November 24, 2015

Trees on Ramseur's Hill

I took Flash to Fishers Hill Battlefield and we walked up the path on what is now called Ramseur's Hill. The deciduous trees are finally bare but the sky was blue. (How blue depends on my camera settings. I'm using the old one while the Canon is being repaired for the second time.)

Sharing with NF Trees and Bushes

November 23, 2015

Murals along Hawksbill Creek

Luray, VA

Luray has a number of murals in town, partly due to the efforts of the Luray Tree and Beautification Committee. Here we can see the popular walking trail along Hawksbill Creek.

I love the white owl and the deer in this mural. See the mountains? This town is situated between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Massanutten Range. It's known for Luray Caverns.

A sign on the red mill tells us it is Willow Grove Mill, which is just south of town. I showed the mill itself in a January post.

Sharing with Monday Murals

November 22, 2015

A Bend in the South Fork

Seen from Cullers Overlook

Shadow on the Wall

I was intrigued by this limestone house and the way the tree cast a shadow on it. Seems like a suitable image for Shadow Shot Sunday

November 21, 2015

Canon Fails Again

 I've sent my little Canon camera back for repair again! They "repaired" it earlier this month but the zoom was still erratic. This first image shows you what tipped me off.

It's supposed to show a couple of ducks sailing by. In the viewfinder, they were on the imaginary line that marks the lower third of the image (as suggested by the "rule of thirds" taught in photo classes). But the image that was recorded shows no ducks! They were outside the frame. You can barely see the top of a head along the bottom. The viewfinder was not showing what was happening with the zoom.

Fortunately it was a test shot and I checked it right away. I framed another shot using the LCD display on the back of the camera instead of the viewfinder and got the second image. By that time the ducks had almost disappeared behind the fence.

Why not just use the LCD? Well, I see more clearly through a viewfinder, plus steadying the camera against my face gives me a better chance of getting a sharp image. Even a tiny bit of  camera movement can blur a picture. 

It took a couple of days to arrange for the repair. I called Canon on Wednesday and they promised to send me a form and a label for returning the G16. The form did not arrive via email until the following day, and the label did not reach my email until Friday morning! Their stalling did not stop me from returning it though.

There are reflections in that first shot but this last one is more fun, at least to me.  It was just a puddle in the street.

I plan to share this with Weekend Reflections if I can get their linkup button to show up. I don't know why but blog hops stopped working for me today. I'll try the old turn it off, turn it on trick and see it that helps.

Squirrel in Waiting

I've started putting out bird feeders again, after waiting for the bears to go into hibernation because they will come into the yard to get the bird seed and then destroy the feeders! 

Here's a squirrel waiting for his chance to attack the feeders. He doesn't destroy them, but he does spill a lot of seed on the ground. Then his siblings come and feast on it!

This is my 150th post tagged Squirrels.

November 20, 2015

November Evening, Skyline Drive

Yesterday started out rainy but became sunny and warm by the afternoon. Temperatures were in the 70's (Fahrenheit), which felt hot for November. We went to Luray and drove up to Skyline Drive from there. The park was closing early, at 5 PM, to reduce illegal hunting. A ranger told us we had time to drive north to the Front Royal exit before they closed the gates. We did stop briefly to capture some irresistible photos.

We saw at least a dozen deer. It's their mating season so we had to drive carefully as they get distracted and forget about the dangers of the road.

We drove through some clouds, which is not unusual in the mountains. One minute you're on a clear road and the next minute you're in deep fog! When the clouds parted, we saw some lovely views.

I have over 60 blog entries tagged deer, many of them with pictures taken from Skyline Drive. If you've never been here, well, you should come! The Drive runs the length of Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It was designed to be scenic and it certainly succeeded!

November 19, 2015

November 18, 2015

November at Lake Frederick

Lake Frederick is open to the public for boating and fishing although it is surrounded by a subdivision. It is in the Shenandoah Valley between Front Royal and Winchester.

Signs of Dragons

November 17, 2015

Front Royal Visitors Center

Sharing with NF Trees and Bushes

Random-osity Cell Phone Photos

My cell phone is an old Android model and its pictures are not the best. But there are times that I don't carry my camera with me — not too many, but there are times, like on doctor's visits, on museum tours, and in restaurants (unless it's a special occasion). So today, I'm sharing a few of these pictures in the Good, Random and Fun format and also for the Our World Tuesday linkup.

The Good: Winchester Medical Center is a modern facility providing health care in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. I was attracted to the shadows and lines in this corridor.

The Random: I was pleased to see that this sculpture was on view again on the Rappahannock Studio Tour. I cannot speak for the artist, but to me it speaks of the tragedy of war, a soldier killed as he tries to surrender.

The next image shows a different type of sculpture also relating to war, but in this case it's fantasy war. I believe these were crafted as props for a movie (or possibly a game). I'm not a fan of war movies. They creep me out! They remind me that humans are basically animals, worse than predators because some of us glory in killing. We are not as civilized as we would like to think!

Today we live in frightening times! I suppose this is not unique; my parents lived through World War II; my grandparents lived through both World Wars; my great-grandparents lived through the American Civil War; and so on.

Have you noticed how fear brings out the worst in people? After years of espousing love and forgiveness, suddenly they are ready to deny help to families in need, refugees who seeking safety. Suddenly I see how an earlier generation of "decent" people allowed a holocaust to happen! They felt fear, they pulled back into primitive survival mode, they were manipulated by people who knew how to exploit their fear. And sadly, we see people who are not in our own group as "others," if not enemies, at least not as family, and instinctively it is our own families that we seek to protect.  Two thousand years of hearing we should love our neighbor are quickly forgotten. It is all too depressing!

I will change the subject and try to address the third topic without sounding cynical. Because only by denying reality are we able to thrive!

The Fun: Eating out can be fun. I like it best when the restaurant has something tasty that I can eat without getting sick, of course, and with food allergies that doesn't happen every time. I took this picture with my phone at a nice place in Rippon that serves home-cooked food. Although I took a more traditional picture too, this one appeals to me because it is different. Notice that my husband appears in the mirror behind the lamp.

November 16, 2015

Art Gallery with Barn

It was a good weekend for art studio tours — we had three to choose from. Two were in West Virginia and one was in the Lovettsville, Virginia area. I decided to skip the Hampshire Highlands Studio Tour because we've done it before and had not done the other two. I always like exploring a new area as long as it's fairly convenient.

Saturday we took the Over the Mountain tour near Charles Town. We've been to Charles Town a number of times and knew that the countryside around it is hilly and scenic. Our first stop was barely in West Virginia, a short drive from Berryville. It turned out to be a community gallery called Craftworks, in a new energy-efficient building located in a park-like setting.

There is an attractive barn on the property.

I was delighted to see a cute mural painted on the side of the barn. It is signed by Mia and Autumn.