April 19, 2018

Rockingham Rurality

Much of Rockingham County is rural and scenic. These views are southwest of Harrisonburg. 

I altered the final image to get rid of a distraction and then decided to add a filter. I liked it at first but now I'm not sure. It looks pale in proximity to the other pictures.

April 18, 2018

Passerines Perching

When we lived in Bryce Mountain Resort, I saw pine siskins frequently, but I haven't seen them here much. Then this guy showed up! Hi, Siskin! 

He is similar to a goldfinch in some ways, but not nearly as bright.

The grackles are much larger and they tend to come in flocks. I admire their iridescent feathers but they tend to mob the feeders and eat greedily. Fortunately they are shy and fly away if they see me at the window.

Next up is an American Robin in a tree. 

The red-winged blackbird is in the same family as the grackle. Usually I just see one or two though, not a whole flock. I love the bright red patch on his wing!

April 17, 2018

Today at Fairview Park Barn

St. Thomas Chapel and The Toll of War

There is a new interpretative marker facing St. Thomas Chapel in Middletown. I stopped by there yesterday to take a few pictures.

The sign was erected for Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical to tell of the chapel's use as a hospital in October 1864.
The Toll of War
 The carnage of battle meant that beside the hundreds of men killed or mortally wounded on the battlefield thousands of others had wounds or injuries that required treatment. Dozens of private homes or others structures, including St. Thomas Church were pressed into service as temporary hospitals. Conditions were deplorable, as medicine was still somewhat primitive and in short supply, knowledge about infection was little understood and the need for sterile conditions was unknown. The number of soldiers dying from infections was almost double the number who died on the battlefield.  

This James Taylor sketch depicts Union doctors performing surgery inside St. Thomas Chapel following the Battle of Cedar Creek.
 Sharing with Tuesday Treasures.

April 16, 2018

From a Pizza Place to a Pleasant Park

Here it is Monday again and some of favorite linkups are available. So I'm using the Good, Random, Fun format and also sharing something for Monday Murals and Mosaic Monday.

The Good: This mural dominates a small restaurant in Winchester. Restaurants are actually a good place to find murals.

I like the graphic but I have to admit I don't eat pizza because of allergies to wheat, dairy, and yeast. 

The Random: I made a photo collage of pictures I took at Strasburg's Riverwalk. The bluebells are blooming, although they may get nipped tonight by a predicted frost.

The Fun: Running with your friends looks like fun, even if you are practicing for a high school event.

April 15, 2018

Pike Mennonite Church

This brick church overlooks the Valley Pike (U.S. 11), south of Harrisonburg. It was first established in 1825 and was then known as "Moyers Church."  The original building was destroyed by fire long ago.

April 14, 2018

Blog Post #6300 Features Creatures

It's spring so I thought I'd lead with a courtship photo. Or perhaps Mr. Canada Goose is just being territorial. What do you think?

The black and white photo shows a different type of goose. These come ashore into my yard every day, and I can count on at least one to spread his wings right after he makes it out of the lake.

These are probably domestic geese who escaped from a farm and now live free on the community lake.

As the title of this post suggests, this blog reached another milestone: 6,300 posts. (I started blogging in 2005.) In honor of this rather impressive number of posts, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my photo workflow.

I use Adobe Bridge to name pictures. I actually described this process eight years ago in a post called Notes on Naming Files.  (Wow, that long ago!) Anyway, once the pictures are in a folder for the current month, I assign them a star rating using the Command key and a number.  One star means its a usable photo, two stars is better, three is superior. Four stars means I've selected the photo and processed it.  Oh, and if a photo is awful, I delete it.

The screen print shows what Bridge looks like on my monitor. That's part of my collection for March 2018 called 4Mar2018.
Here's one of the deer photos from above.  I took it by the entrance to Shenandoah National Park. The next image is from the same group but I cropped it rather drastically so that you can see the second deer.

For years, I would double-click a picture in Bridge and it opened in Photoshop. But when I changed computers last year, I wasn't able to get Photoshop to transfer over. Instead of calling Adobe and getting assistance, I downloaded a free program from Movavi to edit photos. I liked it so I'm still using it. I miss working in layers though.

After I process the photo I save it in a different folder for the current month. 

Another picture from last month is this house finch. Soon I won't have so many bird photos to post because I've stopped feeding them because bears roam through our neighborhood in April. Once they find a source of food, they not only eat it but they remember the location and come back again.

The proud-looking bird in a bush is probably a song sparrow.

The squirrels will probably be disappointed that I'm not putting out bird seed, but they'll survive.


April 13, 2018

Five Recent Cell Phone Snapshots

  1.  My memory card has been acting up so I switched over to my cell phone for photos this afternoon. I also use the cell camera whenever carrying the big camera would be obtrusive. This scene is just one that I saw on the way home.

2. All the picnic areas in Shenandoah National Park are now open for the season. Here's a squirrel having a snack on a rock at Dickey Ridge Picnic Area.

3. I stopped at a convenience store in Mt. Jackson the other evening after meeting Lynn for a late lunch near Staunton. I just got a cup of coffee, mostly decaf because I am sensitive to caffeine. But I did add a little bit of the caffeinated stuff to help me stay alert on rest of my journey.

Orange You Glad It's Friday?

4. Yesterday evening I went to a meeting in Front Royal. Here's a scene on Main Street.

Sharing with Skywatch and Floral Friday.

5. It was dark when I emerged from the meeting. I stopped in the parking lot of Rancho Nuevo to to take a photo of the lights and reflections.

April 12, 2018

Fences and Garden Gates

Historic Garden Week is coming! I've marked April 21 and the days following on my calendar so that I can take some of the tours.

These are a few photos from tours in Virginia's horse country a couple of years ago.
Sharing with Through My Lens and Fences Around the World

Queen Victoria Gate. Panels Made in India.

April 11, 2018

Not Our Usual Backyard Bird.

When I saw this bird flying over the lake, I thought it was a hawk. After cropping the pictures, I see the stripe on its face. Could it be an osprey? I've seen them in a different part of Virginia (by the Chesapeake Bay), and it could be migrating. Bird watchers, please tell me!