Between Grifton, NC, and Vanceboro, NC, on Hwy. 102 is a unique place to visit called Yoders, which is comprised of the restaurant called the Dutch Kitchen, and the Farm and Hardware store. If you want a fine breakfast, and a chance to shop in a unique farm and hardware store, where you can buy anything from thimbles to tractors, take a morning and visit this neat place located in the heart of the thriving Mennonite settlement in the area. The food is super, especially the baked goods which are so delicious, you will want to take home a weeks supply! You need to expect to wait a bit, because there will be many there to dine. Waiting is not a problem though, because you can wander around the Farm store while you wait.
My wife, Glyn and I go there occasionally for breakfast and always enjoy it. Two Saturdays ago, we visited and there was a long line, so we headed to the store. In the front and side were several purple martin condos, made of what appeared to be fake or synthetic "gourds". There were purple martins everywhere, and many folks waiting to eat were sitting in rockers out front watching them. I looked around the store a while, then remembered that I had my camera in the car and decided to go out and take a few shots of the Martins. They are our largest Swallow and nest in the Southeast and West in the spring. After breeding season they gather into large flocks and return to South America.. The males are black with a bluish-purple sheen and the females are a lighter brown. They are very communal birds and nest in community groups, with nests very close to each other. This day, they were busy nest building, and a few already had new eggs. The females usually stay inside the nest and the males forage and bring food for the female, as well as materials for the nest. I was able to get some neat shots of this activity. I was amused at males' efforts to sometimes bring nesting sticks or straw that was too big or stiff to get through the entrance! They would try again and again, sometimes flying out a few feet then trying to slam the item into the hole! It appeared that adjacent females, with their heads poking out a nearby hole, would be amused at the boys dilemma.
This is a great place to spend a Spring morning! Go eat some good cookin' and sit out and watch these great acrobats work and play!!
SEE THE PICS BELOW.