August 31, 2011

Leaving Tangier

Our ship is on the left. A cruise ship from the Eastern Shore is on the right. It arrived shortly before we left. I imagine the staggered arrival times work out well for the tourist services on the island, such as the restaurants and golf cart taxis.

Cats Outside a Gift Shop

Tangier Island, Virginia

Yes, This is a Crab-Shaped Chair.

Historical Marker, Tangier Island

Tangier Island

"The island was visited in 1608 by Captain John Smith, who gave it the name. A part was patented by Ambrose White in 1670. It was settled in 1686 by John Crockett and his sons’ families. In 1814, it was the headquarters of a British fleet ravaging Chesapeake Bay. From here the fleet sailed to attack Fort McHenry near Baltimore. The Rev. Joshua Thomas, in a prayer, predicted the failure of the expedition. It was in this attack that the Star-Spangled Banner was written."

August 30, 2011

Stained Glass Window, Tangier Island

We saw this beautiful window in the Swain Memorial Methodist Church on Tangier. The original church was built in 1835, but members had been meeting in private homes for 20 years before that. According to plaques, the church was rebuilt in 1870 and 1897. It looks like it was originally Lee's Bethel and was renamed in 1900.
The Methodist Church played a role in the island's Civil War history. It was affiliated with the Northern Methodist Church, which opposed slavery. Because of this, islanders voted against secession, as did residents of Chincoteague Island on the ocean side of the Eastern Shore. Both islands remained with the Union during the war.
We read about the island's history in the nearby museum. In August of 1861, the USS Fanny stopped by. The islanders were gathered together and they all swore an oath of allegiance to the United States. 

Several families from the mainland found refuge on Tangier Island during the war.

Welcome to Tangier Island!

We were glad to finally get to Tangier Island, which we had talked about visiting for a long time. We took a golf-cart tour, which only requires about 15 minutes. We also had lunch at Fisherman's Corner, walked to the local museum, and visited a gift shop.

We learned that the island is losing population as young people grow up and move to the mainland. Around 500 people live on the island now. There is a modern school and most of the teachers grew up on the island, went off to college on the mainland, and then came back to teach and rejoin the quiet island lifestyle.

August 28, 2011

Approaching Tangier Island

Tangier Island is reachable only by boat or small plane. It's only about 4 feet above sea level, and residents are concerned because global warming is causing the water level of the Chesapeake Bay to rise a little, adding to the danger of storms flooding the island.

August 27, 2011

Into the Chesapeake Bay

Aboard the Chesapeake Breeze

After the ferry left Reedville, there was a stretch of open water as we crossed half of the Chesapeake Bay to Tangier Island. I ran out of things to look at and spent some time reading a book.

I remembered boating as a child. My grandfather owned a leisure boat named the Ymly and he took us cruising on the bay. It was nice but seemed dull at times.

Menhaden: A Fish and an Industry

We passed the menhaden plant in Reedville. Menhaden is a fish that's rich in oil and used in omega-3 supplements, animal feed, and even cosmetics.

The menhaden industry once made Reedville a very wealthy town. It's still an important business, although I've read of environmental concerns due to possible overfishing. Menhaden help to filter the way of the Chesapeake Bay.

August 26, 2011

Personnel, Tangier Cruise

The crew of the Chesapeake Breeze seemed experienced and professional but were also friendly. As the cruise started, a safety demonstration was given similar to what you have to listen to on a plane. Here we see a young woman demonstrating the use of a life jacket.

Our pilot was willing to spend time answering questions from visitors (below). As you can see, he was dressed for a hot summer day.

August 25, 2011

Leaving Reedville on the Chesapeake Breeze

Frank has wanted to go to Tangier Island for some time, so we reserved a couple of tickets with Tangier Cruises.  We found the marina at Buzzard's Point in plenty of time for the 10 a.m. departure.

The weather was nice that day and we enjoyed the outing.

August 24, 2011

Marker at Buzzard's Point in Reedville

I had read about this marker recently on Marker History and when we went to the ferry landing near Reedville, there it was!

Indian Prisoners Abandoned on Tangier Island refers to an incident in 1645, when Governor Berkeley waged battles against native tribes. In order to stop the escalating Indian attacks on European settlers, the Virginia Council decided to transport all the Indian male prisoners more than 11 years of age to Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay “to prevent their returning to and strengthening their respective tribes.” They were left there and their fate is unknown.

Think that sounds harsh? Not compared to the story on another marker: Indians Poisoned at Peace Meeting.

For more about the Indians, see: Powhatan's People

August 23, 2011

Yes, We Had an Earthquake Today

The epicenter of the earthquake was in Mineral, Virginia, which is 73 miles as the crow flies. (It's much farther by roads because there are rivers and mountains to cross.) Yet we barely felt the quake here in Basye.

To me it felt like someone really heavy was walking across the floor, and a few moments later I heard some vibrating outside, and wondered if a squirrel was running down the gutter. It did not occur to me that there was an earthquake. Frank was at work and did not notice the quake at all.

Other places in Virginia were affected more strongly, as were some locations much farther away such as New York.

Crape Myrtle, Glebe Harbor

The crapemyrtle or crepe myrtle is a "Lagerstroemia" and grows beautifully in coastal Virginia. (It doesn't do well in the mountains though, plus the one we planted up here seems to appeal to hungry deer.)

On Egret Court, where I took this picture, the climate is warm enough for this colorful flowering tree.

Earlier Picture: Photoshop Filter Effects

US Arboretum Page: Crapemyrtle FAQ

August 20, 2011

Fuchsia at Nightfall

I took this on our deck one evening around 8:30 after being drawn outside by interesting clouds.
Earlier Posts: Fuchsia Blooms and Sky and

August 19, 2011

Tree Trimming

We had some branches trimmed recently. It was a hot day but Delawder's crew showed up at 8 AM and finished before 10:00 so they beat the worst of the heat.

August 18, 2011

Hotel Strasburg

Strasburg, Virginia

We've had dinner several times at the Hotel Strasburg. When Frank's sister was here, we took her there and just a couple of weeks later we met my sister there. The food is good enough and the atmosphere is nice. The decor is Victorian without being too dark or heavy.

August 17, 2011

Squirrel Scrambling for Suet

Charlie does not care that the suet is for woodpeckers. He finds his way to the deck (a full story off the ground) and somehow scales the wall to the suet cage. He can only hang on for a few minutes at a time, but he manages to consume more suet than I would like.  On the other hand, he spills pieces onto the lawn chair and the floor, and the cardinals come and scarf up those tidbits.

August 16, 2011

Rust Colored Toad (Frog?)

I tried to find this amphibian's picture online but didn't know enough to figure out what he is. If you know, please comment.

The sounds in the night video are not coming from this fellow; he was very quiet because Ben and I were nearby.

(Location: Shenandoah County, VA)

You might also like: Evening Sounds and Sleeping Frog.

August 15, 2011

Low-Hanging Clouds Viewed from the Ridge

Looking Toward Great North Mountain

Aug. 13 at 8:10 PM
Someone has cleared a lot along Supinlick Ridge Road between Jerome and Crooked Run Road. We paused there on the way home Saturday evening to look at the clouds in the valley.
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Little Train of Potted Plants

I bought this cute wooden train from the general store in Orkney Springs one Saturday. In fact, Saturday's the only day I can count on that store being open.

August 14, 2011

Buck at Pinnacles Picnic Area

It's nice to live within a one-hour drive of Shenandoah National Park because it's a great place to visit! Recently we went there on the spur of the moment but soon discovered that Skyline Drive was mostly shrouded in thick clouds. We had to drive slowly and could not see the views.

I've found that picnic areas are good places to view wildlife because critters like to eat food scraps left by picnickers. I drove slowly through the picnic grounds at Pinnacles and there in the mist was this magnificent deer. Frank took some pictures from the car and then I got out and took a few more before the deer trotted away.

We left Pinnacles and continued north towards our exit at Panorama. In just a few minutes we left the clouds and saw some pretty views. Frank said this section has the best views on the Drive.
View from Buck Hollow Overlook
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August 13, 2011

Rabbits at the Edge of the Woods

bunny rabbits
Waterlick, VA

One day we stopped at Shenandoah River Lakes to see how landscaper Albert was coming along with some work on our vacant lots. We were greeted by these rabbits, who kindly stayed around long enough to have their photo taken.

You might also like Rabbit in the Rose Garden

A Fawn by the Road

We saw him with a sibling and their mom on Greenview Road here in the resort. We have a lot of fawns this summer, suggesting a growth-spurt in the whitetail deer population. No wonder my lilies have been chomped off!

You might also like: We Have Fawns!

August 12, 2011

Curbside Check-In

When Frank's sister left to return home, I snapped a picture outside Dulles Airport.

I regret that she lives so far away. I'd like to see her more often but air travel is a hassle and of course it's expensive.