September 18, 2014

Benny on the Grass

Sign on a Fence

Here's a mystery: There are two signs on this fence. I understand the No Parking sign. After all, this is near a fishing spot on the Shenandoah River and the property owners don't want their driveway blocked with cars and boats. But then on the fence rail, there's a date. Let's take a closer look.

What do you suppose the significance of October 11 of next year is?

Linking to: Signs, Signs

September 17, 2014

Garden Madonna is Black and White

Happy 81st Birthday to Sarah

Lynn and I traveled to Fairfax County on Sunday for a birthday celebration for Sarah Fields. It was held at her son's church.

Sarah and I go way back. We worked together for the urban 4-H program back when our kids were still kids!

September 16, 2014

Civil War Oatlands

What kind of Civil War buff would I be if I left Oatlands without saying something about the Civil War? A sign next to the parking lot tells us about that era.
The Civil War arrived in Loudoun County on October 21, 1861, with the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. As Confederate forces gathered to protect Leesburg, Elizabeth Grayson Carter, the widowed mistress of Oatlands, wrote in her journal on October 17, “Our troops falling back on Centerville - Mississippi Regt’s encamped at the Mill – Solders here all day.”

Elizabeth’s son Benjamin served with the 8th Virginia Infantry Regiment, while her son George acted as a courier. On the day of the battle, she wrote, “A day of excitement – Ben came home at night wounded in the little finger. Wonderful escape – Terrible Battle near Leesburg – great victory for us tho’ our loss is great.”
The marker goes on to say that Mrs. Carter left Oatlands for Upperville and Confederate Gen. Nathan “Shanks” Evans made Oatlands his headquarters. As the war went on, Oatlands was "a haven for family, friends, and soldiers, including Eppa Hunton, Norborne Berkeley, Baron Von Massow, and Mosby’s Rangers." (The entire text can be read on

Linking to: Our World Tuesday

September 15, 2014

Good, Random, and Fun at Oatlands

For today's Random-osity linkup, I chose three photos I took at Oatlands Plantation in Loudoun County. First we have the graceful manor house as seen from the garden. The house dates from the early 1800's. Next, for "random," I chose a shot taken through the library window. An aging statuette graces a shelf inside.

For the fun category, I'm sharing a picture of the gift shop. It's fun to look for unique souvenirs, isn't it?

September 14, 2014

Plantation Ponds

At Oatlands Plantation near Leesburg, VA

Linking to: Weekend Reflection

September 13, 2014

Pretty Pink Petals

Frank's sister is visiting and wanted to visit a historic home so we took her to Oatlands near Leesburg a few days ago. The gardens are lovely!

I went there with a garden club in 2010 and Frank was there many years ago, but it's worth seeing more than once.

Linking to: Today's Flowers

Soulful and Sepia

Linking to: Sepia Saturday

September 12, 2014

Belle Grove Contrasts

Historical Marker and Foundation

Ready for a Wedding 
flowers and fabricWhen we visited Belle Grove last weekend, it was set up for a wedding. The festive decorations were in contrast to the history of the property, which was once part of a Civil War battlefield. This is in Middletown in the lovely Shenandoah Valley.

Bullet hole from Battle of Cedar Creek
Another column with a bullet hole
Linking to: Skywatch Friday

Angles and Orange Painting

September 11, 2014

A Cat in Chincoteague

Fence and Culvert, and Perhaps a Troll

Altered in Photoshop
The dark culvert here reminded me of a place where a troll might hide, coming out to harass the Billy Goats Gruff when they came trip-trapping along the path. The troll, of course, gets his comeuppance when the largest goat butts him down into the stream.

Moral: A troll deserves to be put in his place.

Linking to: Good Fences

September 9, 2014

Random Fun from Our World

Here are my selections for the Random-osity blog hop and Our World Tuesday.

Good: A dog who never barks or bites or messes up the house.

Random: I took this picture because it reminded me of Janis Joplin's song, "Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."

Fun: Here's Frank's brother taking his lady friend for a spin.