September 25, 2020

Views from My Deck and from Dickey Ridge.

1. Morning glory, growing in a pot on my deck.

2. Black and white: These drops are propelled by a very small solar-powered fountain in my bird bath. It took me quite a few shots to catch a decent photo.

3. I photographed the fountain from above but failed to get the drops in focus. I like it anyway. 

4. Yesterday at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, Shenandoah National Park.  The building is not open on Wednesdays or Thursdays this year so I took a picture of the window with its reflections

5. Skywatch: I turned away from the window and got a picture of the view. No doubt I've taken pictures of this view a few dozen times, at least. 

By the way, September 26 is National Public Lands Day and admission to the park is free. However, since it is a Saturday the park may get crowded. 

6. People are wondering when the foliage will change in the mountains. I only saw a few trees that had donned their autumn colors so be patient. Check back in three or four weeks.
7. I took a short walk while in the park. I parked at the Lands Run lot and crossed Skyline Drive to the Hickerson Hollow trail. I did not venture far because I had a sore toe as well as weak ankles. I took some pictures with my cell phone. 

I saw a hiker on a trail farther up the hill and checked out the trailhead when I got back to the road. It's part of the Dickey Ridge Trail, which runs 18 miles from Front Royal to the Appalachian Trail near Compton Gap. 

That little building turned out to be made of cinder blocks and looks abandoned. I suppose it was a maintenance shed of some kind.


September 24, 2020

At the County Human Services Building.

Our county government workers are carrying out essential services. Here's a banner thanking the heroes who are working here. County offices in Virginia were not open to the public during the first phase of the pandemic but are available again, with safety measures in place including mask requirements and plexiglass partitions.   

Thankful / Little Things Thursday / Signs 

The Office of Elections moved to this building on April 1st. We have early in-person voting this year in order to reduce crowding, since that would be risky during a pandemic. 
I voted today!
Blog Post 7280. I am adjusting to the new Blogger interface. It introduced major changes for the first time since 2012. (I recall that my ability to blog from my iPad basically ended then. Now I can do so again, but moving images around is a struggle.)

If you use Blogspot and are having problems with the new features, you are encouraged to send feedback by clicking on the help button. (That's the question mark at the top.)

If you are an old-fashioned HTML coder like I am, you may have been dismayed to see codes on the HTML view are smushed together. Did you know you can space it out by clicking the lines button on the toolbar? 

September 23, 2020

Profile: Great Blue Heron

Living by a lake has its advantages. I love having a view! And the wildlife can be spectacular.

Yesterday I looked out the window and saw this beautiful heron. He stood still for a long time, staring at the water.

He didn't change position much because he was watching for fish. He scratched his feathers a few times and once I saw him turn his head, but he looked back immediately.

I'm saying "he" but perhaps it's a "she." Forgive me if I'm wrong.

I went outside, taking care not to make much noise. I tried framing him through the ornamental grass. I didn't get too close because I didn't want to frighten him. I have a 30x zoom lens so I didn't need to get very near. 

I went back in the house. Later I looked again and he was still there. I caught a picture as he got ready to fly off.

High View Post Office

September 22, 2020

The Thunderbird Site

The Thunderbird Paleoindian Site is not open to the public. But for a few years in the late 1970s, there was a museum to explore. Archaeologists were working at the site and made headlines when they found artifacts dating back 10,000 years. This was the oldest human settlement found in the mid-Atlantic states at that time. 

Since then older artifacts have been found in other places, notably at Meadowcroft in Pennsylvania.
I was anxious to see Thunderbird so we took the kids there, which was south of Front Royal. The pictures I took then have faded and turned yellow, as did the pages of our "magnetic" photo album. (This was long before I learned about archival materials.) 

In 1977 the site was named a National Historic Landmark. However, it is in private hands and cannot be accessed by public roads. A hint of the location remains in a road named Thunderbird in Limeton.

I believe the site borders on present-day Shenandoah River State Park, which did not exist at that time. 

There is a short book about the site, "Lost Arrowheads and Broken Pottery but it is out of print. 

The Post Office in Maurertown.

September 21, 2020

Random-osity with Korean Beauties, Bluemont, and Friends.

Good: This mural in Waynesboro is by an artist who signs her work "Kimchi Juice." This one was inspired by a Korean folk tale about the sun, moon, and stars. You can see it from Race Avenue.

Monday Murals / Mosaic Monday

These are scenes from the Bluemont area. The first picture shows the post office with the flag lowered to half mast to honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday.  

The Fun: Today I met a few "Photog Friends" at the Lost River Trading Post in Wardensville to take down our photo show. We were masked and socially distanced but at least it was a chance to spend a short time with friends. 

Ann, Sharon, David. 

September 20, 2020

Scenes in Stephenson and Middleburg.

Inspired Sunday: This is a Pentecostal Holiness Church called Word of Life Ministries. It's in Stephenson, a small town north of Winchester.

Also in Stephenson is this post office. Below the American flag they are flying the POW-MIA flag to commemorate prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action. Flying this flag became standard in late 2019. 

I am still taking post office pictures to honor our postal service. Today we drove through Middleburg so I stopped to get a picture of their post office. It's a distinguished brick building partly hidden by shrubbery. It's on the main street (US Route 50) near shops and restaurants. 

Below are two scenes I photographed near the post office. The town has a small population but a bustling business area due to its location and a glamorous reputation from a long association with celebrities including Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor.
Weekend Reflection.


Shadows at Sky Meadows.

We stopped by Sky Meadows State Park late this afternoon. It was a beautiful day and the sun cast long shadows across the grass. 

This park has a Delaplane mailing address but it is closer to the small town of Paris, Virginia. 

September 19, 2020

Birds in a Shelter, Deer in Fields.

This afternoon I made a brief stop at a garden shop which was in a quonset-style structure. There were birds flying around freely and sometimes they rested on the rafters.

On the way home I drove through Blandy and saw deer in the distance. A little later I saw one in a field.

hawkShortly after that I saw a hawk perched on a pole but he took flight and I only got one quick picture of him before he disappeared from sight.
 Sharing with I'd Rather B Birdin'

September 18, 2020

Buildings, Covid, and Collages

Willy Nilly Friday

1. This fast food restaurant has not opened the dining area yet. In order to prevent crowding and contagion, they formed a wall of chairs.

2. What is this collage? These are close-ups of anti-Covid supplies that I had in the car. I was waiting for Frank in a medical building parking lot and I occupied myself by taking these pictures with my cell phone. 

Left to Right: Hand Sanitizer, Water (in bottle), Face Mask, Glove, My Sparkly Mask.

3. Black and White: This is the elevator lobby at a doctor's office. I was there for an earache and they directed me to wait there instead of in the regular waiting room in case I had the coronavirus! I'm sure my symptoms were due to an allergy because I later discovered that they began the same week in August as they did last year. After about three weeks, they were subsided.

4. This is the Amazon distribution center north of Winchester. The next image shows the same building looking to the left. It's a huge place! There's a bus stop in front of the parking lot.

 5.  Friday Bliss: These are flowers I showed in previous posts. Here I put them in a collage and added a light "oil paint" filter. 

September 17, 2020

Signs, Stickers, and So on.

This is a post with lots of pictures and they aren't in quite the order that I envisioned but Blogger has changed and made it more difficult to move images around and format them. I used to do much of that in HTML but now that it doesn't show spaces between the images, it takes way too long to do. I already made a suggestion but so far the problem persists.

The first image shows a couple of stickers that came in the mail with fund raising letters. I haven't put bumper stickers on my car since chrome bumpers went out of style, and I don't make donations in response to unsolicited merchandise. (How many stickers, calendars, and address labels can a person use anyway?) I like the messages so I took a picture before throwing them away.

The second picture is a sign I saw in a West Virginia store. I imagine you know the song.

That store is the Lost River Trading Post and that is where I have some photos on display through this week. So we see two of them behind me and in between them is a space where my covered bridge picture hung before it sold. Yes! I'm thankful that one of mine sold. 

Thankful Thursday / Signs, Signs

That store sells collectibles and coffee as well as art. I think Uncle Sam looks cool next to this Obama Inauguration Display!

Also in Wardensville is the white barn with a barn quilt. Behind the fence you can see a little pond. Across from there is a farm market with a green pig on the pergola.

I went into a discount store and found children's masks sold as a day-of-the-week set. 

Back in Virginia, another farm market has a sign letting customers know they are required to wear a mask. Almost every store has a sign posted requiring masks. Some enforce it more than others. 

There are still people who won't wear masks. I suspect they deal with fear by pretending it doesn't exist. "Fight or flight" is a complicated thing. Ignoring a threat may be a form of flight. Personally I prefer to face it and deal with it intelligently.

The sign in the next photo is on a home in Strasburg. The person who posted this Patrick Henry quote wrote in "masks," apparently thinking they are a form of chains and slavery. (You can't see me but I'm rolling my eyes.)

Meanwhile, when I dropped off a book at the library in Front Royal, I noticed that it will be quarantined for five days. That seems like more than necessary, but I understand the desire for safety.

I'm still photographing post offices. This one is in Mt. Jackson.  

And last of all, a sign in Winchester. We were there for an appointment Frank had with the ENT doctor (for his stopped up ear). I recalled that Apple Valley Veterinary usually has a funny sign so I drove down that road to see.