Salem Lake birding

We had a very nice weather day yesterday, so Princess Gail and I went out with our local birding group to Salem Lake. We had a pretty good couple of hours. We spotted American Goldfinch, Canada Goose, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Great Blue Heron, Pied-billed Grebe, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Ruddy Duck, Tufted Titmouse, Turkey Vulture, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Here are a couple of the better shots of the day. The always cool Downy Woodpecker:

And a couple of shots of the Golden-crowned Kinglet:

A very good day!

The work schedule has been busy for me lately, so I plan to really enjoy these two days I have off. We started out last night at Hitchcock Under the Stars, on the front lawn of the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. We watched North by Northwest, with Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. Great movie, and the night was beautiful!

This morning, we started out with a bike ride around Salem Lake, one of our favorite rides.

Later in the afternoon, we went with our friends April and Brent to check out the North Carolina Beer Fest at Tanglewood Park. There was an unbelievable number of people trying to get into the park. It took about an hour, but we finally parked amidst an ocean of cars. Then we found out it cost $30 to get in, for the privilege of sampling as many beers as we wanted. None of us thought that was worth it, so after all that, we left! No big deal, we had fun just being part of the craziness. We ended up having a nice dinner at our favorite Winston restaurant, the Village Tavern.

After that, we all went to catch our first Winston-Salem Dash baseball game, on another glorious evening of fine weather. It’s a great little stadium, brand new this year, and we beat the Myrtle Beach Pelicans! Yay us!

So far, a most excellent weekend! I think I’ll add to this post with whatever tomorrow brings! 🙂

Okay. So today is “tomorrow!” I started the day asleep! I didn’t set an alarm and slept in a bit. It was wonderful! Then I lounged around in my underwear. (Oops. Can I say that on a blog?! — Of course I can! It’s my blog dammit!) Then I ran on the treadmill, and later ran a few errands with Princess Gail. It was a great, mindless kind of day.

We spent the evening with a bunch of new friends. They were all absolutely wonderful! A very welcoming and fun crowd! We had a delicious dinner at a funky restaurant in downtown Winston, Sixth and Vine. The place has a fun schedule of activities, so I think it will become one of our favorite stops.

All in all, an excellent weekend! 🙂

Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights

tanglewood lights train

Tanglewood Park is part of the Winston-Salem public park system. It has the usual parksy stuff, and boasts a very good golf course. It also has cool activities going on year round. Over the Christmas holiday, there is this cool Christmas lights display, a drive through in your car. There are about 180 really cool displays, many of them in motion, over a 4 mile course! We have discovered a great new holiday tradition here in Winston-Salem, and I’m sure it will become an annual event for us!

Here are a few facts:

Festival of Lights

Did You Know

  • Tanglewood Park’s Festival of Lights began in 1992 with a generous grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Charitable Trust as well as funds raised by the Tanglewood Park Foundation.
  • The first Festival of Lights in 1992 was a 1.5 mile route with only twenty five displays. Today the route has grown to just under 4 miles with one hundred eighty displays, of which seventy are animated.
  • The Holiday Gift Village began in 1994 with only ten exhibitors under an enclosed tent. The Gift Village has since moved to the Red Barn and has grown to include 120 exhibitors.
  • On average 250,000 visitors attend this yearly event.
  • The largest attendance for the Festival of Lights was in 2001. As we celebrated our 10th Anniversary and honored those who sacrificed their lives on 9-11, an estimated 300,000 visitors converged on Tanglewood to lift their spirits and celebrate the holidays.
  • The Driving Golfer display was one of the original displays of the Tanglewood Festival of Lights back in 1992 and remains today as one of the favorites of visitors. Each year Tanglewood adds or replaces exciting displays to the Festival.
  • Each year Tanglewood Festival of Lights Outreach Program benefits over 12,000 disadvantaged adults and children from the community.
  • Tanglewood begins setting up displays during the month of August to be ready for this large scale event which begins in mid November.
  • There are now over approximately a million individual lights that complete Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights.
  • Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights has been selected as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast and a Top 100 Event in North America.