October 25, 2021

Lobby Art


When Frank had ear surgery last week, I grabbed some snapshots for Monday Murals and Mosaic Monday. 


October 24, 2021

Maurertown Brethren Church

Inspired Sunday

There are quite a few Brethren Churches in the Shenandoah Valley. They have Anabaptist roots, believing in adult baptism.  The Brethren denomination was founded in Germany in 1708. Historically it is a peace church like the Quaker and Mennonite churches.

Passage Creek Yesterday

Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area

Weekend Reflections

October 23, 2021

Critters with Painter Effects

This week has been so busy I didn't take many pictures of animals or birds. I did grab a picture of a stray kitty who hangs out at the community entrance, where he gets fed by people who feed the ducks. I think he may also get treats from a soft-hearted neighbor.

Linkups: Caturday / Saturday Critters

Since I've been trying to get familiar with Painter Essentials, I added a watercolor filter to the cat. 

The rest of today's images are from my archives. I modified them in Painter using different effects. The goldfinch looks delicate with a watercolor effect, which I darkened.

The Bird Depot

Most of the filters I tried on the flying geese gave them a white halo. Does that bother you?  I started over and worked from the toolbar.

Last of all, a squirrel. 

October 22, 2021

At the Park to Gather Bark

Seven Bends State Park

Shenandoah River in Black and White

Skywatch: Today I helped gather bark for a Halloween event that will take place at the park. We picked it up at the play space where volunteers had removed it from logs that will be used as natural play equipment. 

It was a pretty day and turned quite warm by noon.

Friday Bliss


October 21, 2021

A Long Day's Night in Fairfax

Yesterday we went to Inova Hospital so Frank could have cochlear implant surgery in his right ear. He's been deaf on that side for a while and if all had gone smoothly, the procedure would have taken a couple of hours. 

As things turned out, we were there for almost 13 hours. The surgeon had another patient before him and that surgery took much longer than planned.  I had time to take cell phone pictures, plus I spent so much time on the internet that I got bored with it. It's a big hospital and I walked 1.7 miles, mostly between the parking garage and the surgery center.

So we got there at 11 in the morning and didn't leave until midnight. It's a 90-minute drive because there's a really long construction zone on I-66. We are still tired today.

Garden Affair

It took Frank a while to recover from the anesthesia. I took a picture of the recovery area but it was so dull that I tried a painterly effect in Corel Painter Essentials, which I am trying out. 

Local Elections are Coming Up

Be part of your community’s decision making. Otherwise, government may be in the hands of the folks who make you shake your head and say, “What is wrong with these people?”

In that same yard, signs show the owners are still confused about who won last time.

On a more cheerful note, people are having halloween fun.

October 18, 2021

Pink Giraffe

Merrifield, Virginia

The giraffe is painted on two separate sections, one on each side of the stairway.

A signature block says:

October 17, 2021

Samples Manor Church of God

Inspired Sunday: I photographed this church in March when I visited John Brown's hideout near Harpers Ferry. The mailing address is in Sharpsburg, Maryland, but this church is out in the country.

Also sharing with Shadow Shot Sunday.

 The church was consecrated in December 1873. Part of the building is thought to be older and the 2-story section at the front is a newer addition. 

The community of Samples Manor is named for John Semple, who acquired the land in 1764. He named his land Keep Treist, a name that lives on in a road named Keep Tryst. (I've seen the a sign on US 340 that says Keep Tryst and wondered about it.)

October 16, 2021

Near-Misses, A Mess, and More

I spotted the great blue heron as it flew off and crossed the lake. I was able to photograph it with a zoom lens but mist from the water gave it a ghostly quality.

Here's something I did not see at all, but the game camera caught the scene. What I saw was a mess in our back yard, specifically a few areas of muddy dug-up dirt where grass had been. I called my husband to the window to see it. "I'll bet it was the pigs," he said.

He had seen pigs wandering the neighborhood again! We saw them a year ago. They escaped from a small farm that is nearby. It made sense that they were the perpetrators. I decided to check the game camera and sure enough! Here they are rooting in the grass. Apparently they were out all night. 

A neighbor put Frank in touch with the farmer and today he came over and raked the dirt smooth. Then he and his children spread grass seed over the area. 

This afternoon I had a couple of errands to run. I took a back road and was treated to a bald eagle sighting! It was in a tree over the road but flew off before I could pull off the road. It landed in another tree but you can barely see it in this cell phone picture.

Here I've circled the eagle so you can see the white feathers that were all I could see at that distance. 

I never saw bald eagles as a child except in a zoo. Now that have made a comeback and once in a while I spot one. Perhaps one day I will get a good photo of one.

After picking up a prescription and filling the car with gas, I drove home at dusk. The ducks grouped along the shore are residents of our neighborhood. 

These black and white ducks, however, are new to me. Perhaps they are just visiting on their way south. It's also possible that they escaped from a farm like the pigs!

After I saw them, I had one more surprise.  An egret was standing by the opposite shore. You can see it in the final shot. 


October 14, 2021

Four More Pictures from Burke Lake

Skywatch / Thankful Thursday / Reflections

Yesterday I posted some photos of Burke Lake Park. It was a cloudy day and I wasn't expecting the light to be great for photos. Thankfully, the clouds parted just enough to produce silvery water and clear reflections. 

Here are some more pictures of the lake.  I hope you enjoy them.

October 13, 2021

Today at Burke Lake

An appointment took me to Burke today. After seeing the allergist, I drove to nearby Burke Lake Park and walked around taking cell phone pictures.

Wild Bird Wednesday

There were Canada Geese, which is not surprising since they seem to be at every lake around here. I saw a single gull on a pier. 

One thing I've learned from the internet is that serious birders do not call them sea gulls. Just say gull or use their full name such as herring gull. I think I'll call this one Ralph. We'll see him again from a different viewpoint. 

I noticed one tree that had changed color. 

I was able to get a little closer to Ralph from the edge of the shore. He did not look concerned about my presence.

Later I spied a heron, but he did not let me get close at all. He flew a little farther out in the lake as I approached. I regretted leaving my real camera in the car because my iPhone does not zoom very much. Can you see him in the water? He's in the center of the picture.