May 31, 2013

The Chimney at Meadow Spring

Last weekend we hiked up to the old chimney on the Meadow Spring Trail. It's only about a half mile from the parking area but it's a steep half mile! After pausing there we continued up the trail a little farther but not all the way to Mary's Rock.

A description on the Waymarking site tells us that a cabin was built here in 1930 for members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club to use as a base camp while laying out trails in the area. In 1939, a larger version of the cabin was built by the National Park Service.
"The new cabin burned down to the ground on Thanksgiving Day, 1946, leaving the stone foundation and chimney. The hikers who had the cabin claimed to have left it, with all fires out, just ten minutes before a column of smoke was spotted from a lookout tower."

Six cents to go...

I'm a member of the Amazon Associates Program, which means I get a small credit whenever you buy something from Amazon through my website. Unfortunately, the profits have been really meager! Over the last 18 months my account has been credit with $9.94 (USD). That's pretty sad! But another six cents in commission and they will send me a gift certificate for ten bucks. Sigh!

And for that I have to keep a disclaimer on my website so readers know I might get something when I mention a book or other item that you can buy at Amazon. Do you think I should drop out of the program? This is a personal blog, not something that's designed to earn money.

In the meantime, here's a link to shopping for Father's Day:  Shop Amazon - Father's Day Shop. (You can also use it to buy other stuff.)

May 30, 2013

Evening View with Sunbow

The sun was low in the sky on the right but a bit of it's light was refracted in a strip of cloud (or perhaps a contrail) above the trees. I was busy watering some plants but I went back inside and brought out my camera to record this for a skywatch photo.

Near Strasburg, VA

May 29, 2013

Heron on an Islet

The small lake near our home has a small island. While driving home one day I spotted a heron standing there with his wings partially spread. 

May 28, 2013

Blue Jay on a Railing

Cyanocitta cristata

A Couple of Dog Pics

Ben with his Summer Haircut

Flash Likes to Sit by a Window

May 27, 2013

A Memorial on Prospect Hill

This is the Confederate Memorial in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Front Royal, Virginia. After a war is over, people usually erect memorials to commemorate those who died and in doing so, try to come to terms with their losses. Confederate citizens had the additional painful task of dealing with an unsuccessful war: all those losses in vain.

A nearby Civil War Trails marker tells us that
On November 7, 1868, the Ladies' Warren Memorial Association was chartered to collect the Confederate dead buried in sites throughout Warren County and rebury them in this circular lot, later called Soldier's Circle. The task of locating and moving the bodies involved much labor and expense and was especially difficult in the post war era. In a short time, however, the remains of 276 soldiers representing every state in the former Confederacy were interred here. Some 90 were identified and placed in separate graves, each with a marble headstone. The remains of 186 unknown soldiers were buried in a common grave in the center of the circle, and on Aug. 24, 1882, the 18-foot-high monument was erected above them. A memorial service is held annually on the anniversary of the Battle of Front Royal.

Pink Peonies

May 26, 2013

Love Letters

In keeping with our state's tourism slogan  Virginia is for Lovers, this photogenic structure travels around the state. We came across it in Front Royal a week ago.

Music, the "Soul of Mars"

Confederate General Robert E. Lee once said that without music, he would have no army!

The role of rhythm and melody in stirring patriotism is well know, although we tend to forget that it has inspired men to join the military for most (probably all) of history. I am reminded of this when I watch a parade.

And there's the old Irish song, Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye, which says:

"With your drums and guns and guns and drums
The enemy nearly slew ye..."

May 25, 2013

Hail to the ...

Another highlight of the Apple Blossom Parade was the band for Washington's football team.

I can understand why many people find the name "Redskins" somewhat offensive. But the name has been used for years and it holds nostalgia for many fans. So I propose a solution: keep the name but change the logo to something that has nothing to do with any ethnic group.

For instance, a drawing of a redskin potato would avoid the problem. Alternately, they could depict a sunburned person, kind of like the old Coppertone girl ad.

Yeah, I know it's ridiculous! Someone will have to come up with a better idea.

May 24, 2013

Sunny Clouds and Sudden Rain

Both yesterday and the day before we had erratic weather, with beautiful skies alternating with popcorn storms. (Popcorn storms pop up suddenly and move on quickly.)

By late afternoon the clouds were so dramatic I just had to venture out in the wet grass to take some pictures.

It's Skywatch Day — See the Skyley blog.

May 23, 2013

More Parade Scenes

I took so many pictures at the Apple Blossom Parade that I can't possibly share them all. I examined them in Adobe Bridge and marked the ones I like with a star. But even if I delete all the non-starred images and the almost-duplicate ones, I am left with too many to post.

Here we see a few of the images that I like.

Dr. Lori of Auction Kings

May 22, 2013

May 21, 2013

Still Fair Game

For some reason it is still acceptable to make fun of this ethnic group: hillbillies.

May 20, 2013

Family Fun at "Bloom"

We enjoyed Winchester's Apple Blossom Parade and we even found a place to sit on some church steps. After three hours we got hungry and left before it was over. It was good timing because my camera batteries had just run out of power.

The theme of this year's festival was "Bloom." I took a lot of video footage along with a huge number of snapshots with my trusty old point-and-shoot camera.

I made a 7-minute compilation of video footage showing fun things like horses, clowns, steam engines, motorcycles, and Dixieland music.

May 19, 2013

Scenes from the Apple Blossom Parade

Every spring the city of Winchester, Virginia holds an Apple Blossom Festival. It's spread out over six days and one of the highlights is a huge parade. There's also another parade, the Firefighters' Parade, which we did not see but which no doubt includes fire engines and other public service units.

Winchester is near the north end of the Shenandoah Valley. The region is known for it's apple orchards.

Pink Roses, Red Shirt

I was attracted to these pretty roses and Frank asked me to pose with them. Please excuse the goofy-looking hat! Rain was in the forecast so I chose a hat that would keep my head dry.

May 18, 2013

The Fountain is On

Now that the cold weather is over, our homeowners' association has turned on the fountain in the lake. It helps to aerate the water and to keep down the algae.

In this scene, we see some gray geese swimming away. In the distance is Signal Knob on the Massanutten Range.

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

May 17, 2013

Doeville (also called Deauville)

A film is being made about our friend Gail Rose and her efforts to keep her farm running. Until recently she raised fallow deer along with a wide variety of chickens and some organic vegetables.

See the trailer for the film Doeville here.

Read my 2006 post about the deer roundup.

May 16, 2013

Iris by a Stone Wall

Stone walls are common in the Shenandoah Valley, where limestone outcroppings have hampered farmers for centuries. They dug out the smaller stones and made them useful as building materials.

Iris are common too. These are in a garden but you see them growing wild where they were planted long ago and have continued to bloom for years afterward.

Trees, Sky, Contrails

I don't participate in many theme link-ups but I am trying to keep up with Skywatch Friday because I like photos of skies. I also participate in City Daily Photo.

Here we see another fine afternoon sky as seen from our yard. Jet planes have left their contrails to be erased by the breezes.

May 15, 2013

Folks Fishing

I took these pictures from our deck. I hope the people didn't think I was documenting them for any sort of negative reason. I just thought they looked great in the afternoon light.

May 14, 2013

Rhapsody in Blue

When we walked past this window box, I just had to stop and snap a picture. I like pansies and this shade of blue is so pretty!

Suiter Association is on Facebook

I've posted some genealogy on this blog from time to time, both on my father's side of the family (the Suiters) and my mother's side (the Hammers). It's been rewarding because I've gotten comments and emails from distant relatives who saw the posts and wrote to me.  (How awesome is that!)

There is now a Facebook group for the Suiter Family Association, so if you are a Suiter or Suter, check it out!

Squirrel's at it again

It's almost time to stop feeding the birds and squirrels. This guy is eating the last seed bell of the season.

May 13, 2013

May 12, 2013

A Treat for Mother's Day

I had a great Mother's Day because I got to see my daughters and my sister. Marie came down from New Jersey on the bus and Lynn and I picked her up in Fairfax. We got together with my sister Peggy for lunch.
Peggy, Lynn, & Marie at Whole Foods

Purple Iris

I believe this bearded iris is a "German Iris" or iris germanica.