September 30, 2014

Light-Colored Barn

Near Middletown, Virginia

white barnI fell in love with this barn on Westernview Drive. The golden light of late afternoon lit it up, and then I saw goats and horses!

I wonder how long Mr. Goat has been running around with that chain around his neck. Was he chained because he was aggressive? He seemed friendly to our group.

These scenes are from our Custer at Cedar Creek tour. I'm giving them their own post because I couldn't winnow them down to just one photo.

Linking to: The Barn Collective

Brief Visit from a Squirrel

I try to enjoy these final summer-like days. I was sitting in a lawn chair on the deck when a squirrel appeared in front of me. I managed to take his picture before he realized I was there and jumped away.

September 29, 2014

History at Sunset: Custer at Cedar Creek

shannon listeningAs I mentioned yesterday, we attended a tour that followed in footsteps of Custer's Cavalry at the Battle of Cedar Creek. The inimitable Ranger Kyle was our guide, and once again I had to shoot fast to catch him with the camera, as he is constantly in motion. (See last year's tour of the Heater Farm.)

kyle romenich
The tour began at the Battlefield Foundation building near Middletown and progressed to Mustang Lane, Hite's Chapel, Westernview Drive, and the Stickley Farm. By the last stop it was too dark to get photos of the Stickley House and mill ruins but I have shared them before. This was an interesting tour with great scenery.

September 28, 2014

Hites Chapel UMC

chapelWe came upon this modest church while on a Civil War tour covering "Custer at the Battle of Cedar Creek." This building was not there in 1864, but another church named Hites Chapel stood in the vicinity.

In spite of the peace and quiet that you find here today, this area was the scene of action in October of 1864. It's around four miles west of what we usually consider the Cedar Creek Battlefield, but cavalry could gallop across that distance fairly quickly.

I'd rather be here today than in 1864! And I liked the bird house with a steeple.

Linking to: Inspired Sunday

September 27, 2014

Cavalry Man

reenactor on horseThis Civil War re-enactor and his horse were present at the festival in Edinburg last weekend, reminders that the nearby mill narrowly escaped destruction during "The Burning" 150 years ago. These pictures seemed appropriate for a sepia appearance, since photos in 1864 were not in color. 

I was pleased when a lady in a long dress carrying a parasol approached the horse. It seemed like a great chance to get an authentic-looking Civil War scene. However, it didn't quite work out that way!

Linking to: Sepia Saturday

September 26, 2014

Edinburg's Annual Festival

Last weekend was the Ole Time Festival in Edinburg, a charming town in Shenandoah County. We've attended many times over the years and it's worth going back to browse the vendors and check out the music.

I posted pictures of this festival in 2008 and 2009 so take a look if you're curious.

Frank was drawn to this sculpture crafted from recycled junk. I kidded him about it being his doppelgänger.

I took the remaining two photos along Main Street with blog hops in mind: Orange You Glad It's Friday and Skywatch Friday.

September 25, 2014

Up and Down, Edinburg, VA

We were in Edinburg for an event on Sunday but these geese overhead just about stole the show!

Looking down from the bridge over Stoney Creek, I could barely see the ducks up the creek but a boy in an orange shirt showed up,  providing some extra color and interest to the scene.

In the last shot we're looking up the sidewalk but it was the red flowers that caught my eye.

No Exit

Along Rivermont Drive (Near Front Royal)

Linking to: Signs, Signs

September 24, 2014

My Mom with Rick in 1944

Eleanor Suiter and Son
Today would have been my mother's 94th birthday. My father took this photo in front of their apartment building in 1944. The album page says "201 Clinton Avenue" and pictures of my dad show him in his Navy uniform, so this would be when he was stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

By the time I came along the war was over and they lived in Virginia.

Red Bird on Third

Cardinal on Invisible Point a Third of the Way Into the Frame

If you studied composition you are probably familiar with the rule of thirds. Because of it, I positioned the cardinal a third of the way into the picture. Coincidentally he was facing the same direction on both trees, so his position is the same in both pictures because of another compositional rule I was following called lead room. Actually I'd forgotten what it was called until I looked it up just now but it means to leave extra room in front of the way the subject is facing.

Of course, these rules are not laws, they are more like suggestions designed to avoid static-looking pictures. They are in line with a theory that subjects are more interesting if not centered, but personally I think a centered subject can be quite compelling.

So, fellow photographers: Do you consider the rule of thirds when you compose a picture?

Linking to: Wild Bird Wednesday

September 23, 2014

Three Random Photos

The Good, Random, Fun blog hop provides an excuse for me to post some unrelated photos.

Good: The public library in Strasburg, Virginia (front porch).

Random: Frank's older brother visited a couple of weekends ago. Frank is taller than Bill.

Fun: Canoeists enjoy the Shenandoah River.

September 22, 2014

Mural: Dancing in Bedrock

In Berryville, VA
Linking to: Monday Mural

View from the Avtex Site

Looking Toward Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Mountains
Once an industrial site, the Avtex Superfund Site in Front Royal has finally been pronounced "clean" after 25 years and hundreds of millions of dollars. A huge factory here once produced rayon, including parachute material that was important in World War II.

We dropped by the site on Saturday as a community event took place to celebrate the beginning of a new era for the 440 acres once occupied by the factory and related functions. Their are permanent use restrictions in place because the groundwater may never be pure again, but at least the site is considered safe for business use and it is no longer contaminating the Shenandoah River. (The singing group in the photo is the Sweet Adelines.)

I can remember the smell of the rayon plant! When I was young and we drove to the mountains, there was an awful stench as we approached Front Royal. It smelled like an outhouse and you could smell it for miles! After the factory closed in 1989, the air cleared and the town started to seem like a nice place. Now it's a pleasant town filled with history, tourists, and outdoor activities due to it's location between the mountains and the river.

September 21, 2014

Deer along the Drive

Yesterday we returned to Skyline Drive. Since it is enclosed by Shenandoah National Park, wildlife abounds and can often be seen from the road. 

The deer in the first picture is wearing a radio collar. I posted pictures of deer wearing these collars back in March.

The deer in the second picture was looking out from behind one of the stone walls that line long sections of the road.

Linking to: Camera Critters

September 20, 2014

Lazy Dogs?

Our dogs love going for walks around the lake but sometimes they get tired. When they were younger they didn't need a break but now ... well, we're all getting older, I suppose.

At least the view was pretty!

Linking to: Saturday's Critters

Relaxing by the Lake

FW and DW by the Lake
Frank's sister visited us for two weeks. The time passed so quickly! Here's one of the quieter moments.

Linking to: Scenic Weekends

September 19, 2014

Confederate Soldier, Winchester

In front of the old Court House in Winchester, Virginia stands this memorial to Confederate Soldiers. This seems appropriate to share today, the 150th anniversary of the Third Battle of Winchester, although not everyone in Winchester was a Confederate sympathizer.

Third Winchester, also known as the Battle of Opequon, is not one of the most famous battles of the Civil War but it was a significant Union victory. I've shared several posts about Third Winchester previously.

September 18, 2014

Benny on the Grass

Sign on a Fence

Here's a mystery: There are two signs on this fence. I understand the No Parking sign. After all, this is near a fishing spot on the Shenandoah River and the property owners don't want their driveway blocked with cars and boats. But then on the fence rail, there's a date. Let's take a closer look.

What do you suppose the significance of October 11 of next year is?

Linking to: Signs, Signs