February 28, 2018

Birds Large and Small

Canada Geese.

Vultures in Trees.
Sharing with Cathy's and Stewart's Blog Hops.

February 27, 2018

Two Versions of a Barn

In Fort Valley, Virginia.

February 26, 2018

Late February Random-osity

The Good: I met Lynn (my older daughter) for lunch in Harrisonburg on Friday. It's always nice to see her! She is doing okay, although she has another surgery scheduled for Wednesday. She had severe side-effects from the radiation that she had after cancer surgery. One of her friends made a fundraising page  and 38 people have made contributions. Fortunately, the cancer appears to be gone. 

The Random: Daffodils are blooming in Harrisonburg! They are early, but temperatures have been mild, so seasons are mixed up.

Today I saw forsythia blooming in Woodstock.

The Fun: I checked the memory card from the trail cam.

Most of the images were just moving branches or birds, but a few other animals showed up. My favorite was a small deer at night. Since the picture was very grainy, I added a couple of filters.

I made a Photo Collage of some of the other images. Looks like the black cat is a regular visitor to our yard! I already knew the geese came through, and of course some squirrels raid the bird feeders just about every day.
Sharing with Mosaic Monday.

February 25, 2018

Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Boyce

There are many churches named Mount Zion, after the hill in Jerusalem. This one is on Route 340 in the small town of Boyce, Virginia.

February 24, 2018

Birds and Surprises

One day I took Flash out on the deck so he could keep me company while I filled the bird feeders. I was surprised to see this cat watching me on the lower level of the deck. I almost walked right past him without seeing him because he was very still. But as soon as I took his picture, he ran away. (Yes, I often carry my camera when I feed the birds. Sometimes they hang around nearby.)

I think this is a feral cat. There are a bunch of them around because a couple of neighbors feed them. Flash was quite fascinated by the cat and watched for a while after he disappeared.
Sharing with Black and White Weekend and Caturday.

Usually I take more than one picture of each subject, just in case one is blurred or another one looks better in some way. This bird flew away as I clicked the shutter for another shot.

Next we have a little goldfinch. I was glad to catch him posing on a branch. Usually I just photograph them on a feeder. They eat a lot of seed!

The downy woodpeckers like suet rather than seed.

A family of geese visit my yard every day. The neighborhood lake is home to several kinds of geese and ducks.

This squirrel was scarfing down some sunflower seed the other day. When I looked outside this morning, this feeder lay broken on the ground, and a suet cake was also on the grass. Did the squirrel do that, or was it something bigger? Well, I wouldn't put it past the squirrel, but he doesn't like my suet because it is seasoned with red pepper. So it's possible that the guilty party was something else, like a bear! It has happened a couple of times before, and the weather has been mild enough that the bears may be out of their winter dens.

February 23, 2018

Man Working

When I was at Shenandoah River State Park yesterday, almost nobody was there. I did see a few people working though, clearing away an area for something.

February 22, 2018

Fish Trap River Access, Shenandoah River

Shenandoah River State Park

This morning I had an appointment in Front Royal, and afterward I bought a salad at Martins and took it to the state park for a quiet lunch. Almost no one was there, as it was a chilly and cloudy day. I ate in the car and then walked through a picnic area down to the river.

I found steps leading to the river at the "Fish Trap River Access." I've read about the fish traps in a guide for boaters on the Shenandoah. These traps are rock dams utilized by Native Americans who built fish weirs of rocks and branches, which slowed the movement of fish so that they could be easily speared, or even scooped up into a basket.

Archaeological evidence has shown that Paleo-Indians excavated jasper and crafted arrowheads in this area over 10,000 years ago! They probably returned to the river every spring to fish.

Most fish traps were partially removed to facilitate commerce back when the Shenandoah was used as a highway for moving goods, which was seasonal because often the river is too low for even a flat boat.

Shenandoah River State Park is open year-round, even when Skyline Drive in the mountains above it is closed. There is a small entrance fee, worth paying even if all you do is look at the view from Cullers Overlook. But come down to the river too!

February 21, 2018

Backyard Birds, Warren County, VA

We are in the midst of an unseasonably warm spell. If it doesn't cool down soon, I need to consider whether to keep feeding the birds. The seed and suet can attract bears, and they will destroy the feeders and perhaps tear into the trash.

For now I am still seeing plenty of birds, especially around the feeders. Here we see some sparrows, a gold finch, a red-bellied woodpecker, a male cardinal, and Canada geese. The geese would be around even if I don't feed them because people do so on the other side of the lake.

Sharing with Not So Wordless and Wild Bird Wednesday,

February 20, 2018

Historic Winchester and Starry Flash.


The Good: There's a monument to Major General Daniel Morgan in Winchester, VA. Morgan settled near Winchester in 1753 and went on to become a hero in the American Revolution.

There are several plaques at the base of the statue, which is at the corner of Piccadilly Street and East Lane.

Sharing with Tuesday Treasures and Our World Tuesday
The Epitaph on Daniel Morgan's original grave marker at this site:
 Major General Daniel Morgan
On July 6th, 1802 in the 67th year of his age. Patriotism and valor were the prominent features of his character and the honorable services he rendered to his country during the Revolutionary War crowned him with glory and will remain in the hearts of his countrymen a perpetual monument to his memory.
Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Brigadier General Daniel Morgan March 9, 1781 for his victory at the battle of Cowpens, South Carolina January 17, 1781.

You can read more on HMDB (Historical Marker Database).  

The Random: Across the street from the Daniel Morgan Monument is a tabletop-style sign entitled "Jacob Baker Lot And Virginia City Addition." It tells how a booming textile industry provided housing for workers over a century ago. "The Jacob Baker and Virginia City tracts are a time capsule of early twentieth-century housing styles, including late Folk Victorian homes along National Avenue, boxy American Foursquares on East Piccadilly Street, and modest Colonial Revival single family and townhouses in Virginia City."

Again, you can read more on the Historical Marker Database.

The Fun: It is National Love Your Pet Day! I tried to dress Flash up just a little for the occasion but he did not think it was a hot idea, so I dressed up his picture using a starry effect. 

It's now been a full year since Flash was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He's been on medication and is doing pretty well, although there are times when he spits out his pills and I have to re-hide them in tasty treats, sometimes over and over. About 10 days ago we had to increase the Lasix to help his breathing, but it has worked well and now he has more pep.

February 19, 2018

The View from Tannery Road.

Luray, Virginia.

These pictures have been languishing in my files for a year. I am bringing them out in order to participate in Monday Murals, now hosted by Sami. This long mural is on the side of a steel building that's part of an auto body shop. Let's move in a little closer. 

The building is near an old factory that was converted to an antiques store. From that side of the complex there's a lane that passes a pretty farm and old manor house.

Sharing with Mosaic Monday and the Barn Collective.

February 18, 2018

First Baptist Church in Front Royal.

The First Baptist Church was constructed in 1913 and 1914. It's at 32 North Royal Avenue.

Reflected in the larger window is the Weaver Building, built around the same time. It is currently home to a law office.

February 17, 2018

Birds and Animals, Mid-February

Birds in trees are normal, but getting pictures of them there can be tricky. When I get one without a branch covering his face, I feel pleased. I'm glad this blue jay posed for a few seconds.

The mockingbird was perched on a neighbor's mailbox. I took his picture from the car.

The next picture tells a little story. A woman is picking up trash at the school bus stop. Who knocked over that trash can? Oh, there he is, peeking out from behind her car!

She called animal control. An officer showed up promptly and located the dog's owner at a nearby farm. This is not the first time his dogs have caused problems.

Once in a while his other animals wander into our neighborhood. Here are a couple of sheep I saw a few days ago. The farmer really needs to fix his fences!

Did you know sheep and deer belong to the same family, Artiodactyla? That means even-toed ungulates. (I didn't know that word; I just looked it up.)

I saw this herd of deer on Dickey Ridge in Shenandoah National Park. They blend in well, don't they? You can drive right past them without seeing them.

This afternoon we had a little snow. The grey geese don't seem to mind.