January 31, 2023

Treasures of the Cedar Creek Foundation

Middletown, VA

Recently, I stopped by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation for the first time since before the pandemic. I found their exhibits had expanded greatly. .

The foundation is a partner in the preservation and interpretation of the battlefield in cooperation with the National Park Service, Belle Grove, and Shenandoah Valley Battlefields. The museum is across the Valley Pike (US 11) from Belle Grove, which also has exhibits. The National Park Service also has a visitor center in Middletown, which can be confusing to tourists.

At this museum you can see artifacts from the American Civil War and mid-19th century Shenandoah Valley. You can learn about the Battle of Cedar Creek, which took place on this land in 1864.

January 30, 2023

Multiple Murals in Manassas

The Eavesdrop Brewery is at the rear of a long building on Centreville Road. The exterior is painted to look like a series of store fronts.

They say the building once housed racing pigeons. I took most of these pictures from the Sheetz gas station next door. 

January 29, 2023

The View from Eagles Edge Trail

Seven Bends State Park

After a rainy morning, the weather was mild this afternoon so I took Charlie to the state park for a walk. Although I have a cold, I was feeling well enough to walk a little farther than I have in a while. The pain in my left hip has subsided, except for early in the morning. My right ankle feels stronger than it has in over a year.

Charlie has plenty of energy and needs exercise. We followed the trail past the river access point. We did not see any eagles, although I met two people who have seen them in this part of the park.

The suspension bridge provides a pedestrian exit in case the low bridge into the park gets flooded. Sometimes the Shenandoah River rises and both roads into the park are closed.

Eagles Edge Trail is on the Lupton Road side of the park. This part of the park used to be a summer camp for Massanutten Military Academy.

Mosaic / Sunday Best / Backroads 

January 28, 2023

Scenes from Moose Road and Strasburg Town Park

There's a town recycling center on Moose Road in Woodstock. The road is named for the Moose Lodge, a building used by a social and charitable organization called the Loyal Order of Moose. The road continues out into the country for a few miles.

I drove out there and immediately saw a magnificent hawk. Unfortunately it flew off before I could pull over to take a picture. Shortly after that, I saw quite a few turkeys wandering around. They did not mind posing for me.

There are some nice farms out there, and great views of the Massanutten Mountains.

Today I took Charlie to Strasburg Town Park. The dog park is not as elaborate as Woodstock’s, but Charlie does not mind as long as he finds a dog to play with. After his playmate left, I tossed a ball for him.

Picture Modified in BeCasso 

This spotted dog comes to the park in style. His owner has a cart for him, which is pulled by a bicycle. They played catch and then they went for a walk by the river. The cart has a license tag that says Dog Haus!

January 27, 2023

Wetlands Trading Company

Basye, VA

I was pleased to see that this store reopened near Bryce Resort. It is now a gourmet grocery and garden center, or rather, it is going to be. They are just gearing up right now. Soon they'll be serving fresh coffee.

When we lived up there, we passed it every time we went to town. I remember when a gentleman named Jim operated a landscaping business there. He was known for building decorative ponds.

Blog Post #8200

Blogging Since 2005 
(and I Still Struggle with the Software!)

You'd think I'd know what I was doing by now, but I just hit Paste when I meant to Select.

Today I prepared a different post and then I remembered that this was a blog anniversary. 8200 is an impressive number so I thought I should say a little something about myself. I am retired, and I live with my dog Charlie.

The picture shows my reflection in a shop in Middletown that is part of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Museum. They have a line of costumes for living history interpreters.

Recently, I saw a meme that said, “Study history. Realize that people have been this stupid for thousands of years.“

This blog reflects many of my interests. In addition to history and photography, I am passionate about nature, fascinated with mankind’s relationship to the environment, energized by people (especially my family), inspired by art, intrigued by medical science. I desire to help people and make a contribution.

Now for a glimpse of things in my home. 

P.S. Other bloggers and photographers inspire me. Thank you for being here.

January 26, 2023

Don't Stare at the Sun!

You may not want to stare at these pictures. I felt eyestrain just getting them ready to post! But I did a little experiment today with filters.

It's been years since I used filters on my camera because Photoshop and other programs take care of so many photography problems. I've had a set of graduated filters for a while and finally got an adapter to fit them on my camera. I took the first two pictures a few seconds apart but I turned the filter just to see what difference it made. It really changed the look of the sunbeams as it cut out some of the light.

That's not what it's for though. If you shoot with the dark section of the filter at the top, it will darken the sky a little bit. Since an automatic camera setting tries to average the light to a middle gray, blocking light from the sky allows the camera to let in more light on the lower section of the photo. Here we see a result, with the church showing up as white instead of just a shadowy wall or a silhouette. 

I probably won't use the filters a lot. My cell phone does so much more than any of my cameras did back when I was studying photography, and it does most of it with no effort on my part. Digital photography has made it possible for everyone to get good shots. 

January 25, 2023

Finally it Snowed, but Not Much.

Our first noticeable snow of the winter did not last long enough to look pretty. It turned into sleet and rain. Charlie was a little puzzled by the white stuff, and he didn't seem to like getting wet.

I put out safflower seed as the first flakes fell and some house finches showed up pretty quickly.

The dark-eyed junco is a regular visitor too.

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

January 24, 2023

January 23, 2023

A Pretty Mural in Manassas

This afternoon I went to the endodontist in Manassas, and afterward I went back to a mural that I had spotted there previously because I wanted to take a picture of it.

Monday Murals

This is on the side of Washington Glass Fabrication. I could not get a picture from the car because there’s no place to pull over, so I had to park and walk to a vantage point. It was worth the effort. Note the Escher-style birds on the right.

The reason I went to Manassas was that my dentist recommended a specialist there for a root canal. Failures of this procedure are fairly common and this office has advanced equipment. I had the first part of the root canal (ouch) on my previous visit and this was a follow up. Unfortunately, there is still one nerve showing signs of infection, so I will have to go back again! (It seems unfair because I’ve always taken care of my teeth but I have had a lot of problems with them.) 


January 22, 2023

The View from Conicville Church of Christ

This church in Shenandoah County has a fine view that I shared long ago but yesterday the light was so nice that I stopped and took pictures again.

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”  ― Mary Oliver

January 21, 2023

Saturday Squirrels and More

For Squirrel Appreciation Day, I made a collage of pictures I've showed before. We haven’t had real snow this winter.

Critters / Mosaic

Years ago, I had a neighbor who called all squirrels Charlie and I picked up the habit. Now that I have adopted a dog named Charlie, I'm trying to stop doing that because it sounds confusing.

Here we see Charlie the beagle in the car on his brand new hammock-style blanket. He chewed through the straps and buckles on two previous ones, plus a dog car seat. Perhaps the guilty look is because he just wiggled out of another harness. It was a new one with a third strap that fastened under his belly, designed to be escape-proof. I don't know how he squeezed out of it! Well, beagles were bred to hunt rabbits so they had to be able to get out of brush piles and rabbit holes.

The picture that looks like a drawing is a photo that I processed in two different apps to get what I wanted.

The horses are in Middletown and the reflected gnome is in Basye.