April 30, 2019

Redbud Grove, Hupps Hill.

Strasburg, Virginia

Visitors Center and Museum, Hupp's Hill.

April 29, 2019

A Mural in Mount Jackson

 Even though I had read that there was a new mural in Mt. Jackson, I had driven through the town several times without seeing it. Last week we were there and I spotted it, a trompe-l'œil painting of an antique car in a pretend garage. A sign says Robinson Produce Co.

This is on King Street near the old Union Church. Nearby are some interesting old buildings, some of which I show in the collage below.

Sharing with Monday Murals

April 28, 2019

Starting a Tour at Trinity Episcopal Church

Yesterday in Washington, Virginia: The Historic Garden Tour started at Trinity Episcopal Church. Here I purchased my ticket and got a map. I walked through the town, browsed the crafts sale, and visited the first two tour stops. I probably walked beyond the limit of my ankle strength because I'm having trouble walking today.

The church was built in 1857. It is on Gay Street.

This nearby monument provides a brief history of the town, which is sometimes called "Little Washington." Not all the residents appreciate the adjective "Little." 

The Town of Washington, Virginia.
The First Washington of All.
Surveyed and platted by George Washington with the assistance of John Lonem and Edward Corder, as chainmen; August 4, 1749. 
Organized and established as a town by the General Assembly of Virginia, December 14, 1796. 
Incorporated as a municipality by the General Assembly of Virginia, February 12, 1894.

April 27, 2019

Today's Critters, Rappahannock County

 Today I did the Garden Week Tour in the charming town of Washington, Virginia. I spotted some nice animals, and some that were odd.

The homes on the tour were spectacular and the gardens were lovely. I walked until I was exhausted!

I added a filter on the cat photo for the Caturday linkup, which encourages something artsy.

I'm also sharing with Saturday's Critters and Fences Around the World.

April 26, 2019

Garden Week is Coming Up.

1. It's time for Historic Garden Week in Virginia! It looks like the rain will be gone tomorrow so I plan to visit some homes and gardens.

Unfortunately Frank will not be able to tour them this year because the surgeon gave him strict orders to stay off his feet for another month. He can't risk tearing his achilles tendon again. He's feeling a little stronger but that doesn't help much since he isn't allowed to walk yet.

Sharing with Floral Friday and Friday Bliss.

2. This swinging bridge near Strasburg is still needed when the Shenandoah River floods. Residents who normally cross the Deer Rapids low water bridge by vehicle cannot do so when the water is high, so they have to reach their homes by walking over this high bridge. I would not want to do this during a storm, though!

I converted this to black and white to empathize the composition.

3. For Weekend Reflections, a look at some mallards on a pond.

4. I noticed new signs at Martins Supermarket. "Shopping carts will lock if taken beyond the parking lot perimeter." I assume they are using technology similar to an invisible fence (for dogs).

5. We had rain and wind today. After the rain let up, I went out to run a few errands. I checked out the clouds from Skyline Drive. The first overlook is only a couple miles from Front Royal.

April 25, 2019

Blog Post #6700

Shenandoah National Park in Early April

I've been blogging since 2005. I've been visiting Shenandoah National Park since I was a baby. It feels like home!

The View from Hogwallow Flats Overlook.

In the days before green covered the mountains, you could drive right past a deer and not notice it. Nature has camouflaged them to be the color of fallen leaves.

The deer and the first two photos are from April 4th. The next two photos are from April 11th. I took them from the northern section of the drive.

Oh, by the way, today the southern portion of Skyline Drive finally reopened. It was shut down by an ice storm in November that felled thousands of trees, and later storms plus the government shutdown made clearing the roadway very slow.

The redbud tree blooms for two to three weeks, brightening the woods and roads with brilliant pinks. Did you know that the blossoms are edible?

I am fortunate to live near this beautiful national park, a place where I can go to refresh my soul.

April 24, 2019

Trail Camera by the Lake in Springtime.

My Moultrie camera has been working hard this month. I only downloaded the photos with something in them other than blowing branches, and here are my favorites from the latest batch.

Grackles showed off, deer made an appearance, and of course our resident geese were photographed many times. I cropped some of these, leaving the first and last ones full frame.

Wild Bird Wednesday.

April 22, 2019

Earth Day Random-osity

The Good: Happy birthday to Marie Javins, my younger daughter. She was not born on Earth Day because it was founded when she was a little girl. I'm pretty sure they didn't pick April 22 in her honor, but perhaps they should have!

A woman made this sketch when Marie was still in elementary school. I kept it all these years.

The Random: Saturday I drove to a scenic spot to take some spring photos and found another photoblogger was already there! This is not the first time I've run into Dawn of Lingering Visions while taking pictures.

The Fun: I stopped it Woodstock to check out their Earth Day Celebration. 

Mosaic Monday.

April 21, 2019

Rural Re-runs

Usually I try to show places that I haven't posted here before, but some places deserve a new photo.

Dry Run Christian Church. This is one of the most photographed places in Fort Valley because it is so charming. (I shared it five years ago.)

Also in Fort Valley, this pretty farm.

At the other side of Shenandoah County is Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, which I also photographed in 2009 from almost the same spot.

From this church you have a great view of the countryside and Great North Mountain.

April 20, 2019

Bunnies and Birds

There are some rabbits living in my yard. I don't think one is the Easter Bunny, but you never know!

I altered the rabbit picture in Photoshop. I was intending to do something creative for the Caturday Art Blog Hop but after a few layers and filters,  it was so much improved that I just stopped. The haze from the window glass was gone, the subject was extra-sharp, and the background slightly blurred. Good enough!

The goldfinches have shed their dowdy feathers and magically become brilliant yellow.

I discontinued filling most of the bird feeders because April is when bears start wandering through the neighborhood. They're awake and hungry, and they'll tear up bird feeders to get the seed. Yesterday I put my spare feeders away because high winds were forecast and I didn't want them to become airborne.

It is hard to stop feeding the birds. I so enjoy watching them! I still have two feeders up. If the bear doesn't destroy them in the next few days, I'll put them away when the seed is gone. 

Today I stopped in Woodstock and met this pet duck. I did not attempt to pet him but he seemed friendly. So cute!
Happy Easter,
Happy Spring!

Sharing with Saturday's Critters and 

April 19, 2019

Light, Dark, and Flowers

1. On Wednesday evening I attended a lecture at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal. This was only the second time I've been to that facility because it is rarely open to the public. It is a beautiful place in the green foothills of the Blue Ridge.
Cell phone snapshot for Skywatch Friday..
2. Can you tell what my black and white image is?

3. Tulips are blooming in my yard! It seems like everything is blooming at once this year.

Sharing with Floral Friday and Friday Bliss.

4. Rain moved in this afternoon and there were warnings of high winds. We didn't get much wind here but there was a tornado reported in Northern Virginia.

5. The final image shows forsythia reflected in a small pond.
Weekend Reflections.