February 21, 2024

Walking a Little Farther

Along the Bass Bight Trail

This afternoon was sunny and mild so I took Charlie to Seven Bends State Park for a “sniffari” adventure. (A beagle can sniff so intently that he tires himself out.) We walked beside the river and he behaved pretty well. My ankles felt stronger than usual so I decided to walk farther today.

I saw a flash of bright blue wings, and was pleased when the bird alighted on a branch. All I had was my cell phone and the pictures are not very sharp because my dog was pulling the leash to go forward. But even the app on my phone identifies it as an Eastern bluebird.

The park has nesting boxes for bluebirds, and volunteers help maintain them.

We heard a woodpecker drumming loudly, and it frightened Charlie. It sounded like a huge bird, but I glimpsed it when it flew off, and it was small like a downy woodpecker.

Our progress was slow because there were many things for a beagle to sniff. We heard and saw some other birds. I couldn’t tell what these were, but the one in front was the size of a sparrow.

I had made a mental note a while back that the Chronolog stand was past the maintenance building after you go around a bend. Although I was concerned about getting tired on the way back, I decided to try to find it since we were almost there. I saw it just past the sign for the Paw Paw Trail. 

I took a picture from the stand and uploaded it as directed on the sign. It is now part of the time-lapse record. (I have also contributed to the Chronolog pictures on the Lupton side of the park as well as in Shenandoah National Park.) Then we headed back to the car. Our total distance was a little over a mile, which would have been an easy walk when I was younger, but now that I have a hypermobile ankles and arthritic feet, it feels longer. I am pleased that I did it though, because I want to be able to explore places. Maybe I’m not completely over the hill.

February 20, 2024

The Jessie Rupert Schoolhouse

New Market, VA

Jessie Rupert headed the New Market Female Seminary during the Civil War years, although she was a supporter of the Union. Many of her neighbors resented this and after her husband died in 1867, she lost her job.

In 1868, she opened a new school in this building on Congress Street. At first it was another school for young women, but around 1870, she got funding for the "Woodward Cottage Institute," which provided free education to local white and African American children. These students typically could not afford tuition to local private schools. 

Sadly, the school only lasted for a year or two. The school faced opposition from the community and Mrs. Rupert faced threats of violence. After the school closed, she continued to live in New Market and earned money as a traveling speaker. She died in 1909.
Tuesday Treasures

Present and Past Pets

It is National Love Your Pet Day!

Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday

February 19, 2024

Reston Skyine

This mural is in Reston Town Center. I’m old enough to remember when there were very few tall buildings in Reston, but the town’s location near Dulles International Airport has attracted many businesses.
Mural by “Artifice” 

February 18, 2024

Yesterday’s Wintry Walks

When Charlie woke me up yesterday, I looked out the window and saw fluffy new snow. The sun was barely coming up, so we waited a few minutes before going outside for his sunrise walk. Fortunately, we had less than two inches of snow, and the sidewalk and street were not snow-covered. They had held warmth from the sunny day before.

There was a cold wind that continued all day. This made it too cold to go to the dog park, which is open to strong winds. It seemed that the woods would be a better bet, so after a brief stop at the library, I drove to Riverview Park.

We only have a few sites here that are related to George Washington, so this one I have shown here previously for Presidents’ Day. The trail here is named for John (Johann) Effinger, a Woodstock resident who served under General Washington in the American Revolution.

"This trail is dedicated to Captain John Ignatious Von Effinger (1756-1839), a Hessian soldier who deserted from the British in the American Revolution and joined the American forces. He was later put in command of George Washington's bodyguards. Captain Effinger lived in Woodstock for many years and is buried in St. Paul's UCC cemetery on S. Church Street in Woodstock."

Both the trail and the small picnic shelter were constructed by Boy Scouts. They do a number of valuable projects for our parks.

We walked the first loop of the trail, which is 1/3 of a mile. By the time we got to the place where are you can see the Shenandoah River, we both had cold, wet feet. From here you can see the Lupton low-water bridge and Seven Bends State Park.

Charlie was glad to get back in the car. 

I have a few more views to show you, starting with one from French Woods Road.

Since we were close to the state park, I drove down there for a short visit. I only got out of the car to take a picture of the LOVE sign. Charlie remained inside where it was warmer.

Mosaic Monday

February 17, 2024

This Week’s Critters

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Charlie was not interested in dressing up for the occasion. As soon as I put the “Free Kisses” bandanna on him, he started trying to get it off. As for the headgear, I didn’t even succeed in getting that on his head before he shook it off.

On Thursday, I shared some scenic views from Shenandoah National Park. I saw some deer there too. This little guy was posing nicely until another deer came bounding through behind him.

One day I ran a couple of very minor errands in Middletown. They were so minor that I wondered if I should’ve even used gas to drive there, but then I spotted this friendly horse. It’s always nice finding a surprise photo opportunity.

“Toon” Effect / Art.

Swing in the Sunshine

In Bridgewater, Virginia 

Street photography … records everyday life in a public place.

February 16, 2024

Bare Trees, Misty Afternoon

One thing about having a dog is that I go for walks even on days when the weather is not great.

Black and White

Blogging note: Something has changed on the Blogspot interface again. I hope it’s temporary. I’m not able to edit code tonight in HTML. This probably wouldn’t matter to most people, but I used to code so many webpages that I can probably do it in my sleep.

The interface is pretty good and lets me do basic things quite well. But sometimes I want to make a change that’s easier in HTML. Also, I often blog on my iPad, and it has limitations. It helps to hit the save button regularly.

February 15, 2024

Winter Skywatching, Skyline Drive

It wasn't really my plan to go to Skyline Drive today, but my errands took me to Front Royal. Skyline Drive starts there and winds its way south through Shenandoah National Park. Sometimes I find it irresistible.

I knew that they had snow up there, even though we had only gotten a dusting of it in the valley. I told myself that maybe I would just go up and view a few overlooks, and then turn around and go home.

In the winter, it is hard to predict what it will be like in the mountains. The climate there is colder and sometimes foggy. By the time I reached Range View Overlook, I knew that the skies held enough drama to make photography interesting. I decided to drive south to Thornton Gap and come home through Luray.

I have driven the north section of the drive so many times that I know which overlooks offer the best views. I usually stop at Pass Mountain Overlook before reaching the exit at Thornton Gap. The sun was low in the sky when I got there.

Ha, the sun coming through the clouds looks like the face of a jack-o’-lantern!

February 14, 2024

A Day for Red Things

Happy Valentines Day to those who celebrate. I did not, except for posting a few pictures. 

In honor of the day, I'll show some red birds. The northern cardinal is our most obvious one.

The male house finch displays sports red feathers too. 

The American Robin is known for its red breast. 

I do have a decoration outside for Valentines Day. And I took Charlie to the dog park in Strasburg, which was great fun for him because a small dog named Timothy showed up and ran with him. 


Working on a Logo

At one time I had a little image at the top of my blog, but at some point it disappeared. I just used Flaming Text to create a text logo. Let's see if I can get it to show up as a header.

Nope, i’m not able to edit the code right now. I’ll try later. Or maybe I’ll use this version that I edited in Picsart.

February 13, 2024

February 12, 2024

Regional Library Mural

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Massanutten Regional Library invites you to enter a castle! Oh, wait! It’s the children’s section. 

Monday Murals

Looks like Jack is climbing the beanstalk!

I must say this is fancier than any of the libraries I went to when I was a child. I still loved them though.