January 22, 2018

Artists and Sunsets.

The Good: This mural by local artist Billy Landis hung in the Triplett School for many years. It is now in the Mount Jackson Museum. 
Monday Murals

The Random: Artist Barry Vance spoke at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley last week. A selection of his oil paintings are on exhibit there, and they are charming Shenandoah scenes painted from memory.

The Fun: I enjoy trying to capture sunsets. I take so many I can't possibly share them all, so I made a collage of four recent ones.
Mosaic Monday

January 21, 2018

Grace and Mercy Ministries

Stephens City, Virginia. 

January 20, 2018

Dynamic Duos

Today's critter pictures are from my backyard, starting with one in black and white. 

These birds may be wondering who ate all the bird seed.

The geese don't bother the bird feeders, so we can't blame them.

Hmm... do you see the squirrel hanging upside down?

They try to look innocent but they don't fool me!

January 19, 2018

This Evening, January 19th.

As we drove home this evening, geese were taking off from the lake. A strip of orange clouds brightened the sky at the horizon and was reflected in the lake.

We had taken Flash to get a nail trim and had run a few errands. Since the weather had warmed up nicely, we had also gone to a car wash.
Sharing with Weekend Reflections, My Town Shootout, Orange You Glad and Skywatch Friday.

January 18, 2018

January Fences, Millwood

"... In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
 He moves in darkness as it seems to me, 
Not of woods only and the shade of trees. 
He will not go behind his father's saying, 
And he likes having thought of it so well 
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours."

~ Robert Frost.

The second and third scene are near the Burwell-Morgan Mill. I filtered both of them (using Movavi) because the colors were winter-dull.

The final shot is at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center. There are cages behind the locked gate, but the public cannot just wander through. The place is not a zoo but rather an animal hospital for local wildlife.
View other fences at GosiaBlog's linkup.

January 17, 2018

Another Cold Day at the Lake

The mallard ducks and several dozen geese stay here year-round. Flocks of Canada Geese join them on days like today, perhaps avoiding the snow storm that blanketed another part of the region. Hundreds of geese flew in and out yesterday and today! For a while, the pond within the lake got crowded. The geese and most ducks (but not Muscovy ducks) like to swim on the water or else stand on the ice close to the water.

January 16, 2018

January 15, 2018

Around Luray

The Good: Luray is situated in fertile Page County, Virginia, between the Blue Ridge and the Massanutten Mountains. Much of the county is rural, with productive farms.

Sharing with The Barn Collective and Mosaic Monday.

The Random: Near the old Massanutten School in Luray is preserved this auction block. The sign explains:
Legend and narrative testimonies describe this stone as A Slave Auction Block. 
From the Page News & Courier, August 31, 1961: “This native sandstone block . . . which stood at the corner of Main and Court Streets at the Chamber of Commerce building . . . was used as a perch for slaves about to be sold at auction . . . The stone is said to be one of the few now in existence.” It is similar to many which existed in the South prior to the Civil War.
As a part of everyday life, black men, women and children would be displayed and examined on slave blocks and sold for the highest bid. Family groups were frequently sold apart; husbands from wives, mothers from children, etc.
This block is an historic symbol of a dark past of man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man. It is also a symbol of how far we have come in learning to respect its victims and in resolving to go forward into the future with mutual respect and understanding.
(Recommended Reading: The Narrative of Bethany Veney, A Slave Woman.)

The Fun:  Across the street from that sad reminder of the past is a town park. Here citizens can gather and children can play.

January 14, 2018

Historic Zion Reformed Church in Hagerstown

In 1775, while the church was being built, a heavy beam fell and crushed Capt. Jonathan Hager, the founder of Hagerstown. The metal plaque tells us he was "Buried west of main building."

Nearby is a sign entitled "Retreat from Gettysburg."
"Zion Reformed Church was a stronghold for the Confederates on their retreat from Gettysburg on July 6, 1863. General Robert E. Lee passed through Hagerstown during the Confederate occupation following the Battle of Gettysburg. General George Armstrong Custer observed Confederate movements from the church's bell tower on July 12th, after his Michigan cavalry brigade forced the occupying Confederates to the western edge of town. A Confederate sniper fired at Custer in the bell tower, but missed him and hit one of the tower's bells."

That's Custer in the right-hand photo.

This is the oldest church building in Washington County, Maryland that has been in continuous use as a church.

January 13, 2018

Backyard Birds and a Wildlife Center

Today we went to an open house at a wildlife rescue center. I'll share a few pictures from there but first I've got three pictures of backyard birds, starting with a chickadee in black and white.

I was pleased to see the sapsucker again. I guess she has taken up residence around here.

Next we have a junco and a tufted titmouse sitting on a branch. They visit my feeders frequently.

Now for the visit to Blue Ridge Wildlife Center near Millwood. Their Open House this afternoon drew many visitors. There were a few live animals but I did not press through the crowd to take pictures because only one, a small owl, was a critter that I don't have tons of pictures of already, and he was in a cage surrounded by curious children.

Volunteers were giving talks and answering questions. The facility is larger than I expected. People bring injured wild animals here to be treated and (with luck) released back into the wild.

Stuffed animals were placed around to demonstrate how real ones are rehabilitated.

There are outdoor cages too but they were not open to the public.