July 14, 2024

Low Water but Still Pretty

North Fork of the Shenandoah


I hope my readers don’t get tired of seeing pictures of the river. I try to document it through the seasons. It is, after all, iconic, and our Shenandoah Valley is named for this river.

The low water bridge on Lupton Road is in no danger of flooding right now. The water level is low as a result of drought conditions.


Patches of algae can be seen, particularly if you look downriver from the bridge.


 I think the water is slightly deeper on the upstream side of the bridge. This is at the entrance to Seven Bends State Park, and you can often see people fishing or just cooling off in the river.


Sharing with H2O / Sunday Best

July 13, 2024

A Hot Week with Charlie

Hi, it's Charlie. I had to go to daycare two days in a row this week because my mom had appointments. She also goes shopping on those days because it is too hot for me to wait in the car when she goes in a store.


Sometimes it’s too hot to walk on the sunny part of the sidewalk. Then we walk around in the yard and sit in the shade. We didn’t go to the dog park all week, although we did go to the state park this evening. We saw a groundhog there. We’ve seen them in our neighborhood too. I would chase them away, but Mom holds onto my leash.


I would like to chase rabbits too. I watched one from the car when we went for a car picnic. That’s when we drive around the corner and Mom gives me snacks. She wants me to feel more safe in the car, but it makes a lot of noise and that is scary.



I like seeing animals, but some of them are afraid of dogs. Tripod the cat is friendly and says hi to me. 


Mom added special effects to a picture of Tripod. 


The cat who lives with Tripod is not very friendly but does visit our yard. I was watching from inside the door.



Is it hot where you are?

Walk on the Shady Side of the Street

Front Royal, VA


The heat wave continues. Dress for the summer and stay cool when possible.

July 12, 2024

So Many Lenses

Yesterday at the Opthalmologist's Office


A visit to the ophthalmologist can take an hour or more if they have to dilate your pupils because you have to wait until the eyedrops do their thing. Then the doctor comes back in and can complete the rest of the examination. I got bored waiting and took a picture. This is an impressive piece of optical equipment. 

As I mentioned before, I had cataract surgery on May 3 and I haven’t been able to see well out of that eye since then. My vision is much worse than it was before the surgery, because now everything looks blurry through that eye. Strong glasses do not help. We don’t know why at this point so I’ve been referred to a retina specialist. Also, the pupil is painfully sensitive to bright light and I can no longer use the eyedrops that used to help with that because we don’t know if they might contribute to the problem.

That eye used to be the stronger one, even though it had a tonic pupil, which means it did not respond to bright light by contracting. (This is the main symptom of Holmes-Adies syndrome, which is fairly rare and is thought to be caused by nerve damage.)  Now my other eye is doing all the focusing work and it gets tired quickly. 

I regret having the cataract surgery. I did try to research the risk of having it with Holmes-Adies Syndrome, and found almost no information. The doctor said there was a possibility of being more sensitive to light, and many people have temporary blurriness, but it usually resolves within two months. It’s been 10 weeks. 

July 11, 2024

Photographing at the Valley Overlook

Shenandoah National Park


A week ago I made a short ride into the mountains because I was in Front Royal for an appointment and Skyline Drive begins there, right at the edge of town. I took a few pictures at the first overlook, drove to the nearby picnic area and ate a snack. I didn’t have time to linger because I needed to grocery shop and head back home in time to pick Charlie up from day boarding. 

There are always people taking pictures unless the weather is bad. Who can blame them? 

The dental visit resulted in our referral to an endodontist in Manassas for three-way x-rays. Yesterday I went there and found out that not only is the root of the tooth probably fractured, but the bone surrounding the tooth is dissolving. The tooth needs to be extracted. This requires a visit to the oral surgeon and probably an implant. I can’t tell you how tired I am of problems with my teeth. This was one of two teeth that got new fillings and crowns in April. Regular x-rays did not show the bone loss, and the gums became infected and painful. 

I’ve always taken care of my teeth with brushing and flossing and regular dental visits. All of my back teeth got fillings when I was still quite young, Over the years they had to be filled again, with many of them getting crowns plus a couple of root canals. 

Both dentists said that my recurring sinus infections could be caused by the infected tooth. It’ll be several weeks before I get that tooth pulled and find out for sure if it solves that problem. 

Meanwhile, I continue to have eye problems, and have been referred to a retinal specialist. But that’s another story.

July 10, 2024

July 9, 2024

July 8, 2024

Floral Mural in Purcellville

21st Street


This mural is in an alley so I could not get far enough back to photograph it straight on, so I’ll show it from both directions. There appears to be a signature on the lower right, followed by the year 2024.


This is on the side of a flower shop. I also took a few pictures along the street. The painted flag is on the American Legion building.

Mosaic Monday / Murals

July 7, 2024

July 7th is my Dad’s Birthday

My father has been gone for over 20 years now. It doesn't seem that long.


When I took this picture, he seemed old to me, but I just realized that I'm probably about that age now! Maybe older, oh dear! I like to think that I am healthier than my parents because they both smoked. I plan to live longer than they did, but there are no guarantees. 

Dad was born in Michigan in 1916. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, and he and my mother settled in Virginia after the war.

July 6, 2024

Saturday Critters, Shenandoah National Park

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” That quote from John Muir has almost become a cliché, but it is true for me. I can see mountains from my neighborhood, the gentle but beautiful mountains of Virginia. When I find myself close to them, it's almost irresistible to answer that call.


July is National Park and Recreation Month.

These pictures are from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Only the first one is really recent. I took it at Dickie Ridge. 

I added the logo to the second picture using the National Park Service app. You can navigate to the park of your choice and then select Make a Postcard if you want to add the park name and logo to one of your photos.

The fawn was in the picnic area at Dickey Ridge. After that, we see a bird on a branch and some butterflies.





It’s been a while since I took Charlie up to the national park because he doesn’t like riding in the car, and it takes about 45 minutes to get there. We have several smaller parks that are much closer.


I used an oil painting filter in PicsArt for the portrait of Charlie. And last of all, there is a picture that I modified for July 4th and then forgot to post. By the way, he did not get frightened by fireworks because they were far enough away that I was able to drown them out by playing music.


July 5, 2024

Park Merch


The merchandise trailer at Seven Bends State Park is only open on some weekends and during special events. The park does not yet have a visitor center.

July 4, 2024

Freedom Flag and Skies

Charlie does not like to pose, so I used his stand-in to take a picture of my new Freedom garden flag. He still does not like this metal beagle.


Today is Independence Day, so here is a collage of related pictures from past posts, including a monument in Yorktown and some fireworks.


For the Skywatch linkup, i’m sharing a recent photo of clouds over the LOVE sign in our state park. It looks dark to me, but the Photos app did not lighten it much when I hit the auto-adjust button, I don’t trust my eyesight right now because it’s still messed up from the cataract surgery that was done two months ago. Everything still looks too dark or too bright to me, and my eyes have trouble focusing. 


Yesterday I discussed this problem with a local nurse practitioner. She said that if the ophthalmologist does not have a solution when I see him next week, I should seek another opinion.

July 3, 2024

Eagle, Ducks, Flowers

Our Independence Day is July 4, so I’m leading with our national bird. This sculpture of a bald eagle is in the gardens of Glen Burnie in Winchester. I added a filter using the ArtCard app.

Not far from there I saw some ducks in a pond, and also some black-eyed susans.