April 30, 2022

Today’s Backyard Birds

House finch, Cardinals, Robin

After some chilly days and frosty nights, it was nice to have a warm afternoon. I sat out on the deck at lunchtime and saw a hummingbird but did not get a picture. Later I took my trusty old Nikon out there and sat down looking for birds. The hummingbird did not come back but since my camera has a strong zoom lens, I was able to get pictures of birds in my neighbor’s yard.

This evening I was able to transfer them to my iPad using a new card reader/lightning adapter. It took a few tries but I was pleased that I was able to do it even though the instruction sheet was not very good.

Saturday Critters / Bird D’Pot


April 29, 2022

Love and Rockets by the River

When I go to the Food Lion shopping center in Woodstock, it’s a short drive to Seven Bends State Park. Yesterday I decided to visit the Lupton Road section of the park. I took a picture of the LOVE sign which is constructed of beams from a barn that once stood there. (See the barn in 2018.)

 When I took a picture of the purple “dame’s rocket” and then took one of the tall yellow flowers, I did not realize that they were both members of the brassica family (mustard). The yellow plant is sometimes called yellow rocket and it was brought here by European settlers because it provides edible greens early in the spring. I just learned this after I clicked on the Info button in my photos app. 

Dame’s rocket looks a bit like native phlox but has four petals while phlox has five.

April 28, 2022

Commemorating Mabel Walton

This historical marker was erected in Woodstock in 2014.

"The Mabel Lee Walton House at 225 N. Muhlenberg Street is the national headquarters of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, founded in 1898 at the State Female Normal School at Farmville (now Longwood University). The Walton family built the house in 1914, the year after Mabel Lee Walton became Tri Sigma’s third and ultimately longest-serving national president. During her 34 years as leader and almost 70 years of membership, she promoted ideals of integrity and service. Tri Sigma’s philanthropic efforts, including a campaign to eradicate polio in the 1950s, have aided hospitalized children throughout the country."

If the building looks familiar, it may be because I shared a winter view of it in January.

April 27, 2022

Sky Meadows in April

Monday was a pretty day and I needed to shop, but I made time to stop at Sky Meadows State Park near Delaplane.

The visitor center there has both a shop and a nature museum. You can see what some of the local birds look like, such as a
Bluebird, Baltimore oriole, Screech owl, Barred Owl, Wild turkey. There are other critters too, including  a red fox and a turtle.

I was tempted to buy a sticker or two. 

April 25, 2022

Arts and Flowers

Since it is Historic Garden Week, I thought I would show you some more flowers.

This weekend also marked the beginning of Art at the Mill in Millwood.

I enjoy seeing art, whether it is “fine art” or murals or both. This large painting is at a park in Keezletown. The mountain is at the north end of the Massanutten Range.

April 24, 2022

Garden Week at Lagrange Farm

Historic Garden Week began yesterday and there were tours near Winchester. One of the places I wanted to visit was LaGrange Farm, because I have visited the grounds on a Civil War tour but have not been inside the house or the large barn.

The farm was sold last year and the new owners have done a nice job of beautifying the inside of the house. They are taking care of the barn, but unfortunately the adjacent land was sold to a developer and now a number of vinyl-clad houses are crowding the view.

Tour participants are asked not to take pictures inside the house, so I don’t have any interior views.

I was looking forward to seeing the barn and it was interesting. It is the equivalent of four stories high if you count the walkout basement level.

I could see farm animals in the yard below. This style is called a Bankbarn because it is constructed on a bank or hillside in order to have two entrance levels, with livestock sheltering in the lower level.

Shadow Shot Sunday / Barn Collective


April 23, 2022

Furry Friends Shop with Cats

This store in Woodstock supports a pet rescue charity. They sell antiques, used housewares, and pet supplies.

Weekend Reflections

They have some rescued cats in a back room where they can look out a glass door. 

I took phone pictures of a few items that appealed to me, such as a fleece blanket with dog pictures and a print of a country store,

There’s a linkup for digital art featuring pets called Caturday. I tried out an app called OilBrush to brighten up two pictures of real cats.
Caturday / Saturday’s Critters

April 22, 2022

Earthday is on Marie’s Birthday

Today is Marie’s birthday so I’m leading off with a portrait of her. I took this picture a couple of decades ago when I had a weekend job in a studio in Landmark Mall. Recently I copied the picture using my iPhone and made it black and white.

I admit I am pleased with how well my children turned out. They are both kind and intelligent.

The rest of this post deals with other nice things, namely trees and flowers. By the way, Historic Garden Week begins tomorrow. 

Redbud is blooming in Virginia. Never mind that it is not a pure red; it is a lovely tree.

I did not plant anything for earth day, but I did my recycling. I also did a little bit of social media work for Friends Of Seven Bends State Park, for which I volunteer sometimes. I let other volunteers do the manual labor tasks because frankly I am getting too old for that sort of thing.

Friday Bliss / Garden Affair / Floral Friday / Skywatch