July 10, 2020

West By-God Virginia

I don't know who first uttered the expression "West by-God Virginia," but it is often used by people from West Virginia to refer to their home state. Since that state is a short drive from where we live, we travel over the mountain to visit it fairly often.

Upper Lake at Cacapon State Park.
Weekend Reflections.
Former Train Station, Charles Town.
Black and White Weekend.
Construction Detour, Wardensville
Capon Springs.
This charming resort town was quiet this spring due to the pandemic, but they started reopening on June 28.

Here we have two pictures of a garden there and one of a bright red house.

Sharing with Friday Bliss and Floral Friday.

July 9, 2020

A Brief Stop at Mt. Zion Church

Near Aldie, Virginia

I've stopped at this historic church a number of times over the years. Today I'm posting some pictures of the signs and fences there. These are from my files from three years ago, when I was recovering from foot surgery. I took these photos from the car; I apologize for the fence rail blocking part of the signs.

The sign on the left is titled Elders of the Mount Zion Old School Baptist Church. It was built in 1851 after "disagreement over doctrine caused a split in the Baptist faith." You can read details on the Historical Markers Database.

The sign on the right is titled Mt. Zion Historic Park:
Welcome to Mt. Zion Historic Park, a property of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. Built in 1851, this Old School Baptist Church was a place of worship, and also a critical site during the Civil War because of its location at the junction of two early roads and on high ground. The church building was used as a barracks, hospital, prison, and rendezvous point at various times from 1861-1865. The Battle of Mt. Zion, on July 6, 1864, brought Union forces up against Confederate partisan fighter John S. Mosby and his men. Graffiti on the interior walls of the church show names and regiments of soldiers that once were here. 
The congregation of the church worshipped here on the fourth Sunday of each month except for the years of the Civil War. The church continued to serve as a place of worship until 1980, when the congregation had dwindled to just a few individuals. Mt. Zion was restored in 2007-2008 and is open to the public for tours and special programs, and is a rental property.

Sharing with Signs 2 and Fences around the World.
"Mt. Zion Old School Baptist Church was founded in 1851. Just west of the church is a graveyard containing many 19th century grave markers. On July 6, 1864 nearby, Mosby's Rangers attacked and routed 150 Union cavalrymen. Over 100 Union soldiers were killed, wounded or captured. Mosby had eight men wounded, one mortally. The church is site of the annual Thomas family reunion founded 1934."
See also my 2013 post, A New Marker in Aldie.

July 7, 2020

July 6, 2020

Photographing Colors

The Good: Strasburg has another butterfly mural. This is off the parking lot behind the fire department.
Monday Murals.
The Random: Also in Strasburg, this shop has been brightening up its exterior.

The Fun: I pulled out some photos from my files of people taking pictures. Three of these are on Skyline Drive, where every visitor takes pictures from the overlooks.
Mosaic Monday.

July 5, 2020

Rural Scenes North of Wardensville

Along Rt. 259, Hardy County, WV

The Barn Collective.
The farm is at Capon Crossing. I don't know the purpose of the tiny white building that sits on a high foundation right next to the road.

The final picture shows Crest Hill Community Church. I saw it described as a non-denominational congregation but with the Mennonite Church.

Inspired Sunday.

July 4, 2020

Independence Day 2020

I didn't feel festive today. There were a few Independence Day events but I don't want to take a chance of finding myself in a crowd. We did take a ride and Frank got a dish of soft ice cream. Still, the long pandemic has me feeling rather deprived and irritable.

Here's a neighbor's fence decorated for the holiday. 

This afternoon I ate lunch on the deck but it was too hot to linger outdoors. I saw a robin through the rails.

The other evening I was closing the bedroom curtains and saw a flash of white fur outside. I rushed out onto the deck with a camera to get some pictures of a skunk.

It hurried away but I did get a few photos that weren't hopelessly dark. This is the closest to our house that I've seen a skunk. I hope he isn't living under our deck!

We can compare that beauty to a taxidermied skunk shown here with a raccoon.

That was in the nature center at Cacapon. Here are some other mounted animals in their exhibit.
Saturday's Critters / I'd Rather Be Birdin'
Back at home, I've only seen two hummingbirds so far this year.

The last image shows a flotilla of geese and ducks on our community lake. The Canada geese in the background are a visiting flock.

Sharing with Weekend Reflection.

July 3, 2020

This and That, Early July.

1. He wonders "How can I eat this pie?"

2. Selfie in Black and White.

3. One of my prescriptions was recalled for NDMA. If you take Metformin ER, ask your pharmacist about it.

I'm concerned that I took this for two months before it was recalled. (I buy a 90 day supply at a time.) NDMA is a compound that sometimes occurs in cured meat and chlorinated water in small amounts, but is toxic at higher amounts. It is the same contaminant that triggered a recall of Zantac.

4. Friday Bliss: On a brighter note, here's a wildflower collage with butterfly and flag.

5. Skywatch: This house is decked out for Independence Day. If you are celebrating this weekend, please stay safe! And keep your pets safe too because they can be frightened by the sound of fireworks.

July 2, 2020

New Signs in Stephens City and Winchester

AMVETS has a new office in Stephens City. I noticed the grieving soldier silhouette and stopped to take a picture. I've seen this figure before, in Stanardsville.

AMVETS provides services to veterans. This location is about to have their official opening.

Next to them on Green Street is a store selling CBD products. These are free of THC and are used for calming and pain relief for both people and pets.

I drove to Winchester today for a podiatry appointment, my first since the lockdown. I've learned to slow down when I pass this animal hospital to read the sign because sometimes it's humorous.

When I turned around I noticed that they are greeting customers in the parking lot. Other veterinarians are doing this also, as a way of avoiding exposure to the coronavirus. A staff member comes out and fetches your pet in from your car so you don't have to come inside. "Sit, Stay!"

My podiatrist's office has a park and call procedure now also. A nurse came out and checked my temperature and saw that I had a mask before I went inside. Normally I go to their Front Royal office but it is being remodeled.

I miss the old days when we didn't need to worry about a pandemic, but I appreciate all the efforts being made to keep from spreading the virus. So far my state has slowed the spread but many have not, with tragic results.

July 1, 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday, A New Month

Here it is July 1st yet I'm showing  a woodpecker photo from May. Why? I didn't get any pictures in June of birds on the suet feeder. I had really eased up on feeding wild birds because it was spring and the birds can fend for themselves. 

Red-bellied Woodpecker on suet feeder.
Also, bird feeders tend to attract animals including bears and raccoons. I think it was a raccoon that attacked the suet feeder. I found the grid on the deck yesterday along with a little solar light that was hanging nearby. Fortunately the light is no great loss because the cloth lantern had already been torn by the wind, plus I have another one in better shape. 

On Saturday I posted pictures of a bird house and finch feeder that a critter had torn down, and this morning Frank found little hand prints on a trash can that were the right size for a raccoon. Perhaps I'll move the trail camera closer to the house to try to catch the little villain!

Speaking of the trail cam, here are three recent pictures that it took. In this first one, there are two birds flying. Do you see the one in the upper right corner?

I like pictures of birds flying. Here we see some geese and I think that's a red-winged blackbird in the final photo. There's a flock of them that frequents that area.

Theme: Neighborhood

The City Daily Photo theme for July 1st is "Neighborhood." My neighborhood has a semi-rural appearance because the lots are large and there are quite a few trees. 

Come to think of it, that was true of the community where I grew up!
My Corner of the World.

June 30, 2020

Outdoor Photo Exhibit: Give Me Shelter

When I left the gardens of Glen Burnie, I was surprised to find an outdoor show of photos. The photos are by Sarah Jones Decker and she has a new book, The Appalachian Trail: Backcountry Shelters, Lean-tos, and Huts.

Tuesday Treasures.
The pictures blended in nicely with the foliage and rock walls. An outdoor exhibit ensures extra space for social distancing and fresh air too.

On Friday I showed the gardens here with the large insect sculptures. We visit the Glen Burnie gardens several times a year.