Tag Archives: autumn

Weekend Escape to the Fall Colors of Sherando, Blue Ridge Parkway

Sherando Lake | Augusta County, Va.

There’s something extremely rewarding about roaming the back roads of the Blue Ridge Mountains during the color season of autumn so two weeks ago I picked up friend Barb one day when the temperature was in the low 70s and ladybugs were swarming and leaves seemed to shimmer in the sunshine. Here are photos of our trek through our corner of Virginia where there is so much to love.


Old Howardsville Turnpike | George Washington National Forest | Blue Ridge Mountains |Augusta County, Va.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Autumn Drive Along the Skyline


Afton Mountain

Mr. Mitchell and I woke Thursday, grabbed the picnic basket, cooler, and our jackets, and headed to the southern section of Skyline Drive. The mountains were calling! I love October and leaf season, and look forward to it every year.

The mountains had been calling for a while but a busy autumn had delayed our annual trek to Shenandoah National Park to see the leaves. With heavy rain in the forecast for Sunday, we wanted to do some leaf peeping before precipitation and wind hit, sending leaves to the ground and leaving behind bare trees.

As we drove up I-64 to Afton from the Shenandoah Valley, leaf color was definitely in the process and had occurred since the weekend just four days earlier when it was still green.

W

Skyline Drive, South Entrance Station

There were five cars ahead of us in line waiting at the entrance station. Our son and his wife were on the Drive last weekend and counted 16 cars ahead of them so this was a short wait, not to mention we usually try to avoid weekends in October.

The $25 daily fee (that is good for seven days) is in danger of being almost tripled with a proposal by the National Park Service to raise the entrance fee to $70. If enacted, it would also affect 16 other National Parks, the most popular ones in the system, possibly putting the parks out of the price range of many who would no longer be able to afford enjoy America’s playground. There is a 30-day comment period now through November 23, 2017, to share your opinion about the proposed fee increase (link to comment is here). I already wrote to let them know I was against it.

Beagle Gap

Hikers were at Beagle Gap where the color was not yet at peak.

Leaves, berries, vistas, flora and fauna … the following are photos (iPhone and Nikon) of the day. We picnicked at Loft Mountain Campground where we have spent many years as a family tent camping and hiking. It was in the 40s and cold with a wind … perfect for an autumn day.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Chasing Autumn in Rockingham County in Western Virginia

Friend Barb and I took Tuesday to chase autumn and spend time together enjoying the beautiful Shenandoah Valley where we both live. Besides the fun of back roads and stunning mountain vistas that we both enjoy, we found all kinds of fall décor for our houses.

Our first stop was Myers Pumpkins just east of Harrisonburg, a family-run farm that provides already-picked pumpkins and gourds, chrysanthemums, pick-your-own pumpkin patch, corn maze, and corn stalks ready for decorating. This was a new place for me that Barb introduced to me, and they were well stocked.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The winter woods have returned to Afton & Blue Ridge Parkway

By Lynn R. Mitchell

After a particularly colorful autumn leaf show, the winter woods have returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Howardsville Turnpike can now be seen through the leafless woods from the Blue Ridge Parkway. I love the winter woods … trees are bare and you can see the forest floor. This time of year there are few people on the Parkway so it offers solitude with only the sound of the wind and the dry, rustly leaves on the ground to keep you company.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Embracing Virginia’s fall colors along Blue Ridge Parkway and Peaks of Otter

By Lynn R. Mitchell

38The autumn leaf color was somewhat muted Saturday under overcast skies but the golds, reds, and oranges were still vibrant along the mountain ridge tops of Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway. Fall colors have been running about a week behind this year and so we have been able to stretch leaf season longer to embrace and squeeze out ever bit of this once-a-year event. Because it is fleeting, it is treasured.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Autumn maple tree in my yard

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Autumn leaves 2 maple tree in yardLooking up through the maple tree in our back yard. October 17, 2015.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
October 17, 2015

Tagged , , , ,

October’s Staunton-Augusta Farmers Market

By Lynn R. Mitchell

11On Saturday mornings the Staunton-Augusta Farmers Market is open from 7am until noon. Located in the Wharf parking lot in downtown Staunton, it offers a wide variety of foods, plants, autumn decor, and more from local farmers.

25 Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Virginia Hospitality Brunswick Stew recipe

Haystack, pumpkinsBy Lynn R. Mitchell

We woke this morning to 35 degrees and the first frost of the season. With a freeze warning in the forecast for the next several nights, we harvested the last of the tomatoes and peppers from the garden, and now the growing season of 2015 is over. When the temps dip this low, it’s time to put a pot on the stove and make up a batch of Brunswick stew, that Commonwealth staple that has kept generations of Virginians warm in cold weather.

The Brunswick stew recipe I have used for years is from the cookbook, Virginia Hospitality: A Book of Recipes From 200 Years of Gracious Entertaining. As with any cook, I have variations (in parentheses). Stew is best when the flavors are given time to meld together so each day it tastes better than the day before. The recipe easily doubles and triples for larger groups. Stay warm, and enjoy!

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Highland County’s October sights

By Lynn R. Mitchell

28Saturday in Highland County we noticed most streams were full after the rains of the previous two weeks. It’s not unusual for creeks to be very low in October, but not this year.

29 Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Pumpkin spice products are everywhere

Pumpkin spice 5By Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s that time of year when everywhere you look there is something pumpkin flavored.

As someone who doesn’t care for pumpkin anything, including pie, I’m in wonder at the variety of products available with this seasonal choice.

Pumpkin spiced lattes, air fresheners, candles, candy, roasted nuts, cookies, cupcakes, pies, ale, M&Ms, ice cream, yogurt, chewing gum, wine, breads, butter spread, coffee creamer … the list seems almost endless.

Business Insider tested 35 pumpkin spice products to save you the disappointment of those that don’t measure up — everything from M&Ms to Oreos to a variety of Trader Joe’s products. If you’re looking for the best, Parade Magazine provided their 10 favorite pumpkin-spiced products.

Personally, I prefer apple scents and apple flavors at this time of year. Oh, and chocolate. Chocolate has no season … it is timeless.

It’s a short season and before long we’ll be into Christmas-scented items. Until then, take advantage of pumpkin spice because, like the autumn-colored leaves, when it’s gone, it’s gone until next year.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

On top of the world in Highland County

By Lynn R. Mitchell

18“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne, October 10, 1842

9“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”  – John Muir

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Chrysanthemums, pumpkins, and gourds … oh, my!

By Lynn R. Mitchell

1Oh my heavens! In mid-September my sister and I stumbled into Blue Ribbon Nursery and Landscaping in Broadway … and it was decked out for fall and Halloween. What a show! Pumpkins, gourds, mums of all sizes, garden flags, wreaths, decor … whatever you need for your autumn decorating needs, chances are you’ll find it and get into the spirit of the season.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Autumn travel and leaf peeping in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

By Lynn R. Mitchell
Originally published in the Washington Examiner, October 4, 2010 – Updated

17Now that autumn has arrived in the Shenandoah Valley, October’s calendar is full of festivals and events for those who wish to enjoy cooler temperatures and colorful leaves. If waiting until the fall color show hits its peak, be sure to check out Virginia Tourism’s Fall Color Hotline at 1-800-424-LOVE or check the Fall Color report.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

October 2015 … 20 things to do in and around Staunton, Va.

Staunton 3

                                    Staunton’s historical Wharf District.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Voted as one of America’s Top 20 Main Streets by Travel and Leisure magazine, the central Shenandoah Valley city of Staunton was also recently named one of the 20 Best Small Towns in America by Smithsonian magazine as well as Virginia Living magazine’s Best of 2012. Known as the Queen City, Staunton was founded in 1747 and was named for Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of Virginia’s Governor William Gooch.

With views east toward the Blue Ridge Mountains and west toward the Appalachians, Staunton is an historic slice of Virginia that offers restored Victorian homes, cozy downtown shops, and small-town atmosphere. Patriotic holidays find her streets lined with American flags, and the always-popular Christmas parade takes place each year on Beverley Street, the main thoroughfare that is lined with restaurants, store fronts, the Dixie Theater, the city courthouse, and old-fashioned lamp posts.

There are many things to do during the leaf season that peaks in October so here are some places and events you may find interesting. Check back often … this list will be updated throughout the month. It’s autumn in western Virginia.

1. Trolleys
A great way to get around downtown, Staunton’s two trolleys cost 25 cents to ride, and pick up and discharge passengers at stops located throughout the city. More information can be found at the Staunton Visitors Center on New Street.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,
SBC Voices

Southern Baptist News & Opinion

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

LynnRMitchell.com

Virginia politics and more