October 18, 2019

Commemorating the Battle of Cedar Creek

It is the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek, so this post is related to that event. I'm using the Willy Nilly Friday format of showing a variety of images with numbered commentary.

1. Cavalry Re-enactors.
Black and White Weekend.
2. The Dinges Farm is at the point where Sheridan's famous ride ended and he rallied the Federal troops. It is just north of Middletown. There is a state historical marker along the Valley Pike near here.

3. Park Ranger Jeff Driscoll was the tour guide at the Driscoll Farm. Normally the farm is not open to the public so I was glad to get a chance to join this "History at Sunset" tour.

4. The farm is now owned by the Battlefield Trust and leased to a farmer. The Park Service had made arrangements to bring our group on the farm that evening. Ranger Jeff assured us that the farm animals were friendly.

Skywatch Friday.
5. There was a slight disadvantage to having a lecture around friendly animals. They were distracting! But after discussing Sheridan's ride, we left the pasture and walked up a hill to see where the battle resumed once the troops got reorganized.

6. If you don't know the story of this battle, the short version is that Jubal Early's Confederate Army made a surprise attack on a large Union camp near Middletown on October 19, 1864. The Federal soldiers were forced to retreat in disarray, and some were trying to reorganize while others were simply fleeing. General Phil Sheridan came galloping in and rallied the troops! His army retook their lost ground and chased the Confederates through Strasburg.

7. We hiked up to an overgrown stone wall on the battlefield. It may well be the wall that is mentioned in records of this part of the battle.

8. Today the area is pretty and peaceful. 

There are special events scheduled for this weekend to mark the anniversary of the battle.

October 17, 2019

The Maples Have Changed.

A cold front blew in last night. It blew so hard, in fact, it woke me up and I had trouble getting back to sleep due to roaring of the wind plus pain that I've had in my hips for a few weeks. I felt anxious as well as uncomfortable.

Today the maple trees were brightly colored.

I drove to Winchester this morning for a physical therapy appointment, my first this year. The doctor that I saw last week for hip pain prescribed physical therapy so I can get advice for the right exercises. I have piriformis syndrome with shooting pain, and it comes and goes, and when it acted up a couple weeks ago, I did too much of the wrong exercises which brought on really acute pain in one hip, which they say is bursitis.

A year ago I graduated from a long program of physical therapy for my right foot and ankle. I had surgery on that foot three years ago and it took a long time to heal, partly because my ankle ligaments are too mobile. I could have gone back to that physical therapy group but decided instead to go to a provider in Winchester that I saw for core strengthening about five years ago. So far I think this was a good choice.

The problems are connected. My wobbly ankles cause strain on my hips, and if I walk a lot or climb too many stairs, the pain spreads up my back and even causes a sore neck.

Okay, enough of that. After my appointment I had lunch and sought out a Civil War site that I read about recently. It is on a parcel of the Third Winchester Battlefield that was recently opened to the public.

A monument was unveiled there in September, marking the location of the Alabama Brigade’s farthest advance during the Third Battle of Winchester. It was funded by a man who was descended from one of the Alabama soldiers. I could see the monument from the gate but did not walk out to it. A cold wind was still blowing plus I want to let me hip stop hurting before I take walks. I saw a man jogging on the path, reminding me of one of the advantages of preserving the battlefield: it serves as a park for people who want to run or just walk in a nice quiet area.

I remember when this battlefield was mostly farmland and not accessible to the public. The first part of the park was acquired in 1995. Now Third Winchester Battlefield Park is around 600 acres.

The new monument and this portion of the trail system can be reached from Averell Avenue in Regency Lakes subdivision.

Sharing with the Fences Blog Hop.

I'm including a picture of one of the lakes in the subdivision. 

Since I was near Route 7, I decided to follow it to Berryville on the way home. I stopped at the historical marker for Harry F. Byrd near Rosemont. This marker was down for a long time and has now been replaced with a new marker.

While the marker is very similar to the old one, this sentence has been added: “He led Virginia's Massive Resistance to public school desegregation.” and “political machine” has become “political organization.”

Massive resistance was an effort to avoid integration by closing the public schools (1958-59). Eventually it failed and the schools were open to all children.

Some Signs I Saw on Monday.

I noticed the recycling bins as I entered a natural foods store. I was surprised to see one for shoes.

And this sign in John's Family Restaurant made me smile.
"We don't have Wi-fi.
Pretend it's 1995
and talk to each other."

October 16, 2019

Wild Birds

I got my trail cam to work again by using a non-ultra SD card. I just reviewed 2900 pictures that it snapped over the last month and only one showed any recognizable wildlife. There was another that showed what may have been a bird standing on the car, but it was too small and blurry to say for sure. There was also a night shot of a cat, but most of the images are people coming and going, or us working in the yard. I think the settings are as close to correct as I'm going to get them. I don't want it to be so sensitive that it takes a picture every time a leaf flutters!
This is the one shot of wildlife and it's a whole flock of birds, possibly starlings. 
Wild Bird Wednesday.

October 15, 2019

October 14, 2019

View from the Old Town Road.

Warrenton, Virginia. 

 I sought out the "Old Town" mural after a friend posted a picture of it. This is on Second Street at Main Street in Warrenton.

Just a few yards away I found another mural, this one advertising a brewery.

It's easy to bypass the Old Town section of Warrenton but if you find yourself in that area, it's a nice place to explore.

October 13, 2019

Vintage Village Views

There's a country road north of Strasburg where I happened to spot this interesting place in early 2015.  It's a miniature village built on private property.  I don't go down that road very often and this summer I noticed that a chapel had been added. I was curious but did not find anything about it on the internet.

Well, on Friday I was looking at event listings and read that there was going to be an open house on Saturday at the "Vintage Village of Millersville" on Oranda road, Strasburg. Oh, that's it! So we went.

The chapel is furnished with pews, a wood stove, and some antiques. Other buildings also have antiques plus unique pieces that the owner crafted from found items.

The gas pump shows a price of 27 cents a gallon. I remember that price from my childhood. Seems like that price didn't change for years.

The owner is a collector and apparently an inventor.  He and his family created the assemblage of buildings to hold his collections. Once a year he holds an open house so that the community can enjoy his village!

There was quite an array of things to see. Our hosts had even arranged a cookout and music for their guests to enjoy!

Our host gave a tour. The variety and cleverness here is almost overwhelming. 

And here's Oranda Road. It skirts the limestone quarries and goes out in the country.
Sharing with The Barn Collective and InSpired Sunday.

October 12, 2019

Early October at the Pond

August and September were very dry in our part of Virginia. We finally had a little rain this week but not enough to bring up the water level in our neighborhood pond. There are dry beaches all around that weren't there before.

The squirrels get thirsty. I saw another one at my bird bath. I try to keep water in it for whoever needs it.

I like seeing great blue herons! If they see me, however, they fly away. I feel lucky when I get a picture of one.

This heron was standing on a rock that doesn't even show during normal weather. Now that the water level is down, the rock appears like a little island. Often it is covered with turtles!

The heron flew off and landed on the end of the pond next to the dam. I could barely see him perched over there. I snapped pictures but wasn't sure what I got until I enlarged the picture and cropped it.  

October 11, 2019

Shenandoah National Park Willy Nilly

It's Willy Nilly Friday so I'm posting a variety of pictures, not all from the same day. But these do have something in common: I took them in Shenandoah National Park. (I have a Parks Pass so I go there frequently.)

1. Skywatch: This one is from this evening. I saw the full moon rising over the park entrance sign so I stopped and took a picture.

2. Black and White: Rainy days can be interesting on Skyline Drive. Here we see clouds covering a nearby mountain. You can stand there and watch them flow across the ridge.

3. Here we see some yellow wild flowers. And then in the next picture, a deer is walking in front of a large patch of flowers at Dickey Ridge.

The park service used to mow this area but in the past few years they have let the wild plants grow in order to provide habitat for butterflies.

4. I was at an overlook and watched two rental vans pull in and park. A couple of families got out, including these young ladies.

5. Painted rocks are still in vogue. This one is decorated with a mushroom and was resting on a post at Compton Gap. You can see the post and chain in the next picture.  Vehicles are not allowed on the trail except for fire fighting equipment if needed.