February 22, 2017

Hawksbill Creek Random-osity

The Good: The town of Luray has preserved Hawksbill Creek as an asset rather than piping it underground. A walking trail and several parks make it a recreation spot as well as a place of beauty.

The Random: Mallard ducks enjoy the creek.

 (The ducks give me an excuse to share this post with Wild Bird Wednesday as well as Wednesday Waters. I'm also linking to Cathy's blog hop, Jesh's Seasons,  as well as The Good, The Random, and the Fun.)

The Fun: Our weather has been unusually warm for February and this brought hundreds of people outside to enjoy parks like this on Presidents Day. Here we see families having a pleasant time on the Hawksbill Greenway.

February 21, 2017

February 20, 2017

Nature's Tribute

Some time ago I posted pictures of this huge mural in Luray, as seen from across Hawksbill Creek. Today we walked along the Greenway and I saw some details that I did not capture from the other viewpoint. 

Click on the collage to see a large version.

"Nature's Tribute — Nine Eleven"
The nature mural was completed in 2004 by Janet Scott.  I see that Page Valley Arts Council has published an Art Trail listing, so I need to go back and see what I've missed.

Sharing with Mosaic Monday and Monday Murals

February 19, 2017

Toms Brook, Country Brook, Brook Creek

If you head northwest from the truck stop at Toms Brook and turn left at the trailer park, you find yourself on Country Brook Road. Suddenly you're back in rural America! Drive past Country Gardens and bear right near the actual creek called Toms Brook (which the town was named for) and head up Brook Creek Road. (Ya gotta love these names, right?)

Watch for the farm entrance on the right with the brick gateway: Moo Manor! How's that for a name?

The residence does look like a manor house! But this is a working farm, or is ranch a better term? They raise hormone-free beef.

Farther up the road you have the option of bearing left onto Sand Ridge Road. It will take you to Back Road, but before that you'll pass scenic St. Matthew's Lutheran Church.

When you reach Back Road, you can turn right and then make another right at Mt. Olive. That will take you back to the truck stop, where you can buy ice cream or coffee before getting back on the Interstate 81. I like making little tours like this through the country.

February 18, 2017

Profiles of Critters

Thank you, friends who expressed concern for Flash and sent wishes for me to feel better. I do; sometimes a night of sleeping works wonders!

Flash seemed to feel okay today except there was a time this evening when he coughed for a little while. I have a complicated schedule that the vet gave me for his new medications and I had to adjust it a little because it's impractical to give him one pill at 1:00 AM and then start the next day's meds at 5 AM.

Red-bellied woodpecker
Mourning Dove
Canada Geese

February 17, 2017

Five Friday Photos with Flash and Fences

Yesterday I didn't post until after midnight because we had to take Flash to the emergency vet. Tonight I'll make up for it by posting five picture which are somewhat random as suggested by the Willy Nilly Friday format, which also works with the Five On Friday linkup.

1. Flash is back home and seems comfortable. He spent last night and much of today in the animal hospital, getting oxygen while medication took effect. He was diagnosed with heart trouble! It caused fluid to build up in his lungs, which is why he coughed and then fell over last night. We have a follow-up appointment scheduled with his regular vet and in the meantime he has four new medications to take. 
(Here's an odd coincidence: Exactly two years ago I posted that has buddy Benny had a similar episode! Ben lived until July of that year.)

Sharing with Black and White Weekend and Pet Parade
2. I am grateful that there was a place where we could take Flash to get help late at night. Unfortunately I sat there for over 3 hours in a state of tension, and today I really paid for it with sharp shooting pain in one hip! I've had this before and was diagnosed with piriformis syndrome. I do a set of daily exercises which has usually keeps it at bay but this time I fell victim to stress. I'm hopeful that a good night's sleep will help tonight.
Sharing with Skywatch Friday
3. Before I was interrupted by the dog emergency I was working on a landscape for the Fences linkup. This road is near Middletown, Virginia.

4. Speaking of fences, here are some on display at a home improvement store.

5. Let's close with something playful! These toys were displayed in a thrift store.
Orange You Glad It's Friday

Flash Goes to the Emergency Vet

 I was working on a landscape photo for Thursday's blog post when Flash suddenly started coughing with an unusual quacking sound! Then he got up and came over to stand right in front of me, coughed again and fell over! He lay there for a while, raising his head to look at me but not trying to get up.
We reached his vet who recommended taking him to Valley Emergency Vet Care, which is open all night. So here we are, waiting for an Xray. The vet here suspects heart disease for she heard a murmur and his other symptoms are consistent with it. If that's the case, she will prescribe medication and possibly refer him to a cardiologist if we want further tests.
Flash did recover enough to walk to and from the car so he is okay for now. He is over 13 years old so it's not surprising that his health is not what it was when he was younger.

February 14, 2017

A Few Treasures on Valentine's Day

1. Some neighbors have installed a big heart on their gate! On the other hand, the sign on the right says "Due to the increase in ammunition costs, you will no longer be given a warning shot. Thank you for your understanding."

 I'm pretty sure they are joking though! Another sign says "Beware. Guard Horse on Duty!"

2. We went to lunch in Rippon and the waiter handed me a menu with this sweet cover. They have a variety of menu covers there, and last time I got a cute one with a dog picture.

3. We passed the inn below on the way home. It doesn't look real fancy from the parking lot, but L'Auberge Provencale has a prize-winning restaurant. I haven't tried it because expensive meals are wasted on me since I have food allergies. By the time I say no dairy, no wheat, no this or that, I might has well just have plain steak or ham any place that does real cooking.

4. I purchased an item in a second-hand shop and found this rosary hidden inside it. I wonder if someone lost it or just placed it there as some sort of blessing? I guess I'll take it back to the shop in case someone is looking for it. 

Eye of the Sky

February 13, 2017

Rose Hill Park Random-osity

The Good: There's a new park in Winchester, Virginia. Like some other parks in this historic city, it combines a history lesson with recreational opportunities. It is on part of the Kernstown Battlefield which until recently was only open to the public on rare occasions. Now it's open daily and is well-used by joggers, families, and dog walkers as well as Civil War buffs. 

The Random: I used PhotoCollage to make a mosaic of various scenes at the park. When the season is brighter, I intend to go back and shoot some more colorful pictures.

I have been to Kernstown Battlefield a number of times. When I visited this part of the battlefield a couple of years ago, we had to cross a cow-pasture to reach the stone walls that were used as shelter in the battle. Now the cows are fenced off from the trails, which have also been improved by grading and paving.

The Fun: Even though it's February, the weather was mild and we saw plenty of people enjoying the trails with their dogs.

Rose Hill Park is owned by the MSV and operated jointly with the Frederick County Department of Parks and Recreation.

February 12, 2017

A February Sky at the Lake

In Warren County, Virginia.

Along Port Republic Road

Not far from the village of Port Republic stands this large church, the Mill Creek Church of the Brethren. It was organized in 1840. The original church is long gone but it served as a Civil War hospital.

An interesting page on the church's history tells how their ancestors were persecuted in Europe for their beliefs against infant baptism and participation in war, and thus fled to America in 1719 and 1729. (This story is similar to that of some of my ancestors who were Mennonite.)

Across the road from the church is a farm, so I've got pictures to share with the Barn Collective as well as InSpired Sunday