September 30, 2020

Wednesday Water Birds

Late this afternoon I saw an egret in my neighbor's yard. I didn't have my better zoom with me so he looks small here. 

I took several images but the others are not sharp enough to crop drastically. This one I cropped but it looked dull so I blended the layers using Overlay mode. I usually work in layers in Photoshop unless I'm just posting cell phone pictures.

I tried to get pictures from my yard but the egret flew into the trees. These geese were there but started to march away. 

The final two images are alternate versions of the second one using very different layer blending modes and slightly different cropping. Which do you prefer? 

September 29, 2020

The Clouser House, South of Winchester

This older house stands at the entrance to a community called Shawneeland. The house is empty and has been preserved because it stands on historic property.

The Klauser/ Clausser / Clowser family owned this property for many years. In 1764 it was the scene of an Indian attack. "Henry Clouser and two of his sons were killed, and his wife and four of his daughters taken."

Here's a close-up of a window, which is actually plywood painted to look like window panes. 

A recent marker stands at the family cemetery to commemorate those who are in unmarked graves. Three names all have the same date of death and those are the people who died in the attack. An infant daughter died in the aftermath.

The French and Indian War had ended by that time but perhaps word had not reached the war party of the Delaware Indians that attacked these settlers in the mountains of Virginia.

The hostages were taken all the way to Ohio. They were retrieved the following year by Colonel Henry Bouquet. They finally made it home in January 1765. 

Also on the property is this attractive wheel house. I think it's more recent than the Clouser House.


Mums and Pumpkins

September 28, 2020

Random-osity: Harrisonburg and Locke's Mill.

The Good: This colorful mural is on the side of the Indian and American Cafe in Harrisonburg. 

The Random: Not far from there is the downtown post office. It's not nearly as grand as the former location of the post office (shown yesterday), now being used as a court house. 

The Fun: This couple is enjoying a lovely afternoon on the Shenandoah River near Berryville. This is at a public boat landing on Lockes Mill Road. 

Mosaic Monday: The collage shows other scenes from that area. The red building is Locke's Mill, now restored and selling organic grain. This mill dates to 1876 and a previous mill was there in the 18th century. 

September 27, 2020

Two Edifices in Harrisonburg

The Muhlenberg Lutheran Church is a large limestone building. The original church dates to 1849, with additions constructed over the years.

It is named after Peter Muhlenberg, a pastor who famously made a speech supporting the American Revolution in his church in Woodstock in 1776. (I have posted about Muhlenberg previously.) He raised a regiment and became an officer in George Washington's army. 

I read that this church has some lovely windows but right now it is still closed due to the pandemic. 

Also in downtown Harrisonburg is the old post office building, now serving as a courthouse for bankruptcy court.

After I got home yesterday, I was blessed with a pretty sunset.


September 26, 2020

Ordinary Creatures

Saturday Critters
The first picture is from my trail camera. A deer strolls along the lake.

The little snail in the second picture is an ordinary fellow. It was slim pickings this week. I didn't even get any bird shots other than the great blue heron that I showed on Wednesday. (But he was a beauty!)

Here's a poster warning of an invasive insect that is new to our area: the spotted lanternfly. 

Next we have an insect or two on a coneflower.

Our last two photos are of farm animals. The horse looks rather coy to me!

The cow is just doing what cows do: eating in a field. She looked up briefly when I pulled over to take a picture. 


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.