March 31, 2018

Birds and a Llama

Some say robins are a sign of spring but we see them year-round. I like the way they look.

I'm sharing this one with Weekend Green and the entire post with Saturday Critters and I'd Rather Be Birdin'. 

When we were driving near Gaffia Lodge last week, I spotted this llama on a farm. 

The red-bellied woodpecker perches and hangs on to things so expertly, but when he stands on a hard surface, he looks a bit awkward. I suppose he's designed for perching.

I think the wind was ruffling his feathers a little. The Canada Goose in the next picture was a bit wind-ruffled too.

And last of all, we have a little junco.

March 30, 2018

It's Almost Easter.

1. Some of the flowering trees are finally blooming. Hooray, it's spring!
Sharing with Skywatch and Floral Friday.
2. Trees are still bare in the mountains but not for long.
Sharing with B and W Weekend and Reflections.
3. Lynn has discontinued the GoFundMe page that a friend set up to help her with cancer treatment expenses. There was confusion over a donation that someone made and a credit card company seems to have flagged it as fraud, resulting in GoFundMe taking money out of Lynn's bank account without notice! Since this could destroy her budget and even her credit score, she decided to delete the fundraising effort, even though it was helpful for a while.

This picture is from our dinner on Tuesday after I drove her to the surgeon's office in Baltimore. Her healing is coming along well.

4. Sunday is Easter! Here's a cheerful display in a supermarket.

5. This is the Community Theater in Woodstock, Virginia. I assume the movie is a special event for Easter.

Enjoy your weekend!

March 29, 2018

Fences Along Belle Grove Road.

Middletown, Virginia.

It was an overcast day when I took these photos. You can see other pictures along this road that I took in 2016 on a pretty day with snow on the ground.

Today I'm joining the Fences linkup and My Town Shootout.

March 28, 2018

Stars and a Rascal.

The bright color of the male cardinal makes him a star! Actually, I wasn't thrilled with this image after I enlarged it on my screen so I added some filters in Movavi software.

Well, it's Wild Bird Wednesday so I think some readers will want to see what birds look like. Thus the rest of today's pictures will be natural in appearance, starting with a bluejay.

Also Sharing with Through My Lens.

I won't be filling my bird feeders much longer because I don't want to attract bears! I'll miss my little friends, like this house finch.

I think the bird in a tree is a blackbird. I zoomed in quite a bit before I could tell what he looked like. My eyes are not as strong as a zoom lens.

What's going on here?! My squirrel-proof bird feeder is not working properly!

There is a little plastic tab that broke off so the lid is loose. I wonder who broke it. Better go outside and take a look.

March 26, 2018

Luray's Artistic Murals.

There are many painted murals in the town of Luray, VA.  I've posted about them previously.  This train scene has been repainted since I saw it before.

When we visited the art gallery there this weekend, I spotted a book about the murals and purchased it. I hope to locate some that I haven't photographed yet.

Sharing with Monday Murals. 

March 25, 2018

Lamps Memorial Methodist Church

This charming church is on Wardensville Grade between Winchester and Star Tannery, Virginia. Next door to it is a brick church called Mt. Pleasant-Lamps United Methodist Church.

Lamps Church was founded in 1857. According to their history online , the original building was used as a hospital during the Civil War. A new brick church was dedicated in 1962. Available records for Lamps date back to 1800. Meetings were held in a log school house 400 yards from the present site, where a Methodist Episcopal Church, South was built in 1982. The evangelical United Brethren Church merged with the Methodist church in 1968-1970. Mount Pleasant and Lamps were joined together in 1978. The congregation worships in the newer, Mount Pleasant facility, except for 5th Sundays when they return to worship at Lamps.

Looking Up at a Chandelier

In the Little Stone Office, Belle Grove Plantation.
Black and White Weekend.

March 24, 2018

Varied Weather, Varied Critters.

The snow on Wednesday looked pretty while it lasted. I posted some pictures of it before and I thought you might like to see this peaceful landscape. There are some geese over by the dam but they appear so small you may not be able to see them.  
Birds stand out against a white background, so I take advantage of that by taking extra pictures on a snow day. The sparrow looks cold but he was outside as the snow fell.

Red winged blackbird.

The mourning doves like to feed on the ground. Fortunately, other birds scatter seeds from the feeders so they get a share.

The day after the snow fell, much of it melted.  The robin was strutting around in the morning.

By Friday, most of the snow was gone except on the mountains. I considered going up on Skyline Drive to take a look, but the entrance was closed due to ice on the road. Along the short section of road leading to the gate, I spotted a deer on the trail that goes to Dickey Ridge. On nice days this trail is busy with hikers but it was very quiet on this day.

There are some parking spaces for the trail so I parked and quietly got out of the car and got some closer photos. I was using a zoom lens so I wasn't really as close as this looks. This deer appeared to see me but I stood still so it didn't get alarmed. I got more shots and hope to share some later.

By the way, this trailhead is within walking distance of Front Royal. It's one of the places people hike into the park without paying the fee that's charged for using Skyline Drive.

Next we see a turkey that was strutting around in a yard that's near my neighborhood.

Last but not least is a picture of Flash. His appetite has been off lately and that makes it hard to give him his pills because normally I hide them in food and this morning he wouldn't even eat treats. He finally ate a meal tonight, mostly of hamburger.

March 23, 2018

Green, Yellow, Orange.

This green sign is sculpted out of shrubbery. It is across from Skyline High School.

In spite of the snow we had Tuesday and Wednesday, the forsythias are blooming everywhere.

Floral Friday
This orange wall brightens the reception area in the veterinarian's office. I enjoy the artwork.

March 22, 2018

It Snowed, It Melted.

Virginia is in a "temperate zone" as far as climate. This doesn't mean our weather lacks extremes, though. We had a warm sunny day on Monday, a wintry mix on Tuesday, snow all day Wednesday, and a mild day Thursday (today). Most of the snow melted. 
This Morning.
This Afternoon.
Yes, we are looking at the same mountains in pictures 2 and 3. Picture 3 is taken from farther away, along Gaffia Lodge Road.

After running some errands this afternoon, I wanted to take a few more wintry pictures. I made a stop at Catlett's Ford on the North Fork of the Shenandoah. It's not a ford any more, but was used as one many years ago when people crossed the river on horses. They would have engineered the crossing place with rocks but most of those have moved in spring floods since then. The river changes constantly. There is now a fishing area here.

Eventually I found my way to Long Meadow Road, wound around a bit and ran another errand before coming home.

Sharing with Fences and My Town Shoot Out

March 21, 2018

Finally It Snowed.

Yesterday was the spring equinox and we had snow. Then we had more snow last night and for the first time since last winter, it amounted to more than an inch. But the temperature rose above freezing so the accumulation only amounted to about 4 inches because the snow was melting even as it fell this afternoon.

The photo of the black vulture is from yesterday morning. It's a companion to a picture of a couple that I posted yesterday. Vultures are large and can be startling, but I find them very interesting.

Next up is a grackle who doesn't look thrilled with the weather.

I think the junco is hoping to grab a seed as soon as it's dropped.

This morning the snow covered the branches on our trees. I took the picture of the cardinal with my cell phone.

I like squirrels but sometimes I get irritated with them because they gobble up an awful lot of bird seed! This one was managing to get seed from my "squirrel-proof" feeder. I wondered why it was out feeding as the snow fell, getting very wet. Usually the squirrels come to my feeders in more pleasant weather, and even leave well before dark. This one must have been extra hungry.

It wasn't until I brought up the next picture on my laptop screen that I realized she appears to be a momma squirrel who has babies to feed.

American Robin
This last picture surprised me. Birds don't hold still for long and I miss quite a few shots because of it. Sometimes I catch one in flight but this time several were darting about. Perhaps it's a goldfinch party?

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday