January 15, 2019

Snowy Day, Fiery Run.

Today was a nice day for getting some winter pictures. I decided to drive down a country road and see if I could get some farm pictures. I chose Fiery Run Road because I recalled that it circled around and came back out on Route 55. I'd seen the signs several times but I had not idea how large that loop was.

I saw a sign marking the Appalachian Trail. This trail runs from Maine to Georgia and a long section of it is in Virginia. The were multiple prints of boots, so hikers had been through there.
I did see some nice farms.
 Here the road turned left and got more narrow, but it looked clear so I continued. Soon I questioned that decision because after the road entered deep shade, it was covered in packed snow, although it had been plowed. I passed several farm lanes but could not turn around because they were not cleared and were still covered with at least 8 inches of snow.

I knew not to stop while going uphill and continued at a decent pace on the quiet road. But then a car appeared as I went up a hill on a single-lane stretch of road. There was a ditch on my right and not enough room to pass without getting stuck, so I had to stop. He stopped. I tried to inch forward but my wheels spun on ice. Uh oh! He was not backing up.

I decided to talk to the young man who was driving. He said he had 4-wheel drive and could possibly get past me if I drove in the ditch. Uh, no. Then another vehicle drove up behind me. It was a modest-sized delivery truck with chains on his big tires. He said the road gets worse before it reaches the main road. He offered to back up so that I could back up to a better spot. Okay, thanks!

The other driver said there was a place to turn around just past the top of the hill. So that was the plan. The truck backed up, I backed up ... slowly and very carefully. The other driver flashed his lights when he saw I had reached a place where he could easily get past. He did, after cautioning me to stay on the gas pedal to get up the icy hill. I did, and soon found a clear place to turn around at an intersection. After turning, I took a picture of a red barn from a safe spot at a stop sign. The truck caught up. I waved and turned back the way I came. It was much easier going down frontwards! Soon I was back on clear pavement. 

I hope Tom appreciates my efforts today to get Backroads pictures!

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard

Wordless on Tuesday.

January 14, 2019

Snowy Day Randoms

The Good: The snow stopped falling during the night and our view looked beautiful today.  The roads got plowed and we were able to go to the store this afternoon.

The Random: I made a little collage using pictures from past snowfalls.

  The Fun: This is a cute painting inside the Samuels Library. The bear is appropriate since the library is within walking distance of Shenandoah National Park.

After I returned my books, I decided to walk into the childrens' section to see if there were murals. These are above eye level, around a dome. A young man who appeared to be around 12 years old greeted me and explained that an artist painted these. He sounded professional, like perhaps he gave tours or speeches!

Monday Murals

January 13, 2019

Winter Storm Gia

It snowed all day. So far we have about 7" in accumulation, enough to look pretty. I heard some of the roads are bad. 

I didn't get out any farther than the driveway. Frank brushed snow off the car. It may get covered again before the snow ends tonight.

I took some pictures, of course. The male cardinal stands out in his red feathers.

Inspired Sunday: This church picture is from a sunny day after our last snowfall.

Williams Chapel dates to 1845. It was originally a Presbyterian Church, and became a temporary courthouse during the Civil War because the Warren County Courthouse was being used as a hospital for soldiers. After the war, it became a church again, but later served as a school. In the 1890's it became a Methodist Episcopal Church.  
The last three pictures are from today. I parked the car out near the street yesterday so that we wouldn't have too much driveway to clear if we needed to go somewhere. I like looking at the snow but I don't like feeling trapped by it. 


January 12, 2019

Waiting for Snow

The snow was predicted to start around 10 AM. I went out this morning and filled the empty bird feeder and checked the suet feeder. From time to time I looked out the window, and even took some bird pictures through the glass. The snow did not arrive until mid-afternoon and did not accumulate until around 5 o'clock.

By that time it was too dark to get clear photos. I did get a couple of dark photos like shot #3 showing a white-throated sparrow.

January 11, 2019

Metro, Flowers, and Cacapon.

1. Vienna, Virginia: This corridor is long at the Metro Station because it passes over multiple lanes of I-66. The train track goes down the median strip of the highway, ending at this station. 

Black and White Weekend.
2. This evening I sought out some color in a supermarket. Found it in the flower department and saved some samples on my cell phone.

3. I made a Photo Collage using pictures that I took there.

Sharing with Friday Bliss and Floral Friday

4. On Sunday we drove up to Cacapon State Park in West Virginia. The lake was very pretty, with reflections of trees and the blue sky.

5. Picture #5 shows a creek flowing into that same lake.

Have a good weekend! We are expecting snow.

January 10, 2019

Zigzag Fences at Manassas Battlefield

The park service often installs log fences at historical sites. These are called zigzag, split rail, and snake fences. In colonial and pioneer times, they were often erected because they did not need nails and logs were plentiful. Also, they went up quickly because holes did not need to be dug in the ground. If you have ever seen one being built, you may have observed how the different angles allow  the logs to support each other. 

I stopped at Manassas Battlefield on Tuesday on my way to Fairfax for a little shopping (which turned out to be not very successful). The Visitors Center was closed and gated off, but most of the other parking areas were open. People seemed to be enjoying the grounds without doing damage that I could see, in spite of the partial government shutdown.

It was a beautiful day, warm for January.

Sharing with Fences and Through My Lens.

January 9, 2019

Conservation, S'il vous plaƮt.

With the partial government shutdown still going on, our national parks are going unstaffed except for a few rangers driving through. We've all read stories of the western parks getting full of trash, but my observations of Shenandoah National Park are not so sad. When I was there on Saturday, I did not see any litter, although plenty of visitors were there, enjoying the scenery and taking advantage of the temporarily free admission.

After a dental appointment on Monday, I drove to Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area in the National Forest. It was not so clean, although the litter looked like it was pretty much the fault of a small number of beer drinkers and smokers. I picked up trash in three parking lots, filling two plastic grocery bags, which really isn't a lot considering that the road through there is heavily used by locals as well as outdoors enthusiasts.

Please don't leave your trash on the ground, people.

On a more pleasant note, it's Wild Bird Wednesday!

My wildlife camera captured me filling the bird feeders.

The birds shown here are a white-throated sparrow, a Carolina wren, and a Northern Cardinal.

January 8, 2019

First Random-osity Post of 2019

The Good: I was excited to come across this in Winchester, Virginia: The Tomb of Lord Fairfax.

Why? Well, Thomas Fairfax was a famous name in the part of Virginia where I grew up. Fairfax County was named for him. He was the "6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron," and the only member of the British nobility ever to reside in the colonies. He was born in a castle in England and in 1719 became the proprietor of a vast tract in Colonial Virginia. In 1757 he came to Belvoir, Virginia to live on and manage the land that he was responsible for administering. The following year he hired a talented 16-year-old surveyor to map his land. That youth was George Washington.

A few years later, Lord Fairfax moved to his hunting lodge estate near White Post. He lived there through the American Revolution, apparently unmolested in spite of his loyalty to England. He died there at the age of 88.

The Random: The red barn is on fast-disappearing farmland on the outskirts of Front Royal. A new school recently opened nearby, new housing developments are being built, and the town hospital is going to be relocated to this area.

The Fun: At the entrance driveway to the farm is this sign:  

January 7, 2019

Hearthstone's Really Big Maps.

I went to a crafts sale last month at Hearthstone School near Sperryville. I was surprised to see that a paved play area was covered with huge painted maps!

Sharing with Monday Murals.

January 6, 2019

The Lutheran Church on Boscawen Avenue

InSpired Sunday.

A week ago we attended a concert benefiting the Winchester Area Temporary Thermal Shelter (WATTS).  The concert took place in three downtown churches.

The brick church that houses Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church was built in 1842, with the steeple added after the Civil War. The roots of this church go back to 1753, when German Lutheran Immigrants built a log schoolhouse to educate their children. A church building was constructed a decade later, but eventually was destroyed by fire. (There's more history on the church website.)