July 26, 2021

A Morning Spent in Winchester

Today was the day for Frank's second cataract surgery so we got up early and went to Winchester. I've been tired the rest of the day and he's been sleeping. I did find some flowers to photograph when we stopped to pick up fast food after the procedure. 

Mosaic Monday

He wanted a strawberry shake and fries. McDonald's near the hospital has a mural showing some downtown buildings. Please pardon the intrusion of the TV screen and the tray return/trash can.

On another wall they have a street map of Winchester.

Monday Murals

July 25, 2021

In the Lost River Valley.

I've driven through the scenic valley along Lost River quite a few times. Yesterday I noticed something new: a simple rambler has been transformed by a mural with a cross in the center. This is near a couple of churches but I don't know which one it is associated with or perhaps it is a separate church. 

Inspired Sunday.

Much of the valley is farm land. Here we see two barns with a fine old house between them. It is known as Woodlawn.

The third image shows a nearby landscape. l used Pixlr online to alter this.
The Barn Collective.


July 24, 2021

Today at Lost River: Hummingbirds

Saturday Critters / I'd Rather Be Birdin'

Today I crossed the mountains into West Virginia and visited Lost River State Park. I've been there quite a few times including family visits when I was a child.

There was a hummingbird feeder but the birds were rather shy. I sat on a bench about seven feet away and waited for the birds to return. They did, and I got pictures with both my cell phone and my regular camera. 

I was planning to share more of these but my eyes are tired and bleary so I just picked out two favorites. 

July 23, 2021

Garden Collage and July in Junewood.

July in Virginia tends to be hot, but at least it is colorful. We did see haze from the western wildfires this week and I am grateful that our area is not as dry as those unfortunate regions.

The river scenes are from a new housing development called Junewood. It is on a bluff overlooking the South Fork of the Shenandoah near Front Royal. On the horizon are the Blue Ridge Mountains.

July 22, 2021

Signs of Weirdness

I like this sign that I saw at physical therapy.

I’m doing physical therapy again because the doctor referred me after I went in for knee pain. The physical therapist says the actual problem is hip weakness, especially on the right side. That’s probably the result of the foot surgery and occasional limping that I have had since then. She noticed that I am unusually flexible, which others have noticed. ( I can still touch the floor with my palms without bending my knees.) My podiatrist says my loose ankle ligaments caused me to sprain my ankle, leading to the foot injury a few years ago. 

Getting older is tough but I keep trying to alleviate the various ailments. Arthritis pain doesn’t bother me very often these days, at least. 

I went back to the allergist yesterday and they did the food allergy panel.  The results are different from all the other food allergy tests I’ve had over the years, which is not too surprising. That has happened to me before, and many other people report the same thing. Food allergy testing is not highly accurate. It can be useful though, as a guide to likely problem foods. This time the test showed mild allergy to peanuts and beef. The first is not a surprise because I have had problems with peanuts from time to time. 

Beef? Oh no! Plain beef is my go to dish when eating out because it is often the only protein dish they have that comes unadorned without sauce, breading or spice.  Well, the doctor said it is a mild allergy so I can eat it now and then. We shall see.

Medical facilities still require masks in Virginia. It is possible that other places will require them again if the Covid variants become widespread here. I’ve been vaccinated but I am avoiding crowded places. Please be careful.

July 21, 2021

Thrashing Around

The brown thrasher has dug a string of holes in our back yard. He likes to find a sandy spot and bathe in the dust!

After this, he hopped out in the yard, where he was joined by a red bird. At the time, I thought it was a cardinal, but looking at it enlarged, I think it was a house finch.
Wild Bird Wednesday / My Corner of the World

July 19, 2021

Greetings from Warsaw.

These are pictures I took last month.  Warsaw is a town near the Rappahannock River in Eastern Virginia. It is the county seat of Richmond County which was created in 1692. (The City of Richmond is not in Richmond County, however.) 
Monday Murals

Mosaic Monday


July 18, 2021

Mountain Valley UMC

 This Methodist Church is in the countryside near the community of Athlone, not too far from Harrisonburg. 

The church website tells us that written records go back to 1833. "The first log structure stood in the southern end of the present cemetery. The building as it stands was built by covenant in 1851 as a Free Church to all people and denominations. Affiliation with the United Brethren begin in 1854 with Mountain Valley being part of the Lacey Spring circuit of churches supported by a traveling pastor. In 1965, the circuit was dissolved and Mountain Valley became a station church with its own pastor. The Evangelical United Brethren merged with the Methodists in 1970, making Mountain Valley a United Methodist Church."

I don't know what the dates above the door signify. EUB stands for Evangelical United Brethren. 

July 17, 2021

Blog Post #7600: July Critters.

This bird posed on a small tree. l thought it is a house finch. (Readers have suggested it is a sparrow.)
Saturday Critters / I'd Rather Be Birdin'

The dog was dressed up for an Independence Day event last weekend.

One day I watched two red birds land in the grass. I couldn't see them well until I zoomed in using my camera. Then they appeared to be young purple finches. (A bird-knowledgable reader says house finches.) 

The fourth shot shows a squirrel. 

July 16, 2021

Health Matters

The hospital in Front Royal has moved to a new building on Leach Run Parkway, and our doctors' office has moved there also. I had occasion to go there last week after injuring my knee.

The black and white picture shows a corridor in the hospital. It's a nice building situated on a hill.

Family Practice is upstairs. Note the sky and the distant mountains.

The doctor advised physical therapy for my knee so I have started that. There I learned that my knees are strong but I need to strengthen my hip muscles along with my ankles. The therapist said to stop doing the exercises I've been doing and do other ones because I've overworked my lower back.

Frank has his share of health needs also. On Monday he had a cataract removed at Winchester Medical Center. I had to wait outside due to pandemic rules. I waited on a bench until the temperature got uncomfortably hot and I retreated to the car. 

I took some cell phone pictures while I waited. 

Speaking of the pandemic, variants of the virus are in the news.  I hope they do not get a foothold here. Over half of Virginians have been vaccinated against Covid-19, so that offers considerable protection but science does not yet know how much. Please continue to avoid crowds even if you are vaccinated.

Since I am showing Winchester scenes, I'll close with two more. I don't know what the shrub with berries is. The hanging basket holds petunias. 

July 15, 2021

New Civil War Trails Sign: Winchester's Colored Troops

A ceremony was held on Juneteenth to unveil this sign about the Black men who joined the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) during the American Civil War. I did not attend the unveiling but made it a point to find the marker after reading about it. This is next to Rouss City Hall.
Signs, Signs / My Corner of the World

The day was sunny and trees cast shadows on the sign, making it difficult to read in the photo. Google Photos transcribed the text for me (to my surprise), so I only had to correct a few errors. United States Colored Troops, by the way, was the official name for regiments consisting of Black and Native American men.

Fighting to End Slavery
On April 3, 1864, as part of a recruiting effort in the lower Shenandoah Valley, the 19th United States Colored Troops (USCT) marched into Winchester and stopped here on the old Market House site. A block behind you, at her house near the present-day George Washington Hotel, staunch Confederate sympathizer Mary Greenhow Lee was aghast. She wrote in her diary that she felt "inexpressible horror" at the thought of "being where negro troops were garrisoned." Although the regiment only remained in Winchester until day's end and gained no new recruits during its brief visit, nearly 170 African Americans from Winchester did serve in USCT regiments during the war. The 19th USCT, which had been organized in Maryland, continued its march south to join the Army of the Potomac in the Overland Campaign to Richmond and Petersburg, Va.

Edward Hall, an enslaved man, fled Winchester late in 1863 and ventured into Maryland, where he enlisted in the 30th USCT. Hall rose to the rank of sergeant and fought in some of the Civil War's fiercest engagements, including Petersburg's notorious Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864, and assaults against Fort Fisher, NC. After the war, Hall returned to Winchester, reunited with family, and worked as a gardener and laborer until his death in 1915. He is buried in Winchester's Orrick Cemetery, along with another African American Union veteran, Richand Festus (alias Dickson) who served in the 11th United States: Colored Heavy Artillery.

Proud USCT soldiers pose while recuperating from illness and wounds at L'Overture Hospital, Alexandria, Va. From left to right: Toblas Trout, 31st USCT, wounded at the Crater: William DeGraff, 22nd USCT; John Johnson, 27th USCT; Jerry Lisle, 28th USCT, wounded at the Crater: Leander Brown, 30th USCT, wounded at the Crater: Samuel Bond, 19th USCT, Robert Deyo, 26th USCT. --Charles T Joyce Collection.

[Right-hand panel] 
When the war began, Black men were forbidden to serve as United States soldiers, but by 1863 they had become an important part of the war effort. Recruiting posters such as this one encouraged them to enlist and fight. Courtesy NMAAHC.
To Arms! To Arms!

July 12, 2021

Mural with Sunflowers

Blog Post #7595 / Arts Post #602

Monday Murals

This mural is on a flower shop in Front Royal.

Below are some birds I saw on wallpaper... not exactly a mural, but artful and pretty. 


July 11, 2021

An Episcopal Church in Moorefield

Inspired Sunday

Emmanuel Episcopal Church is in Moorefield, WV.  It dates to 1879. The town of Moorefield was chartered in 1777.


July 10, 2021

Burke Lake Park Revisited

On Thursday I went to an appointment in Burke, which I posted about. Afterward I went to nearby Burke Lake Park, although it was raining. The rain let up after I got there so I was able to take some pictures. 

I hadn't been there in years but the  lake area looks the same. I watched the Canada geese and other birds. 

There is a sign on the concession stand saying that "Feeding ducks and geese is prohibited." I know that geese will overpopulate an area if they are fed frequently. This is a problem at our community lake.

A great blue heron showed up. It was watching for fish.