May 31, 2015

Views of Mt. Olive

small town with church
Mt. Olive, Virginia

Mt. Olive is a small town in Shenandoah County. The sign in front of the church says "Mt Olive United Methodist Church. Under Same Management for Over 2000 Years."

Here's another view of the town taken farther back than the first picture and looking slightly to the left. In the distance we see the Massanutten Mountains.

May 29, 2015

Sunset with My First Canon

These are images from the first session with my new pocket-size camera, a Canon PowerShot G16. My old Nikon P6000 has been having exposure problems for a while and since I've already had it repaired several times,  I decided to get a newer camera. I particularly wanted a small model with a viewfinder and they are getting hard to find. I finally found a few that I liked at Crutchfield in Harrisonburg. I decided on the Canon because it has features I liked in my old camera and it was within my budget. 

I'm pleased with it so far. It's my first non-Nikon camera in years, but my last Nikon purchase, a P510, was a real disappointment. It is very erratic in focusing and when I sent it in for service, Nikon said there was nothing wrong with it. So... I still use it for shots from my window (mostly of birds) since the zoom is powerful and the images are usually not important.  But I gave it only 2 stars on Amazon (out of 5) and explained the problems in my review. 

May 28, 2015

Turtle in the Yard

Rockland Park is Now Open!

rail fence and signWarren County has a new park! Located between Front Royal and the Inland Port, Rockland Park features picnic facilities, a playground, a disc golf course and trails. Today a ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of phase I of the park.

Plans for future phases of the park include athletic fields and camping facilities.

Park Entrance is at 706 Rockland Road, Front Royal, VA

The Carson Trail winds through the park and connects with the old portion of the trail behind the Front Royal Golf Club. I've been there a number of times to walk along the Shenandoah River, or sometimes just to eat burgers that we bought at the nearby Roy Rogers. (See all Carson Trail posts.)

I'm proud of Warren County for their progress on expanding recreational opportunities, particularly trails. Nearby Shenandoah National Park is a magnet for hikers, but if it's too expensive or you just want to stroll along the river, Warren County offers some lovely trails.

Here's a closer look at the county logo, suggesting the meeting of the two forks of the Shenandoah River and the mountains nearby.

Sharing with Good Fences and Signs, Signs

May 26, 2015

Evening Iris

Do Not Spray...

Railroad Near Waterlick, Virginia

do not spray signJudging by the number of brown branches on the cypress trees, I'd say the sign has not been very effective.

The railroad sprays a defoliant along the tracks to kill weeds. I don't know what chemical they use but it's very effective. I hope it is not damaging to the waterways  because the tracks run near our community lake.

Once I was in a doctor's office and a patient came in who had been sickened by the spray.

Sharing with NF Trees and Bushes

May 25, 2015

Good, Random and Fun, Memorial Day Edition

bucket of small flagsThe Good: A Veteran's Group placed a display of flags at Panorama Memorial Gardens (in Waterlick) for Memorial Day. Here we see a sign offering free flags: Please take a Flag to Honor Your Veteran.

I took a number of pictures there and have put four of them together. (Click the image to open a larger version.)

The Random: I couldn't do justice to this flag mural. I found myself wishing the sun would go behind a cloud to get rid of the shadows from the utility wires. Maybe I'll remember to stop there on a cloudy day. It's in Front Royal and I go there to shop fairly often.

Here's a closer look at that upper star. I like the eagle!

The Fun: On Saturday, I took my older daughter to Wolf Trap Center to see Garrison Keillor and the taping of Prairie Home Companion. Since it was Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Navy's Brass Band played a number of rousing patriotic songs. Keillor and his regulars were very funny, as usual. I often catch their show on the radio on Saturday or Sunday.

Lynn took the first and last pictures in this mosaic. I gave her Frank's ticket because he was visiting his brother who just got out of the hospital.

Ceiling in Black and White

Inside a Gazebo Looking Up

May 24, 2015

Trinity Church in Upperville

Stone church

Trinity Episcopal Church stands along John Mosby Highway (Route 50) in Upperville, Virginia. This beautiful stone building was constructed in the 1950's but the parish dates back to 1842.

The church and associated buildings were a gift to the Parish by two of its members, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon.

Sharing with InSPIREd Sunday

May 23, 2015

Who's in the Martin House?

I believe this is a tree swallow.  Look at that color!

May 22, 2015

Friday's Random Reports

Willy Nilly Friday ~ 5 Random Things

American Flag1. It's Memorial Day Weekend here in the States, so I'm posting a photo of a flag that I took last month. It was outside a store and I was concerned enough about it's sad condition that I asked the clerk about it. She said a wind storm the day before had torn it. They were going to replace it.

At least the flowering tree behind it looked glorious!

2. We no longer have the trusty Montero. Frank sold it online to a buyer in the U.K. and a shipping company picked it up this week. We didn't drive it often because it used more gas than our sedan, but it was handy when we needed 4-wheel drive and when we needed to move furniture.

We bought it back in 2001 after we purchased a vacation home in Bryce Resort. "Monty" was great for navigating mountain roads in the snow except for one time when we got almost 3 feet of snow and even an SUV could not plow through.

3. Frank's brother Bill is recovering from a heart attack so Frank has gone up to Vandergrift to see him. Wouldn't you know we haven't replaced the Montero yet, so we rented a car for Frank to drive.

I decided not to go with him this time. With two dogs (and one of them needing a lot of care!), it is very difficult to travel on short notice. But I sent warm wishes along for strength and recovery.

4. We've had some afternoon showers lately and with them, some fine rainbows. Frank got this shot from the passenger seat of our car while I was driving on I-81.

bird5. This bird spent a day and a half on the non-working fountain in our community lake. Some neighbors got concerned that it was stuck so a couple of men went out towards it on a boat. The bird saw them and flew away!

I think it looks like a cormorant but I don't see many of those around here. As for the fountain, Frank ordered a new pump for it to help aerate the water. I believe the orange bottles were tied on the device so that it wouldn't be hard to find when the new pump arrives.

Modern Signage for the Appalachian Trail

A new informational sign has been installed along the Appalachian Trail at the point where it crosses Route 522 (Remount Road) south of Front Royal. It's going to be dedicated on National Trails Day on June 6, 2015.

This is a civilized-looking stretch of the trail, with a boardwalk crossing the stream that spills out of Lake Front Royal. But don't be fooled; it soon ascends up into the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Next to the trail is a tall chain link fence that marks the boundary of the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute, a zoological research facility. The fence is covered with vines.

Several maps are featured on the new sign, including one showing where you are in relation to the city of Front Royal. Hikers often walk into town from here to stock up on supplies at Stokes General Store or one of the grocery stores. 

Another map shows where you are on the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Maine to Georgia. I've walked small sections of it but many folks have hiked the entire distance of over 2,100 miles!

The QR code for the "Appy Trail" is a modern touch.

I noticed a local inn had posted cards inviting hikers to use their lodging.

The new signs are on the trail just a few steps from a parking lot that's between Harmony Hollow Road and Lake Front Royal.

Sharing with Good Fences

Across the road, the trail heads north.

May 19, 2015


The Trees at Milepost 8

tall trees
Along Skyline Drive

The drive through Shenandoah National Park is delightful even on a cloudy day. These straight trees are near Milepost 8 in the Northern Section of the park.

Sharing with NF Trees and Bushes