November 30, 2017

November 5th, Rappahannock County

Near Flint Hill, VA.
Near the village of Washington, VA

November 29, 2017

New Monument on Newly Preserved Land

A new monument now stands at the trail head of the West Woods on Third Winchester Battlefield. This is on recently-preserved land that's near a busy shopping center and directly across from the Town Place Suites by Marriott, so there was a sense of urgency for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation to get this 28.5 acre parcel purchased and out of the path of development.

 The reflection on the monument is of the hotel. If you want to visit this site, it's on Getty Lane.

Even though this is brand new, the wording is old-fashioned, starting out "North Carolina remembers and honors her gallant sons who fought in defense of home and country in the Army of the Valley District commanded by Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early at the Battle of Third Winchester Sept. 19 1864."

In case you are not familiar with this battle (sometimes called the Battle of Opequon), it was large (involving 54, 440 soldiers), intense, and a Union victory.

 The rear of the monument is inscribed with names of units from North Carolina that were present at Third Winchester. They were in divisions headed by Ramseur, Rodes, and Wharton.

Major General Rodes, by the way, was killed in this battle and Wharton was wounded. A month later, Ramseur was mortally wounded at Cedar Creek.

This memorial was created before the controversy over Civil War monuments became violent in Charlottesville this August. Perhaps the people behind the design would think twice about displaying the Confederate flag if they were planning it today. Personally I feel the flag detracts from the purpose of this stone, which is to honor people who risked all for their communities. While they may have been mistaken in believing they represented what is right, I think they felt strong loyalty to their families and localities, and certainly they served bravely.

Monuments can have their place. This one is educational for passers-by who might otherwise not know that a significant battle took place here, and will be useful for descendants of North Carolina soldiers who fought here.  Personally I support markers for historical places, although I can't defend hero-worship monuments that stand in places where that person never was. Localities have the right to look at their own monuments and figure out whether they represent accurate history.

A paved trail leads from this monument into the West Woods. I did not follow it but I have explored other trails on the Third Winchester Battlefield. Preservation of battlefield lands in Winchester has done as much for citizens seeking trails and green space as it has for history buffs. Civil War historians may have led the charge to save these lands from development, but the benefits include recreation and wildlife habitat.

November 27, 2017

Late November Randoms

The Good: The Lighting of the Murals was held November 18 in Strasburg. The town's various murals were lit by floodlights and people strolled around enjoying them. 

Sharing with Monday Murals
In addition to this deer mural on Fort Street, there's one by Nick D'Auria, the maze mural across from the library, a family painting near the Emporium, and a double mural.

The Random: I made four trips to Dulles over Thanksgiving weekend. Frank flew out to Tacoma to visit his daughter's family, and Marie came here. Dulles Airport, of course, was a very busy place.

The Fun: Recently we stopped by the Highland Festival in Kernstown. It was too cold to stay very long but it was interesting to see the traditional Scottish games.

Sharing with Mosaic Monday

November 26, 2017

The New Macedonia Church

Three weeks ago I posted photos of the old Macedonia Church near Stephen's City. This is the nearby sanctuary where services are now held.

November 25, 2017

I'm Filling the Feeders Again.

We've had some really cold weather and I'm hopeful that our local bears have gone into hibernation, or actually the semi-hibernation that they find comfortable in our forests. Bears are attracted to bird feeders and I've had a couple of feeders destroyed by them in past years.

On the day before Thanksgiving, I put up a feeder for goldfinches. Since then I've added a few others and the birds are enjoying them.
Sharing with Saturday Critters and The Bird D'Pot

Blue Jay

Red Bellied Woodpecker

November 24, 2017

It's Friday (Seems Like Saturday)

It doesn't seem like Friday night because yesterday was a holiday, plus the past couple of days have been so busy that they blur together in my mind. Well, here are five pictures mostly from today. The fifth one is from a few days ago, taken in a supermarket parking lot as I got ready for Thanksgiving.

Tanya has left her blog hop open so I'm joining there and to a few others, starting with Black and White Weekend and Weekend Reflections.

1. The entrance road to our community was blocked by animals as I tried to drive home. Cats, ducks and geese were congregating because they knew a neighbor was coming to feed them. I had to get out of the car and chase a cat out of the road so that I could proceed! A short distance later I stopped and grabbed a shot of a goose and duck hurrying towards the gravel beach to get their share of corn.

2. I drove Marie to the Metro station in Reston this morning. I convinced her to pose there because I wasn't satisfied with the pictures I took of her yesterday. Here she holds the handle of her rolling suitcase.

3. I did a little shopping near there. I was hoping to find some comfortable shoes at a shop on Elden Street but that did not work out. However, I did purchase some things at a nearby pet store and at Mom's (My Organic Market). I was a little surprised by the sign about cartoon characters.

4. Speaking of signs, I spotted this one at the rest area on I-66. Our state's slogan is "Virginia is for Lovers."

5. Finally, here's a sunset viewed from Strasburg.
Sharing with Skywatch and Orange You Glad It's Friday.

November 23, 2017

It's Thanksgiving and Lynn's Birthday, 2017

Marie flew in last night and Lynn drove down today so we had a nice Thanksgiving meal together.  Neither likes getting her picture taken so they pose rather reluctantly.

This year Thanksgiving happens to fall on Lynn's birthday so we celebrated that too. Happy birthday,  Lynn!

November 22, 2017

A Collage of Thanksgivings Past

Wishing You a Warm and Pleasant Holiday.

November 21, 2017

The Sad Sonner House

On Queen Street in Strasburg, VA.

This historic house needs work. The log wall on one side desperately needs repair. I assume this will be costly because the house is for sale "as is" at a low price.

 I've seen the interior and it's impressive. Most rooms look historic; some have log walls! 
"The back wing of this log house was built in 1757 by Johann Sonner. Shenandoah County's first census lists three souls and a dwelling here. His son John, who was "Judge of the High Court of Appeals", build a two-story log house beside it in 1820 and the two buildings were joined n 1834. Part of the building, now a dining room once served as a turnpike toll booth. Restoration began in 1980 when weatherboarding was placed to protect the original log structure."

November 20, 2017

The Gathering

In Berryville, Virginia.

This event celebrating Native American Culture took place a month ago. It was so colorful I took dozens of photos and then couldn't face paring them down to a few for a blog post. But I don't want to neglect the event, so here are some favorites.

The Gathering is a harvest festival with plenty of dancing, ranging from a couples dance to a dramatic piece that represented the Battle of Big Horn.

Click Image to See a Larger Version.

The Gathering was hosted by Sanctuary on the Trail which is in nearby Bluemont. We visited there a year ago on a studio tour. 
Sharing with Mosaic Monday and Seasons.

November 19, 2017

The Views Around Harrisville

Shenandoah County, VA.

St. John's United Church of Christ, Harrisville. 

On Friday I took Flash to the vet for his rabies shot. I like to explore the side roads and found myself on Harrisville Road as the sun got low in the sky.

The church has a nice mountain view.  In the vertical shot, we see the road climbing to cross Interstate 81.

By the time I reached the Valley Pike, the light was fading. 

November 18, 2017

Since It is the Weekend...

1. Since I want to join the Black and White Weekend blog hop, let me begin this post with two deer in monochrome. I saw them in Shenandoah National Park.

2. Since it is less than a week until Thanksgiving, here's a big turkey to look at.

3. Since Saturday's Critters and The Bird D'Pot are open for links, here are some nice-looking ducks.

4. Since I haven't shown you Flash in a while, here he is looking up from a nap.

He is doing pretty well considering he has a heart condition. He loves it when we save him a bit of hamburger!

November 17, 2017

Four Cell Phone Photos and One Complaint

1. On Tuesday I met Lynn for lunch in Harrisonburg. Our plan was to meet at Bob Evans Restaurant but it was closed. So we went to the nearby mall and ate at Country Cookin'.

2. This is a picture I snapped with my phone while touring an art studio near Flint Hill a few weeks ago. I was trying to show the lines of trees but reflections of the room lights showed up. Let's call them special effects!

Sharing with Weekend Reflection

3. I was at Samuels Library and was surprised to find The True Believer among the new books. I read this book when I was in high school and it made quite an impression on me. Subtitled Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, the book remains topical even though it was first published in 1951. Highly recommended.

Sharing with Orange You Glad It's Friday
4. We were in Harper's Ferry last weekend and the bluegrass band was playing in a shop.They sounded good!

5. This final image is the non-cellphone one. It's a reminder that I typed over a photo that I took some time ago.

We've been working on figuring out which medicare plan is the wisest choice for 2018. I'm not thrilled with Humana Medicare Advantage so I want to change, perhaps to the plan I had in 2016. Going through all the options and prices is about as easy as doing income tax when you itemize! (In other words, it's difficult and unrewarding. You may as well throw a dart at a chart!) 

Have a good weekend!