November 30, 2022

A Couple of Northern Cardinals

The male cardinal stands out in his red plumage. The female is more subtle in her colors, but is still a lovely bird. 

They seem to thrive in towns and suburbs, and are not very shy of humans.

November 29, 2022

Haybale Santa and Missus

Shenandoah County Fairgrounds Entrance

November 28, 2022

Mural at Vibrissa Brewpub

Winchester, VA

After I saw this mural mentioned online, I stopped by to take pictures. It is at 10 North Kent St. which was formerly a newspaper office.

November 27, 2022

A Barn at Twilight

Near Delaplane

For More Barns, See Backroads Traveller

November 26, 2022

Athletic Critters

This is the time of year that I start feeding birds. I avoid it during warm months because it can attract bears, even in town.

The sunflower seeds attracted squirrels. Charlie liked watching them. Unfortunately, one of them knocked down this feeder today and broke it.

The picture of a really big cat is computer-generated. I made it using FreeImageGenerator for the Caturday blog hop

Charlie is a really fast runner. He amuses people at the dog park.

November 25, 2022

Let’s Cross the River to See What’s New

At Seven Bends State Park.

The children's play space now has a slide. I took Charlie with me but he did not try it out.

Also new is a merchandise trailer, a mobile store that is open during scheduled hours. Today it was open for the "Opt Outside” event. It will not open again until December 10, which will give park visitors one more chance to get holiday gifts.

Charlie went to the park with me and met some of the rangers and enjoyed walking around. It’s fortunate that the park is not very far from home because he wriggled out of his harness in the car again. He gets nervous when the car is moving and tries to get out of whatever is restraining him. When Marie was here, she rode in the backseat with him for a short ride and that calmed him down temporarily.

I’ll show you a few more recent pictures of the park. It is along the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

Alone Again

My daughters don't stay very long for holidays. They have busy lives.

Marie left for the airport at 8 AM. I got her to pose for a couple of pictures outside. The first one did not have enough light so I had her stand behind her white rental car, using it as a reflector to add light to her face.

Charlie saw her go out the door but did not understand. Within 20 minutes he was looking for her. He stood outside her bedroom door, crying out in his squeaky voice that he uses when asking for something.


November 24, 2022

Lynn and Marie were Here for Thanksgiving

Today was Thanksgiving and my daughters cooked a feast. We no longer fix a traditional turkey dinner because Lynn and I find that turkey does not agree with us, so they fixed a delicious roast beef with sides.

We also had a celebration of Lynn's birthday, which was yesterday.

November 23, 2022

Turkey Day

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the US. Many people serve turkey, one of the traditional Thanksgiving foods. Thousands of domestic turkeys are raised here in the Shenandoah Valley, but we also see wild turkeys fairly often. I haven't done well at getting photos of them because they seem to be moving all the time.

Taxidermy turkeys are easier to photograph because they hold still. Here we see one in a nature center and a wall-mounted one that was in a house that we bought years ago. I thought it was unappetizing so we wound up giving it away to Gail at Deauville Farm. Children who visited her farm market enjoyed seeing it.

I hope you enjoy Thanksgiving Day tomorrow!


November 22, 2022

November 21, 2022

Another Glimpse of Berkeley Springs

A new business has a mural showing hikers. It looks like they will be catering to bicyclists, hikers, and campers.

Last week I showed a mural in the Icehouse. In that same gallery I saw this mosaic of Morgan County made by students.
Mosaic Monday / Murals

Here’s a look at the outside of the gallery and a decorative interior door. 

Berkeley Springs is a historic town with a lot of charm. It is becoming artsier all the time.

November 20, 2022

Sunday Refection and Shadows

Here we see the Woodstock Presbyterian Church, which I have shown before in 2016. Next to it is another building which I believe they use as a community center.

I had a late start today because my left leg was hurting, possibly due to a reaction to medication. This has happened to me before.

I drove Charlie to the dog park. I let him ride in the front seat this time, in his new dog booster seat and attached to a doggy seat belt. My hope is to decrease his anxiety about riding in the car. He was still anxious and chewed on the new dog seat instead of the chew bone I gave him. 

He played hard in the park, running and jumping with a couple of other dogs. After a while he got out of his winter jacket somehow. I figured by that time he was probably warmed up from the exercise so it didn’t bother him that the temperature was very cold. He rested on the way home.

Zenny is visiting with his traveling parents.


November 19, 2022

Cows and a Naughty Dog

It's Saturday and I usually post some animal pictures. Lately Charlie has done some of the posts but I'm not letting him do that today because I'm mad at him. So here are some cows.

You may be wondering why I am upset with Charlie. Well, he has been chewing up my new car!

I was taking him to the dog park and he was in the backseat, secured by a steelcore doggy seatbelt, inside the dog seat that he has chewed up over a period of weeks. I heard him chewing on something that did not sound like one of the dog bones or toys back there. I told him no but I could not pull over right away. When I did, I could see that he had chewed on the console! Yikes.

I scolded him and he did look sorry. We went to the dog park and he ran around rather frantically. We didn't stay very long because it was really cold. He napped on the way home, thank goodness.

If he were a normal dog, he could ride inside a travel crate, but Charlie is terrified of crates. At home, I have been trying to get him to go inside the crate that Flash used to sleep in. For two months I've put his toys in it several times a day and he fetches them out as long as they are not too far inside. His lion is too deep inside and he will not go that far to get it. On the advice of a trainer, I've been feeding him by putting his bowl inside the crate, but not too far or he won't eat. Maybe someday…

November 18, 2022

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

...I've come to talk with you again...

Those are, of course,  the opening lyrics to the Sound of Silence.  I think of them when the days get short at this time of year. It’s difficult to adjust. 

Surprisingly, some flowers are still blooming in my yard, even though we've had frost several times. The zinnias are totally brown and my marigolds finally succumbed. About half my reblooming irises closed up but there is still a patch of them blooming in a protected spot of the front yard.

I call these my flowers but most of them were planted by Mr. Angles, the previous owner.


November 17, 2022

A Ruff Day and a Better Day

Yesrterday was a rough day for Charlie. There are things that really upset him which would not bother a typical dog. I will briefly describe what happened.

The cleaning people came. I didn’t feel I needed them before I got a dog but now there is dog hair everywhere, and I am so dog-tired that I don’t have the energy for much house cleaning. Well, Charlie is afraid of mops and upright vacuum cleaners, so I took him outside. We were doing fine until a delivery truck stopped across the street and a tall man in a dark uniform got out. Charlie looked at him and started howling. He remained upset after the man got back in his truck and left.

When I tried to carry some dead flowers and sticks to the backyard, that set him off again. He ran this way and that way and almost made me fall down.

To add insult to injury, another tall man showed up and Charlie got upset again. He didn’t calm down until late afternoon. I told him that we would make the next day better.

So today we went to the dog park even though the weather was cold. Charlie wore his new coat but no one was there to admire it. I guess the other dogs stayed home where it was warm. Still, Charlie got to run around at high speed and even chased a ball. 

We are working on feeling safe outdoors. Charlie was raised in a large breeding facility that got shut down for abusing the dogs, and he spent the first year of his life indoors in a cage. 

On the way home we stopped at Walmart and picked up prescriptions. They will bring them out to the car for you so I did not have to leave him alone. I noticed this display of inflatable decorations. Who invited a triceratops to the nativity scene?