October 31, 2013

Grain Elevator (and Shadow of Spruce)

Bluemont, Virginia

Pumpkins and Corn Stalks

If you celebrate Halloween, tonight's the night! And even if you don't, enjoy something sweet and indulge in some make-believe! You deserve a little fun.

Linking to: Orange You Glad...

October 30, 2013

At the Dog Wash in Woodstock

Yesterday we tried out the "dog wash" for the first time. It's self-service and it's like a cross between pet groomer's equipment and a self-service car wash. In fact, it's owned by a car wash!

There's a device for entering your money which gives you six minutes of combined wash and dry time. You choose shampoo, rinse or dry options on a dial. Be well organized and know where things are before you start because the timer keeps going.

We were a little concerned about washing Ben because he doesn't care for baths, but he behaved very well.

October 29, 2013

Old Red Schoolhouse in Millwood

On Bishop Meade Road, Millwood, VA
This school building is over 150 years old and is currently used as an antique shop.

Linking to: Rurality Blog Hop #38

October 28, 2013

Artists at the Mill

We like to view local art shows, and the one at Burwell Morgan Mill is a favorite. Here we see some artists who were painting outside the mill.

I was pleased to see Steven Walker because I had admired his work at a previous show and have been following his blog. I did not gave a chance to talk to him though because he was speaking to someone else.

October 27, 2013

Yellow Leaves, Passage Creek

I should know tree what this is but I don't. Maybe a reader will enlighten me. I was attracted to the color of the heart-shaped leaves.

The creek is a lovely trout stream that runs through a gap in the Massanutten Range near my home in Virginia. It's part of George Washington National Forest.

October 26, 2013

Passage Creek Then and Now

Next, here's one I took a week ago. Actually, it's one of quite a few that I took, but I spotted something familiar about it. Is it the same place six years later?

If not, it is no doubt along the same stretch of the river. There are a limited number of places in the canyon to park and I don't recall walking very far along the road, which is very narrow and can be nerve-wracking when a car speeds past.

October 25, 2013

October 24, 2013

Saturday at Passage Creek

I felt disappointed Saturday morning because I really wanted to go to one of the weekend events or at least go "leaf-peeping" but instead I was stuck at home waiting for a handyman to come fix a leak in our roof. And Frank was helping with a neighborhood clean-up that had been postponed from the previous Saturday due to a rainstorm.

It was around 3 before we got out for a ride, too late for events but not too late to take in some autumn scenery. Fortunately some of the prettiest scenery anywhere is close to our home.

These scenes are along Route 678 in George Washington National Forest. It runs along beautiful Passage Creek through a narrow gorge between Waterlick and Dilbeck, Virginia. (I realize that most people don't know where either of these little towns are. Waterlick is between Strasburg and Front Royal and Dilbeck is in Fort Valley.)

See this post for more details.

October 23, 2013

At the Swinging Bridge, Elizabeth Furnace

When Frank's sister visited last month, one of the many places we took her to see was nearby George Washington National Forest. There we stopped at the Elizabeth Furnace picnic area and walked across the swinging bridge.

2009 Post: Suspension Bridge

Is this the Buckton Depot?

Somewhere I read that this old building was once the Buckton Station. It isn't the original depot, though; that was destroyed during the Civil War.

The railroad lines were important and often fought over. Confederate troops under Turner Ashby attacked Federal forces at Buckton Depot during the Battle of Front Royal. (See this post for more.)

I used this image to practice blank and white "quadtone" conversions for my Photoshop class. It wasn't pretty before and it still isn't, but it is suitably somber for a ruined old building.

October 22, 2013

Leaves of Yellow

It's autumn in Virginia! I took these pictures in Winchester.

October 21, 2013

Three More Scenes at Belle Grove

Civil War History Event

October 20, Middletown, VA

October 20, 2013

Wreath Laying Ceremony

Today there was a ceremony at Belle Grove Plantation to commemorate those who died at the Battle of Cedar Creek. It took place just before the re-enactment began next door on the battlefield.

The program included an invocation, music, reading of a poem, and a salute in arms.

October 19, 2013

After the Battle is Over...

It's the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek in Middletown, Virginia. Today and tomorrow are big days here for living history events including staged battles.

So where do Civil War soldiers go after a battle? Well, these folks went to nearby Strasburg to find some fast food.

Still Not Rented

We have not found a tenant for our house in Glebe Harbor yet. I'm concerned because winter is coming soon and not many people are looking for water-oriented homes once winter sets in.

When we bought the house over a decade ago, we lived in Northern Virginia and this waterfront house made a nice second home for us. However when we retired we went to live in the mountain resort, and eventually moved to a lakefront home with a mountain view. No longer needing a "get-away," we've been leasing the extra house out to folks who want to live in the Northern Neck. It's a great area for fishing and boating.

Looking Out the Back Door

Living Room Windows

Part of the Kitchen
We've been advertising the house online and several people have toured the house. So far we haven't found tenants, probably because the place is not close to major employment centers. Richmond are Fredericksburg are the nearest cities but they are each over an hour away.

Listed on Postlets

October 18, 2013

Worse than Littering

Near Buckton, VA

October Sunset

The mountain peak is Signal Knob in the Massanutten Range.

Once again I'm posting to two themes: Skywatch Friday and Orange You Glad It's Friday.

October 17, 2013

Soldier's Retreat

This grand old home stands on a hillside near the Shenandoah River not far from Bluemont, Virginia.  Originally built in 1799, it was called "Soldier's Retreat" or simply "The Retreat."  It was the home of Judge Richard Parker who presided at the trial of John Brown.

Accounts of the Battle of Cool Spring mention this estate, for soldiers passed through here on their way to cross the river. There they found themselves in battle as Federal troops attacked Jubal Early's army which was retreating from an attempt to attack Washington.

The mansion is now vacant and up for sale.


October 16, 2013

I Wonder if They Miss Us

The wild animals in our National Parks have had a couple of weeks free of tourists as the parks have been closed during the goverment "shutdown." I wonder if they miss the food that humans typically leave around. I recall from my camping days that bears and raccoons in particular are infamous for stealing any food they can figure out how to liberate from wherever it's stored.

Shenandoah National Park has bear-proof trash cans, but bears have been known to tear into tents or even open vehicle doors to obtain food. A ranger showed us a picnic cooler that was demolished by a bear. Casual visitors to the park don't always appreciate the determination and cunning of hungry wild animals..

On the day before the government shutdown, we visited Shenandoah National Park because I wanted to enjoy it before was closed for an unpredictable period of time. I observed park employees emptying trash containers and cleaning up around them. Looking back, I realize they were preparing for the possible shutdown by making sure garbage was not left around to attract bears. Often we fail to realize that an army of workers keeps our parks pristine-looking and as safe as possible. Shenandoah looks so natural that it's easy to forget the effort that goes into maintaining it. So I want to say "Thanks" to all the folks that work in our parks.

Finally, a few minutes ago, the U.S. Congress voted to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. It's about time!

October 15, 2013

Peggy and Curt

It's my sister's birthday so I found and scanned a really old picture of her. She and our cousin were dressed in improvised costumes, looking something like Roman centurions. I was older than them and I had a Kodak camera in search of interesting subjects.

Here's a more recent picture of them that I took in 2006. By this time my cousin had changed the spelling of his name from Curt to Kurt in remembrance of his great-uncle Kurt Freschl, who had anglicized his name to Curt Freshel during the first World War so that it would not appear to be German.

Linking to: Black and White Wednesday

Civil War Surgeon and Singing Chaplain

Germanfest 2013
Shenandoah County, VA

What's a festival in the Shenandoah Valley without Civil War  re-enactors? And for that matter, what good is a festival without music?

October 14, 2013

Living History Repeats Itself

I photographed this Revolutionary War re-enactor at Germanfest in September. He looked familiar. Looking back at a 2010 post, I see I photographed the same person then!

By the way, I love living history events. The combination of history and costumes is fun to see.

A Glimpse of Germanfest

 We rushed through our visit to Germanfest this year because our community's yearly meeting was held that afternoon. The festival spotlights the traditions of German settlers in the Shenandoah Valley.

Actually, I don't think the settlers had alpacas! But they did have sheep, and they used their wool to make clothing and blankets.

See Germanfest on Facebook.

Footnote: Llamas were brought to the U.S. in the 1920's and alpacas even later.