Tag Archives: autumn

Celebrate autumn with Augusta County Library’s Fall Fun Days

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

Fall! Cooler temps, colorful leaves, and fun Saturdays with the Augusta County Library and its branches. To celebrate this exciting time of year, there are free Saturday events going on throughout the county.

Fall Fun Day will take place at 1 p.m., Saturday, October 18 at the Churchville Branch Library and 1 p.m., Saturday, October 25 at the Fishersville Library. Children of all ages will decorate locally grown pumpkins, play games, and make a scarecrow. Participants should bring old clothing for their scarecrow—the library will provide the stuffing.

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Viewing the ‘blood moon’ eclipse in Shenandoah Valley

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????The bright moonbeams that woke me at 3:30 this morning (see Up early to watch lunar eclipse of ‘blood moon’) dimmed as the lunar eclipse began a couple of hours later, slowly darkening what had been a brightly-lit night. Watching from the front yard beginning around 5:45, the “blood red” color, which seemed like more of a burnt orange, took over the moon as the eclipse proceeded.  The wind was blustery as it has been the past six days and the temperature was 54 degrees, not cold but nippy enough that I retreated to my car and turned on the heat. At about the halfway point, I posted a grainy eclipse iPhone photo on Facebook.

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Early autumn lunch with Barb and the wisdom of Dove chocolates

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

As we enjoyed the warm autumn afternoon, my friend Barb and I caught up on all the goings-on in the area as well as life in general. We were at an outdoor table at McAlister’s Deli in Waynesboro, soaking in the warm breeze and relishing the second day of October over iced tea — sweet for her, unsweetened for me — and sandwiches.  It was a long, leisurely, much-needed catching-up, a respite in the middle of busy days and, for her, moving to Fishersville from north of Waynesboro.  I like the new abode because it’s closer to our circle of friends, not that distance has ever kept us apart.

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2014 Highland County Hands & Harvest Fall Festival this weekend

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

Celebrate the beauty of autumn at Highland County’s annual Hands & Harvest Fall Foliage Festival this weekend Virginia’s “Little Switzerland.” Held Saturday and Sunday, October 11-12, this event offers two full days of activity and entertainment to observe the mountain forests of Virginia’s Western Highlands transformed into a rich palette of russet, gold, and scarlet.

Seasonal foods, including apple dumplings, barbecues, Allegheny Mountain Trout, and homemade baked goods will be available in the historic districts of Monterey and McDowell. Take time to explore the back roads by enjoying one of Highland County’s Scenic Driving Tours or Barn Quilt Trails.

2014 EVENTS

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Highland County: The quiet beauty of driving over Jack Mountain

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????A small mountain road covered with colorful autumn leaves, an elevation in excess of 4,000 feet, breath-taking views … and not another person in sight. That was the highlight of our Sunday wanderings in Highland County as we drove up and over Jack Mountain. These are just a few of the photos I took at our frequent stops to take in the beauty of what was around us. See also October color and back roads in Virginia’s Highland County, Finding autumn in Highland County, Full color in western Highland County, and Evelyn’s pantry is hometown deli on Monterey’s main street.

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October color and back roads in Virginia’s Highland County

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Leaving Augusta County at 7:30 Sunday morning, we headed to Highland County a short 20-30 minutes west to see how much autumn had advanced in the five days since we were last there. Rain and high winds over the weekend had blown leaves that were at peak on Tuesday off the trees so we were anxious to see how far east the color change could be found. We drove to the western border of Highland on the West Virginia line where color had been at peak on Tuesday and found some trees were bare and others were nearly so. As we checked out various back roads, the brightest leaf color seemed to be higher elevations closer to Monterey. We were not disappointed at the continuous display of trees showing off their vivid palate of autumn red, gold, burgandy, yellow, and orange, reminiscent of New England with sugar maples in all their fall glory.

??????????Sheep sheep sheep. They are one of the mainstays in this part of western Virginia. For more photos taken last week of Highland County autumn colors, see Finding autumn in Highland County, Full color in western Highland County, and Evelyn’s pantry is hometown deli on Monterey’s main street.

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Evelyn’s Pantry is hometown deli on Monterey’s main street

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Autumn was on full display on the patio of Evelyn’s Pantry on Monterey’s main street the last day of September 2014. The warm days of fall are an invitation to visitors and locals to take their lunch outside and enjoy the beauty of Virginia’s “Little Switzerland” that looks more like New England at this time of year. On a cold day, a bowl of owner Donna Hooke’s homemade hot vegetable soup hits the spot sitting at a table in front of the stone fireplace. On a warm day, a deli sandwich and a scoop of frozen yogurt or ice cream is in order. Evelyn’s is our go-to eatery in Monterey year-round so we’ve seen it in all seasons and even when trudging through snow to get to the door … nothing fancy … just an informal gathering place. (See also Finding autumn in Highland County, Va, more than four dozen photos of vivid fall colors 2014).

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Finding autumn in Highland County, Va.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????The word trickled over the mountains from Highland last week that autumn leaves were starting their show. On Tuesday we drove west chasing autumn on the last day of September through Highland County in Virginia, and Pocahontas and Pendleton counties in West Virginia. Our journey was not in vain … we were rewarded with a stunning display of maple trees in all their glory. Even though Highland is known as Virginia’s “Little Switzerland,” the fall views were like stepping into the dazzling autumn displays of New England.

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Full color in western Highland County, Va.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Western Highland County mountains around 4,000 feet altitude where autumn colors are at full peak.

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Cruising Skyline Drive

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Barb Tillett 1Barb and friends cruising the Skyline Drive. September 2014.

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Apple Crisp Lite

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

All the Virginia apples we’ve bought the past few weeks have gone into fall recipes that are always popular at this time of year. I’ve cooked apples that we’ve eaten with meals but today I made a lighter version of apple pie’s cousin, Apple Crisp. It was good — the flavor was nice — although a bit drier than most crisps (next time I’ll add some liquid), and perhaps needs a smidge more butter to moisten the oatmeal in the topping. I also increased the amount of cinnamon. We had it with vanilla ice cream after grilling pork chops. In the cool autumn air while dining on the deck, it was a good ending to a good meal. Happy baking!

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Life renews in the fall

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 23, 2014

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September … crisp and golden as an apple

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“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year.
The morning of the first September was crisp & golden as an apple.”
– J.K. Rowling

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 22, 2014

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