July 18, 2017

Barns and a Memorial to Displaced Families

Rappahannock County, Virginia



Sharing with: The Barn Collective and Wordless on Tuesday


I read about the new memorial in Sperryville so of course I had to go see it! It honors the people who had to leave nearby land that is now part of Shenandoah National Park. This happened in the 1930's when the park was formed. Landowners who did not sell willingly were forced to do so when eminent domain was invoked.

Other memorials have been erected in neighboring counties, with more being planned. This one is beautifully built of stone, apparently without mortar, in the style of chimneys in remote areas.

Sharing with Tuesday Treasures
Heart-shaped Stone on the Rear of the Structure

July 17, 2017

Nostalgia Random-osity


The Good: Here I'm looking back a few weeks to when we were in Virginia Beach. These murals honor members of the armed services. Unfortunately they are partially blocked by utility poles.

Here's a closer view of one. For more murals, check out the linkup at Oakland Daily Photo.

The Random: These re-enactors added some color to the anniversary of the Battle of Cool Spring.

I made a collage using Canva. It was my first time trying it and I struggled a little.

Sharing with Mosaic Monday


The Fun: Young Alex really enjoys dressing up in Civil War costumes. He is the son of Professor Noyalas.  


July 16, 2017

Yesterday Near Berryville

We went to an event at Cool Spring and then made a stop in nearby Berryville, where we bought some chairs at the thrift store. This church is next door to it. It was established in 1853.

Berryville Presbyterian Church
I just looked up the church's history and was intrigued to see how it relates to the event we had just attended at Cool Spring.
"Franklin Pierce was President of the United States from 1853 to 1857. Growing signs of unrest over the issue of slavery were manifested in Kansas, which was a battle ground for rival factions. Neither Pierce or James Buchanan, his successor, confronted the issue and in 1859, John Brown raided Harper’s Ferry.

By 1861, when Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, seven states had already seceded from the Union. After the South fired on Ft. Sumter, the war began. In 1864, there was a skirmish called “The Battle of Cool Spring”. General Jubal Early was pushed west through Berryville to Grindstone Hill, about where Cooley School is today. Apparently, a cannon ball was fired by Early’s men, which struck the Berryville Presbyterian Church on the northwest corner, just above the first window. At that time, the church was painted white and, according to Elder Tom Jones whose father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all elders, someone painted a black circle over the window after the damage was repaired. One of the stained glass windows on the west side of the sanctuary is in memory of great-grandfather, Thomas Jones, who was ordained in 1874.

In 1861, the Presbyterian Church split over the issue of slavery into the Presbyterian Church in USA (PCUSA) and the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America (PCCSA)."
The event that we attended was the Cool Spring 153rd Anniversary Commemoration, hosted by the McCormick Civil War Institute at Shenandoah University. The University now has a campus on the actual battlefield, where students learn about history and environmental science.

My friends Jonathan Noyalas and Shannon Moeck were among the speakers. I know them from LFCC but Jonathan is now teaching at Shenandoah University and Shannon is a ranger at Cedar Creek.

The marker below is called Union Advance and Confederate Counterattack. It explains that the battle here followed a failed Confederate attack on Washington, DC. Jubal Early "withdrew to the Shenandoah Valley with the Federals in pursuit. He stopped them at Cool Springs on July 17-18."

But not for long! Read the rest of the marker on HMDB.org.

July 15, 2017

Recent Critters

It's time for Saturday's Critters and the Bird D'Pot. Since this is summertime, I've seen a variety of animals.

The first one is a taxidermy raccoon seen in a nature center. I converted this to black and white.

The rest of the critters are real. This turtle was in our yard.

I see muscovy ducks all the time. They live at our community lake beside the other ducks and the geese.

A few days ago I was waiting for Frank to come out of the outlet store in Stephens City and I saw a mourning dove. Just as I raised my camera, he took off.

Yesterday we saw a couple of deer on Mountain Road. I was able to grab a picture of this buck.


The feral cats that live across the lake sometimes like to sit on the tracks. Fortunately the trains don't run very often.

This blue jay let me take his picture in Berryville today.


July 14, 2017

Mid-July and Friday Already

It's Friday again, and the Willy Nilly Friday format gives me a chance to catch up on posting some pictures that aren't particularly related to each other. 

1. Orange You Glad It's Friday? I like the peach and orange colors of this lily.

2. Mersad has challenged us to post rainbows this week. This one was very briefly a double rainbow. By the time I got in position to take a picture, the upper rainbow had already started to fade away. Can you see it?
Also sharing with Skywatch Friday
3. This picture of geese and a fountain was softer than I intended, but I like the colors and feeling. 


Weekend Reflection
4. Did you ever get tired of driving and just want to lie down? These folks found picnic benches at a visitor center to be a good place for a rest, while their dog made himself comfortable on the table.
Sharing with Weekend Green
5. These wagon wheels are purely sold for decorations. I don't think they would support a wagon for very long. 

July 13, 2017

Cute Petting Zoo Animals


These young animals from Mini Menagerie were at a recent fair in Stephens City. They were a hit with local children.



Zebu, or Humped Cattle

July 12, 2017

Birds and a Buck Moon



I'm glad I have a zoom lens. The birds in my yard would never let me get this close! I photographed the mourning doves from inside a window. 

I went outside to get pictures of the moon, though. I leaned the lens against a post to keep it from shaking when I pressed the shutter, and none too soon! There were clouds just above the moon and a few moments later, it disappeared behind them.

I read that the full moon of July was called the "buck moon" by Native Americans because at this time the antlers of a buck (male deer) reach their full size. 


This is not a "real" owl. It was a stuffed model we saw at a fundraising event for the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center.

The last two photos show one of our local mallard families. We've seen a population explosion of ducks this year, with at least two broods on the community lake; maybe three. One day last week I had to slam on the brakes because some of the babies had marched out on the road ahead of mama and they were so small, I first mistook them for leaves. I guess everyone has been watching for them because they are surviving.


July 11, 2017

New Park on an Old Farm


A new dog park just opened in Woodstock. It is part of Fairview Park, which already had a soccer field and jogging trail.

The site was a farm and has a farmhouse and bank barn dating to about 1895. The master plan for the park refers to this as the Mary Wetzel farm.




The dog park features separate areas for big dogs and small dogs. The big dogs have some agility equipment. There is a shelter with benches, and even a doggy drinking fountain.

One More Picture of Little Bear


Linkups: SeasonsWWOT and Nature Notes

July 10, 2017

Random-osity in Pairs



The Good: When we were in Virginia Beach a week ago, I saw many murals, most of which have a marine theme. The Schooner Inn has a mural of a schooner, of course! Don't be fooled by the palm trees though. Virginia does not have a tropical climate, although it gets very hot during the summer.

Sharing with Monday Murals

The Random: I made a brief visit to Shenandoah National Park today. Basically I just had a picnic of a carry-out salad and some dessert which I had purchased in Front Royal, the town next door to the northern end of the park. I have a pass to the park so I do this frequently.

But this time I saw something special! A young bear had just crossed the road and I was able to photograph him as he walked into the forest.


The Fun: Lynn brought an old friend to visit us yesterday. She has known Ricky since high school, and he was in Virginia visiting his mother in Luray. Way back in 1999, he helped me move when I left Alexandria. It was fun catching up after all these years.