December 4, 2016

Woodstock Scenery and Skies

A pretty sky on December 1st gave me a reason to pull into a church parking lot and take a picture. This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints near the fairgrounds in Woodstock, VA.

The town has a population of around 5,100. It still has farms within the town limits.

December 3, 2016

Deer in Front Royal

The town of Front Royal has a wildlife problem. Deer eat people's gardens and get hit by cars, bears raid garbage cans, and smaller animals cause mischief too. The town is adjacent to Shenandoah National Park, so wild animals wander into town and sometimes take up permanent residence there.

I saw those guys next to some houses in town. The next two photos were taken five miles away at Dickey Ridge. Deer often blend into their surroundings in the forest.

You may have to look twice at the final photo to see two deer. The small one was in the shadows.

December 2, 2016

The Views are Still Good

From Shenandoah Valley Overlook

The fall foliage season is over on Skyline Drive but when the light is right, the views are still fantastic. From the Front Royal entrance it's only a few miles to the first overlook, and barely a couple more after that to Dickey Ridge. Although the visitor center is closed for the winter, people are up there enjoying the views and walking on the trails.

December 1, 2016

Theme: Transitions

It's the first of the month already! City Daily Photo challenges us with a new theme for this day, and this month's is Transitions. I'm going to go back to November 8 for these pictures.  It was election day, ending a long and ugly campaign season and beginning a transition for this country.

A Woman Records a Memory
Poll Watcher?
Ideally the transition of power is peaceful. This one seems to be as rancorous as the election itself, but for those who say it was the angriest or most divisive campaign ever, I say remember the election of Lincoln. But we don't, of course, because it was before any of us were born, and many people have only a vague idea of history! Well, between Election Day of 1860 and Lincoln's inauguration, seven Southern states left the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. Several other states seceded after the inauguration once South Carolina's attack on Fort Sumter made war inevitable. Civil War followed, resulting in hundreds of thousands dead and the Southern economy destroyed. So that was worse.

At least I hope so. My biggest concern right now is the environment, with human rights close behind, and also the economy. If we fail to deal with the potential devastation that results from our planet's rapidly changing climate, not much else is going to matter! We are already seeing fires and floods on an alarming scale. This is not the world of my youth.

[Lyric break.]
♫ Cops out with the megaphones, 
Telling people stay inside their home!
Man, can't they see the world's on fire! 
 Somebody take us away, take us away 

 Safe in our garden
An ancient flower blooms, 
And the scent from its nature 
Slowly squares my room.
Take us away, take us away.♫
~ John Phillips

November 29, 2016

A Forest in the "Fort"

A Train Goes to Strasburg

When I was young and lived in Alexandria, a neighbor worked for the railroad. He regularly rode the train to Strasburg, where he also had a residence. But few trains go to Strasburg now, and none of them carry passengers. There is one train that still goes there several times a week, usually in the middle of the night. I hear it rumbling past, blowing it's lonesome whistle to warn traffic. If I'm still up, I sometimes look out to see the lights as it passes on the other side of the lake. It's a short train and passes by quickly.

One day in September I was surprised to hear it pass by during the daytime. I happened to be going to Strasburg shortly after that so I drove down a side road in town and saw it stopped beside one of the factories.

Here we see the train passing our neighborhood that day. It's not a very clear photo because I grabbed the camera and snapped a picture through the window.

The final shot is an October scene. It shows the railroad bridge across the North Fork of the Shenandoah. 

Sharing with Tuesday Treasures and Our World Tuesday

November 28, 2016

Late Autumn Randoms

The Good: Want to look younger for a photo? Lie down!

I recently made this selfie on a bench at Blandy.

The Random: Much of our autumn color has faded, but I still have foliage photos left to post. Below are some images I combined using PhotoCollage for Mosaic Monday and Seasons.

(Click on the image to see it larger.)

The Fun: At Opus Oaks, we saw a silo decorated with a ring of painted figures circling the structure. Students made these by posing and outlining each other and then painting in the details. (See previous post about Opus Oaks for more artwork.)
Sharing with Monday Murals

November 27, 2016

Accidental Photo

I took this on a rainy day, or rather, my camera took it. I was either picking up or putting down my Canon while taking pictures from the car.

Previously I posted other shots from that rainy expedition.  They were deliberate so they make more sense than this one, but there is something about this that I like. I'm pretty sure those are tree branches seen through the wet windshield.

Last Month in Fort Valley

White Chapel Methodist Church
Barns and Outbuildings
A Small Creek

November 26, 2016

Feathered and Furry Friends

Our weather has turned chilly so I filled a couple of  bird feeders. Hoping to not attract bears and squirrels, I used black thistle seed. I haven't seen any bears this season but the squirrels are checking out the feeders. I guess they're hungry!

One of the squirrels appears to be fairly young. He's small and cute.

A Goat in Berkeley County.

November 25, 2016

Post-Thanksgiving Randoms

1. Marie wanted to visit a particular store while she was here, so we went there this morning. We were the only customers even though this is the biggest shopping day of the year. I guess most people weren't buying old architectural house parts today. She bought some shelf brackets and a hook.

2.  It gets dark early now so I'm likely to be driving home around sunset. I stopped in Strasburg to capture the one below.

For more skies, check out the Skywatch linkup.  I'm also sharing this one with Orange You Glad It's Friday.

3. I'm thankful that Marie was able to visit us for Thanksgiving, even though her stay was brief. I drove her to the Metro this afternoon and she took a train to New Jersey, where she has an apartment even though she mostly lives in California because of her job.

4. Next we have some flag-related symbols. Miss Liberty is painted on a window in Strasburg. The poster with the red, white and blue heart caught my eye on a website. It apparently comes from a Facebook group called Hate Has No Home Here. They produce these signs to remind school children that they are cared for.

5. Finally, this is a shot I snapped with my cellphone this afternoon. Some Canada Geese were flying by.  Even though I see them all the time on our community lake, I still love to watch the way they fly.

Have a nice weekend!