July 15, 2018

Joppa Church and Rural Scenes

Fort Valley, Virginia.

I misidentified this building as a school the other day. Sorry for the error! A friend informed me that it is Joppa Christian Church, and sure enough, I found it on Google Maps with that name. It was built in 1855. This is a slightly different view from the one I posted three days ago. 

Sharing with InSpired Sunday.
Now let's look at more of the countryside nearby. There are so many barns that I have some pictures left over for another day, and I did not even photograph them all.

Shadow Shot Sunday.

July 14, 2018

Birds and My Great Pup.

Well, here it is Saturday again and I want to link up with Eileen's blog hop as well as Anni's Bird D'Pot.  I'm starting off with a robin and a Carolina Wren.

Next we see Flash resting on the deck. He does a lot of resting these days. I'm showing him off at Pet Parade.

The cardinal didn't sit on the rail for long. Fortunately he hopped down to the birdbath where I got a closer look at him.       

July 13, 2018

Staycation All the Time

One of my photography friends challenged me to post "staycation" pictures showing ideas for a vacation consisting of day trips close to home. It's pretty easy when you live in the mountain-valley region of Virginia and I could list dozens of places but I'm just choosing five for Willy Nilly Friday so I'm selecting places that are really close by.

1. Shenandoah National Park, of course. It's only half an hour from home and the views are spectacular!
Sharing with Floral Friday
2. George Washington National Forest is so close you could walk there (if you were in better shape than I). This black and white image shows the suspension bridge that crosses Passage Creek.

3. The Shenandoah River is so close even I can walk there from my home. The spot where I took this picture is farther away though, down behind Walmart in Front Royal.
Weekend Reflections.
4. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in Middletown. I went on a History at Sunset tour this evening and made it there in 20 minutes.

5. Last but not least, my own neighborhood. We have some great views as well as a lake and river access. This happens to be a sunset I snapped a couple of days ago.
Sharing with Skywatch and Orange You Glad It's Friday.

July 12, 2018

Views from an Old Store to an Old School.

Fort Valley, Virginia. 

Yesterday I took some pictures along St. David's Church Road, starting with its intersection at Old Store Road.

July 11, 2018

Geese and Other Birds in My Yard.

Canada Geese.

A redwing blackbird was at the edge of the lake minding her own business, when another bird of the same species hopped up and jumped on her. I wasn't shooting video so you'll have to take my word for it. 

Our Carolina Wrens have been singing prettily. Sweet birds!

Finches are raising babies in a birdhouse over our deck. They don't like me to get close; I use a zoom to get their pictures or crop the image, sometimes both.

July 10, 2018

Grata Hemingway Morton

This photograph of Grata Morton was among the items my Aunt Clarice gave me some years ago. Grata was my dad's grandmother on his mother's side.

Genealogy information on the internet gives her birthdate as 21-February-1857. Although this photo looks like it could be fairly modern, it is from before my time, for she died in 1944.

Grata's maiden name was Hemingway and sources say she was descended from Ralph Hemenway who came to Massachusetts from England in or before 1633. He apparently came as an indentured servant and later did well and became a landowner. (Spelling was rather optional in those days but in our branch of the family, the name became Hemingway.)

Among the numerous other descendants of Ralph Hemenway are Presidents Taft and Nixon and famed writer Ernest Hemingway.

I can't be sure my internet sources will remain standing so I'm putting these notes here. The Ralph Hemenway genealogy is available as a book.

P.S. This is blog post #6,400! I've been blogging since June of 2005.

Sharing with Tuesday Treasures.

July 9, 2018

Afternoon Random-osity

The Good: Strasburg has another new mural! This one is up high and I could not find a vantage point where I could show the entire thing. Also the afternoon light placed it in shadow, so I need to go back early in the day to get a picture when the sunlight is on it.

In order to show you the bright colors, here is a partial view I took while artists Jessie and Katey were still working on it. 

Sharing with Monday Murals
The Random: These are scenes from the charming village of Fishers Hill, which is just south of Strasburg. 
Mosaic Monday and The Barn Collective.
The Fun: Seeing a bear in the wild is exciting! This one was strolling at the Mary's Rock Tunnel Overlook in Shenandoah National Park. I only got one shot before he disappeared down the other side of the wall. I resisted the temptation to get out of the car and look for him. Bears don't like photographers!

He looked mangy, poor thing. I was disappointed that he had turned his head away, but at least I got a picture this time. Several other times I saw a bear walking along one of the stone walls and did not get the car stopped in time to take a photo. They move off into the brush pretty quickly.

July 8, 2018

Long Branch Baptist Church

This limestone church stands on a hill in the small town of Halfway, Virginia. The town is so named because it is halfway between Middleburg and The Plains.

July 7, 2018

Sweet Summer Critters

Let's start with a black and white image of some geese and then look at a gray squirrel.

The little wren was singing prettily. I took his picture on Thursday. Yesterday the big post he was on was removed, one of the final steps in clearing out the area where our above-ground pool had sat for years. I need to find another perch for the birds that I can view from my window.

Next are some farm animals we saw near Reliance, followed by a rabbit in our back yard. 

I missed several pictures of this catbird today because he kept hopping forward.

The final bird has a mouth full of food for baby birds. I retreated after taking the picture because I could hear the babies chirping in a bird house nearby and I didn't want to scare off the parent.

July 6, 2018

Five for Friday: At Home.

 1. We had a nice sunset tonight. A friend mentioned it on Facebook so I walked out to the lake with my camera. This image works for 3 blog hops: Weekend Reflections, Skywatch, and Orange You Glad It's Friday.

2. I haven't done much gardening this year but our bulbs bloomed nicely. These are lilies and I'm sharing them with Floral Friday.

3. Flash is slow in his old age. He likes a short walk in the morning and then sleeps most of the day. He perks up a bit in the evening but sometimes doesn't get hungry until really late. Here he's on the deck posing for the Pet Parade.

4. Our pool is gone! I'll miss it on hot days and it was good for exercise, but the liner needed to be replaced, and we just couldn't justify the expense considering how little we used it. We had to pay Chip and Mike to dismantle it and haul it away, which turned out to be a huge job. The wooden frame and decking was solidly built and took days to take apart.

In the photo we see the work was almost done. They still had to clean up some debris including a very old car-top carrier that previous occupants had stored under the deck. We are left with an improved view and more sand than we know what to do with!

5. The final picture was two nights ago just after the sun went down. A storm had just passed and fog hung over the mountains.

Have a good weekend!

July 5, 2018

Rural Scenes, Frederick County

Frederick County is Virginia's northernmost county (not to be confused with Frederick County, Maryland, which is not far away). It has many farms but also small towns and sprawling suburbs  adjacent to the city of Winchester.

Kline's Mill, Built in 1794.