January 31, 2014

Skywatch Friday: Loudoun Street Mall

I took these photos a few weeks ago in Winchester, Virginia. The holiday decorations were still up along the pedestrian mall.

Also on this mall is the old Frederick County Courthouse, now a museum.

Linking to: Skywatch Friday

A Couple of Grand Entrances

Winchester, VA

"Union Bank" presents a fancy facade along the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall in Old Town Winchester, but it no longer houses a bank. It's home to the Union Jack Pub and Restaurant.

Not far from there is another grand doorway, entrance to the Masonic Temple.

January 30, 2014

Landscape with School Bus Stop

At the entrance to Shenandoah River Lakes stands a shelter for students who wait for the school bus there. Behind it we see the north end of the Massanutten Range.

If we zoom in on the building we see that the creature sitting on top of it appears to be a vulture.

January 29, 2014

Ice is Nice for Canada Geese

Black and White and also Wild Bird Wednesday

These geese prefer the ice to the cold water. I've noticed they take their naps near the edge of the water, perhaps so they can promptly swim away if a predator draws near.

I converted the first images to black and white in Photoshop. The third photo is still in color, but as you can see the colors are fairly subtle.

You'll notice I like taking pictures of geese stretching their wings. Typically one does it and then another one follows suit. Then they all settle down for a little while.

January 28, 2014

Winter in Shenandoah National Park

Only a portion of Skyline Drive was open today. The northern section, which is close to our home, was only open for four miles. Since we have a senior pass, we went up there anyway to check out the scenery and look for deer. The deer cooperated by browsing next to the road.

Ode to Pete

In honor of Pete Seeger
May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014

Winter Day in Waterlick

Warren Co., Virginia

I took these pictures today from Richardson Road and nearby.

These geese block the road whenever they feel like it! I half-expect them to demand that I pay a toll!

Feathers a-Flutter

Once in a while I capture a bird taking off or landing at a feeder. Usually it's an accident, for the birds move quickly.

They are fun to watch, though! Since the temperature has been below freezing for days now,  I'm happy to be able to photograph them through a window.

January 26, 2014

A Large Barn in the Snow

I took this picture yesterday in Fisher's Hill, a charming little town between Toms Brook and Strasburg, Virginia. (Perhaps for consistency I should leave out the apostrophe and type Fishers Hill, which is the spelling the state highway department uses. It has a policy of leaving out certain punctuation marks on road signs and official maps.)

The town is best known as the site of a Civil War battle which took place on a nearby ridge in 1864.

January 25, 2014

Red Sky at Night

"Red Sky at Night
Sailor's Delight"

On Monday I ran some errands and was at the grocery store in Strasburg as the sun started to set. The parking lot was crowded because snow was in the forecast so people were buying supplies in case they got snowbound.

Yet we had a lovely red sky! Tradition holds that this means clear weather, but it did not hold true this time. By morning it was snowing, and it continued all day.

Similar View: Water Tower at Sunset

Article on loc.gov: Red Sky at Night

January 24, 2014

Becoming Patsy Cline

Orange You Glad (You Don't Have to Listen to me Sing)?

We went to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley to see the temporary exhibit, Becoming Patsy Cline.

It gives more information on her career than we gained from the tour of her home. Singer Patsy Cline was from Winchester, Virginia, Virginia. Her life was cut short by a plane crash in 1963.

Although photography is not allowed the exhibit, there's a photo op at the end, complete with props: stringed instruments (sans strings) and a microphone. I had not brought my camera into the museum but Frank took a picture of my with my cell phone camera.

Linking to: Orange You Glad It's Friday

Copyright L. Walcroft.

Incoming Geese

Skywatch: Canada Geese

I feel so lucky to finally get a good picture of geese in flight! So many times I've missed the shot because by the time the shutter clicks, they've flown out of the frame.

This time I was simply trying to get a picture of the sky as the clouds turned colorful near sunset. I had already focused on some distant trees when I heard the geese squawking, so I tilted the lens upward and pressed the button.

They are coming in for a landing on the lake. I love watching them land and take off!

Linking to: Skywatch Friday

January 23, 2014

Juncos in Balance

birdsTwo Perches, Two Pairs

Juncos must like it here! We see plenty of them, even in the snow.

Junco hyemalis

January 22, 2014

Chickadee: Black and White

Golden Birds on Red Feeder

Wild Bird Wednesday: American Goldfinches
Carduelis tristis

The goldfinches look calm and settled in the pictures but actually they hop and fly frequently, especially on a cold snowy day like this was! (The snow was coming down yesterday when I took these — through a window!)

They are in their winter colors here. In spring the males get bright yellow feathers. The females don't because they need to be able to conceal their offspring from predators.

Linking to: Wild Bird Wednesday

January 21, 2014

Snowy Day, Backyard Birds

Snow started early this morning. We got about 8 inches of it. For most of the day I could barely see the lake from our windows.

The birds don't seem to mind the snow, although the squirrels stayed away. I put out some extra suet and seed for our feathered friends

Linking to: the BIRD D'pot

January 20, 2014

Circa 1971, 1817 Leslie Avenue

Here's another old picture I scanned in from an old album. I took this photo of my daughter sitting on our front stoop with some friends who lived around the corner. We lived in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia.
Brigid Dickerson, Marie Javins, Ernie Evans, _?_, Gary Dickerson.

I think the little boy whose name I can't recall may be Gary's little brother but I don't know. That family moved to another part of town and we were sad because Brigid was a fun kid to have around!

January 19, 2014

Visitor Center, Main Street Front Royal

It's easy to drive through Front Royal and never get on Main Street because highway signs direct you to follow a route that bypasses most of the historic district. Take the time to turn onto Main Street and get a sense of  how "downtown" looks.

January 18, 2014

Blog Post #4200

Here am I on blog entry number 4,200 and the internet pundits are saying blogging is out of style. For many people it's been replaced by Facebook, but they are saying that Facebook is falling out of favor. Well, what do they know?

Experts are wrong much of the time.  The Freakonomics folks have pointed out that people love to make predictions but in fact are not good at predicting the future.

I know that social media is evolving. Perhaps blogging will die out, or perhaps it will adjust to the changes in the way we use our devices. I like blogging! It's a creative outlet, a journal, an incentive to improve my photography, a way to share, and a chance to communicate with other bloggers.

Right now there are 124 people listed as followers on Google Friend Connect. I have no way of knowing how many people follow me using one of the other blog readers or via email. (There's a link at the bottom of the page for following by email.) Some people visit after I post to one of the theme pages, and many find this blog through Google or another search engine. (My site statistics say that over 400 people a month get here through Google.) Welcome to all!

I am grateful to the other bloggers who visit and leave comments. I try to return their visits, but sometimes I run out of time or find that my eyes start burning from too much looking at the screen. Please forgive me if you have commented and I have not gotten back to you. I may get there yet!

Keep on blogging, my friends!

January 17, 2014

Orange You Glad It's … Abstract?

This is how it looked! It was not created in Photoshop except for minor brightening and resizing.

Skywatch: Intersection at Dusk

University Boulevard, Harrisonburg, VA

Linking to: Skywatch Friday

January 16, 2014

Barn in Winter, Winchester

"Rurality" near Fort Collier, Winchester, VA

I was attracted to the cupola and the warm light on the siding of this barn. From this angle it reminds me of a church!

January 15, 2014

Splashing Geese

Wild Bird Wednesday: Canada Geese

Linking to: Wild Bird Wednesday

Squirrel on a Roof

Black and White Wednesday

What's Charlie doing on the roof over the deck? Looks like he has spied some food! And he's willing to do some acrobatic maneuvers to get to the seed bell.

January 14, 2014

The Birds

I wonder if starlings were the inspiration for the story The Birds which Hitchock made into a famous movie? They travel in flocks so large that they are both wondrous and intimidating.

A crowd of them visited our yard the other day. They stick together to avoid predators and they don't stay very long.

The geese stayed out on the icy lake and ignored them.

Linking to: the BIRD D'pot