May 31, 2021

A Simple Mural and a Reminder

Happy Pets

Monday Murals

“Freedom isn’t Free.”

May 30, 2021

Field of Flags

Winchester, Virginia

It's Memorial Day Weekend and a display in front of Handley High School honors fallen soldiers with a "Healing Field of Honor." 

The Rotary Club offered to "Honor a loved one" with your flag purchase. Names of those honored were affixed to the flag poles.

I noticed that a historical marker was across the street for the First Battle of Winchester. It marks a Civil War battlefield from May 1862. A Federal Army commanded by Major General Banks was routed here by Stonewall Jackson's army. 

I usually post a church for Inspired Sunday and I found one nearby. This is the Winchester Seventh Day Adventist Church.

May 29, 2021

On the rail and by the trail.

It's Memorial Day weekend here. Someone brightened their railings with flags and baskets of flowers. 

I hope your weekend is going well.

The male downy woodpecker has a little red cap. The bird peeking through the deck rail is a male house sparrow.

The squirrel on the deck was scratching an itch. 

I didn't identify the bird in the next picture. It flew away without turning around.

Saturday Critters / I'd Rather Be Birdin'

The beautiful deer appears to be a young male. I saw him in Shenandoah National Park. The deer there are Virginia whitetail deer. 

May 28, 2021

Riding Around Taking Pictures

Like many of you, I enjoy taking pictures. When I run an errand, I think about what photo opportunities might be nearby. 

I stayed a little too long at Rockland Park the other day and found myself in a rain storm, which wasn't too bad, but then when I left the park I found that the railroad crossing was blocked by a stopped train. It's hard to see the train in the photo because the cars are all flat cars with no cargo on them, but the lights were blinking red, the gates were down, and several cars and trucks were stopped there. This actually happens rather often because the "Inland Port" is nearby, where trains are loaded and unloaded with those huge containers that get transported on tractor trailers. 

Black and White Weekend

While I waited there in the rain, I also took pictures in the opposite direction. I was able to catch a double rainbow!
Skywatch Friday

Earlier this week, I went to Front Royal to run a couple of errands. I did not resist the call of the mountains and made a short drive into Shenandoah National Park, which I found shrouded in clouds.

Weekend Reflection: This is a view of the Shenandoah River from Hollingsworth Road.

Sometimes I get out of the car and walk, of course. That's how I got the rest of today's photos.
Floral Friday / Bliss / Garden Affair

Yesterday we did some shopping and took a ride. I had seen a photo of this dam in Aldie and wanted to see it myself. 


May 27, 2021

Be Humble, Be Kind.

The first sign is in Edinburg. Good advice.

The second one was displayed in a second-hand shop. Someone modified the Kennedy poster by adding a face mask and changing the word country to community. "Ask what you can do for your community."

Speaking of masks, there has been a big change in mask rules here in Virginia. Following the latest CDC guidelines, people who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear a mask in many settings. Masks are still required in healthcare settings, on public transit, and in public schools (since few children are fully vaccinated). 

I am glad that the number of Covid cases has decreased here. I fervently hope that this trend continues. 

Some other rules have relaxed too. On Tuesday I attended an in-person committee meeting instead of a Zoom meeting. It felt strange for a few minutes, but then it felt great! 

May 26, 2021

Birds, Late May.

Let's start off with a catbird before we look at some domestic breeds that have made themselves at home in the wild.

Yesterday I saw some guinea hens at the new state park in Woodstock. I'm pretty sure they wandered over from the same place that has the peacock that I met recently.

It looks like his people have put up a big cage for him. I did not see him though.

In case you missed my post with the peacock, here's another picture of him.

Meanwhile, ducklings have hatched in our neighborhood. Here a goose shows them to her goslings.

May 24, 2021

Navigation Irritation

But at least I found some murals.

Last week I had an appointment with a neurologist in Northern Virginia. I knew the general area because I used to work in Merrifield and basically it was there, although the address is Annandale. I was counting on my car's navigation system to find the address, and that was a mistake. The street name was unknown to the system, and after losing time in the long construction zone that is I-66, I did not have time to go to plan B, but there was no choice. I called the doctor's office and went through one of those phone systems that seems designed to discourage you from calling. When I finally got an answer, that person transferred me to someone else who didn't know what street I should turn on. I had to pull into a parking lot and consult Google maps. 
Fortunately the doctor was able to see me even though I arrived late. She was reassuring about my concerns (which are related to my unusual vision problems), so all went well there.

The building itself is being remodeled and enlarged. I was pleased to find a mural near the lobby. 
Monday Murals

This is not a painted mural; it is electronic and the ducks move around on the water.  

Mosaic Monday / Shadow Shot / Blue Monday

The building is huge and part of an extensive complex. I learned it was once headquarters to a major oil company but is now part of Inova Health Systems.

From there I went to lunch and then instructed my NAV system to find Mom's Organic Market, which I knew was nearby. Unfortunately the system did not know that a street has been closed off to make a walking mall and outdoor dining area and when I could not go that way, it took me around in a circle. I declined to circle a second time and found my way to the far side of the parking garage, which I recognized from flowers painted on a wall. It was a good thing I had been there before, although I had come in from the opposite direction. 

After buying a few organic groceries that are not sold in my area, I went by the Merrifield Post Office to get a picture. It is a large regional postal center that serves Northern Virginia. I remember going there when I worked in Merrifield many years ago. Much of that community has changed but the post office is still there. 

The place I worked, ACTech, hasn't been there in years. I had joined the company when it was in Alexandria and was not happy about it moving to Merrifield, which I called the armpit of Northern Virginia because it was located inside the juncture of two interstates and subject to pollution. I learned a lot about computers from working there because they sold customized computers and peripherals. 

May 23, 2021

The County Line Church

St. Luke's United Church of Christ is known as the County Line Church because it is next to the dividing line between Shenandoah County and Rockingham County.  I came across the pretty church when driving on North Mountain Road. 

The stained glass window over the front door bears the words "Welcome, 1848. St. Luke's Evangelical and Reformed Church." 

The congregation has roots going back to 1864, according to their Facebook page. I had difficulty finding any page for them because there are many churches named for St. Luke and I did not realize the postal address was in Timberville. I would have found it faster by looking for County Line Church.

I like the cow graphic on their page so I'm sharing it with you.

The church is in a lovely rural area and I could see farms from their entrance.

Inspired Sunday / The Barn Collective.


May 22, 2021

Just Birds and Cows.

Today this sweet duck approached me in my back yard. It's either a muscovy or a muscovy hybrid. It's now walking with a limp but demonstrated that it can still fly quite well. 

Muscovies in Virginia are usually domestic ducks but sometimes they escape and go feral, at least for a while. 

Saturday Critters / I'd Rather Be Birdin'

The American Robin is a native bird. I see them fairly often.

On Thursday I went for a ride in the country after an appointment. Somewhere between Broadway and Forestville I saw cows on a nice farm. 

This white duck was in Edinburg. I don't know whether it is a parent of the cute ducklings in the next photo.

May 21, 2021

May is Passing Quickly

How can it be May 21st already? Spring is a beautiful season but it doesn't last long. I need to savor these pretty days!

Well, it's Friday so I'm catching up on some blog hops. Today's pictures are not connected except they are all taken in the Shenandoah region. The first one does not match a theme but it was too strange to pass up. I was driving on a country road enjoying the scenery when I came across this giant gorilla art (?) installation.