Tales from a small creek on the Eastern Shore

Scene and Herd

plug 2

At my local convenience store today.

The hitching post and buggy parking spots have been there for a while and are often used (sometimes just to leave a deposit as evidenced), the electric car charger is new and as far as I know, unused.

Captions are called for, here are a few that spring to my somewhat biased mind:


Sublime or ridiculous

Charging or discharging

Bullsh!t or horsesh!t

Nonsense or horsesense


July 24, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

100 Years Ago Today.

Five men, five medals and a gun,
The Gun
In the small town of Chepstow where I grew up there is of course a cenotaph, it’s fairly typical, a large obelisk on a square granite plinth bearing the names, listed in alphabetical order with rank and service identified.


What is unusual and perhaps unique is that next to the monument and forming part of the tableau is a gun, it’s a Great War German submarine 105 mm gun from, I believe, the submarine U-91 which cruised the Bristol Channel during 1914 to 1918 causing some damage and destruction.

U 91 Gun

The Five Men
The first man was Edward Unwin acting Captain RN, he had proposed using an old collier, the SS River Clyde to land troops on V beach at Gallipoli, Turkey during the Dardanelle’s offensive of April 1915.
The ship grounded at 6:22 am on the 25th April, 1915 at a narrow beach below the castle of Sedd el Bahr.
In order to discharge the 2,000 troops, predominantly from the Royal Munster and Royal Dublin Fusiliers, a chain of lighters had to be secured between the ship and the shore providing a floating bridge.
Captain Unwin took charge of this operation diving into the sea with a small team of four men while under continuous fire from the shore.
His Victoria Cross citation for that day reads as follows:
While in SS River Clyde, observing that the lighters which were to form the bridge to the shore had broken adrift, Commander Unwin left the ship, and under a murderous fire attempted to get the lighters into position. He worked on, until suffering from the effects of cold and immersion, he was obliged to return to the ship, where he was wrapped up in blankets. Having in some degree recovered, he returned to his work against the doctor’s order and completed it. He was later attended by the doctor for three abrasions caused by bullets, after which he once more left the ship, this time in a lifeboat, to save some wounded men who were lying in shallow water near the beach. He continued at this heroic labour under continuous fire, until forced to stop through physical exhaustion.
—the London Gazette, 16 August 1915
The second man was Able Seaman William Charles Williams VC, a name from the Chepstow cenotaph
He accompanied Unwin with orders not to leave the old man’s side and he did not despite being badly wounded several times. He stood, for almost four hours, on a spit of rock, chest deep and bleeding into the freezing water, holding a rope securing the shoremost of a line of lighters. Finally struck again and mortally wounded he died and his body floated away and was lost in the sea.
Unwin later said of him “He was the bravest man I ever met”.
The other men in the water,
Midshipman George Leslie Drewry VC
Midshipman Wilfred St. Aubyn Malleson VC
Seaman George McKenzie Samson VC

All for the same action.

And the gun? The plaque says it all.


Lest we forget.

(originally posted on the other place 11 November 2009)

April 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

March Picture Challenge – FOOD

It was going to be Spring but there is no sign of that around here, not much food for the wildlife either after a long hard Winter.  Even a dead catfish washed up by the ice eater looks pretty good to the hungry.e4s

But approach with caution, it could be a trick…


Closing March 31, 2015 somewhere about 36 N 75 W.

March 7, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Wattage Two Day Cure for All Ailments.

It’s true, doesn’t matter if it is lumbago, rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica or a bout of the gout this is guaranteed to cure the lot in two days.

Firewood, cut it, split it, stack it on the woodpile.


There are three trees worth here, a Hickory, an Oak and a Maple, all hardwoods, probably totaling about three cords when cut and stacked, seasoned it should weigh about six tons, wet as it is it probably weighs twice that. The big stuff with the dark heartwood is the hickory. Bitternut is the variety that grows around here and it is very heavy wood, and one of the best in terms of heat content for firewood.

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February 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Cold here today, -20 C  at 7am when I went to breakfast.  Not often we get that kind of cold and it sounds like it might be around for a while.  Creek is frozen right to the middle and the only open water is where the ice eater is working around the pilings.

Grip 1s

The pool of open water gets smaller as the temperature drops but it still keeps the the worst ravages of the ice  from damaging the dock.  The Boat?  It is safely  residing in a heated shed for the winter at a  local boatyard , some routine maintenance and refurbishment of the varnish, boy am I glad I chose this winter for the work.  One of the coldest on record here with consistent temperatures below freezing , been abut three weeks since we have seen positive values.

Had an unusual daytime visitor late yesterday.

grip 2s

Late in the afternoon Rocky Racoon appeared , he (or she) seems to have a frostbitten left front paw and was scrounging for sustenance around the base of the bird feeders, slim pickings there after the avian ground feeders had left.  I made him two large raw bacon sandwiches,(streaky on white bread) and took them carefully out  the back door, Rocky slipped behind the shed while I was outside, but he/she was hungry enough to reappear about two minutes later and dig in.  I’ll repeat the exercise today at dusk, it might just tide Rocky over until the weather breaks.  No cruelty in nature but only the fittest make it through winters like this and apart from the paw Rocky looked pretty healthy, good coat and a fine bushy tail.

No outside work at these temperatures, I’m almost as old as Janus.  Probably spend my day entertaining myself by finishing up my tax returns.  Roll on Spring.





February 20, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mud, Mystery, Manuscripts and Murder.

I heard this story when I was a lad from my father and grandfather; no mention of it was ever made in school.

OWEN 1The geezer in the muddy boots is Dr. Orville Ward Owen a medical doctor from Detroit, the date is May 1911, the place is close to the low tide mark of the River Wye in the shadow of the walls of Chepstow Castle.

What led the man to this place was never explained to me back then, although what he sought was well known to my relatives, and their view was that he was wasting his time and money. He made several visits, one lasting longer than six months. In all twelve or fourteen shafts were driven into the river bottom, some deeper than twenty feet. All he found were some heavy timbers that were the remains of a Roman landing stage, these were not what he was looking for.
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January 3, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Visit to Longwood Gardens

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December 9, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shark Attack, with Pictures (not for the squeamish)

Well that’s what I’m telling people.
It happened the Sunday before last about eleven in the morning.
I was working on the boat, tearing out and replacing old waste water piping. Most of the pipe is in the bilge, not the healthiest spot in which to spend time, and I was lying on the galley floor reaching into the void to thread some more pipe when I must have kicked the companionway steps. The steps are a heavy wooden four step flight that mount into clips on the bulkhead and have pegs that drop into holes in the deck. Having done what was needed below I needed to climb the steps into the main cabin.
Thinking only of the next job I was off up the steps, well I got to the top when they let go, sliding down the bulkhead and onto the galley floor. My left leg caught the left mounting clip, opening up an seven-inch gash from ankle to mid calf. It felt as if I had been hit in the leg with a hammer, and my first thought was “I’m going to have quite a bruise there”. Then I saw the extent of the damage, kind of like a busted watermelon. I took off my dirty gloves and pushed the wound shut with both hands to see if it was something I could fix with a few band-aids or some electricians tape, but it was clearly beyond that.  I took off my t-shirt and tied it around the leg and started off the boat, up the dock and into the house in a kind of Quasimodo hobble. Nobody home of course, and as far as I could see, nobody on the creek.

(There are pictures coming up, if you do not wish to see them STOP NOW.)

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September 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May-ish Phot Comp. The Winner.

“Evening All”   Copyright Jack Warner 1960.

tree s

Solstice is here and so is the judging, All worthy ent-ries, real talent shown in framing the subjects.

I liked especially Ara’ carefully tended avenue and I liked very much Soutie’s “Ent finding Entwife”  but the prize this time must go to the Cascades, trees as nature intended, miles of natural growth captured from a perfect viewpoint.

Well done Mrs. Osbourne.  What’s next?

June 21, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

May-ish Photo Competition – Trees

Abject apologies for the lateness of this, I have been busy repairing some winter damage to the other house but that is no real excuse for my dereliction.  Anyway here we are and May is almost gone and photographic opportunities abound.  So how about we make the subject “Trees”.   It can be one, a few or a whole forest if can get them in the viewfinder.  I like trees and can often see the Ent in many of them.

Here are a few I took this morning wandering around the yard (me that is, the trees were their usual stationary selves).  t3cs

The conifer in the middle was our 1994 Christmas tree, now a bout 50 feet and thriving.


This is the top of a healthy Beech that is probably 100 feet tall and on the property line towards my neighbour’s house.

So away you go, trees big or small, few or many, for closing let’s say June 20th.  midnight EDST.











May 20, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment