November 18, 2019

Woodstock Library and More.

Shenandoah County, Virginia.


I saw a clipping showing a mural in the children's area of the library in Woodstock. As a collector of murals for the Monday Murals blog hop, I traipsed down the stairs to children's reading area.

Oh, a great blue heron! How nice! 

On that same day, I drove east of town to the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. Here's a collage of some scenes down there. 

Mosaic Monday.

November 17, 2019

Northern Loudoun Rurality.

Yesterday I showed some photos of farm animals in the Lovettsville area and also in West Virginia. Lovettsville is in Loudoun County, north of Purcellville.

I some pictures of barns and churches there, so let's start with the Bethel Lutheran Church. It is in a rural community on Tankerville Road. A source says it was established in 1866.



The sun was getting low in the sky so I had to walk around to the side of the church to get away from its glare in my eyes. The result was a nice view of the tower with a shadow shot of a tree.

This part of Loudoun County has charming small towns and plenty of farms, unlike the part of the county closer to the nation's capital, which is rapidly becoming crowded suburbia with heavy traffic.

Next: a few barns in the area.







November 16, 2019

Art Tour Animals


In Autumn, there are a number of studio tours in rural Virginia and West Virginia. With the holidays approaching, this is a good time to sell arts and crafts.

A unique thing about rural tours is they often take you to farms. Here are some farm animals we saw on these tours this month, starting with a cute alpaca we saw today near Lovettsville, VA. This was our first stop on the Catoctin Holiday Art Tour.

A couple weeks ago we went to two stops on the Trails and Trees Studio Tour in West Virginia.  They were for artists we've visited twice before but they were worth revisiting.


Last weekend was The Over the Mountain Studio Tour, also in West Virginia. That one isn't far from us because it is just over the state line. I was pleased to find that the first stop was on a farm with chickens and livestock. 

By the way, I often find some great artist-produced greeting cards on these tours. They are often priced no higher than the cards stocked in supermarkets and they are locally created.

There was a friendly cat. He let me take his picture so I'd have something to link to the "Caturday" blog hop.  Also I'm sharing this entire post with Satuday's Critters.

I used the "Ink Outlines" filter on this in Photoshop. Often I crop, brighten, resize, and sign my photos in Photoshop.


Aren't the lambs adorable? I wasn't able to get a picture of both of them with their mom like this man did. They were shy and she promptly led them away from visitors.


November 15, 2019

A Search for Gold Willy Nilly

1. The first half of November is a time of golden foliage but also golden light, often fleeting. The best time to catch it is in the last hour of the day.
At Blandy, Linking to Willy Nilly Friday.

2. We are still enjoying golden leaves.  These are along Passage Creek in Fort Valley.

3. Floral Friday: Only a few yellow flowers are left, so I combined them with golden leaves using PhotoCollage.

Also sharing with Friday Bliss.



4. Weekend Reflections: Seven Bends State Park is almost ready to open. I went down to the new park to see what's been added. The parking lot at the Hollingsworth entrance is open and it is next to the river. A ramp for small boats is completed. There are steps alongside so you can pull your canoe up the hill.

There are also new picnic tables and trails have been marked. Volunteers are helping with this stage of construction.

5.Skywatch: We've had some lovely sunsets. This is one I viewed from Dickey Ridge in Shenandoah National Park.



November 14, 2019

Strasburg Signs, Fences, Trees, and Tracks.

This Week in Strasburg, Virginia.

Sharing with Signs.

Yesterday I stopped in the Strasburg Town Park to see if there were still colorful leaves on the trees.  Yes!

Temperatures have been unseasonably cold this week and some leaves have fallen, but there is still plenty of fine color if you look for it.

The park has rail fences and a view of the Massanutten Mountains, as well as ball fields, a playground, swimming in summer, and river access.



The town's Radio Shack is having a going-out-of-business sale. Even after merging with another business, it found it impossible to thrive, especially since video rentals lost customers to newer technology. There is still a Radio Shack in Woodstock, though. For those who aren't familiar with Radio Shack, they sell electronic parts, batteries, and cell phones.

A train still runs to Strasburg, and I took photos of the tracks from the Route 55 overpass just outside of town.



November 11, 2019

Belle Grove and Inalienable Rights

Middletown, Virginia.

On Saturday I went to a program at Belle Grove. I caught a picture of the restored barn during the "golden hour" so I'll share that first. 

The barn is now a visitor center. On the outside there are now these trompe l'oeil murals giving the illusion of animals that were once housed in the barn.

Monday Murals.

From the visitors center I strolled to the historic manor house.

The program was "Inalienable Rights: Free and Enslaved Blacks Crafting a Life in The Shenandoah Valley." It was an all-day event but I skipped the morning presentations because I have heard them before. The talks were all very interesting.

  • Popular Literature and the Reality of Slavery, Adeela Al-Kahlili,
  • Shenandoah County Enslaved Person Database, Zach Hottel,
  • Hearth Cooking Demonstration, Dontavius Williams and Terry James.
  • The Limits and Possibilities of Freedom for Enslaved and Free Blacks, Shannon Moeck.

Mosaic Monday.

American Legion, Stanardsville


This display can be seen from Madison Road in Greene County, Virginia. It is in front of American Legion Post 128. The markers represent different branches of the military and were contributed by Norman Slezak in 2010.

The American Legion is an organization of U.S. war veterans. It was formed in 1919.