Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

CONGRATS TO ALL THE VIRGINIA LIVING MAGAZINE’S EASTERN SHORE “BEST OF VIRGINIA” OYSTER BAR & OYSTER PRODUCER 🏅 WINNERS ! CHECK OUT THE FULL LIST BELOW !

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

70333187_1110375902685400_5549768560194093056_nHow popular is a tasty oyster on Virginia’s Eastern Shore? Well, perhaps the fact that we have an entire town named “Oyster” offers a clue ! And just how 😋 delicious are Eastern Shore oysters ? Enormously ! Small area- -big flavor ! And the proof of that pudding is in how many Eastern Shore oyster bars and oyster producers were voted as the 2019 Oyster Bar and Oyster Producer winners 🏅 by Virginia Living magazine. Selected by a panel of restauranteurs, chefs, foodies and the editorial staff, these winners from the Shore join a very select group of folks across Virginia being honored as the Best of Virginia 🎉 this year. Congratulations to you all. Clearly, the world is your oyster !

 

 

 

 

OYSTER BAR 🏅WINNERS
Hook-U-Up Gourmet (Hook@Harvey) Cape Charles
Sting Ray’s Restaurant- Cape Charles
The Oyster Farm Eatery -Cape Charles
The Shanty – Cape Charles
Great Machipongo Clam Shack- Nassawadox
The Island House – Wachapreague
Bill’s Seafood – Chincoteague

OYSTER PRODUCER 🏅 WINNERS
Ocean Cove Seafood – Cape Charles
Ballard Fish & Oyster Company – Cheriton
American Shellfish Company – Cheriton
Lynnhaven Bay Aquaculture Oysters – Cheriton
Nottingham Clams, Inc. – Cheriton
Tom’s Cove Aquafarms – Chincoteague
Tangier Island Oyster Co. – Tangier

“Art & Music on the Farm” 2019 – A Huge Success ! Again !

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

DSC_5442From traditional music rooted in rural Virginia to art in many forms and mediums, from Hog Island fig trees to twirling wind whirligigs, the Barrier Island Center and Museum’s annual bash, “Art & Music on the Farm”, was an exceptional event ! As always ! Even the weather could not have been better – – breezy, blue skies and mild temps conspired to make last Saturday a perfect day for an outdoor festival. This annual Machipongo event is one of the largest art/artisan festivals on the entire Shore, offering something for everyone. Dozens of little white tents filled with amazing decoy carvings, Windsor chairs, sculptures, bronze work, ceramics, plants and garden art, stuffed animals and children’s books, paintings in oil, watercolor and acrylic mediums, hand-crafted wood pieces, pottery and so much more were on offer for the numerous enthusiastic attendees. For animal lovers, 2 rare Hog Island sheep from Island View Farm were on hand, sweet woolly characters, Opal, and her week-old baby, Beep-Beep, wowed the crowd. Plus there was toe-tapping live music ! And lush Chatham Vineyard wines !

Of course, all that walking, talking and shopping was bound to work up some serious appetites. Fortunately, delicious aromas floated everywhere, originating fromDSC_5573 vendors like Kitchen Sync, with fresh strawberries in cream, shrimp orzo and chicken salad on its savory bill of fare. Around the corner, while Gordos Food Truck was wowing the crowd with tacos and gorditas, Cape Charles Lion’s Club was rapidly turning out burgers and crab cakes. Over at the Kielbasa tent, grilling was amped up to a fast pace to keep up with demand, their mouthwatering subs pairing well with ice cold liquids from the adjacent Beer Garden. For those craving a little caffeine, Coastal Roasting had its famous Marsh Mud iced coffee and fruity iced teas ready to pour. Plus their beautiful new custom ceramic coffee mugs were available to add a little pop of color and pizzazz while sitting on the porch enjoying your morning Joe.

DSC_5559For many, the music was unquestionably the highlight of the day. From 11 am till closing, over on the main stage 4 talented groups performed throughout the day. Adjacent to the stage, a tiny dance floor was in place for those who might want to accompany the lively music with a little free style dance. Fortunately, local clogging enthusiast Bill McLaughlin was on hand – he and several energetic youngsters added some impromptu entertainment with their spirited flatfooting. Toe-tapping and delightful, rooted in the genres of old time rural Virginia bluegrass and country, with styles and traditions that go way, way back, the music absolutely captivated the audience. In the Education Building, various Musician’s Work Shops were held- although we didn’t make it to any, they were likened to being “on the porch of the Floyd General Store during Floydfest – but right here on the Eastern Shore”. All in all, simply a terrific day, filled to its fresh, breezy brim with beautiful art, delicious food and timeless music. In short, another wonderful Art & Music on the Farm ! And hats off to all the volunteers, vendors and sponsors who make this fabulous event possible each year – thank you !

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Head ‘Em Up, Herd ‘Em Out !! Spring 2019 Eastern Shore Trail Ride.

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

DSC_5169A sight one doesn’t often see on Bayside Road in Machipongo are horses on the loose, happily cantering down the center line. So imagine my surprise, when driving to the office last Friday morning, keeping an eye out for any early bird trail riders, I had to come to an abrupt halt as I saw 2 horses, gaily unencumbered by riders, come racing across a farm field. They jumped the ditch just in front of me and continued on down the middle of the road, traveling at a pretty good clip. Fortunately, the driver of a pickup going north jumped out, and with some energetic clapping, yelling and arm waving, got the 2 runaways turned back into the field. As I turned towards the Trail Ride campsite to alert folks, an ATV came racing down Cedar Grove Farm Road, apparently a 2 person posse on the move, ready to round up the renegades. The chase was on, Round 1 of “The People vs. The Horses” and the horses were winning ! Those bad girls were tasting sweet freedom and being captured was not part of their action plan. The posse jumped off the ATV, lead ropes in hand, but every time they got within a 100 feet of the horses, off they galloped ! Stop start, stop start, until herding them with the ATV was obviously the only viable solution to move head ‘em up and move ‘em in ! After 15 minutes of this motorized round- up, the horses got bored with the game and headed back into camp where a very relived owner led them away, scolding softly.

With that, the Spring 2019 Trail Ride got off to a pretty exciting start ! The rest seemed like a pretty normal Station 16 Northampton Fire and Rescue Company DSC_5278sponsored Trail Ride, headquartered at the Smith Farm in Machipongo. Arriving attendees were busily unpacking, lighting fire pits, feeding, grooming and just generally making their horses comfortable after what had been, for many, a long trip to the Eastern Shore. Lots of folks were chatting with friends, getting ready to cook, walking dogs or saddling up for a relaxing ride. So many beautiful horses there, of every color and stripe, even a huge Shropshire draft horse, Devon, who was hanging close to his little buddy Isaac. We also met Callie, a sweet Australian sheep dog, whose grateful owner said that he had rescued her but then she turned around and rescued him right back, staying by his side for months during recuperation after he fell from a ladder and broke his pelvis in 4 places !

DSC_2010The big draw for attendees is the opportunity to soak up the Shore’s relaxing coastal ambiance, exploring winding trails through farm fields, riding along woodlands bordering large waterfront farms, past little freshwater ponds, across cross dams and over roads and out onto sandy Chesapeake Bay beaches, horses splashing enthusiastically through saltwater shallows. Saturday is always the biggest day, offering a long ride followed by a BBQ dinner and Silent Auction put on by the Fire & Rescue Company. And nobody lets some evening rain dampen their spirits, it’s just water going pitter patter on a horse trailer roof. So…. the beat goes on until the next Trail Ride, coming Fall 2019.

 

 

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OUR BEAUTIFUL HARBINGERS OF SPRING ON THE EASTERN SHORE….. THE SPECTACULAR BLOSSOMS!

Friday, April 12th, 2019

Close up BlossomsApril brings a whole Universe of Pink to Virginia’s Eastern Shore. And when we say Pink we mean the whole Pink color spectrum- – from fuchsia, magenta, rouge and softest rose to barely blushing apple blossom. (Need we say more, it’s truly Pink ! ) And we love it, because of course, Pink is the universal color of love. So, blossoms blazing everywhere…. in yards, along roads, by offices and in woodlands, a special Valentine in April straight from Mother Nature.

And of course, there are other showy Spring colors, the sunny yellows and oranges of the daffodils and jonquils, the Bradford pear trees with myriad white blossoms covering the entire tree with a snow- like blanket. Or the tiny dogwoods with delicate yellow centered blooms, variegated white and red camellias, lavender azaleas, lilac- colored laurels, all contributing to the joyful celebration of Spring. So ….Keep Calm, Spring has Sprung ! To borrow a phrase – Live in the Sunshine, Swim the Sea, Drink the Wild air ! Because it’s Spring !

 

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Located in the charming little town of Franktown on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, this cozy one story waterfront cottage is move-in ready for Summer 2019 fun !

Friday, April 5th, 2019

CG1_6861Offered at $239,000, the floor plan of this manufactured home offers generous rooms covered with wood laminate flooring throughout and carpet in the bedrooms.The large living room has a gas fireplace with stone surround and sliding doors. Skylights in the kitchen and both bathrooms. Kitchen has upgraded raised panel cabinets, center Island with drawers for additional storage. Cabinets are custom, light colored and with glass front. Sliding glass doors off the kitchen open onto the 50′ x 20′ Deck with water views and a hot tub. Master bedroom has 3 large windows, walk in closet and adjacent master bath with architectural windows, soaking tub, separate shower with seat and dual vanities. Four season room with heated tile floors offers a great outdoor space nestled in the woods with expansive water views.Generous laundry room with pantry.

 

 

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NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO PLAN YOUR SUMMER VACATION IN CAPE CHARLES, VIRGINIA

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

As I write this post, cold rain is sloshing down here on Virginia’s Eastern Shore but almost everywhere else on the East Coast, folks are digging out from under another miserable storm, with yet another avalanche of snow and ice. Brrrr… So what that says to me is that it’s time to turn to more pleasant thoughts …. like planning a beach vacation ! Nothing like dreams of summer fun, of toes wiggling in the sand and sea breezes cooling the brow to push away the reality of winter blues. ( Did the groundhog see his shadow? How many more weeks to go ? )

And if you’re looking for a weekly vacation rental which offers both a relaxed and quiet atmosphere paired with lots to do, might I suggest Cape Charles, VA as a great destination. Coastal traditions, historic towns and tiny villages to explore, soft sandy beaches to relax on, off-shore Barrier Islands to visit, broad saltwater inlets to boat and kayak,  fabulous fishing and crabbing, artist’s studios and antique shops to visit,  seafood restaurants to sample, Palmer and Nicklaus golf to take a swing at– from A for Art Galleries to Z for Zesty clam dip, there is so much to do.  Or… just laz around on the deck,  book in hand, a  iced tea or cold glass of Chardonnay waiting close by,  letting the tension just slip away like an outgoing tide.  That is the promise of a Simply Relaxing Vacation on Virginia’s Eastern Shore because Virginia’s Eastern Shore is not just a place, it’s a relaxed coastal state of mind !

Which brings us to the list of  the 9 terrific vacation homes offered this year for weekly vacation rental through Blue Heron Vacation Rentals   ( Use this link to email them your desired dates and the house you are most interested in at easternshorevacationtime@gmail.com   .  Or call them at 757-678-5277 )   Though the homes vary by size and price, each has a distinctive personality–  historic, waterfront, beachfront, in-town, in the country.  From a ” 1 bedroom cozy nest for two”  through ” 5 bedrooms, sleeps 14″,   there is something for everybody.  ( And a couple are even for sale,  so if you fall in love with it, it could be yours for life !! How cool is that ? 

“SEA GATE”-Ca. 1912 Charm. 1 Block to Beach. Sleeps 14. Equipped Rec. Room.

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“BayPlace”-Exquisite Historic Home, 7 Bdrms, Sleeps 18 ,Comfy Furnishings, Fully Equipped Kitchen.

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Historic “Peach Retreat” Sparkles Like New! Great Location. Pets Considered.     

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SEASHELL COTTAGE” -Enjoy Your Vacation With Only Steps To The Soft Sand Cape Charles Beach. 

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“BayView Cottage”- West Indies Style Home; Community Beach & Pool; Waterfront Dining Nearby.

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“SEAHORSE RETREAT”, Only 1 Block From The Beach, A Sweet Beachy Vacation Nest For 2 Or 4 In Quaint Cape Charles.

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“Dolphins’ Doorway” 3 Bedrooms, 3 1/2 Bath With A Backyard Beach!

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Bayfront Breezes”- Charming Bayfront Home, Spectacular Sunsets Over the Water, Beach Access.

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“SANDY HARBOR COTTAGE” A Waterfront Vacation Home With Beach Access On Virginia’s Eastern Shore Offering Both Beach and Boat Dock.

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WATERFRONT DUTCH COLONIAL ON VIRGINIA’S EASTERN SHORE

Friday, January 25th, 2019

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This attractive 3 bedroom, 3 bath Dutch Colonial style home with backyard dock located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is priced to sell at $299,000 . Plenty of elbow room, located on a partially wooded, well-maintained 2.1 acre parcel. Spacious kitchen features granite countertops, and custom cabinetry, opens to a very comfortable sunroom overlooking the water. Beautiful views of the saltwater inlet from the Chesapeake Bay. Great property to enjoy the property’s abundant bird life and many species of water fowl. Hardwood floors and tile downstairs in the common rooms, solid wood doors, multiple ceiling fans, two balconies upstairs overlooking the water. The backyard dock is perfect for a small boat or kayak. Property includes a detached three car garage, large storage shed and a potting shed. Boat launch for a larger boat is located only about 3 miles away. Come live the Eastern Shore coastal life !

 

 

 

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Autumn on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

DSC_3317I love Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “Autumn in New York”. I’m especially intrigued by his question “Why does it seem so inviting?” which question applies equally to Autumn on the Eastern Shore. Why does it indeed seem so inviting? To me, Autumn is one of our most beautiful times of year, offering common yet timeless scenes of crops being harvested, fields newly tilled for winter grains, myriad yards with fall azaleas and camilias blooming in gorgeous shades of rosy pinks and fuscias. Along blue waters, marsh grasses slowly fade from brilliant green to butterscotch to winter’s brown. Halloween pumpkins come and go, Fall events like the Agricultural Fair, Birding Festival and Thanksgiving Artisan Tour are exciting but really, the main event is color, the amazing colors of the season taking center stage, everywhere – – leaves with near infinite shades of tangerines and ambers, crimsons and scarlets, rustle on trees from seaside to bayside, acres of cotton transform brown fields to snow-white, late soybean leaves gleam like bright yellow mustard, open landscapes of tender green blades of newly sprouted rye crops lend a pastoral feel. And the Air, the breezes blow fresh, cool, crisp. But best of all, clear cerulean skies frosted with billowing white clouds that float boldly above the cobalt blue waters of creeks and bays. All of which is why the Eastern Shore in Autumn seems so inviting to me!

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Gorgeous and Affordable Bayfront Home Near Cape Charles, VA.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

frontviewLocated on the Eastern Shore of Virginia not far from Cape Charles, this 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home priced at $397,000 offers first floor living and a dramatic wall of windows featuring huge water views ! Enjoy entertaining and relaxation surrounded by these amazing views & sunsets. Expansive deck & patio overlooking the Chesapeake Bay adds to the enjoyment of this coastal home. Immaculately maintained ranch home with bright & open floor plan, hardwood floors throughout & spacious great room all over looking the water and a beautifully landscaped yard. Located in a “laid back” coastal community that offers beach, pool, tennis and boat ramp, truly making this one of the best coastal communities the Shore has to offer. Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Birding all from your back yard! Centrally located on the Shore for shopping, dining, public boat ramps, world class golf courses & Historic Town of Cape Charles .

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4th Home From The Beach! Time to Discover Your Inner Mermaid !!

Friday, June 1st, 2018

front of home 2Calling all beachcombers!! This ca. 1912, 4 bedroom, 4 bath ( plus 3rd floor apartment) Royal Queen Anne is Cape Charles’s longest continuously operated B&B. Built for enjoyment, pure relaxation & entertaining at its best! Elegant 10′ ceilings, large sunny parlor, formal dining room. Total of 3 enclosed & screened sun-porches provide year-round warm morning sun! The 2 western sun-porches provide all day relaxation and beautiful sunset colors. Cape Charles, Virginia is where Historic & The Salt-Life merge, as this home is the 4th off the beach! Its Crown Jewel is the huge wrap-around front porch, perfect to enjoy those Bay breezes right from your rocking chair. Having a premier location on a corner lot in the Historic District simply makes this a fantastic home! Not to mention the gorgeous landscaping! Offered at $539,000, don’t wait, call a Blue Heron Agent today and come see it for yourself!

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