December 31, 2012

Looking Back at 2012

As 2012 draws to a close, I reflect and wonder what I should be doing to add meaning to my life. I really don't know! However, as I review this blog I see that it's been a busy year, and I am aware that many pictures and events did not get posted because I ran out of time or stamina. Often my eyes got tired from looking at the screen, although that is happening less since I got a laptop with "Retina" Display.

Here are a few highlights month-by-month:

January: Winter on the Shenandoah and at Carillon Pond, historic Harrisonburg, and a look back at autumn in Gypsy Hill Park.

February: Winter scenes in Winchester and other Shenandoah towns, Bryce ski resort. 

March: Baby farm animals! Also an award program for Professor Charles Poland plus some scans from 1984.

April: In April we were busy moving and I posted photos of the house we were trying to sell. (We wound up renting it out.) We only had time for one of the Garden Week tours, but I did take pictures of a library program for children and belatedly posted some Gettysburg photos from last year.
May: Posts on Civil War medicine and Richmond, pictures of the Burwell Morgan Mill.

June: A few reenactment photos and a tour of Camp Rapidan (Hoover's Camp in Shenandoah National Park).

July: Daylily Festival, a local parade, train ride in Romney.

August: Bird Haven in Basye, a county fair (farm animals!), family memories.
September: We drove to New Jersey to meet with Marie and tour Millville, and earlier, enjoyed a visit from Kate's family. (Click Older Posts to see more of the month's pictures.)

October: We flew to the Pacific Northwest to visit Sue's family. Also we visited Shenandoah River State Park, and made an effort to look at autumn colors.

November: Living history near Cedar Creek, some family pics, more autumn color, the Shenandoah River, and pictures taken from a plane.

December: Snow scenes, our family Christmas, birds, and Dayton, VA.

Reviewing the year in pictures has made me feel better. I see productivity and fun!

Best wishes to all for an enjoyable and productive 2013!

Walking Dogs, Snowy Driveway

One of the first things we do in the morning is walk the dogs. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the canines from their appointed rounds.

Sometimes we see our neighbor walking her dog Molly. Flash gets anxious and starts vocalizing when he sees Molly. It sounds like he is begging Molly to come see him. She pays no attention.

December 30, 2012

Wings on the Water

We love to watch the Canada Geese as they take off and land on the lake. It's not easy getting a good picture of that action though. My digital camera mechanism does not move as fast as geese do. Even a split-second delay between the time I press the shutter and the time it actually clicks is too long - the goose has flown away.

December 29, 2012

Our Mountains in Winter

Geese, Lake, Snow

We can see this view from our living room window! The north end of the Massanutten Mountain Range rises across the lake.

December 28, 2012

Squirrel on Snowy Branch

We had a little snow on Christmas and more the day after. Tonight we are supposed to get a few inches more.

When Your Birthday Is Near Christmas

I know how it feels to have a birthday near Christmas because I was born in December. Some people give you combination gifts (which don't always equal two gifts), and your birthday party gets lost in the season.

Frank's birthday is even closer to Christmas than mine, and even worse, it's after the holiday. When he was a child he sometimes got the pawed-over marked-down toys that were left in the store on the 26th or 27th. So I guess we both felt a bit shortchanged by having birthdays in the holiday season.

But that's behind us, isn't it? Anyway, happy birthday to Frank!

Put Your Left Foot In...

Dancing Goose?

December 27, 2012

My Traveling Daughter

It was nice having Marie visit for a few days. Since she lives 300 miles away, I don't see her as often as I'd like.

She was pleased with the Lumix Camera that I gave her for Christmas. She had an earlier model and liked it so she put this one on her wish list.

We bid goodbye to her at Dulles Airport. She was on her way to Burma! See her blog for her adventures and photos.

December 26, 2012

Posing by the Christmas Tree

Lynn and Marie Javins
Posed shots seem a little corny but later I'm glad to have them. Whether people are looking silly or  smiling nicely, their pictures are great to have as mementos and informal portraits.

Lynn showed up with a surprise guest on Saturday, her friend Jerry who moved away from Virginia over 20 years ago. It's amazing how many years have passed since he patiently taught me to shift gears in my VW. (Hardly anyone has a manual transmission these days, but I enjoyed driving it.)
Me and FrankJerry and Lynn
Allison and Dave visited on Christmas Day so I asked them to pose in front of the tree too.
Dave, Allison, Frank

Christmas Fun

Marie arrived on Friday and we planned a family dinner for Saturday. My other daughter Lynn and my sister Peggy were coming. Christmas wasn't until two days later but Saturday was the only day we could all get together.

Gifts were exchanged amid laughter and chatter. I enjoyed my time with favorite people!

A [Barely] White Christmas

We had snow on Christmas Eve, just enough to cover the ground. It was nice to look out the window on Christmas morning and see a frosting of snow!

Last night we had more snow, but those pictures will wait for another post.

December 25, 2012

My Wish for You

Crafted in Adobe Photoshop

December 24, 2012

Red Bird, State Bird

Since red and green are Christmas colors I thought some pictures of cardinals would be appropriate for Christmas eve. These are males; the females are greenish-brown with touches of red.

The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is the state bird of Virginia as well as six other states.

December 23, 2012

Dusk in Dayton

I took these pictures near the Silver Lake Mill in Dayton, Virginia. The ducks are cruising on the creek below the dam.

December 22, 2012

Artisan's Courtyard in Dayton

Recently we visited the Artisan's Courtyard in Dayton, VA. It's not a large collection of galleries but we found some nice art to admire, and it's not far from other attractions like the Farmer's Market, the Heritage Museum, and the old mill.

Dayton is a small test west of Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah Valley.

December 21, 2012

My younger daughter Marie is here for a holiday visit! She finally finished writing her latest book and traveled to Virginia on the bus. So glad to see her again!

I last saw Marie in September in New Jersey.

See Marie's Amazon Page.

December 20, 2012

December 19, 2012

New Birdhouses

A few days ago I spotted a display of birdhouses for sale on the hood of a truck in Strasburg. I persuaded Frank to buy one from the gentleman who was selling them, who is also the craftsman who makes them.

We picked out a brown one although it turned out that Frank had already bought a birdhouse for my birthday, a metal one made to look like an owl.

We can use multiple birdhouses because we have a large yard.

December 18, 2012

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

A gray squirrel has discovered our bird feeders. I don't mind him visiting but I do hope he doesn't invite his friends!


December 17, 2012

The View from Jefferson Rock

Looking Toward Harpers Ferry
Shenandoah River
I'd been to Jefferson Rock before but Frank's brother had not and when he visited in early October he expressed an interest in going to Harper's Ferry. One of several scenic points we showed him there was Jefferson Rock, so named because Thomas Jefferson wrote enthusiastically about the view from that spot.
Back in 2010 when Marie and I were here, we hiked up the Appalachian Trail from the parking lot near the Shenandoah River bridge, paused at Jefferson Rock, and then walked down a long flight of steps into the town of Harpers Ferry. It's not a difficult hike, but I took Bill via a less strenuous route starting at Harper's Cemetery. We just walked down the hill and through the woods to the overlook.

December 16, 2012

Shenandoah Pulp Factory

These pictures are from our October visit to Harpers Ferry, WV. These ruins are on Virginius Island just outside of the old town.

Here's what the sign tells us about he old pulp factory:
In 1877-1888, on the former site of the Shenandoah Canal's lower locks, Thomas Savery erected this large mill to provide wood pulp for the paper industry.

Ten turbines, arranged in pairs in the mill's five massive sluiceways, powered wood grinders, rolling machines, and other pulp-making machinery. By the 1920's, Savery's mill had the capacity to produce 15 tons of ground wood pulp daily.

After several unprofitable years, the mill closed in 1935. Within a year the building was destroyed by the record flood of 1936.

Its ruins reveal the last remnant of water-powered industry in Harpers Ferry.


Track Lines and Bluestone

Photoshop notes: I cropped this picture of railroad tracks to show a triangle. I also used a poster edge filter on an adjustment layer.

December 15, 2012

A Duo of Grey Geese

Here's a couple of geese at our lake. Are they grey or gray? Well, both spellings are accepted but as one writer says, "Grey is a colour, and Gray is a color."

But today I'm spelling it with an "e" because there are three e's in geese so it looks rhythmic.  Which spelling do you prefer?