October 31, 2008

Missouri Artist born in Virginia

signThis historical marker is just west of Grottoes, Virginia. It honors the birthplace of artist George Caleb Bingham. Born on a farm that had belonged to his mother's father, he was the son of Henry Vest Bingham and Mary (Amend) Bingham. I don't know if anything is left of the farm buildings, but his grandfather, Matthias Amend, owned a mill, which I assume was near the South River.

The marker reads:
George Caleb Bingham, a renowned American genre painter of the 19th century, was born in a frame house just north of here on 20 March 1811. Bingham moved to Missouri in 1819, where he began painting portraits in the 1830s and later specialized in paintings of the American West. He died in July 1879 in Kansas City, Missouri.
[Marker location on Google Maps: @38.266, -78.838 ]

Addendum: An article from the Augusta County News Leader on historic markers states that the house burned and was replaced by a brick house which still stands.

October Roads

We still have autumn color. Here are some scenes along the wooded roads here in the resort.
country road
road in autumn

October 30, 2008

Dressing Up

I scanned this picture last month. It was taken at a Lions Club Dance several months ago. Frank was one of the organizers for the event so I had to go, even though I don't like getting dressed up.

The most uncomfortable thing about wearing a nice dress is that you have to wear dressy shoes and nylon hose. I'd rather wear sneakers or Lycra shoes with cotton socks. I survived though, and there were some good moments at the dance.

Since I'm talking about myself today, let me give you an update on my shoulder pain. It's still a problem, so Frank insisted that I go to a medical doctor. She prescribed Naproxen for inflammation and referred me to a physical therapist. I made an appointment with a PT for next week. Right now my shoulder feels a lot better, although I still can't lie or lean on my right side.

October 29, 2008

The View from Johnston Road

Frank has a house listed for sale that has a nice view: a little bit of Bryce's golf course and a little bit of the ski slope. Otherwise it's an ordinary house except that it's double: a 2-bedroom house upstairs and an identical one downstairs. Both levels have a deck and fireplace.
MLS#: SH6661744

October 28, 2008

Listen to the South River

This is a brief video of the South River to give you an idea of the way the rippling water sounds. (Be sure you have your speakers turned on.)

Port Republic, Virginia
Compare this to the same river upriver at the Bridgewater Dam.

The South River at Port Republic, VA

Sunday's weather forecast indicated it might be the last warm and sunny day for a while, so we agreed to go out for a drive. I suggested crossing the Blue Ridge to Gordonsville but Frank did not want to go that far. He countered with a suggestion to visit Port Republic, a quaint town situated between two rivers. We've been there a number of times and even considered buying a house there until we heard how deep the floodwaters had risen in the past.

We parked at the community park on the South River and walked around. It's just above the point where the South and North Rivers join to form the South Fork of the Shenandoah. The sound of the rippling water just about drowns out the noise from traffic going over nearby bridge. We watched leaves drop into the river and get scooped up by the current, which swirls them away

Previous Post: South River in Rockingham County

GPS /Location note: On Google Maps, ask for @38.294, -78.814 .

On the bank of the South River


Autumn at Browns Gap Road

October 27, 2008

A Horse in October

Oct. 26 in Rockingham County, VA

October 26, 2008

White House Fort Near Luray, VA

The building on the left is the "White House" circa 1760. It's on U.S. Route 211 just west of Luray.

The Virginia Historical Marker explains that "The old building just north of the road was built for a fort in 1760. It has long been a landmark in this valley."

Other sources explain that the building was a home and meeting house with a cellar constructed with portholes so that it could serve as a fort. See the Historical Marker Database page for more about White House and the nearby bridge across the South Fork of the Shenandoah which was burned during Jackson's Valley Campaign.

Speaking of the Historical Markers Database, I was surprised to see a new addition: Birthplace of Kermit the Frog.

A White Morning Glory

It took a long time for our morning glories to grow and they didn't bloom until October. Now only this one plant has survived the first frost. All our zinnias are gone now, but the marigolds are still blooming... for now.

Winter is coming. If I had my way, it would only last until January. I don't mind the snow (what little bit we get) but the cold gray days get monotonous.

But for now, we still have colorful trees. Today was pretty.

October 25, 2008

Our Dining Room View (Part of it)

More on AOL Web Space

On the first of this month, I wrote about AOL dropping free webspace. Since then I tried their instructions for downloading my files using FTP and found that they don't work in Dreamweaver MX. So here's how I connect using Dreamweaver. (It took a bit of experimenting to figure this out.)

When setting up a site in Dreamweaver, you get to specify the FTP address and login. (Under Remote Info select FTP.) Host is hometown.aol.com, Directory is your screen name, Login is blank, Password is email address for that screen name. 

Once you connect to the server, you can click on the down arrow and download your files. Watch for a minute because you may have to click Yes and No a few times.

All this only works until the end of the month, so those of us who used AOL's free webspace need to hurry up and copy our files, at least, any of them that are worth saving. Some of mine are really "ancient" (10 and 11 years old) so I'll transfer them to a CD and just archive them.

The View from Dickey Ridge

Looking out from the Visitor Center at Dickey Ridge, Shenandoah National Park.

For motorists entering Skyline Drive at Front Royal, the Visitor Center may be their first stop. It features a frequently-repeated film introducing the park, some wildlife displays, a light-up map, and a bookstore.

Once upon a time there was a small restaurant here. Now you can bring food with you to eat in the nearby picnic area, or continue driving to Skyland or (if you are heading north) to Front Royal. That town has the usual fast food outlets and various restaurants, plus a Martin's Supermarket. Hidden in the historic district is the charming Main Street Mill Restaurant, and if you follow Route 340 north to Riverton Commons (just past I-66 exit 6) there's a new Cracker Barrel, a Checkers, and some other chain eateries.

Another Deer Picture


Young Whitetail Deer

Dickey Ridge Picnic Area, Skyline Drive

Young deer are so beautiful! At the bookshop at Dickey Ridge, we saw an adorable children's book called Lost In The Woods: A Photographic Fantasy featuring incredible photos of a fawn and other wildlife. I may get it from the library just to fawn over the pictures. (Sorry for the pun; it was too easy.)

October 23, 2008

A Deer at Dickey Ridge

The picnic areas of Shenandoah National Park are a good place to see deer, at least during the week when the crowds of tourists are not around. We observed several who did not run off right away when someone got out of a vehicle to take pictures. Here's one who let me walk fairly close before moving away.

Article: Herds of Hungry Deer Spell Change for Forests

Foliage Report, Virginia Mountains

Finally we had a frost last night here in western Virginia. This should trigger autumn colors for those trees which have stayed green late this year.

Some of the trees turned in mid-October and a few went straight to brown because of the drought. So we aren't getting the varied display that we've had in years of wetter and cooler weather. Still, the colors here in Shenandoah County have been lovely and may well peak this weekend.

Frank and I drove up to Skyline Drive yesterday, entering at Panorama and driving north to Front Royal. (He has a senior pass, so we don't pay the $15 entrance fee. What a deal!) I must say the colors in that section weren't as nice as we have here in Basye. I believe we had more rain in late summer than they got in Shenandoah National Park. Still, we enjoyed the scenery and learned some things at the Dickey Ridge Visitors Center.
a vista

Roadside Whitetails

Seen in Bryce Mountain Resort this week:
Note how the deer blend into the environment. There are two deer in the first picture.

Although bowhunting season has opened in Virginia, "our deer" are protected by rules of Bryce Resort. They must know it, for they are still fairly bold. We've seen dozens of deer over the past week.

October 22, 2008

Re-enactors take a break

One of the reasons I take pictures at Civil War events is to produce a few images that I might use to spice up my site Civil War Field Trips. When I took the photo above I thought I had something that looked authentic. Then I enlarged it in Photoshop and saw some glaring anachronisms.

First, there were modern vehicles in the background, traffic on US 11. Fortunately, they are not very noticeable and I can crop them out if I sacrifice part of the picture.

But then there's a touch of modernity among the carefully chosen "authentic" utensils. It's pretty obvious in the enlargement (left).

I could clone or paste in Photoshop and cover it up. Or I can just post it here, smile and forget it.

Belle Grove, the Mansion

belle grove plantation houseHere are the front and rear facades of Belle Grove in Middletown, VA. The first photo shows the front (facing the Valley Pike); the one below depicts the rear view. Note that the trim over the windows is different.
manor facade
I attended the Living History Events at Belle Grove on Sunday but did not attend the Re-enactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek which was next door. For one thing, I saw part of the re-enactment last October. Then there was a twinge of conscience because I was aware of a controversy surrounding the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, which sponsors the re-enactment. They made a deal with a nearby limestone mining company which is planning to expand onto historic land without telling the Belle Grove folks or the other preservation groups which opposed the expansion.

See the Civil War Preservation Trust page on Cedar Creek.

Post Number 1550

I see that this makes 1550 posts to this blog. And Sitemeter has recorded 25,101 visits since it started recording. That's a lot!

One reason I appreciate the discipline of trying to post every day is that it encourages me to keep up with my digital photo processing. You'll see plenty of photos on this blog. Typically I post small versions of my photographs, but I usually keep a larger version for printing, about a 500K file. If you are a family member who needs the larger file to make a print, let me know.

Otherwise, people who want a larger version can email me with their request. If it's for commercial use, please provide details (like size needed and circulation) so we can discuss pricing.

The Fiddler

Re-enactor gets ready to play his fiddle
Civil War Living History Event, Middletown, VA

A Belle at Belle Grove

This young lady wore a Civil War-era dress to greet visitors to Belle Grove Plantation on Sunday.
woman with hoop skirtMiddletown, VA

October 21, 2008

Robert Lee Hodge

At Belle Grove's Civil War Living History and Commemoration Weekend, the Military Living History was directed by Robert Lee Hodge.
You may have seen Rob Hodge on the cover of Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz. (Great book, by the way.) Horwitz traveled with Hodge and learned about "hardcore" re-enacting, which includes wearing worn dirty clothes and sleeping outdoors in frigid weather. He's known for carrying authenticity to an extreme.

Article by Rob Hodge: My 15 Minutes Out of the Attic.
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The Blacksmith's Apprentice

Living History at Belle Grove
Middletown, VA

Memory Card Disaster Averted

I almost lost a group of photos from my CompactFlash card yesterday. I was able to salvage them using Frank's PC. Since a similar problem happened before, I think I know what I need to do differently.

Saturday night I deleted 30-something unneeded images from the card using Adobe Bridge on my Ibook (laptop) to make space for more. When I went to Belle Grove on Sunday, I filled the card back up. Last night, I wanted to see the pictures, but while I could see thumbnails, I was unable to open them in Photoshop or even transfer them to the laptop.

Apparently deleting images from the card using my Mac is risky. Actually, it's not that easy to do, and probably for a reason. But I deleted them while moving a group to a folder on my laptop (using Batch Rename/ Move to other folder in Adobe Bridge), and this "appears" to work. But it must leave something on the card that shouldn't be there.

Unable to open my new pictures on the Mac, I ejected the card and took it to Frank's PC. They opened fine! I transferred the photos to a folder on his hard drive, then burned the folder to a CD. Took the CD back to my Mac and there were the pictures, behaving normally. Now I can open them in Photoshop and crop, resize, and so on.

I'm glad I didn't lose all those photos from the Civil War event at Belle Grove. There are some good ones - I'll get around to sharing a few with you. (If the PC had been unable to open the pictures, I could have downloaded a software that rescues pictures from cards.)

I put the card back in the camera and reformatted it. Most experts say to reformat your memory cards regularly anyway.

October 20, 2008

More Lighthouse Pictures

Someone emailed me about the lighthouse photos, so I thought I'd share a few more. The first one is on the Roanoke River in North Carolina, in the historic town of Plymouth. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit the Roanoke River Lighthouse Museum there but it sounds interesting.

The image on the right is a daytime view of Hatteras Light with us posing in front of it. A passing tourist was kind enough to snap this for us.

Earlier Posts include:

Local Creek, Yellow Leaves

We passed this creek Friday on our way to Winchester.

We took our time and enjoyed the colors of fall. It was like driving through a gigantic garden!