June 30, 2015

Randomosity: West Virginia

The Good: Although long considered a nuisance, milkweed has turned out to be an important plant because it plays an important role in the lives of butterflies. It's a tall plant so gardeners usually grow it at the back of a natural-looking garden.  

The Random: Below we have a typical West Virginia scene. If you like farm scenes like this, check out The Barn Collective.

The Fun: This boat launch area on the New River offers pretty views. Unfortunately for my picture, no boaters or fishermen were in sight, probably because the weather forecast said that a storm was on the way. It was, but it didn't reach us until dinner time.

June 29, 2015

Molly Must's Marvelous Marlinton Mural

1st Avenue at 8th Street, Marlinton, WV

This colorful mural is by artist Molly Must. The artist explains that it was "inspired by several local historical writings, particularly those of G.D. McNeill, author of The Last Forest, and also the writings and poetry of his daughter Louise McNeill."

On the upper left is a quote: "This is the place it starts beyond the Allegheny, where the primordial river parts the hill."

Unfortunately I was not able to get the entire mural in one photo because of a tree. You can see other details of this artwork on the artist's website.

  Sharing with Monday Murals

June 28, 2015

Turkey Spur Overlook

view of distant river
New River Gorge, West Virginia
You can drive to this fine view of the gorge in Grandview. A Park Service sign provides a map and trail information. It also tells us that the "unique outcrop" called Turkey Spur may have been named for the turkey vultures which are abundant here.

Also abundant here are rhododendron bushes, which were blooming when we were here a week ago.

Sharing with Today's Flowers

Cliff Over Turkey Spur Trail

In Grandview Park at New River Gorge National River, West Virginia

June 27, 2015

Along the Turkey Spur Trail

This is another short trail at Grandview. It connects Turkey Spur Overlook with a viewing structure. Even from the parking lot you get a nice view.

See all my Grandview posts.

Sharing with Sepia Saturday

Grandview's Tunnel Trail

This is my third post about Grandview in West Virginia. It's incredibly scenic!

A man at the main overlook recommended the Tunnel Trail, a short but interesting trail that goes from the overlook area to the ball field. From there you can see the parking lot and walk back to your car. The "tunnel" is apparently not open at present but there are passageways where you can walk between the rocks.

See the Park Service page on Grandview Trails.

June 26, 2015

Colors and Themes

These photos are from Grandview in West Virginia. We were in this beautiful park on a pretty morning, and I took more pictures than I can possibly post. Here I'm focusing on colors and linking to a few relevant memes, starting with a blue sky and Skywatch Friday.

Next we have some green plants growing through cracks between layers of rocks. We were on the Tunnel Trail, which would be a good place to have a geologist along to discuss the rock formations.

Thank you to the young lady for wearing a red shirt! Red never fails to brighten an image and draw the eye. Some photographers dress their children in red or carry a red jacket for their spouse to wear in photos. And red happens to be the theme that Mersad chose  for this week's My Town Shoot Out.

I don't know this person but she was taking a picture while I was taking a picture of her.

We saw a bright shiny motorcycle in the parking lot. It's orange paint qualifies it for a spot on Orange You Glad It's Friday.

I was pleased to see pink rhododendron blooming in the park. The plants are often tall enough that the flowers are at eye-level.  They always seemed a bit magical to me.

Sharing with Scenic Weekends

June 25, 2015

The Spectacular View at Grandview

Grandview is not far from Beckley, West Virginia. I hadn't heard of it until recently although I have been to Hawk's Nest State Park which also overlooks the New River Gorge. Remembering that Hawk's Nest has spectacular views, I eagerly looked up Grandview and put it on my list of places to see.

Grandview used to be a West Virginia State Park but in 1990 it was adopted by the National Park Service as part of the New River Gorge National River. It is a day use area (no camping) featuring trails and spectacular views of the gorge.

This overlook is only a short walk from the Visitors Center. I was delighted to hear a train below us. It stopped at a small town in the gorge.

Sharing with Good Fences

Main Street Marlinton

In Pocahontas County, West Virginia

Restored Train Station
Main Street
Rails to Trails

I was a little startled by the sign on this dump truck, but I saw that it belongs to a paving company. Apparently it hauls gravel.

Sharing with Signs, Signs

June 23, 2015

A Random Roadside Attraction

churchWe spent the weekend in West Virginia and I've got many images to share once I edit them down to a manageable number. For this post I'm showing a number of pictures from one single and unexpected stop along the road.

We were heading north from Marlinton on WV 39. Another car was behind us and we wanted to travel at a leisurely pace so I suggested to Frank that he pull off at a church so the other driver could pass us. It turned out that the church I spotted was abandoned with no apparent parking space so he drove a little ways down a side road until we found a small parking lot where we could turn around.

But what was this? We were seeing a facsimile of a western town, with miniature buildings and cut-out silhouettes of horses and cows and cowboys! A sign invited us to browse and another one said "Mustard Seed Ranch." So we got out and looked around! No one was there except the wooden cut-outs people.

Who built this place and why? I did not find out. There's a mention of it on an old news page as the location for some festival event but that's all I found.

I'm sharing this with Good, Random and Fun because it was all that. Also I'm linking to The Backroads Traveler and showing a better view of the (real) barn behind the "ranch" for his Barn Collective.

Here's the front door of the Huntersville Presbyterian Church, established in 1854 but now in disrepair. And below is a photo I took of the dashboard display showing the location of the little ranch so that if you find yourself the area you can stop and see it for yourself. Even though Huntersville is a small town, it's not far from Watoga State Park, Droop Mountain Battlefield, and the Greenbrier River.

June 22, 2015

Counterfront Mural

painting of mountain scenery

I saw this artistic mountain scene decorating the front of the sales counter in the Pocahontas County Artisan Co-op Gallery.

Sharing with Monday Murals

June 21, 2015

Picnic in Shenandoah National Park, 1947

This is from one of my parents' old photo albums. It shows my grandfather, my aunt, my older sister, my brother Rick, me (in a basket!), and my father (reaching down toward me). I assume my mom took this photo.

We often went places on weekends, and Shenandoah National Park was one of my favorites. Now I live fairly close to it and visit there frequently.

The only folks in this photo who are still around are my brother and me. Inevitably our loved ones leave our world and we miss them, although they live on in our memories. Today was Fathers Day. I hope it was a nice one for you.

Sharing with Sundays in My City