January 28, 2020

Farms and History near Middletown

Frederick County, Virginia

The Barn Collective
This area is known for the Battle of Cedar Creek, and in 2002 a national historical park was authorized to protect and interpret the battlefield. The park has developed since then and recently entrance signs were erected. This park differs from most national parks in that a significant portion is privately owned, and is joined under agreements.

The photos with snow are from early this month.

Tuesday Treasures:

This monument stands in memory of Stephen Ramseur, who was mortally wounded nearby during the Civil War. A plaque reads:
"Northwest of this tablet, 800 yards, is the Belle Grove House in which died, October 20, 1864, of wounds received at Cedar Creek October 19, 1864, Maj.-Gen. Stephen Dodson Ramseur, C.S.A. A native of North Carolina, he resigned from the United States Army in 1861, and entering the Confederate States Army as a Lieutenant rose to rank of Major-General at the age of 27."
See also: A Lost Generation

January 27, 2020

Late January Random-osity

Good: A cheerful mural covers the walls and ceiling of a stairway in the Woodstock Library.

The stair leads down to the children's section of the library.

Did you love the children's section when you were a kid? I know I did! I'd take out six books at a time, which I believe was the limit for each child. In a few weeks, we brought them back and I selected six more.

Sharing with Monday Murals
and Mosaic Monday.

I put three close-up shots of critters from the mural into a PhotoCollage.

Random: We had heavy rain over the weekend, causing flooding at some river crossings. Here we see the Shenandoah River as it appeared today from Skyline Drive. It was muddy brown and slightly out of its banks in places. (In the foreground is Skyline High School.)

The Fun: A group of local photographers got together for a lunch meeting in Strasburg on Saturday.  We share photos online and have only gotten together a few times.

January 26, 2020

A Parish Hall in Berryville

 The Grace Episcopal Parish Hall can be seen in the background of a picture in Thursday's post. The building sprawls on a lot across the street from the brick church. The oldest section of the parish hall appears to be the one in photo #2, which was built in 1902.

Grace Church was originally a mission of Wickliffe Church.

The Parish Hall has a beautiful stained glass window but shrubbery and reflections prevented me from getting a clear photo of it.

Blog Post #7000.

Seven thousand? Wow, that's a lot of blog posts! I started blogging in 2005, and before that I put up web pages using HTML and Dreamweaver. So I've been online for a long time.

When I first started posting, I used AOL's platform because back then, there was AOL, Compuserve, and Prodigy as far as ISPs. That was about it! We had to use dial-up, wiring our phone directly to a computer. The software for the ISP came on a floppy disk, and you installed it so you could get online. Dial-up was slow, so there weren't a lot of large photos on webpages because they took a while to appear.

I worked for a software company and took a course on HTML coding. In 1997, I put up my first website about my dog Guppy (See my August 2012 post for screenshots.)  

Before that, I studied photography, mostly at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA).  I loved experimenting with photo manipulation in the darkroom, but  I didn't care for the chemical smells. When digital photo editing became available, I was excited! I got a mini-Photoshop program called PhotoDeluxe, and eventually took up Photoshop.

I'm also a history buff and created a page about Civil War tours that I took with NOVA.  When I took blogging, I liked how easy it is compared to HTML coding! I still use HTML to tweak my posts and work-around the limits of Blogger.

That's enough about me. Why are you still here? ;-)

January 25, 2020

An Artsy Husky and Birds in Trees.

It's the weekend and it's time for Saturday Critters and Caturday Pet Art.  I'll start off with a Photoshopped image of Heidi's beautiful dog. I made a layer and inverted the colors and then tried different blending modes until I found something I like. 

It's also time for Black and White Weekend and the Bird Depot. These are vultures at Blandy. We have plenty of them in my neighborhood too. My husband doesn't like them but I like watching them soar!

Next we have a trail cam picture of a flock of starlings flying around.

The same trail cam caught me breaking off some small branches. Branches like these will set off the motion detector, giving me way too many pictures of blowing branches. I'm holding glasses in my hand because I had just put the card back in the camera and I needed glasses in order to read the menu and delete the old images.

Next is a photo I took today from a parking lot where I spotted a hawk. I took a picture through my windshield because I was afraid the bird would take off, and sure enough it took flight before I got my window rolled down. I did get one shot of it in flight, not a very sharp one because I was hurrying and so was he!

Then I looked to the right and saw a red cardinal in a tree. Can you see him?
"Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom. We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious."   ~ David Attenborough

January 24, 2020

Light, Memories, and Digital Imaging.

1. Skywatch: I took this image a while back and didn't get around to posting it. There's a trace of a sunbow in that upper right cloud. 

2. Weekend Reflection: This storefront scene is in Purcellville, around the corner from the postcard mural.

3. I came across this card that Lynn made me many years ago. This would have been from when I was hospitalized for an appendectomy. I saved it all these years and it still makes me smile.
"Hi Mommy. Smile Mommy."
"Love Lynn.
I love you Mommy. Marie and I are  being good. We are taking care of Pretty Boy.
To Linda From Lynn."
Pretty Boy was our canary.

4. Friday Bliss. I've been playing with Photo Apps and Filters. I altered the picture that Frank took of me in front of a wings mural.

5. For the picture of the Shenandoah River, I was following instructions to create an impressionist look. It didn't work out the way I envisioned, but I still like it. You can't go wrong with the view from Cullers Overlook!

January 23, 2020

Not Your Usual Historical Marker.

Berryville, Virginia.

Across from Grace Episcopal Church we find this plaque and a hitching post.
"Traveler was tethered on this spot June 21, 1863, as General Robert E. Lee paused on his march to Gettysburg. He attended services here in Grace Episcopal Church."
Note that it does not state that this is the same post.  But the specific location was remembered by those who held Lee in such high regard that they honored his parking spot!

The plaque next to the church door says "Grace Episcopal Church 1832." The reason I stopped there today was to look for the controversial marker for Benjamin Berry, founder of Berryville. It is to the right of the church, toward the back. The dates are 1720 (?) – 1810. Note that he died 22 years before the church was built.

Here's a marker a few blocks away that I shared in May 2016. It says that Berry established the town in 1798 and that he and his daughter Sarah Stribling are buried at Grace Episcopal Church.

But this has been questioned. Some surmise that Benjamin Berry's remains were moved to the churchyard long after his death. But I found his daughter Sarah (Sally) Stribling listed on FindAGrave and archivist Mary Thomason-Morris of the county historical association claims that Sarah was buried in Kentucky. (Sarah moved there and that's where she made out her will.) Furthermore, the archivist states that Benjamin was not buried at the church either.

Sharing with Signs, Signs and Fences Around the World.
The white building across from the church is the Parish Hall, built in 1902.
The final image shows the Battletown Inn, once the home of Sarah Stribling. It is closed right now but new owners are planning to bring it back as an inn and restaurant.

January 22, 2020

A Party of Robins

I was surprised to see over a dozen robins in my yard yesterday. They were gathered around a puddle, taking drinks. 

Robins don't actually go south for the winter. They do travel around in flocks, but they are seeking out food and water. They are able to fluff up their feathers and stay warm.

There were other birds in my yard too, but they were not at the puddle. I also saw squirrels, as usual.

Sharing with Wild Wednesday 

I've been experimenting with Photoshop so here's a filtered image.

A Farm, East of Toms Brook.

Wordless Wednesday, The Barn Collective.

January 21, 2020

Page County's Historic White House

Near the South Fork of the Shenandoah stands this old house built in 1760. It was the home of an early settler, Martin Kauffman. He was a Mennonite minister and for a time, the house served as a meeting house for the congregation. 

Next to the house is a nice looking farm.

Route 211 crosses the South Fork of the Shenandoah within sight of the house and farm. An earlier bridge nearby was burned during the Civil War by order of Stonewall Jackson, whose army was being pursued by Federal forces under General Shields.

From 1870 to 1910, a ferry served as the primary way to cross the river here. (See my May 14, 2018 post for a mural of the ferry.)

It's Squirrel Appreciation Day 2020!

January 20, 2020

Gallery Mosaic and a Firebird.

The Good: We went to Luray a week ago and visited the Warehouse Art Gallery. Here is a huge collage made up of small paintings done by many different people. 

Monday Mural and Mosaic Monday.
The Random: I made a photo collage of windows and doors in the gallery.

The Fun: While we were looking at art, I heard music and saw a flash of color through the main door and went out to see. This dancer represents a "firebird" and had been performing around the corner. On stilts!

That evening I looked at my cell phone photos and realized I had taken a photo of a stained glass piece of art that was likely the inspiration for the costume!