November 30, 2023

County Line at Swift Run Gap

This sign stands next to U.S. 33 near the crest of the Blue Ridge. Skyline Drive crosses on the overpass,

On one side of the historical marker is an introduction to Rockingham County, formed in 1778 and named for the Marquis of Rockingham, British statesman. The other side of the marker is at the entrance to Greene County, "named for General Nathanael Greene, commander of the Army of the South in the Revolutionary War."

At the nearby entrance to Skyline Drive, there is still a sign warning you that fires are prohibited and to report any fires. Recent rains helped crews to get nearby fires under control, but there remains a danger of wildfires. We are in a drought, and the forests are very dry.

Here is a view from a nearby overlook on Skyline Drive.

November 29, 2023

Dove and Chickadee on a Rail

November Birds

Mourning Dove, Black-capped Chickadee

Wild Bird Wednesday


November 28, 2023

November 27, 2023

A Beautiful Little Library

This book-sharing box is a new addition to the children's area at Seven Bends State Park.

This was built by Eagle Scout Joseph Kohrs. The lovely artwork was done by local artist August Hoerr.

Monday Murals / Mosaic / BlueMonday

Eagle Scouts have done a number of projects for our local parks.

It wouldn’t be right to do a post about the park without showing pictures of the Shenandoah River, would it? 

A few bonus scenes.

November 26, 2023

Heritage Festival at Trinity Brethren Church

It’s been a month since I went to the heritage and craft show in Fort Valley and I just realized I never shared my pictures. I didn’t take many because Charlie was with me and tugged on the leash in excitement.

The location was a charming church near Fort Valley Museum. It is in a long but narrow valley, still rural in character. Fort Valley is walled off from the rest of Shenandoah County by the Massanutten Mountains.

On display was an old buggy that belonged to a man named Jacob Munch, who sadly was killed in an accident while driving the buggy in 1928. The buggy was taken to his barn and not driven again.

If you have never been to Fort Valley, and find yourself near Strasburg or Edinburg, I recommend taking a side trip to drive through it. The scenery is delightful!

November 25, 2023

Charlie’s Thanksgiving

Charlie here. I just had my second Thanksgiving. It has something to do with Marie and Lynn coming to our house. They eat and laugh and play with me. I get some extra food.

Marie went to the state park with us. She took a picture of me with my mom.

When we were home, I heard a cat outside. I told Mom I wanted to go out, and she was a little surprised to see the cat waiting for me. Tripod came right up to me.

Yesterday we went in the car, and Marie sat next to me, so I kept my harness on for her. We went to the dog park at Bryce Resort and played ball. That was fun.

November 24, 2023

November 23, 2023

Lynn’s Birthday on Thanksgiving

My older daughter's birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year. Her sister arrived yesterday, shopped for groceries, and cooked a feast today. We had beef instead of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey because I am allergic to turkey and Lynn has never liked it.

Skywatch: Early this Morning 

Happy Birthday to Lynn!

Lynn and Marie. (Art by Judith Thompson)

Photo by Lynn. (Art by William Mann.)

November 22, 2023

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving!

This snapshot of Marie is very old, but I'm bringing it back because tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. I got her to show off some of her artwork.

For Wild Bird Wednesday, I have some pictures from a month ago.

Oh, those gray geese marching toward me look like the ones that used to attack me when I lived by the lake. I did not stick around to find out.

November 21, 2023

Rokeby Stables

Upperville, VA

“Paul Mellon established Rokeby Stables near here on property purchased in 1931 by his father, Andrew W. Mellon, financier and U.S. secretary of the treasury. Paul Mellon bred and raised champion racehorses, including American Way, Grand National Steeplechase winner in 1948; Arts and Letters and Fort Marcy, Horses of the Year in 1969 and 1970, respectively; Mill Reef, winner of Europe’s most prestigious races in 1971; and Sea Hero, Kentucky Derby winner in 1993. Mellon twice won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder. He collected equine art and donated many pieces to the National Gallery of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Yale Center for British Art, which he founded.”

This marker was erected on Rokeby Road in 2019. I happened to visit Rokeby on a garden tour this spring and it is a lot more than stables. It includes several homes and barns, and a lovely garden designed by Paul’s wife, Bunny Mellon. 

Tuesday Treasures 

Yesterday’s Sunset near Belle Grove

Middletown, VA

Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday 

November 20, 2023

Update on SPCA Murals

Today I drove to Winchester to get the battery replaced on my old MacBook. I found myself in the same neighborhood as the SPCA Thrift Store so I checked out their murals. When I looked for the murals a month ago, they were not complete, so I was pleased to see that they are finished and really cute.

The shop is closed on Mondays, but that’s okay because the murals are outside. A crew was there installing awnings.

The animal characters refer to the SPCA mission of helping pets. The thrift store raises money for their animal shelter.
Monday Murals

November 19, 2023

Abstract, More or Less

Sometimes it’s interesting to just isolate details to make pictures.

Mosaic Linkup

Today’s final two pictures are not what I call abstract, but they are not quite realistic either. I  added  effects using the BeCasso app. 

Charlie’s Friend, Tripod