October 30, 2014

Altered Cat

Altered in Photoshop

Wagon Wheel and Rail Fence

Near Mt. Jackson, Virginia

Sharing with: Good Fences

October 29, 2014

Signs, Signs... at Shenandoah National Park

Lately I've noticed that some signs were blank in the National Forest and National Park near us. This one gives an explanation of sorts.
Your Fee Dollars at Work
A new sign for this site is on its way!
I can't help wondering why they didn't just leave up the old sign until the new one was ready to be installed. 

At least the overlook signs are still in place. Frank is sitting next to one for The Massanutten, which is the mountain range across the valley. It also happens to be the range we can see from our house. (If you want to read the sign, you can find it on Historic Marker Database.) This sign says the origin of the name is not known, but local lore says that Massanutten was a Native American word meaning bread basket, referring to the basket-shaped valley within the mountains.



If you've gone hiking in Shenandoah National Park, you've seen concrete trail markers. A metal band around the post gives information about the trails.

The AT symbol indicates Appalachian Trail. It runs the length of the park and then continues on both northward (to Maine) and south (to Georgia). I've hiked on parts of the trail on many occasions.


I was curious about this note pinned under a rock at an overlook. It says that a cell phone was found here and taken to the entrance station.

Sharing with: Signs, Signs


I Don't Require Word Verification but You May See it Anyway

Well, Blogger has changed something and now some readers are seeing word verification show up when they start to comment. I dislike those confusing little things as much as anybody does and I set my preferences years ago so that those puzzles are not supposed to show up, but Blogger now makes it appear if they think you are anonymous. The work-around is to sign in to Blogger or OpenID before you start commenting. I'm sorry if this is inconvenient for you but I don't have a way to prevent this other than what I have already done. I don't even accept anonymous comments so I don't know why my blog host thinks I want this feature.

By the way, you can always refresh the coded words (using a little button) until you see one that's readable. Many of them aren't, so I when I come across one I often feel I am seeing some weird combination of a vision test and a sobriety test!

Some bloggers have had huge problems with spambot comments so I understand why they desire a CAPTCHA. So far I have been able to control spam by (1) not allowing anonymous comments, and (2) having comments held for approval on posts that are more than a few days old.  Spammers generally comment on an old post because they have used a search engine to find posts related to the item they are advertising.



October 28, 2014

Sliver of a Moon

ridge with moon


Crow at an Overlook

Skyline Drive, Northern Section


Our weather has been beautiful the last few days and we don't want to waste it by staying indoors. Yesterday I had an appointment in Woodstock and afterward we drove south to Route 211 and east to Shenandoah National Park. Skyline Drive is always enjoyable there and in the autumn it's spectacular! 

We didn't see much wildlife this time; perhaps the influx of fall tourists had sent them deep into the woods. This crow made an appearance at an overlook and posed for me on a tree. 


The fall foliage has passed it's peak at the higher elevations but as you can see, there's still some fine color on the slopes.

looking down on autumn trees

Sharing with: Our World Tuesday

October 27, 2014

Parks and Recreation Mural


This colorful mural is in Shenandoah County Park in Maurertown, Virginia. It was painted at "Summer Art Mural Camp" in 2013.

Sharing with: Monday Mural

The Stickley Farm on Cedar Creek


cowThe final program of the 150th Anniversary of the battle that I attended at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park dealt with the aftermath of the battle.  We started at Belle Grove and then went to the Stickley Farm and St. Thomas Chapel in Middletown.

Like the church and Belle Grove, this farm was turned into a hospital site, as there were thousands of wounded soldiers needing emergency care.


The farm is privately owned but the park service had permission to bring the tour there. I've been there on tour before (see Lone Confederate Grave and the Stickley mills).

The Confederate grave in the yard is a bit mysterious. Long ago a marker was placed there inscribed "John Helms of Atlanta, GA [who] was killed Oct. 19, 1864 in the battle of Cedar Creek", but Ranger Driscoll said he has been unable to find a John Helms in Confederate records of the battle. (A clear picture of the marker is in the Handley Library collection.)



Since Cedar Creek Battlefield is not far from our home, I've done many posts about it over the years. In contrast to it's dramatic history, it's now a lovely and serene place, unless you happen to arrive during a reenactment. 

Sharing with: The Barn Collective


October 26, 2014

St. Thomas Chapel, Middletown


This church in Middletown was used as a hospital during the Civil War. Like many buildings, it was needed to shelter the wounded after the Battle of Cedar Creek. 

The man in the photo is a park ranger who gave a couple of talks here as part of the 150th anniversary of the battle. He explained that the pews were destroyed during the war but the chandelier survived, and still looks as it did when it was included in a sketch by artist James E. Taylor in 1864. 




Sharing with: InSPIREd Sunday

Recreating a Battle

The Battle of Cedar Creek
150th Anniversary



I've been showing pictures of cavalry but of course much of the battle was fought on foot.  Of course, the actual battle was much larger than the reenactment, and much more serious and terrible. Almost a thousand men died and well over four thousand were wounded. 

I've often thought about why men joined the armies to fight this war, this wasteful brother-against-brother tragedy. I believe that many of them simply felt loyal toward their own communities, and the side they joined often depended more on the accident of where they lived rather than any deep political philosophy.



October 25, 2014

Here Comes the Cavalry!


I've been posting pictures from last weekend's reenactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek. I love seeing the horses — such magnificent animals! And they are well cared for so don't worry about that!

Linking to: Camera Critters


Fine Horses in Sepia

Battle of Cedar Creek Reenactment



Sharing with: Sepia Saturday

October 24, 2014

October 23, 2014

People-Watching at Cedar Creek

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek

woman with staffWe went to the reenactment near Middletown on Sunday. It was a beautiful afternoon and Frank and I both took pictures so I have many images to go through. I decided to show you some spectators first.

"Living History" demonstrations are part of the show and I enjoy seeing 19th-century costumes. This woman was kind enough to pose for me.

The mock battle took place on the historic Heater Farm near Belle Grove.


The Last Major Battle in the Shenandoah Valley

womanIf you love historical costumes, you might want to scroll through my living history posts or check out these: Young Reenactors and Dressed for History.

I enjoy the incongruities in pictures like the one below. It's a fun time-warp effect.


Sharing with: Good Fences

October 22, 2014

Guess Who Went to the Groomer Today!


Linking to: Wordless Wednesday

Don't Text and Fly!


I've seen these crashing witches before but I liked the sign under this one enough to stop and take a picture. 

 While I was at it, I photographed the house across the street from it. I don't know if it's historic but it looks like a 19th-century home.

In Strasburg, Virginia
Sharing with: Signs, Signs