May 29, 2024

Reshowing Birds

It is Wednesday and I usually have a bird photo to share with Stewart’s bird linkup, but I didn’t take any bird pictures this week. So I’m going back in time four years.

The great blue Heron was busy looking for fish. 

A hummingbird was drinking sugar water. 

To make up for the old pictures, here’s a recent picture of Charlie. He likes birds, but he wants to chase them, so it’s hard for me to take a picture of a bird while I hold his leash. 

May 28, 2024

The Spring on Wolf Gap Road

Great North Mountain

This spring has provided water to travelers for over a century. Wolf Gap Road (Route 675) existed before the Civil War. It’s been paved since then, but it’s still narrow and winding, so it’s not suitable for tractor-trailers or long RVs. 

While I was walking up from the parking space to the spring, a couple stopped to get water. This man pointed out that the trough that you see in the lower left of the first picture was built to provide water for horses. 

 This spot is not far from the top of the mountain, where Wolf Gap Campground is. Just past that is the West Virginia state line, where Wolf Gap Road turns into Trout Run  Road. 

Mountain laurel is now in bloom and is plentiful along that road.

May 27, 2024

Mural at The Little Grill

Harrisonburg, VA

Murals / Wordless

Memorial at Fairfax Courthouse

Today is Memorial Day. 

I took these pictures a few months ago in the town of Fairfax. The text on the memorial is repeated on a nearby sign along with the names from the Vietnam Memorial which I posted on March 29.

You can read a transcription at

I feel helpless in the face of mankind's lust for war. Here is a quote from Pope Francis
Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: "Never again war!"; "With war everything is lost". Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.

May 26, 2024

Serenity and Sameness

There was a small art show today in Lost River, so after taking Charlie to the dog park, I drove across the mountain. The show was in a yoga studio, and I spotted this statue on the porch.

Although I took yoga classes when I was younger, I was never been able to do the lotus position. 
A funny thing about this position is that it keeps coming up in my AI experiments. It seems that whenever my prompt alludes to serenity or spirituality, the database comes up with this same yoga pose. Computer-generated imaging tends toward triteness, which I suppose is to be expected when so much of what it found on the Internet is repetitive.

On the way home this afternoon, I missed a turn to the spot where I was planning to walk Charlie, so he was getting restless by the time I got to the top of the mountain. I pulled into the parking area at Wolf Gap and we walked around. The forest is very green.

Sharing with Mosaics and Sunday Snapshot

May 25, 2024

Sunny Saturday with Charlie

Hi, it's Charlie! I thought I would talk to you for just a minute before I go to bed. I went to the dog park today so I'm tired. It was hot, but I still ran fast and chased the ball.

There are two gray cats that I thought might come talk to me, but one of them only came as far as a mailbox and the other one stayed further away

I didn’t get a good look at that one, but I think they were brothers so he looked kind of like this.

AI image for Caturday

Sometimes I go out on the deck with Mom and there are pots of flowers. A little critter called a skipper was on the pink flowers.

When it’s sunny out there, I like to lie down and feel warm. That reminds me, I want to take a nap now. Good night!

May 24, 2024

Watching South Street

Front Royal, VA

Yesterday I went through the drive-through lane at Spelunkers, a burger and ice cream place. It isn’t exactly fast food because they cook your food to order, so you have to wait for it. I ordered a lettuce-wrap burger (no bun), and as I waited in my car, I took a couple of pictures. 

I think this child was also waiting, while her family was nearby at a table. I also spied a couple of hikers who appeared to have come into town for supplies. The Appalachian Trail is only a few miles away and hikers come through all summer. Some of them are “through hikers,” on their way from Georgia to Maine. I respect the stamina and perseverance of the people who complete that hike. It’s almost 2,200 miles (3540 kilometers) long in mountainous terrain.

May 23, 2024

Stormy Sky

Shenandoah National Park

Since I was in Front Royal today, I decided to eat a picnic lunch along Skyline Drive. I was surprised when my weather app announced that a storm was coming, but I like seeing storms from up there. Sure enough, a storm front showed up over the Shenandoah Valley.

I turned the phone to get a vertical shot and look! A bird flew into the frame!

Skywatch / H2O

I did run into some rain when I got off the mountain, but only for a few minutes. I understand that Strasburg had a severe hailstorm. 

May 22, 2024

Ducks by the Edinburg Mill

The creek that once powered the Edinburg Mill is home to a flock of ducks. People feed them, and in return, they allow us to watch them. Many of them are mallards, and some appear to be domestic ducks or hybrids.

The adult male is known for his iridescent green head, and the female is mottled brown yet pretty.

I love seeing them fly. The final shot looks a little awkward, but I was pleased to capture them in flight using my cell phone so I am including it.

May 20, 2024

Mural in the Stephens City Walmart

Last week I stopped at the large Walmart near Stephens City and noticed that there is a mural at the entrance where the motorized carts sit.

The mural shows the drive-in theater, farmland, distant mountains, and the Welcome sign. Here are photos I took a couple of years ago of the Family Drive-in and that sign. The reason there’s a covered wagon on the sign is that the town was once known for constructing good quality wagons.