Tribune Print Share Text

Picture of happiness

Ashby Ponds couple expands their interest in bird-watching, photography

Created date

June 27th, 2017
Jack and Carol Nevitt enjoy taking full advantage of life at Ashby Ponds, both inside and out. At right, the bluebird nest discovered by Jack at Ashby Ponds.

Jack and Carol Nevitt enjoy taking full advantage of life at Ashby Ponds, both inside and out. At right, the bluebird nest discovered by Jack at Ashby Ponds.

In April 2016, Carol and Jack Nevitt, along with their basset hound Tyler, moved from their home in Woodbridge, Va., to Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Ashburn. Fully immersing themselves into life at the popular community, the couple couldn’t be happier with their decision to move.

“There are so many things to do and wonderful people to meet,” says Carol. “We’ve had a very easy time finding activities that suit our interests.”

In the year since their move, Carol joined the genealogy and gardening clubs, while Jack, a professional videographer and photographer, whose works are currently on display at the Gateway Gallery LLC in Round Hill, Va., enjoys sharing these skills with his neighbors. 

Life in pictures

“We met some of our first friends while we were going to dinner and while walking Tyler around campus,” says Carol. 

As the couple acclimated to life at Ashby Ponds, Jack began inquiring into the existence of a photography club. 

“I discovered that, with all the activities on campus, there did not exist an active photography club,” he says. “But I also learned that all I needed to do was start one. So I did. It started with a simple advertisement for a meeting. Ten people showed up for our first meeting, and word quickly spread. We now have 25 to 30 people at each meeting.”

On the fourth Wednesday of each month, members meet in the performing arts theater to view slideshows of each other’s photographs. 

“I wanted to keep it nice and simple,” says Jack. “Most of the photos come with a story and engage the members in dialogue. It’s been fun to learn about our members and their experiences. Anyone is invited to attend even if they chose to just come and enjoy the photographs. There is never any critiquing or contests. And we are always available to answer questions.”

In addition to his responsibilities with the photography club, Jack also serves as videographer at many Ashby Ponds events and recently took charge of organizing the photographs displayed at the art gallery in the Great Oak Clubhouse.

“Our neighbors take wonderful photographs, all of which tell a unique story,” says Carol. “I love that the art gallery enables people to see and appreciate their talents.”

Bird’s-eye view

Moving to Ashby Ponds also provides the Nevitts with the opportunity to engage in another of their passions, bird-watching. 

“We’ve always loved watching birds, and our move to Ashby Ponds has given us the opportunity to see different birds from those we saw at our house,” says Carol. “Our apartment home has a walk-out porch, the perfect place to do our watching.”

In addition, the Ashby Ponds bluebird group maintains a host of bluebird nesting boxes placed strategically throughout the campus. It was in one of these boxes that Jack recently discovered a nest of baby bluebirds. 

“I quietly sat on a bench and took photos,” he says. “Those photos became my first presentation to the photography club.”   

Continued happiness

Now into their second year at Ashby Ponds, the couple continues to enjoy life in their new home. 

“Our son and daughter both live in the area and often tell us how happy they are that we found Ashby Ponds,” says Carol. “And so are we.”