April 30, 2021

A Stop at Seven Bends

Map on Car Navigation System
Construction is underway at the Rivers Way Play Space in Seven Bends State Park. I stopped by there in mid-April to take a look. There was a pipe, heavy equipment, recently moved earth, and plenty of mud from recent rains.

On the map above, we see some of the bends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah. As you can see, there are more than seven, but seven is about all you can see at one time if you are looking down from Massanutten Mountain. 

I walked a little way on a trail by the river. The water was high and some branches were touching it, making ripples.

There were bluebells and other wildflowers blooming. When I turned to head back to the parking area, I found I was facing into the wind. That was chilly!

April 29, 2021

Post-Vaccination Trip to Pennsylvania

We took a brief trip to Pennsylvania this week. Since we got our second dose of the Covid vaccine two months ago, we felt that is was relatively safe to travel by car. My sister is visiting Pittsburgh this week and that is closer than Kentucky, so this was an opportunity to see her for the first time in over a year. 

Signs, Signs

Frank has a brother who lives near Pittsburgh so we saw him too. 

Images 1-3 are at the Maryland Welcome Center at Sideling Hill. It has some pretty views. On the door I saw a hand-drawn sign that says "Mask on Maryland."

I did most of the driving so did not take many pictures en route.

Eventually I needed Frank to take the wheel. I pulled over in a parking lot in Uniontown and saw this sign for a tire store.

We had arranged to meet Frank's brother at a Dairy Queen in Delmont, PA. Frank then went off with him for two nights and I continued to my sister's residence, but first I wanted to locate a restroom. The doors to Dairy Queen were locked. Like many restaurants, they are doing drive-through service only. This protects their staff from exposure to Covid, at least for the most part. 

At a service station, a clerk directed me to a Get-Go gas station that has open restrooms. 

I was glad to have my GPS to direct me to Peggy's address, even though it had failed me three times on the trip so far. I think it loses signal in the mountains and then says to turn either too soon or too late. 

When I finally reached Peggy's driveway, I was delighted to have a welcoming committee of Peggy, her daughter Meadow, her daughter-in-law Michelle, and her cute little girl. It's hard to believe she is eleven already; see her picture as a baby in 2010.

The next day we visited Larry, Meadow's dad, at his home near Greensburg.

Later Peggy took me to a softball game where her grand-daughter was playing. Here are Michelle, Elias, and their dog Nala with Peggy.

Elias is Peggy's son. I did not see him the day before because he was at a softball game with his son. Both of the children enjoy sports.

I only spent two nights at Peggy's house, and left yesterday. I drove back to Delmont  to meet Frank and Bill. 

I am thankful that I had a chance to see family members. All had been vaccinated except the children, so that's a great thing.

April 28, 2021

April 26, 2021

When Pigs Fly

Monday Murals/ Mosaic Monday

This mural is at an ice cream stand near the Apple House, Front Royal.

April 25, 2021

John Mann UMC

 Winchester, Virginia

From the Handley Library website::
"Shortly before the Civil War at conference at the Market Street Methodist Church, Winchester, VA, decided to organize a new church for the local black population. The result of that meeting was the John Mann United Methodist Church which opened its doors on July 1, 1857 at 119 East Cork Street, Winchester, and still is in operation today."

There is a cornerstone on the left that is difficult to read but I see the date 1858, which I assume is when the official dedication took place. I also see the words "Rebuilt 1893." 

I see that the Inspired Sunday linkup will continue. Bill of "The Church Explorer" has volunteered to run it. Bill has regularly published detailed photo essays on churches in the UK, some of them very old. Thank you, Bill!

April 24, 2021

Critters and Flowers

Pictures one and two are from my yard. I saw the robin yesterday. 

Saturday Critters / I'd Rather Be Birdin'

  We planted creeping phlox a few years ago and it has done well.

Last year the Historic Garden Week tours were canceled due to Covid-19, but some were held this year on a reservation-only basis. Today we went on the Middleburg tour, which was not in Middleburg at all and rarely is. The planning falls to the Middleburg Garden Club and it is always spectacular because some extremely luxurious properties are in that area. 

Today I'm only posting photos from one of three places that were on the tour because I am very tired. We did a lot of walking!

This site was in Delaplane. Stone walls are common in Virginia's Piedmont region because there is so much stone there that farmers had to move it out of their fields anyway so they used it for walls.

I snapped a picture of a wheel cover on a car because my daughter has a pet dog who looks like this one.

April 23, 2021

Flowers, Driving, Walking.

It's springtime and Virginia looks glorious! I was able to get outdoors this week so I have a surplus of photos. I'll try to give you an overview, starting with a pink dogwood in our yard. 

Friday Bliss / Garden Affair 

Last Saturday we had to take some old boards to the landfill so we loaded up Frank's SUV. He drove so I took a few cell phone pictures along I-81. 
Skywatch Friday

On Sunday, I went up to Skyline Drive in the late afternoon, after doing things around the house while Frank cut the grass.

I spotted some white wildflowers at an Browntown Valley Overlook. I got close to take a picture and saw they were bloodroot.

Floral Friday

Now that the weather is nice, I'm making an effort to take a walk as often as possible. On Monday I walked at Cedar Creek Battlefield, starting at the lower entrance to the Morning Attack Trails.
Signs, Signs
"Following the successful Confederate surprise attack, Union forces from the 8th and 19th corps formed battle lines across the woods and fields in front of you, in the hopes of slowing the overwhelming Southern assault moving in this direction. This included the 8th Vermont (whose surviving veterans later dedicated a monument to their sacrifice) and troops under Colonel (and future President) Rutherford B. Hayes. This fighting delayed the Confederate advance long enough for the rest of the Union army, on the other side of the Valley Pike, time to readjust their lines."

Redbud trees were in bloom along the trail, as they are along many roads in Virginia.

On Wednesday I had an appointment in Harrisonburg. Trees and sky were reflected in the windows of the building where I had a scan to screen for osteoporosis. (I don't have it yet. My mother had it so there's always the possibility.)
Weekend Reflection

At that point I was on Port Republic Road so I drove to that town for a look around. I've been there a number of times and it is worth a visit. 

This sign was on the bulletin board and it was one I hadn't seen before. "Report Feral Swine." 

There were flowers blooming and the town was charming. I also went to the nearby town of Grottoes but those scenes will have to wait. 

That night the weather turned cold and windy but on Thursday afternoon, I went to Maurertown and took a walk at the Shenandoah County Park. I stopped to take some pictures of the barn that once served the county poor farm. 

Yesterday was even colder so I took my walk along the river where it is sheltered. This is in Strasburg Town Park. 

Today it was Frank's turn to have a medical appointment. It was in downtown Winchester so I walked around a block or two while I was waiting. Flowers were blooming there too. 

April 22, 2021

It's Throwback Thursday, Earth Day, and Marie's Birthday.

Happy Birthday to my younger daughter!

Thankful Thursday.

This is an old photo of Marie playing.  Back then I often used black and white film because color film cost more to process. Now the black and white pictures are still fairly sharp but the color ones are faded and slightly blurred. 

I feel very fortunate that both my daughters turned out to be very fine people. 

April 21, 2021

A Duck and Goose Distinction, Plus a Downy Woodpecker.

I just read that a duck's nostrils are placed higher up on the beak than a goose's. Here's a muscovy duck.

Now here's a goose. See how far down the nostrils are. 

Perhaps you noticed that Mrs. Duck is missing some feathers on the back of her neck. That is usually from her mate biting her neck while mating. I've also seen quite a few geese in this condition. Hopefully we'll see little ones in a month. 

Well, this is a family show so let's change the subject. Today's final photos show a downy woodpecker. 

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