June 30, 2018

End of June Critter Pictures

It's been really hot but I've spent the last two days mostly indoors where it's air conditioned. We moved my home office to a different room and it's hard work. I have tons of old photos (way too many!), files (which need purging), boxes of CDs, and various supplies.

I've got some birds and a couple of hooved animals taken earlier this month. 

In Strasbury - Probably a Catbird.
In Dickey Ridge Picnic Area, Shenandoah Nat'l Park.
Near Berryville, VA.
Mourning Dove.
Interesting link: Horse Breeds.

June 29, 2018

Five Pictures, Late June.

Willy Nilly Friday

1. This image had more contrast than color so I converted it to Black and White. This farm is on Klines Mill Road near Middletown.

2. The reason I pulled off there was to read this sign recently erected by the National Park Service, which manages Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.  It describes the arrival of Union General Phil Sheridan on October 19, 1864.

Sheridan Arrives, 10:30 a.m. 
General Phil Sheridan arrived on the battlefield following his famous and dramatic "Ride" from his headquarters in Winchester. Along the way he ordered Captain (and future U.S. President) William McKinley to stop retreating units and direct them back to the fighting. At the end of his ride, near this point, Sheridan assessed the situation, rejected all suggestions to retreat, and then rode the length of his battle lines to restore his men's morale. Soon after, he began to make plans for a counterattack. By early afternoon he had units in place, he and his commanders had a plan, and they were ready to attack.

3. These orange flowers are in a hanging basket that Frank bought.
Orange You Glad and Floral Friday.
4. This pretty sunset brightened an otherwise ordinary scene in a parking lot at Riverton Commons.
Skywatch Friday.
5. Our above-ground pool is being removed. We almost had it ready to use and it sprang a leak! Turned out there were four leaks, and since a new liner is very expensive, we decided to just get rid of it. It took a lot of work to maintain. The good news is that we will have a better view of the lake.

June 28, 2018

The View from the Municipal Park

Strasburg, Virginia.

 The town's park has a view of Massanutten Mountain (when it's not hidden by rain clouds) and the North Fork of the Shenandoah.

I'm thankful to live in an awesome area.

Sharing with Thankful Thursday

The river is still high but it's no longer flooding the lower part of the park.

June 27, 2018

Making Ducklings

I used several filters in Movavi software to dress up this image of ducklings. Also I cropped the picture, leaving out their mother, who appeared to be a mallard.

The rest of this post is rated "R," although it is still about ducks. When I pulled into the driveway the other day, I saw that ducks were chasing each other in the back yard. 

They paused for a few moments and then started running around again. I zoomed in with my camera and saw that some hanky-panky was going on. 

"Don't look, Ethel!"

While we're on the subject, Here are a couple shots I took on June 19th. I wondered about the situation here but I see on Ask Naturalist that there are often more male ducks than females so there is competition. Here it looks ridiculous!

Afterward, they all rested beside the lake.

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday and Not-So WW.

June 25, 2018

Random-osity for a Green June Day.

The Good: New murals decorate a florist's building in Front Royal. A sign credits artist Jacqui Ris, who is only eighteen years old. 
Sharing with Monday Murals.
The Random: It is heart-breaking to read that our government separated young children from their parents at the border.  Struggling to find some meaning in this horrifying situation, I realized that at least now I know who is lacking in empathy, on of the most important qualities of human beings!

The Fun: Oh, that's a big change in theme! Well, playgrounds can be fun. Most of them are safer than what we had as children, and often they are designed with great imagination.

June 24, 2018

Salem Church of the Brethren.

This is on Salem Church Road near Stephens City.

If you like church architecture, visit InSpired Sunday.

Today at Valley Roots Farm

Middletown, Virginia.
Black and White Weekend.
A notice on Facebook advertised a Farm Tour this afternoon in nearby Middletown. It sounded like an opportunity to photograph a barn and see some animals so we went.

Sharing with The Barn Collective.
The large white barn was worth seeing! I would call this a bank barn because of the entrances on two levels, but the owner pointed out it is also a peg barn. Built over a century ago, the beams are fastened with wooden pegs.

A young couple is running this farm. They had just acquired some pigs that were enjoying the barn yard.

The farm avoids chemicals.

Rain was not far away but fortunately it held off. 

June 23, 2018

Flash, Jumping Squirrel, and Some Ducks.

Flash seems to be feeling a little better, at least in the evening. In the morning he barks politely to go for a walk, drinks water, eats only the freshest snacks (to get his medicine down), and may or may not eat breakfast. Then he naps most of the day except for a few potty breaks and some more water drinking. In the evening he acts more lively, showing some interest in his snacks and dinner. He watches me closely and hangs out with us wherever we are.  He seems to like my petting his head.
Sharing with Pet Parade and Saturday's Critters.

Now for the squirrel. Can you see him? I cropped this so he'd be in the middle, and he's jumping from a picnic table to the tree. I had already photographed him on the table and stepped closer, causing him to jump away.

Next we have a couple of mallard ducks splashing in wet grass. Recent rain storms have caused flooding, but the ducks don't mind. They enjoy the extra puddles.

The Bird D'Pot.
Next is a duck who surprised me! I was on our deck putting some almonds out for a squirrel to eat. (They were left over from a can of mixed nuts and almonds don't agree with me.) Well, this muscovy duck seemed to think I was bringing corn or something for him to eat! He hopped up on a step and even came up on the deck itself. I did not feed him but he seemed friendly. I went inside, got my camera and took a few pictures. Then I went back inside. His mate joined him briefly and jumped back down. When I looked again a bit later, they had both disappeared, probably back to the lake.

June 22, 2018

Five Front Royal Photos

1. It's been wet for several days so I'm starting with a wet pavement photo. We've had storms followed by clearing followed by more storms. Now the roads are flooding and fire departments are posting warnings to stay off the roads! 
Sharing with Weekend Reflection and Skywatch Friday.
The rest of the pictures are from four days ago, before the current round of storms.

2. The bridge on Criser Road is closed while it is being rebuilt. Traffic to the library can come in from Route 340.
Orange You Glad It's Friday?
3. That bridge crossed Happy Creek, which is usually pretty small. Today it doesn't look like this, because the heavy rain has caused it to flood.

4. A few steps away is a section of the Royal Shenandoah Greenway. The final segment of this path was recently completed, providing a four and a half mile walk through Front Royal and along the Shenandoah River. (Sorry, not this weekend; that part will be flooded!)

5. Just to the left of the Greenway is a sign marking the future site of a monument honoring the families who had to leave their farms so that Shenandoah National Park could be built. It will be similar to the monument we visited in Sperryville.
Sharing with Signs, Signs.