July 21, 2018

Cows and Carolina Wrens.


We're starting this post with a picture of some cows behind a wooden fence.

The rest of today's pictures are of Carolina Wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus). I see them in our yard regularly.

Sharing with Saturday's Critters




July 20, 2018

Friday Flowers

Willy Nilly Friday and Floral Friday



Orange You Glad It’s Friday?


Wow, I had trouble with this post! I tried to create it using my iPad but could not get the photos to show up. Finally I switched to my cell phone and loaded the pictures from there. I took them with my cell phone anyway, but it prefer to work from a larger screen.

I got this to post just a minute before midnight. Then I went back to my iPad to refine the format, type text, and add tags. I’m still struggling with the links. (Sigh!)

Clickable links are in the left column.


July 19, 2018

Late Afternoon, Belle Grove.



Middletown, Virginia. 

I noticed a new interpretive sign at Belle Grove.

Plantation Slavery

In the Shenandoah Valley, small family farms were the norm but plantations did exist, including Belle Grove.
Major Isaac Hite, Jr. and his family recorded 276 enslaved people that they owned between 1783 and 1851. Some worked raising crops of wheat, corn, flax, or other grains or tended livestock. Others worked in Hite's industries of which there were a blacksmith shop, saw mill, grist mill, and distillery. Enslaved workers were involved in every household task and income-producing venture and their labor was critical to the plantation's success. 
Sharing with Signs, Signs and Fences Around the World

July 17, 2018

Bird Haven Factory Restored!

I saw a notice online that Bird Haven was having an open house at the old toy factory on Sunday. I was curious about how it looks now because we saw it eight years ago when it looked sadly dilapidated. It has an interesting history though, and was mentioned in a 1939 WPA guide as a place where "local craftsmen fashion furniture, toys, fireplace equipment, hooked rugs, and quilts, from patterns evolved by their ancestors."

The Carrs, who now own the property, have done an incredible job of bringing these buildings back to life. Exhibits tell the story of the factory, which provided much needed income to people in the Basye area during the Great Depression.


It happens that my most popular blog post ever is "Timberville, Bird Haven, and the WPA" written in 2008.  Blogger recorded over 14 thousand hits for that page, basically from people who searched for "Bird Haven" and "Shenandoah Community Workers" and found very little else about the place. Once in a while I hear from someone who owns an item made by Shenandoah Community Workers or someone who remembers their parent working there.

When I arrived there on Sunday, I was surprised that when I told our hosts that I had written about Bird Haven on my blog, they exclaimed, "You're the Squirrel Ridge blogger!" It's not often that my reputation precedes me.

We enjoyed seeing the restored buildings and a video of people reminiscing about the factory.  It was small but well-equipped and enjoyed by the workers, who took pride in the polished wooden products they crafted.

The factory is not open on a regular basis but if you are interested, follow "Bird Haven Farm" on Facebook.

The entrance on Alum Springs Road leads to the farm but also a small community of homes.

See all my posts about Shenandoah Community Workers (and notice the comments).


Some of the links I mentioned on my blog in past years are now broken, but the construction company that rehabbed the factory has an interesting page about it.  An excellent article by Carole Alexander is linked on her site but it's the entire March 2015 issue of Shenandoah Living so it may take a while to view.

I have seen displays of items made by Shenandoah Community Workers at the Plains District Museum in Timberville and in the Mount Jackson Museum.

July 16, 2018

Murals and Flowers


The Good: Here's another mural by Corbin Murals in Marshall, Virginia. (See July 2nd post.) This was a vehicle upholstery shop.
Sharing with Monday Murals.
The Random: July Flowers for Mosaic Monday.


The Fun: No wait, I'm not in a mood for fun! Our country is in an uncertain position, and I'm not feeling that great myself. (Just a sore foot in my case though.) So I'm sharing another mural-type work, this one with a message. It says "Pray for our troops." 

On Green Acres Road, Strasburg, VA.

July 15, 2018

Joppa Church and Rural Scenes

Fort Valley, Virginia.

I misidentified this building as a school the other day. Sorry for the error! A friend informed me that it is Joppa Christian Church, and sure enough, I found it on Google Maps with that name. It was built in 1855. This is a slightly different view from the one I posted three days ago. 

Sharing with InSpired Sunday.
Now let's look at more of the countryside nearby. There are so many barns that I have some pictures left over for another day, and I did not even photograph them all.





Shadow Shot Sunday.

July 14, 2018

Birds and My Great Pup.


Well, here it is Saturday again and I want to link up with Eileen's blog hop as well as Anni's Bird D'Pot.  I'm starting off with a robin and a Carolina Wren.

Next we see Flash resting on the deck. He does a lot of resting these days. I'm showing him off at Pet Parade.


The cardinal didn't sit on the rail for long. Fortunately he hopped down to the birdbath where I got a closer look at him.       
                                                                                                                              


July 13, 2018

Staycation All the Time

One of my photography friends challenged me to post "staycation" pictures showing ideas for a vacation consisting of day trips close to home. It's pretty easy when you live in the mountain-valley region of Virginia and I could list dozens of places but I'm just choosing five for Willy Nilly Friday so I'm selecting places that are really close by.

1. Shenandoah National Park, of course. It's only half an hour from home and the views are spectacular!
Sharing with Floral Friday
2. George Washington National Forest is so close you could walk there (if you were in better shape than I). This black and white image shows the suspension bridge that crosses Passage Creek.

3. The Shenandoah River is so close even I can walk there from my home. The spot where I took this picture is farther away though, down behind Walmart in Front Royal.
Weekend Reflections.
4. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in Middletown. I went on a History at Sunset tour this evening and made it there in 20 minutes.

5. Last but not least, my own neighborhood. We have some great views as well as a lake and river access. This happens to be a sunset I snapped a couple of days ago.
Sharing with Skywatch and Orange You Glad It's Friday.

July 12, 2018

Views from an Old Store to an Old School.

Fort Valley, Virginia. 

Yesterday I took some pictures along St. David's Church Road, starting with its intersection at Old Store Road.