October 31, 2016

Halloween Surprises

October is over already! I have a bunch of pictures for Halloween so here we go, using the Random-osity format.

The Good:  When I spotted this farm near Kernstown and pulled over to take a picture, I was pleased to see they were open to the public. I thought perhaps it was a pumpkin patch, but it turned out that they sell organic items. 
Hedgebrook Farm
We drove up the lane to take a closer look and I was delighted to see murals on the barns!

There was even a giant apple painted with farm pictures! The nearby city of Winchester has a parade of apples — giant ones painted with different symbols.

The Random: Here's a really old snapshot I found today from when my daughters were kids.

The Fun: Halloween is a fun holiday for most folks and one thing that has surprised me in recent years is how intensely people are decorating for it. The town of Woodstock (VA) has a pumpkin head competition and some local businesses and even public services have gone all out!

I made up a collage to show many of these in a small space. Click on it to see a larger version.

Here's one more collage of some miscellaneous pictures. By the way, we didn't have any trick-or-treaters again this year. There are kids in the neighborhood but their parents take them to organized events.

October 30, 2016

Witch or What?

I saw this in Woodstock, Virginia. Folks there have been decorating for Halloween, mostly with pumpkin-headed figures. This one is different ... I have mixed feelings about dressing a sculpture but Halloween is all about weirdness anyway.

A Church in Lebanon Church

Lebanon Church is a small town in Shenandoah County. Perhaps you have seen a highway sign showing that it is west of Strasburg and I-81. It's on a hill along VA-55, also called the John Marshall Highway. We pass it on the way to Wardensville, WV.

I don't know if this is the church that gave the town it's name. This is a Lutheran Church.

October 29, 2016

More Scenes Along Skyline Drive

Mary's Rock Tunnel

Vultures are not pretty when seen close-up but they can soar beautifully. Many people find these large birds creepy not only because of their appearance but because they eat road kill. However, wildlife experts point out that they serve us by disposing of carrion. They are a protected species. I like watching them float along on the winds.

A Dog Walks his Owner on Dickey Ridge

I also like seeing deer and there are plenty of them in Shenandoah National Park. Sometimes you see them along Skyline Drive, and usually you can view them by walking in Big Meadows in the central section of the park. Unfortunately deer are now threatened by a progressive disease called chronic wasting disease. The park has a management plan in place and the state game commission is publicizing precautions for hunters.

October 28, 2016

Five for Late October

October is almost over already! I've got 5 seasonal pictures for Willy Nilly Friday and some other blog hops. 

1. I found these decorations at a local landscaping company. Halloween is the topic for this week's My Town Shootout. Also, the pumpkins qualify this image for Orange You Glad It's Friday.

2. Foliage is changing colors later than usual this year. Although the mountains are ablaze with color, lower elevations are still predominately green. I'd say autumn is a week late this year. I am trying not to worry too much about how climate change will affect us. I have emergency supplies, of course, for a short but violent storm. But if crops eventually fail and water supplies are depleted, there may be no way we can prepare enough.
Friday Greens

3. I saw this figure at an art show. She represents one of the suffragettes who fought for the right of women to vote. There is still plenty of opposition to women having power out there.

4. Below is one of our dogwood trees, which just changed color a few days ago. It looks glorious!

5. Autumn is the time that trees bear nuts. Here some have landed on a parking lot. When I drove over them, they cracked with a loud noise.

Have a good weekend!

October 27, 2016

Views in Stephens City and Nearby

Founded in the 1730s, Stephens City has had several names including New Town. Not so much as city as a town surrounded by subdivisions and farms, Stephens City has a historic district along the Valley Pike (US 11). It also hosts tourist facilities at an exit on I-81.

Sharing with Good Fences and Skywatch

October 25, 2016

Lagrange Farm

I'm using the Random-osity format tonight but this time I'm posting two photos for each of the three categories.

The Good: It was a privilege to be able to visit this beautiful farm in Stephens City. I've admired the stone house on the hill when passing it on the Valley Pike, so I was pleased to visit the grounds on Saturday. Lagrange dates to around 1780 and witnessed action in the Civil War.

Sharing with Tuesday Treasures

The Random: The tour was part of a Civil War seminar at Lord Fairfax Community College. Our professor was Jonathan Noyalas (far right), and I have taken a number of his day-long classes. He'll be leaving the community college soon to take a position at nearby Shenandoah University.

The topic was "Sigel and Hunter in the Lower Shenandoah Valley, Spring 1864." After a lecture at LFCC, we visited several sites in Winchester and a few other sites in Stephens City. However, Lagrange was a highlight for me since it is a beautiful place. Note the fine barn (below).

Sharing with The Barn Collective
The Fun: My classmates turned out to be a fine group of people! I enjoyed chatting with them. Several were folks I recognized from previous classes and events.

It was a beautiful day except for some strong winds.

[From the class description: "A morning lecture at Lord Fairfax Community College’s Middletown Campus will ably set the stage for an afternoon carpool tour of sites between Winchester and Stephens City which will examine the Union presence in Frederick County, irregular operations, and efforts of Union Gen. David Hunter to burn civilians’ homes in order to control increased activity from Confederate irregulars and bushwhackers. Sites visited include site of Sigel’s headquarters at Hollingsworth’s Mill, site of the Market House in Winchester, Hull’s Store, Locust Hill, Oliver M. Brown house, Rev. Dr. Andrew H.H. Boyd house, McLeod’s Hill, and Stephens Run as well as other sites."]

Lavender and Lines

October 24, 2016

Reposting Jewell Hollow Photos

I've had internet and phone problems today. This afternoon I got so frustrated with Comcast and Consumer Cellular that I stormed out. After a few errands, I went to the library, checked my email, and posted to my blog from my iPad. Ha, that's what I thought! Now I check and the post is not there, even as a draft. So I am reposting these photos, taken yesterday on Skyline Drive.

Meanwhile, we still don't have wifi! Frank's PC is hardwired to the internet so right now I am posting from it.

If anyone cares, my troubles started with a new cell phone. Or perhaps before that, when my husband and Comcast (Xfinity) changed our wifi password a couple months ago. Anyway, after a long struggle in getting my cell phone set up (partly due to long delays reaching Consumer Cellular, our carrier which USED to have good customer service), I tried to connect it to our wifi. I needed the password but Frank had not written it down and neither of us could recall it. (I had the former password but not the current one.) We called Comcast (more holding) and they eventually answered and said to change the password online. We did. But the new password does not work. Now none of our wireless devices work! And each time you try and it doesn't work, you have to tell the phone (Android) to "forget" the network, turn the phone off and back on and start over.

After I got back from the library and had dinner, I tried again. Called Consumer Cellular for help, held for almost a half hour, got advice which didn't work, went back into our Xfinity account, changed the password again, tried it on both my phone and Frank's phone but... it still doesn't work!

Sometimes I hate technology and wish I could just live in the mountains like a hermit! But most of my friends are online. I'll try again. Maybe I'll get my daughter to help, except I think she is off camping in the mountains. Sigh!

Sharing with Through My Lens and Seasons

October 23, 2016

Two Black and Whites from a Week Ago

This first image is from a store display. Sometimes I'm attracted by glittering things! I'm sharing this with Black and White Weekend.

The second shot shows a modest church along US 522 in West Virginia. It's called the New Vision Baptist Church. I'm sharing it with Inspired Sunday.

October 22, 2016

Two Feathered, Two Furry

Tufted titmouse, White-tailed deer, Vulture, and Flash giving me that look: "Taking pictures again?!"

October 21, 2016

Colorful Friday Five

Willy Nilly Friday
1. Yesterday we drove up to Skyline Drive to see autumn color. We went by way of Sperryville and entered from Route 211. If you go this weekend, I recommend using that entrance or either of the ones south of there because the northern (Front Royal) gate gets so much traffic on October weekends.

2. Near the northern end of Skyline Drive is Dickey Ridge Visitor Center. Stop by to see quilt art with a National Parks theme. 

3. This cutie was for sale in the gift shop. It reminds me of my friend, Ranger Shannon.

4. Below is a little creek in George Washington National Forest. This spot is across Mine Mountain Road from the iron furnace I showed on Tuesday.

5. This final shot shows a view of the lake at Cacapon Resort State Park. The name Cacapon comes from a Shawnee word meaning "medicine waters."

October 20, 2016

Good Fences of Fort Valley

Fort Valley is a pretty place hidden between the mountains of the Massanutten Range.

I'm sharing this post with TexWisGirl's fence linkup at the Run-a-Round-Ranch.