September 30, 2011

Touring the Greenhouses

WVU Experimental Farm

Feeding Trout

Admiring Spring-Watered Veggies

For more about this, see previous Farm Tour post.

Farm Tour in West Virginia

front of house
We made it to Hardy County last Saturday for their annual Heritage Weekend. Our first stop was the Reymann Memorial Farm near Wardensville, which is operated as an experimental farm by West Virginia University.

The farm was donated to WVU back in 1916. The Greek-revival farm house dates back around 1850. It reminded me of  "The Willows" in Moorefield — see this post from 2010 and compare them.

On Saturday, we arrived just in time for a hayride tour. (See the video below.) It included a stop at two greenhouse-type buildings. Both had water from a nearby spring flowing through, which kept temperatures moderate all year. The first building was used for raising golden trout and the second for raising vegetables and flowers.

September 29, 2011

Valley Scene, West Virginia

rural landscape
Landscape North of Wardensville

September 28, 2011

Goats on the Steps

The girl was feeding corn stalks to the goats. Little Goat seemed delighted with the snack.

I took these pictures in Hardy County, WV.

September 27, 2011

Library Party

Last week the September meeting at our Basye Orkney Springs Community Library was followed by a brief reception honoring volunteer Lynn McFadden who organized our book sales for many years. Here are a few of the photos that I took.

Click on an image to see a larger version.

September 26, 2011

Flowers, Lake, Mountain

I took this picture last week at Shenandoah River Lakes. I think the flowers are coreopsis. In the distance, you can see the north end of the Massanutten Range .
Near Waterlick, VA
You might like: Ducks Flying at Dusk

September 25, 2011

September 24, 2011

Update on Glebe Harbor

I'm pleased to report that our house in the Northern Neck is now leased for a year. The folks who rented it are building a house nearby.

Just a Chicken

September 23, 2011

September 22, 2011

Toad in the Driveway

Here's our amphibian buddy showing himself in daylight. I placed a dog statue next to him for scale. The dog is 11 inches tall.

I worry about our real dogs grabbing a toad! They can be somewhat poisonous.

September 21, 2011

Boat Landing

I don't know how many times I've followed a sign to a "Public Boat Landing." It's not that I'm a boater or even a fisherman. Rather, a boat landing is on a body of water, and often there's a scene worth photographing.

This sign is at the foot of Luray Avenue in Front Royal. The body of water is the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.

September 20, 2011

Rocks Along the Storybook Trail

Since the Massanutten Storybook Trail is designed to educate visitors about the geology of the Massanutten Mountain, I feel it's appropriate to post some photos with rocks in them. You can see lichen growing on ancient boulders here, and you can even see a tree growing out of a crack in the rocks.

Layers of shale, sandstone, and limestone were once sediment in shallow seas here. They were folded and jumbled when the Appalachian Mountains were formed between 480 million and 300 million years ago. There's a book by local author William Melson called Geology Explained: Virginia's Fort Valley And Massanutten Mountains [link goes to listing on Amazon].

We saw at least three sets of steps going uphill from the trail, mysteriously leading to small clearings with no obvious purpose. I assume these were constructed by the CCC — they look old enough and appear similar to other CCC projects. (The very first CCC camp was established near here in 1933.) Whether the steps once went to campsites or cabins or something else, I don't know.

Graffiti by the Trail

Even out in the wilderness, some people are compelled to mess things up with graffiti. I was reminded of how dogs mark their territory, except that a good rain removes the evidence of a dog's urine but won't remove the paint left by a vandal.
Interpretative Sign, Storybook Trail

September 19, 2011

View from the Top on Storybook Trail

We took several pictures at the mountain overlook where the trail ends. In the first one, we're looking down on Lee Highway (211), which you can take to reach Crisman Hollow Road (FR 274) near the crest of New Market Gap. However, last week we got there from Mt. Jackson, taking Moreland Gap Road eastward at Meem's Bottom, turning right on Crisman Hollow and following it through the forest until we reached the parking lot for Storybook Trail.  (See my post on the Lion's Tale Trail if you plan to find the road that way because the intersection can seem confusing.)  

Here's a 20-second video showing the high point of the trail.

Another place to see great views from the top of the Massanutten Range is Woodstock Tower.

You might also like: Moreland Gap in Early March.

A Walk up Massanutten Storybook Trail

trail signWe'd been to this trail before and somehow years went by before we went back. It's a short trail, paved and graded with boardwalk areas, so it provides a leg-stretching walk rather than an actual hike. There are some interpretive signs telling about geology of the Massanutten Mountains.

A quarter mile up the hill you reach an overlook with a great view of Page County. You might not want to look straight down if heights make you nervous!

Below you can see U.S. 211 (Lee Highway) as it winds toward Luray and the Blue Ridge.

September 18, 2011

My Little Lemur

small carvingMarie sent me this from Madagascar. It's a small carving of a lemur with a baby lemur on her back. (A lemur is a primate that lives in trees on the island of Madagascar.)

You can get a souvenir from Marie Javins too! Just go to the Souvenir page on Marie's World Tour site and send a donation via Paypal.

Read Marie's Post on Lemur Land

Creekside Fitness

Once in a while we go to the fitness center in the resort. Frank likes to use the pool and hot tub and I like to use the sauna. 

Usually I ask the staff to turn on the sauna and then I use the treadmill so that my muscles warm up while the sauna heats up.

September 17, 2011

View of Mid-O-Green and the Golf Course

Bryce Resort, Basye, VA
From high on a hill we're looking west toward the golf course. A house ("Mid-O-Green") interrupts the course. I think it predates the resort and was preserved as a residence with the golf course winding around it.

That's Great North Mountain on the horizon.

September 16, 2011

The View from Getz Corner

 Route 42 near North Mountain Road (613)
Here I was looking down a hill north of Forestville, Virginia. It's a typical Shenandoah Valley scene.

See: another Getz Corner picture

September 15, 2011

Events Every Weekend!

Festival season is are back! Spring and Fall are busy times in Virginia for festivals and craft shows.
Craft Fair, Broadway, VA
On Saturday (9/17/11) I have several choices:
There's more, of course. Check out or ShenandoahValleyWeb calendar. There's plenty to do through October.

September 14, 2011

Lynn Got a Smart Car

When her old truck broke down, Lynn decided to get one of the cute little cars she's wanted for a while. She found a used one in Alexandria and took the train there to get it.

She's very happy because it doesn't use much gas.

September 13, 2011

Blog Post #3100

Here we are marking another 100-posts and I'm at a loss to come up with anything memorable to write. Instead I'll reveal a few observations about myself.
  • A male supervisor once told me that I think like a man. He meant it as a compliment. I never understood exactly what he was referring to.
  • I'm a bit of a loner but I like being around people. I lived alone for a long time but didn't like it, at least not at night. 
  • I am shy but not painfully so. 
  • I think that songwriters are some of the most influential people on the planet. And singing or even humming a song can be very therapeutic.
  • I believe that success is living in accordance with your values. But the first rule of success is "Survive."
  • Sometimes I am way too subtle. That is partly due to being shy and partly to being so used to reading between the lines that I assume everyone can do the same. 

September 12, 2011

Morning Glory on Barbed Wire

Seen in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Photoshop® Note: I used a filter to bring out the edges of objects, particularly in the foreground of the picture. As usual, I worked on duplicate layers and then moved down the transparency slider of the layers until I was satisfied with the effect.

September 11, 2011

Nine Eleven

News that shocks you leaves you with an odd mixture of indelible memories, clear images of where you were interspersed with the visuals of the news itself. I remember where I was on 9/11/2001, just as I remember where I was when President Kennedy was shot (which was in a classroom).

On today's date ten years ago, Frank and I were driving from Dumfries to Basye, Virginia. We were purchasing a chalet in Bryce Resort and were on our way to the home inspection. The news came over the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. And then the news got worse.

Although I was stunned and dismayed, I also felt very grateful that my younger daughter was out of the country. Normally she lived and worked in New York. But in 2001 she was traveling around the world, and on September 11 she was far, far away in Zanzibar.

Here we were safely in western Virginia for the day, two hours from the Washington, DC area, which was understandably the scene of grave concern approaching panic. My other daughter lived near Staunton, far from the danger zones.

The home inspection went okay. We went to the house next door and met Mrs. Bakke, it's owner who was there for the weekend. She had her TV on but reception was barely passable since signals are very weak on the mountain if you don't have cable, and it does not make economic sense to subscribe to cable if you only visit occasionally. But even with a fuzzy picture and crackly sound, the news reports were disturbingly clear. New York and Washington had been attacked, with hundreds of casualties... no, thousands.

And so our world changed. Our own lifestyles were only affected in minor ways, but emotionally, things were different. Sadder, less trusting, yet appreciative for our personal good luck. So much of fate is just luck. Sometimes you can make your luck better, but other times... you are just a leaf blowing in the wind.

September 9, 2011

A Couple of Glen Burnie Scenes

Winchester, VA

Shwarmas in Virginia

I took this picture to show my daughter that we can buy shwarmas (also spelled schwarmas) in Virginia. She mentioned eating them in West Africa on her World Tour blog. It stuck in my mind because I was not familiar with that sandwich. It is similar to a gyro.

Anyway, I took the photo when we passed through Fredericksburg on Route 17.

Don't Miss: Maries World Tour

September 8, 2011

September 7, 2011

Pretty Roses

Seen in Winchester, VA