April 20, 2024

Woofstock 2023

This afternoon I took Charlie to a dog festival. 

I wasn’t too sure what to expect or how Charlie would take it, but once he got over the initial excitement of seeing a bunch of dogs in the crowd, he calmed down and behaved beautifully. “Woofstock” is a play on the name of the famous 1969 music festival, but I didn’t see any hippies today.

Created with StarryAI for Caturday Art.

There was some music playing for a demonstration of freestyle dancing with dogs.

We saw a couple of neighbors and also Jaime, my real estate agent. We entered the cute dog contest, but none of us won. A small red heeler was the winner, but everyone had fun. 

Charlie even allowed a nail trim!

We stayed for a presentation on search and rescue dogs. This lab is Reese, who works with conservation police. It is amazing what they can do after many days of training.

April 19, 2024

Angles Through a Window

Monochrome #705 (Black and White Weekend)

This shows the frame of a patio umbrella outside a restaurant.

April 18, 2024

Progress at the Fish Hatchery

Front Royal, VA

The fish hatchery is actually in Waterlick. For a while, it was closed for renovations. Now it has reopened with improved ponds for raising fish to stock creeks and rivers.

I have reported on this hatchery before and described how a pollution case paid for repairs

I was glad that I stopped here today to take a few pictures because after I walked up to the sign, I turned and saw some fancy clouds and their reflection.

Skywatch / H2O / Reflections


April 17, 2024

A Sign of Spring?

This American Robin was perched on a signpost outside the veterinary yesterday. I saw it after picking up Charlie from day boarding. The dogs don't play together there like they do in doggy daycare centers, but the attendants play with him and he gets to run in their play area. He loves the girls who work there. 

Although robins are considered a sign of spring, we see them year-round in Virginia. They seem more active in springtime, probably because it's the season to start a family. 
Robin on a fence for Wild Bird Wednesday

April 16, 2024

The Storybook Trail is Closed

George Washington National Forest

 Crisman Hollow Road has finally reopened and I drove down it on Saturday. Along most of the length of the road, the forest floor is blackened from last month’s wildfire. Many trees were scorched, but enough survived so it still looks like a forest. Crews have cut and removed countless trees that fell over the road or were about to fall. 

The Storybook Trail was damaged and is still closed. It is an easy trail to a scenic overlook and very popular.

April 15, 2024

Whew! Finished My Taxes at the Last Minute!

I finished my taxes today, so I’m running behind on my posts. Here are a few collages of scenes from the recent past.

Mosaic Monday

April 14, 2024

Busy Sunday

It was a busy weekend here. Marie visited, much to Charlie’s delight as well as to my own. Marie is my younger daughter.

Unfortunately, my daughter Lynn is recovering from a serious bite and scratches from a feral cat. She is undergoing preventive treatment against possible rabies and taking antibiotics. Today she had to return to the hospital because there appears to be an infection. 

Who would’ve thought an ordinary cat could be so dangerous? It attacked her kitty and when she went to rescue Snowball, the strange cat latched onto her and would not let go. 

Well, before Marie left today, we took Charlie to the dog park. 


About an hour after Marie left to head home, I went to a volunteer appreciation event at Seven Bends State Park. It was very pleasant although windy.

April 13, 2024

Marie Visits her Favorite Beagle

Hi, it's Charlie! Look who came to see me! It's Marie! She took me for walks and we went to the state park too.

 Another exciting thing this week was seeing some dogs who look like me at the dog park. This one is Bud and he’s older than me.

Nothing else was that exciting. I did see some sheep from the car and some of them were babies.

Well, I should go to sleep soon. I like to get up really early so I can wake up Mom before dawn. 

April 12, 2024

High Water Today

Hollingsworth Road Bridge, Woodstock

B&W / Reflections / H2O

Heavy rains have brought up the water levels on our rivers. I don't think the Shenandoah is quite at flood stage, but a few country roads have flooded at creek crossings.

April 11, 2024

At the Peak on Fort Valley Road

Overlooking Page Valley

 Fort Valley Road winds its way up and down a mountain between Fort Valley and Page Valley. Sometimes my navigation app tells me to go that way, even though the road is narrow with hairpin turns. Do not try it in a long RV!

There is an overlook at the high point of the road with a great view. Sadly, this part of the mountain suffered a forest fire in March. The Forest Service called it the Waterfall Mountain Fire. It destroyed 6400 acres. I referred to the mountain as Massanutten in my March 28 post, but Massanutten is actually a chain of mountains. 

I could see and smell evidence of the fire before I reached this point. Somehow the firefighters were able to save the homes and businesses in the area.

Some trails are still closed, including the Storybook Trail. I saw some firefighters who had been clearing the trails and making them safe from falling trees. This crew had come from a western state to assist. While I was there, a forest ranger pulled up to deliver an updated map to them. I was delighted to see that it was Julia, who I know from her previous job at Friends of the North Fork.

Although the wildfires make me very sad, I feel I should bear witness to them. No doubt there are more to come.

Here is a map from the U.S.Forest Service site showing the fire location.

April 10, 2024

What Are You Looking at, Charlie?

By the time I got to the door, the critter was gone. It may have been a squirrel. 

It's possible that it was a bird, like this Carolina wren, but he sees small birds all the time and does not bother to stand up to stare at them. It could be a large bird like a mourning dove. 

Personally I think it was a squirrel or perhaps a cat. To his credit, he did not bark. Charlie is pretty quiet except for squeaking when he's sad and howling when he's scared. 

April 9, 2024

Fire Damage at Lost River

When I was a child, one of the places we went on vacation was Lost River State Park in West Virginia. We stayed in a cabin, hiked the trails, and played in the swimming pool. I live a lot closer to it now and I’ve been back many times. 

I was worried when I read about wildfires there, and one of the trail shelters was damaged. I was relieved when the fires were finally out. On Thursday, I drove out there. There was a crew clearing downed trees, and I had to stop for their trucks for a few minutes.

Things were normal at the visitor center and the picnic areas were undamaged.

The fire had burned up to one side of the main road. Firefighters kept it from destroying buildings. I took a walk along Howard’s Lick Trail. The lick (or creek) was bubbling along with water from recent rains. 

The creek itself looked fine, but the hillside nearby was blackened and there was a smell of burnt wood. 

It was sad to see. But the forest will recover. The creek is still pretty.

Tuesday Treasures / Travel

April 8, 2024