April 30, 2013

Picture Number 0001

I usually carry my old point-and-shoot camera with me in the car. It's light and focuses more reliably than my new Nikon. I've already sent the new one back for repair and may do so again. Come to think of it, the trusty old point-and-shoot had major problems when it was new also. I had to send it to Nikon twice just to get it to work at all!

Anyway, the images are numbered consecutively by the camera with a series of letters and a 4-digit number. When I transfer the images to my computer, I keep the numbers and change the letters to a word that relates to the subject or occasion so I can find it later on the computer.

The camera finally hit picture number 9999 and started over with number 0001. This is the image that happened to get assigned number 0001.
The final file name for this picture is 0001janneywaterford.jpg. I chose Janney for the last name of the man who built the house in the 1780's,  and I added Waterford because that's the name of the town.

Joseph Janney's ancestors were among the original settlers of Waterford, a quaint and charming town in Virginia. They were Quakers.

Four Views of the Same Bridge

The Japanese Bridge in the Carrier Arboretum may be the most-photographed spot in Harrisonburg. I know I've taken pictures there many times. On this day it was raining but we still made a quick walk to the pond before retreating to the car.

April 29, 2013

A Pond in Light Rain

At the Edith Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, VA

Posing at the Garden Gate

I asked Frank to pose for me at the gate to the arboretum in Harrisonburg, so he turned around and had me do the same.

I don't know where JMU got these gates but they are metal and beautifully styled.

Native Plant Sale

We went to a plant sale at JMU's Carrier Arboretum. We were able to pick out some plants and pay for them before the rain started.

I've been to plant sales there before and found native plants that are hard to find in stores.

Oh, the flowering branches on the grass are on a potted tree that tipped over.

April 28, 2013

Red Tulips Under a Tree

I saw these bright tulips in Hume, Virginia, which is southeast of Front Royal. I photographed them from above so that you can see the shadows.

Eww! My Creepiest Post Ever

If snakes give you nightmares, you may not want to look at these pictures!

The other day I had just gotten in the car when I saw something move under the dryer vent. Omigosh, it's a snake! And it was looking in the vent!

Of course, I took it's picture! Then I jumped out of the car and yelled at it, hoping to scare it away from the house. Instead it slithered up into the vent.

We made some noise but failed to scare it out. My husband called animal control and they said they would either call back or come by. I watched to see if it came out while Frank made noise in the laundry room to try to scare it. That failing, he turned on the dryer. After what seemed like a long time, the snake came out.

It's a harmless snake. We installed a grate that goes over the vent to keep it out.

Oh, don't tell Frank's daughters about this. He doesn't want them to be afraid to stay here.

April 27, 2013

Backyard Bunny

This little rabbit lives under our pool deck. When he sees me he hops back through the lattice and hides under the deck for a while.

A Pair of Purple Finches

Carpodacus purpureus
I'm fairly sure these are purple finches. The adjectives red and purple seem to be interchangeable in names; the purple finch is raspberry-red, the redbud is purple-pink.

The male is the colorful one. Like most female birds, the female is a dull color to help her hide from predators.

April 26, 2013

It's Arbor Day

Did you know Arbor Day originated in 1872? Think of how many trees have been planted since then!

We recently purchased four pink dogwood trees and hired a young man to help us plant them. They are doing well so far.

A Sky Worth Watching

Late Afternoon Clouds with Contrail

We see frequent contrails because many jets cross the Allegheny Front just to the west of us.


April 25, 2013

Progress at Fisher's Hill

The footbridge at Fisher's Hill Battlefield has reopened. It was blocked for months while improvements were made to the parking area.

Still, the sign marking the park has not been replaced yet so tourists who haven't been there before may be unable to find it, although there are directional signs on the way there starting on Route 11.

We saw new split rail fences on the battlefield.

Trail Guides

Fisher's Hill played an important role in the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Although the battlefield is split by I-81, the scenery is still beautiful.

Long-Running Civil War Class Not Held in 2013

Dr. Poland will not be leading an Advanced Civil War Class (HIS 298) this summer. We'll certainly miss this outstanding class and wish him a speedy recovery from the scheduled surgery.

I've been taking history classes from Professor Poland for over 20 years. His dedication and energy still amaze me!

Advanced Civil War is mostly a field trip class! We've traveled to a multitude of sites in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and Maryland. See my website devoted to these Civil War tours.

Prof. Charles Poland Jr. teaches at NVCC's Annandale Campus. He received an Outstanding Faculty Award last year.

April 24, 2013

Canada Goslings

We were honored to have a pair of Canada Geese bring their babies into our yard. The parents are very attentive and both of them guard the goslings.

A Dragon For Saint George

City Daily Photo is running a theme: pictures for St. George's Day. Since George is famous as a slayer of dragons, I'm contributing this dragon picture. I added a gradient in Photoshop to dress up the white garden sculpture, which probably represents a Chinese dragon rather than a Western one, but I'm just having fun here.

April 23, 2013

It's Garden Week!

It's Historic Garden Week: April 20-27, 2013. Check the Virginia Garden Week website for the schedule.

A Heron Next to Our Yard

heronI saw this heron stalking fish in the lake just below our yard. He's not as close as herons sometimes got to our house in Glebe Harbor but I have a stronger zoom lens then I used there, so these pictures don't show how far away I was.

A disadvantage of the zoom is that it's weight makes it harder to hold the camera steady. I wasn't using a tripod so some other shots were blurred. I try to take duplicates "just in case."

See my 2005 post: Great Blue Heron

April 22, 2013

Two Goldfinches

 Different day, different angle, different gender.

The male goldfinch is bright yellow in springtime. Aren't they pretty?

Link: American Goldfinch at All About Birds

Old Time Photo

Linda and Marie Javins
Since it's my daughter Marie's birthday, I'll do my parental duty and try to embarrass her a little by running an old photo. She's standing on the right in this picture taken in the 80's — no, not the 1880's, silly! It's one of those souvenir pictures where the studio supplies old fashioned costumes for a novelty portrait. They added a sepia color to help make the picture look antique.

April 21, 2013

Boy in a Boat

We share a lake with the rest of our subdivision. This young man was cruising around in a boat with an electric motor.

April 20, 2013

Happy Creek in Front Royal

I don't know who named it Happy Creek but it's a pleasant name for a pretty creek that runs right through town. I took these pictures from Criser Road. Eventually the creek will join the Shenandoah River.


Bluets: Houstonia caerulea
We have these little blue wildflowers growing in our yard, just as I enjoyed when I was a child. They are under six inches high.

April 19, 2013

In the Distance: Thoburn's Position

In November, I posted pictures of views from Thoburn's Redoubt, a hill on Cedar Creek Battlefield. One was a view from the trenches looking toward Strasburg. Here we have the opposing view, looking out from Hupp's Hill near Strasburg toward Thoburn's Redoubt, which is on the hill across the valley cut by Cedar Creek. 

I took these picture from a restaurant parking lot near the interstate.

April 18, 2013

A View from Walmart

As we look toward Edinburg Gap from Woodstock, Virginia, a yellow school bus heads south on I-81.

A Skywatch Post.

April 17, 2013

Woodstock Loses an Old Mill

Last year I posted some photos of an old mill that looked like it was ready to fall down. . I didn't know anything about it but mentioned that it was on Water Street in Woodstock, Virginia.

Recently I got an email saying that it has collapsed. The writer is a Mill List Coordinator with the Society for Preservation of Old Mills. He identified the mill as French's Mill.

With that name I was able to find the mill mentioned on the Hottel-Keller Memorial website. It says that "George H. Hottel ... built the mill in 1888. The mill was later owned and operated by Martin Van Buren French."
Small World Note: I've linked to the Hottel-Keller site before, in September 2010 after we attended Germanfest, which they sponsored.
A few days ago I took pictures of the recently-collapsed mill. I suspect the winter storms did it in.

Like mills? See:

April 16, 2013

Cow and Calf

We saw a new calf at a farm next to Woodstock (Virginia). I snapped a picture while stopped at a corner and then parked the car to get more shots, but before I could get out of the car the farmer pulled up with a truck and took the calf away in the truck with the mother following behind on a rope.

A Flag Picture

This is a flag that's at the subdivision entrance. I took the photo from across the lake using the maximum zoom on my camera, and later cropped it a little in Photoshop. I also brightened it using a plug-in action from CoffeeShop called Vivid 3.

Those horizontal lines are utility wires.

April 15, 2013

Following by Email

A reader wrote that due to concerns that Google intends to discontinue Google Reader, she wanted to subscribe to the blog by email. At her suggestion I have added the Subscribe gadget at the bottom of the page. Scroll down to see it.

I hope Google changes the plan though. I like Google Reader!

Something to Do While Waiting in the Car

I don't find myself bored very often but it can happen, especially if I have to wait for someone and I didn't bring along anything good to read. Since I usually have a camera with me, I sometimes take a picture or two while I wait. I this instance I was in a boring parking lot so I pointed the camera at the side mirror for a self-portrait.

Yes oh Yes! It's Spring!

Flowering Trees, Shenandoah Valley