April 30, 2016

Silhouetted Critters

Horses Near Berryville, VA

I saw many fine sights this week while doing the garden tours. These happened to come out as silhouettes.

Can you spot the small bird in this tree?

Preston Lake near Harrisonburg, VA

April 29, 2016

April Flowers, Historic Garden Week

Since Saturday I've been showing photos of Garden Week tours so it's about time I showed some flowers. It's tulip time in Virginia so we'll start with those and then move on to some other species.

Sharing with Today's Flowers and My Town Shoot-Out and Orange You Glad It's Friday

April 28, 2016

Masked Mare and Her Colt

Near Rectortown, Virginia

I believe what mom is wearing is called a fly mask. It is light enough that she can see through it while offering protection against insects. 

April 26, 2016

Sculpture of Sir Barton, Triple Crown Winner

Garden Treasures Near Millwood

Clarke County, Virginia

The Good: The first home (estate actually!) that I visited on the garden tour had this lovely conservatory. As you can see, plants are thriving both inside and outside.

The Random: I like this planter!

The Fun: An indoor pool in it's own building looks very inviting!

April 25, 2016

The Good Life in Farm Country

The garden tours near Millwood took me through prosperous horse country. These springtime scenes include some barns for Tom's Barn Collection, and I'm also linking to Seasons.

This chimney is not an old remnant of a house chimney. It's a modern structure built specifically to provide a home for birds: chimney swifts!

April 23, 2016

Horses Near Millwood

Today I visited some Clark County estates that were open for Historic Garden Week tours. I was delighted to see horses! This part of Virginia has many horse farms.

Horses are intelligent, and they made me feel a little guilty for not bringing them treats.

Sharing with Saturday's Critters

April 22, 2016

Five for Friday on Marie's Birthday

Here is it Friday again (already!) so I'm using the Willy Nilly Friday format for current topics and some linkups, starting with:
1. It's my younger daughter's birthday! Happy Marie Day! Marie started out as a well-behaved baby and turned into a fine young woman. She works very hard in a responsible position in the comic book industry and has traveled around the world on her own more than once. You can read about those adventures on Marie's World Tour.

2. Speaking of adventure, I ran into some hikers up on Skyline Drive. The gentlemen in the photo are Rambo and Stormy. That's their trail names, nicknames acquired by hiking the Appalachian Trail.
The younger man is a through-hiker on his way from Georgia to Maine. He is hiking about 23 miles a day here in Shenandoah National Park. He was one of three hikers "rescued" from a forest fire, although he says they were not in danger at the time that the ranger met them and escorted them away from the part of the park that was closed due to the fire. He said he had passed over an area where there were ashes and could smell smoke!

And yes, kilts are now in style for hiking. I've noticed other hikers wearing them.

3. There is so much going on this weekend, I had to choose from several appealing events.  My plan is to do some Garden Week Tours.

4. We had our spare lot surveyed with the idea of selling it. But first it has to be certified for septic because we don't have public sewer here. It's waterfront and should make a spectacular home site.

5. This is one of the cats that visits our yard regularly. I altered his portrait in Photoshop for Feline Art Friday.  Meow!
Have a fun weekend! 

A Quote from Thoreau

"A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature."  ~ Henry David Thoreau

April 21, 2016

Happy Birthday, John Muir!

John Muir was a naturalist and writer who lived from April 21, 1838 to December 24, 1914. His books on wilderness are still read and loved. He founded the Sierra Club and helped preserve Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park.

I saw this poster quoting Muir in Shenandoah National Park. The National Park Service, by the way, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

I took these pictures at Dickey Ridge in SNP.

The deer has a radio transmitter, part of a park service study of their movements, which may become essential if chronic wasting disease reaches Shenandoah.

Earth Day is tomorrow so let's remember to appreciate the wonders of nature!

April 20, 2016

Shooting Splashing Water

A couple of times I've seen a fire truck empty a hose over the lake. I don't know whether it's a testing procedure or some other part of maintenance. I got some cool pictures though!