March 3, 2024

Bethel A.M.E. Church, Harrisonburg

On E. Kelley Street.

The numbers over the door appear to say 1893, but it could be 1883. The Valley Black Heritage Tour brochure says it was built around 1885 by local carpenters who had been enslaved in Elkton at one time. 

The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) is said to have been the first independent Protestant denomination in the United States to be founded by Black people. The denomination has roots in Philadelphia in the early 19th century. I have seen quite a few AME churches in Virginia.

March 2, 2024

Charlie in Early March

Hello! It's me, Mom's brave beagle. She says I'm doing better because I'm not as scared in the car as I used to be. I still don't like it much. I worry a lot, but that’s part of my job. I have to take care of Mom and the house and the yard. It can be exhausting, so I sleep a lot.

Did you hear something? Did you see something move?

 There was too much rain this week. The squirrel got wet.

Rain even came in one of the windows. It made a mess.

Today Lynn and some friends came, and Wayne worked on the window from the outside. Lynn and Barb took me for a walk.

And a daffodil bloomed in our yard today. 

Yesterday Mom took me to the state park. It rained later, but at least I had a chance to check out all the interesting smells. Other dogs go there, and different animals too. 

I’m just trying to show you what I can see by sniffing. It’s very exciting.

Accidental Photo

Oops, I did not mean to take this picture. I take unintentional pictures more often than I would care to admit, and most of them I delete right away. Usually they are askew, and the angles can be interesting. 

March 1, 2024

Reflection in Windows

Mt. Jackson, VA

CDP Theme Day / Reflections

If you look closely, you can see that a railroad runs behind the Mount Jackson Town Hall. (This is the rear entrance.) The tracks are no longer used, and may become a bike trail/walking trail.

February 29, 2024

Fence Building

New Market Battlefield

New split-rail fencing is being constructed at the battlefield. Here we see a stack of rails and a fence behind them. The Shenandoah Battlefields Foundation has volunteers helping with this project.

In the second photo, an old fence is in the foreground with a new fence under construction behind it. Rows of additional rails will be stacked to make it taller. Basically you start at one end, and lay a zig-zag row of rails and then go back and lay the second course. If you want it to last, the ends of the bottom rails rest on stones.

This battlefield was the site of a Civil War battle in May, 1864.

February 28, 2024

Sparrow and Hawk

The song sparrow is a welcome visitor to my feeders. 

On Monday, I spotted a hawk up in a tree when I returned home from walking with Charlie. Although I think hawks are interesting, I worry that they will prey on my bird friends. There were birds in my yard though, so I guess they weren't concerned. 

After we went indoors, I got my old Nikon and zoomed in on the hawk from my back door.  It was large and I assumed it was a red-tailed hawk because that's what I usually see around here. In fact, one of these hawks visited my yard two years ago, also in late February. I believe it perched in the same tree!

This one does have stripes on the tail. While writing this post, I decided to crop and lighten the picture to view the feathers. It has the markings of a red-tailed hawk. 

Wild Bird Wednesday

I must have disturbed it, for it flew away. I didn’t get a picture of it flying because my trusty old Nikon does not focus fast enough. Two years ago, I was able to get a cell phone video of a hawk in flight. Here’s an image that I cropped from that short video.

The Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center

Harrisonburg, VA

Wordless / Signs


February 27, 2024

The Lucy Simms House and Newtown Cemetery

Harrisonburg, VA

Lucy F. Simms was an educator for over 50 years. Born enslaved around 1855, she obtained an education after freedom and attended Hampton Institute at the same time as Booker T. Washington. 

I first heard of her when I visited the chapel at Zenda. (See this marker that I contributed to Historical Marker Database.) In 2020, I shared a mural honoring her in a post here. 

Her house in Harrisonburg is a private residence. She was buried in nearby Newtown cemetery.

February 26, 2024

“You Are Home” by Taylor Boyd

Warrenton, VA

This beautiful mural of the Blue Ridge Mountains was painted by artist Taylor Boyd, who grew up in Fauquier County. Warrenton is the county seat and this location is near the old courthouse.

Mosaic / Monday Murals

Watching over the area is a statue of John Marshall, a founding father and the fourth Chief Justice. A picture that I took in 2015 shows the blank archways that now host the mural. 


February 25, 2024

A Log Church, circa 1818

Middletown, VA

This building on Senseney Avenue was the first church built in Middletown. Originally a Methodist church serving white citizens, it was conveyed to the “Colored People’s Church” in 1872. 

It has been beautifully restored. You can see how it looked before restoration in my post from December 2016. At that time the beautiful logs were covered with deteriorating celotex siding.

At some point the congregation built a new church next to it, the Mount Olive Baptist Church. I believe they use the historic building for special events.

February 24, 2024

Late February, Waiting for Spring

It’s been a fairly quiet week here. I am anxious for spring to come with sunnier weather. The only blooms in my yard so far are grape hyacinths. Well, there have been a few dandelions, but I don’t really count those.

Charlie insists on multiple walks every day. He loves to meet Tripod, the orange kitty who wanders over from across the street.

I haven’t seen new animals to photograph lately. I can add more filters to pictures of Charlie, but if I want something different, I may have to wait for spring or go back into my archives. Well, I do have animal photos in my files from October that I haven’t shown. These are from Court Manor, where I took many pictures and only shared some of them.

Court Manor had a petting zoo event along with a pumpkin patch so it was a good opportunity to take pictures.

February 23, 2024

Reflections, Shenandoah

A woman sits beside the North Fork of the Shenandoah, watching it flow by and no doubt enjoying the peaceful sounds of rippling water.

Click to Enlarge.

Blog Post #8622.

I made a minor change to the blog layout in order to make the title more visible. I started this blog in 2005 and have been sharing photos almost every day since 2006. It was originally designed for desktop and laptop viewing. We didn’t have smart phones then.

I realize that some aspects of the layout does not display properly on a cell phone, but the main body of the blog is readable, and the pictures should be visible. Blogspot has kept up-to-date for mobile use so hopefully the layout works well enough for my readers, who I value and appreciate.