November 27, 2020

Late Day Light

Skywatch: Dusk at Dickey Ridge, Shenandoah National Park. 

 Black and White: A View from Stony Point, Strasburg.

Reflections: Middletown, Virginia. 

Friday Bliss: Autumn Colors.

November 26, 2020

It's Thanksgiving... but it's 2020.

I miss my daughters! Thanks to the pandemic, we did not have visitors for Thanksgiving. I did not want them traveling on the busiest time of the year for travel. Restaurants and restrooms are not safe when crowded. Health experts pleaded with the public to avoid holiday gatherings, but many people cannot bear to give up their most meaningful traditions. 

Some neighbors have a nice turkey sign on their fence. 

I have some more signs to show you, but first here are some colorful flags I saw in Strasburg. 

Signs, Signs. Bin 5 is the Amazon Outlet Store that opened on Saturday in Winchester. Apparently there was a very long line to get in. I'm not going to try it until the excitement wears down. I don't need anything anyway.

Borden's Hardware wants us to know: "We have everything you need to finish your husbands projects." 

It looks like a local farmer has started decorating for Christmas. The star should look good reflected in the duck pond. I don't know what to say about his sign!

Meanwhile, some restaurants are still serving carry-out only. After all, it is not easy trying to enforce social distancing, and it takes extra staff to keep everything sanitized. Plus the safety of staff is a real concern. A number of places have had to close temporarily after someone got sick and others who worked with them had to quarantine.  This is happening with schools too. They open; they close! We are living in a difficult time.

Thankful Thursday. I am grateful that my family is healthy. I feel fortunate that I have lived in a time of relative peace and opportunity. 

I was born after World War II ended. I grew up and raised my children long before Covid-19 disrupted our daily lives. I have hope that things will be back to "normal" by spring. Then we can begin to recover from the disadvantages wrought by the pandemic, and start to tackle our big problems of inequality and environmental neglect. "If the good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise." 


November 25, 2020

Canada Geese Maneuvers

 On days when it's not too cold, I like to eat lunch on our deck. I have a view of the lake and often I take my camera out there with me in case birds or animals show up. So I was prepared when a group of geese decided to take flight. 

They only disappeared behind the trees for a few minutes and I could hear them honking. Soon they turned and came back. 

After a while the white geese came over to greet them. This family is probably descended from domestic geese that escaped from a farm. They don't fly much and they live in the neighborhood, swimming in the lake and wandering around as they please.

November 24, 2020

Sunset Hill School

Strasburg, VA

This boarded-up school closed in 1964. A new historical marker tells the story.

Sunset Hill School 
The Queen Street School, one of the first schools in Shenandoah County for African Americans, had opened in Strasburg by 1875. After a fire in 1929, a new school known as Sunset Hill was built here ca. 1930 to serve grades 1-7. Because the county had no high school for African American students, graduates had to go elsewhere to attend higher grades. African American residents petitioned for better facilities, and the school board considered building a new segregated elementary school as late as 1962, eight years after the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled the public school segregation was unconstitutional. Sunset Hill closed in 1964 when Shenandoah County schools were fully desegregated.


Tuesday Treasures. An article about the recent dedication of the marker credits students at Signal Knob Middle School with having the idea for a landmark recognizing Sunset Hill School.

Lake Frederick in November

Wordless Linkups: Image-in-ing and GayNYCdad

November 23, 2020

Art at the Florist; A Surprise on the Drive.

Random-osity, Front Royal. 
Monday Murals: This bright painted butterfly is behind the florist and bookshop.

Mosaic Monday: I took these pictures earlier this month, in the florist's parking lot. 

This evening I photographed the front of the same shop. 

Just a little earlier, I went up on Skyline Drive for a short time. As I was driving back down from Dickey Ridge, this small bear crossed the road. 
 He went up the hill and disappeared in the forest. 
Shenandoah National Park

November 22, 2020

October in Zepp

In mid-October we drove up Zepp Road, crossed the ridge and came down to the community of Zepp.  We circled back around through Star Tannery. It's a pretty drive and I think we've only done it once before. It was a pretty day and I took a lot of photos. Here we see the Cedar Creek Christian Church. 

The church was built in 1893, with additions constructed later. 

A large tree blocked my view of the tower. You can see it from the rear of the building if you look closely. 

Behind the church is a charming cemetery. 

I have some pictures of the farms around there and then we'll look at the scenic road over the ridge.

Zepp Road is a mountain road, so expect steep grades and sharp curves. I chose it because the autumn colors changed at the higher elevations before they did where we live. There are some beautiful views too, although not many places where you can pull off to enjoy them.

To the east you can see the Shenandoah Valley and the Massanutten Range. 

On this outing we made a side trip on Van Buren Road. I shared pictures from there on November 8


November 21, 2020

Front Yard Updates

Featuring Pigs and a Tree Removal.
Last month I showed some wandering pigs who trespassed in our yard. This is a follow up to that story. Here we see two pictures from a trail camera that was mounted in a tree facing our driveway.

This is the animal control officer leaving after she took the report and promised to notify the farmer that his pigs were loose. By that time the pigs had disappeared.

Twenty minutes later the camera recorded this! The piggies had returned. 

I haven't seen them since then so I assume the farmer rounded them up. 

Normally that camera just got pictures of us and delivery people, but sometimes it caught an animal or bird. It's motion-activated but there's a slight delay so it can miss the subject. 

The geese move slowly so there were many geese pictures to review. 
A few weeks ago the camera stopped working. I changed the batteries but it still didn't work. Then a huge part of the tree fell down in a wind storm, so I removed the camera. Frank started getting estimates on tree removal. 

They came on Thursday and cut down the tree. It was a large maple. 

Here is the young landscaper in charge of removing the tree. Notice the size of the trunk beside him. 
Hunter Housden with Renard, our fox statue.

Renard came with the house we lived in before we moved here. 

Sharing this post with Saturday's Critters.

November 20, 2020

Before Autumn Fades Away

1. The peak of fall color has passed, the days are short, the nights are cold. So I'm looking back a week or two to share some pretty scenes.

2. This black and white shot is from a visit to the gardens of Glen Burnie in Winchester. Did you know that three miles of new trails are about to open near there? 

3. We had a "hard frost" a couple of nights ago. Just before that, I took a picture of this rose. Later I wished I had cut it and brought it in.

I've pictured the same bush previously; it is in our yard. This spring I thought it was dead, but eventually it greened up and produced a few flowers. 
Friday Bliss / Garden Affair (Jaipur) Floral Friday 

4. This small yellow tree is at Lake Frederick.

5. Our neighbor Pastor Tony helped Frank get his riding mower out of the mud and Frank wanted to do something in return. I offered to buy some groceries for his church food pantry, which I did late this afternoon. It was dusk when I left the store and the sky was glowing in harmony with the neon lights of a hamburger place.