August 31, 2023

Shortly Before 8 PM


Skywatching with Charlie

August 30, 2023

Ducks near Edinburg Mill

The ducks in Stony Creek are an attraction to visitors in Edinburg. I've stopped there a number of times, to admire them and take some pictures.

August 29, 2023

A New Bridge is Open in Mt. Jackson

U.S.11 Over the North Fork

Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday 

Rosenwald School #12

Yesterday I was returning from buying groceries and decided to look for a historic marker. I always learn something from these signs, and often they are in a photogenic location. This one was on the want list for the Historical Marker Database because they needed a close-up shot. I drove right past the location and didn’t see the marker, so I had to turn around and go back. This is in a rural area between Rectortown and Marshall.

“In 1912, Booker T. Washington, head of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, asked Julius Rosenwald, a Jewish Philanthropist and President of Sears, Roebuck & Company, to serve on the Board of Directors at Tuskegee. Their unique partnership led to the creation of the Rosenwald Fund to support the education of African-American children in the rural South. There were 382 Rosenwald schools built in Virginia between 1917 and 1932. Eight such schools in Fauquier County offered a quality education to untold numbers of African-Americans.

Mr. George W. Bannister and his wife, Addie, Rectortown residents, provided the land for the original No. 12 school at this site. Mr. Rosenwald wanted to provide seed money to encourage community support for a new and improved No.12. This new school was built in 1924 at a cost of $4,500. It was funded in three parts: the Black contribution — $800, public contribution — $3,000 and Rosenwald contribution — $700.”
This school was replaced in 1963 by the new, integrated school on the adjacent property. It is sad to realize that schools in the south for black children were given such low priority that outsiders had to step in just to provide adequate buildings. Eventually 5,300 southern schools were funded by Julius Rosenwald working with Booker T. Washington and local communities.

August 28, 2023

Murals on East Main Street, Luray

These murals are almost across the street from each other, except that they are on opposite sides of the railroad track.

Luray has an impressive number of murals and I have shown many of them before. I think these are fairly new. 

Main Street also has flowers so it looks very inviting in the summer.

Mosaic Monday / Murals / Blue Monday

August 27, 2023

Iglesia El Calvario

Herndon, VA

Iglesia = Church

This was originally the home of the Herndon United Methodist Church. In 1987, they removed the stained glass windows in this Spring Street building and moved them to a new church. 

It appears that the current congregation has services in Spanish.

August 26, 2023

National Dog Day 2023

August 26 is National Dog Day. Although it takes place during the "dog days of Summer," it reminds us to appreciate our canine friends. 

I did not have a dog as a child because my dad had asthma. When my children were young, we got a puppy that I named Spotsy. I did not know much about dogs then, but fortunately he was good-natured. It was much later that Lynn gave me Guppy, a beagle basset mix. He turned out to be a great pet.

Benny the cocker spaniel was a good-looking dog with issues that I never understood. He got along with Guppy but could be easily alarmed. He actually bit me a couple of times.

Flash was another beagle mix. He was a great dog. After he died in 2018, it was four years before I could deal with getting another dog. That’s when my daughters talked to me into getting Charlie.

Here is Charlie this morning. This was before he destroyed that blue collar when he wore it in the car. He still gets upset in the car and chews on things. On a good day, he chews on one of the dog bones or toys that’s there for him.

We celebrated National Dog Day by going to the dog park in Basye. I figured it would be a little bit cooler up there than in the valley. There was a nice breeze. Charlie had fun playing ball. He has learned to bring it back, finally. He does not give it to me, but he drops it near my feet.

The dog park there is next to the library. Folks have been building a “rock snake” in the garden there.

I’ll close with a picture I made this morning using StarryAI. By the way, every day is Dog Day around here.

August 25, 2023

Eatery Scene, Front Royal

I was amused by the T-shirt on the right. Front Royal was once known as Helltown, and locals seem proudly amused by it. 

Historians think that her name was a play on the name Lehewtown, as it was called when founded in 1754.   Records show that it was called Helltown by the 1790s, apparently because boatman and other transient workers came into town for alcohol and recreation.

Today goods are transported by truck and train, and the boats that ply the rivers are recreational. The north and south forks of the Shenandoah River join together in Front Royal, and the town is called the canoe capital of Virginia.

Fences, New Market Battlefield

A Gate in Black and White

The Shirley House with Painterly Effect

August 24, 2023

Laurel Ridge CC in Middletown

Laurel Ridge Community College used to be called Lord Fairfax Community College. That was its name when I took classes there, but I always thought the name was confusing because there is a different community college in Fairfax County, where I earned an associates degree many years ago. 

Lord Fairfax administered a significant portion of Virginia in colonial times. He remained loyal to the king of England during the American Revolution but was allowed to live out his years peacefully in Virginia, partly due to his age and no doubt due to his personal friendship with George Washington.

Laurel Ridge’s local campus is in Middletown and is on the Cedar Creek Battlefield. I should point out that the historical battlefield is huge. Only part of it is within the official boundaries of the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.

This historical marker is right in front of the college parking lot. Directly across the road is a Civil War Trails marker.
“Near this point General Early, on the morning of October 19, 1864, stopped his advance and from this position he was driven by Sheridan in the afternoon.”

August 23, 2023

Bad Birds

Actually, the birds are fine. It’s the images that are not so great. This picture of a robin looked good in the thumbnail but when I enlarged it, I saw it was not sharp except for the wing. I like the pose though.

I enjoy playing with image generating apps, and I often make a picture or two before breakfast. I thought maybe a picture of some birds in a garden would be refreshing, but AI got confused (as it often does) and combined the goldfinch and the blue jays. 

This goldfinch portrait came out nice and sharp. It's not a real bird though; it’s a a model in the visitors center at Dickey Ridge. That’s in Shenandoah National Park near Front Royal.

I was there on Tuesday and I spent a little time just relaxing on a bench. The visitor center overlooks a beautiful mountain view.

August 22, 2023

Naked Ladies and Other Delights

 Sky Meadows State Park

These pretty lilies are sometimes called naked ladies or surprise lilies because the foliage disappears before the flowers suddenly appear.

August 21, 2023

Another Parking Space Mural

A week ago I showed you some murals that were painted on parking spaces in Winchester. I held onto this one because it deserves its own post. I regret that the gutter had not been cleaned.

Not only is this a well-done piece of street art (literally!), it is nicely reflected in a shop window. Apparently the window display was chosen to echo the colors of the mural.

While I was in that part of town, I went around the corner to get a better photo of the historical marker for Winchester’s Colored Troops. When I photographed it two years ago, strong shadows interfered with the legibility. This time the sky was cloudy so I got a better picture. 

During the American Civil War,  United States Colored Troops was the official name for troops of black and native men. 

August 20, 2023

Another Quaker Meeting House

Herndon, VA

This building is currently used as The Herndon Friends Meeting, but it was once the home of a women's club which established a library here. That group was called a fortnightly club, which was apparently a popular name used by women’s clubs in the 19th century.

A town historical marker tells the story. 
“The Herndon Fortnightly Club was founded in 1869 by eleven women interested in studying literature, art, science, and the popular interests of the day. Early on, the Club decided to start lending books. By 1900 they had collected over 1000 volumes. Much of the collection was lost in The Big Fire of 1917. In 1927, the Club constructed this Greek Revival building to house the new collection. It became the Herndon Fortnightly Library, the first lending library in Fairfax County.”
Across the street from this building is the fire department, formed in 1917 after that “Big Fire” devastated the core of downtown.

August 19, 2023

Charlie’s Progress Report

Hi, it's Charlie! Every day is a learning day when you are a young dog. I've been learning how to ride in the car without being scared, and that isn't easy because the car makes loud noises. It rumbles and vibrates and bumps! Sometimes I am brave and look out the window. Often I chew on something or keep an eye on Mom.

A good thing about the car is that it takes me to interesting places. My favorite is the dog park because I can run there, and jump or chase a ball. Sometimes other dogs come, and we play. I like to race them.

I also like going to places that have cheeseburgers. So yummy!

Another good thing about the car is that I can see big animals from a safe distance. Cows are really scary if you get too close to them. They're huge!

Do you see how those cows are in the water? I got in some water in our yard. I was scared at first because there was a thing that made the water spray. Mom turned it off so I could put my feet in the water. I don’t like it a whole lot, but it tasted okay.

I keep an eye on what is going on on our street. I didn’t have to learn that, because I am a dog and it comes naturally. Can you see the little dog in that driveway? He’s a nice dog. Most of the dogs on our street are not very friendly because they are the small and yappy kind. They think I am really big, kind of like I think cows are too big.

I am also learning to take my medicine. Ugh! It tastes bad, and I can smell it even if it is inside a treat. Beagles are very good at smelling.

I hope you are good at things too, and having fun whenever you can.