a large dealer in Military Bounty Lands, I can supply any number that may be required.
Please reply at my Exchange Banking House, Bridge street, Georgetown.
On my primary blog, I sometimes update readers about The Meadow Project. I am allowing a part of my yard to go semi-natural, with wild grasses and flowers. It all started with (aside from too much lawn to mow), noticing how few bees and butterflies I was seeing. Even the dandelions in the grass that always had one honeybee per flower, were just sitting empty. Here are some early to mid-spring shots of the latest developments.