May 31, 2023

By the Shores of Silver Lake

Haymarket, VA

(Yes, I borrowed the title from Laura Ingalls Wilder.)

I finally made it out to Silver Lake. I had heard of it years ago when it was a privately owned campground. More recently, I heard it was now a public park, so I intended to go see it, but it is an hour away from me, and not big enough to make a special trip unless you are a fisherman.

Yesterday, I had an appointment at the podiatrist, so I left Charlie in daycare. I had the afternoon to myself so I headed up to Prince William County to shop at Wegmans and also visit the lake.

There wasn’t much going on, just some people fishing and Canada geese browsing. The park has an interesting story in that it exists because in 2006, county supervisors made a deal with developers to sell the 317 acres to the county in exchange for permission to build on nearby farmland. 

I believe the blackbird was a red winged one although I did not spot red on its wings. It had a lovely song.

May 29, 2023

A Few Thoughts about Freedom

This evening I stopped at Cracker Barrel to pick up a to-go order that I had placed by phone. I was greeted by a large display of patriotic items, ready to be purchased for Memorial Day or Fourth of July. There were even flag-themed baby clothes.

Mosaic Monday

Are we trying too hard to look patriotic?Are citizens imitating the game that politicians play, showing off flags in their neighbors in an effort to prove their patriotism? 

Or maybe we just like the colors. They’re good colors.

Here’s a quote for you:

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” - John F. Kennedy

And here’s another presidential quote. It’s making the rounds in response to current events.

“Don’t join the book burners.” - Dwight D.Eisenhower

There is a fascinating story behind the Eisenhower quote. He added it at the last minute to a speech at Dartmouth College, responding to McCarthyism. Read about it in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine

May 28, 2023

All Gave Some and Some Gave All

Broadway, Virginia

Monday is Memorial Day. Here is a Veterans Memorial in Broadway with symbols of different branches of the armed services. It overlooks a parking lot that is the site of a weekly farmers market.


May 27, 2023

Charlie’s Memorial Day Weekend Report

Hi, it's Charlie. I have some complaints and some pictures of me for my fans. 

But first, Mom put a flag in our yard and it has a cat on it. I thought she should've gotten one with a beagle on it. But maybe this will help the cats to be more friendly.

Here I’m yawning because I couldn’t stretch out on my bed and sleep. Somehow it got pushed under the chair. It’s important that my mom stay with me all the time so that I don’t have these problems.

I don’t like it when Mom goes in the other room. If the door is open a little way, I can peek in to see if she is coming back.

When we ride in the car, Mom likes me to wear a harness. I don’t like harnesses at all. Fortunately, I know ways to take them off if they get too uncomfortable. I have even taken my collar off a few times.

There was an incident at the Fairview Dog Park that I did not like. Three dogs who live together decided to pick on me. I am not afraid of dogs that are twice my size, but there were three of them and I got scared. I ran to my mom and she saw that I was shaking so we went to the other section of the park where they couldn't get me. Since then, we have not been back to that park, but we went to the state park yesterday and to a different dog park today.

Mom likes walking by the river at Seven Bends State Park. I like sniffing all the smells. I keep a list of them in my head.

Today we went up to the dog park at Bryce Resort. I played with a nice dog named Georgia. She liked my red harness so maybe I’ll keep it a while.

Someone has set up a water fountain there for dogs.

The park is next to the library and the airport. There was a book sale outside the library today, and I met some friendly people.

I did not get a cheeseburger in the car today but I still behaved pretty well. I slept on the way home because I was tired. 

May 26, 2023

Rhododendron Time in the Mountains

Mathias, WV

I read that rhododendrons were blooming in Lost River State Park, so I decided to go. Although I often travel by myself, I knew that Deborah was visiting her brother, so yesterday I invited them to go. It turned out to be a beautiful day for driving and taking a walk.

May 25, 2023

A View near Reliance

Reliance is a village in Warren County not far from Middletown. It no longer has a post office, but it still has a church.


 In the picture, we see the entrance to a farm with the north end of the Massanutten Range in the distance.

May 24, 2023

Robin, Hummingbird

This cell phone picture of a robin is disappointing because I can’t zoom very much on the phone, and even zooming a little bit causes a loss in sharpness.

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a common bird in the United States, and I have multiple pictures that I have taken in the past. Here’s a frame from my archives that I don’t think I used before, although I have many similar ones. Robins often forage for earthworms in the grass. 

I’ve been filling my hummingbird feeders but so far I have not gotten a picture of one this year, so here’s another picture from my files.

May 23, 2023

Recent AI pictures that Look Sad

Computer generated images in a variety of styles.

Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday

Historic Goose Creek Bridge

Near Middleburg, VA

Tuesday Treasures

This stone bridge played a role in the 1863 battle of Upperville. It has been replaced by a newer bridge for the vehicle traffic on US Route 50.

Built around 1801, this is the longest remaining stone turnpike bridge in the state. I felt that it deserved a brighter picture and I had a vertical image, which I filtered in the BeCasso app.

See my August 2018 post about this bridge.

May 22, 2023

Changes at Melody’s Porch

Melody’s Porch is an outdoor snack bar attached to a gas station which also has a small grocery store. It has a new mural which I’ll show you in a moment. But first, let’s focus on these painted rocks.

The other side of the building already had murals which I shared previously; this one is a recent addition.

Monday Murals / Blue Monday
The carryout seems like a welcoming place.

Here is the colorful roof of the market, which I have shown before. This place is unexpected because it is out in the country along Route 55/48 on the way to West Virginia. 

May 21, 2023

Rain and Flowers, Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park

Yesterday I shared photos of a market in Luray that I took on Tuesday. Before going there, I drove part of the second section of Skyline Drive from Thornton Gap to Big Meadows. I really like going up there on rainy days. Chances are I’ll drive in and out of the clouds, not knowing whether I’ll find a view around the next curve or a patch of fog.

If you enter the park at Thornton Gap and head south, you soon pass through the Mary's Rock Tunnel. I've shown better pictures of it before, so I combined some into collages to save space.

I had heard that the azaleas were blooming along the drive, so I wanted to get photos of them. It's kind of silly because I have taken these pictures in previous years, but they always look a little different in different weather.

At Big Meadows, I hiked into the meadow, but not too far because my feet get really sore. The appointment that had gotten canceled that morning was for the podiatrist. The bone spur on top of my right foot has come back, six years after surgery. Also, I’m getting one on my left foot!