Tag Archives: Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park: The bobcat and the timber rattler

Shenandoah National Park 1

By Lynn R. Mitchell

This intriguing picture was posted by Shenandoah National Park on their Facebook page with an explanation:

This photo was taken by remote game camera near the Park boundary in eastern Page County, VA (shared by Park cooperator, Steve Long). The bobcat (Felis rufus) is most likely “Trying Something New” and making a meal out of a timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Bobcats have been known to opportunistically but seldom take rattlesnakes as prey. Capturing this kind of image is so rare, that we thought we should share it with you!

Bobcat 1; timber rattler 0. Shenandoah National Park

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Summer storm clouds over Shenandoah Valley

By Lynn R. Mitchell

1Summer thunderstorms were developing over the mountains Tuesday afternoon as we drove to Fishersville to visit friends. Turning into their neighborhood, the clouds over the Blue Ridge were beginning to build …

2… and a storm could be seen along the Skyline Drive just north of Afton.

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July wildflowers of western Augusta County

By Lynn R. Mitchell

1It’s summer! I took my camera today as we roamed the mountains and valley, packing a lunch up to the Blue Ridge Mountains to picnic where the temps were in the 70s. Driving where the wind took us on this hot summer day, temps topped out at 90 degrees in Waynesboro but it was a slightly cooler 86 degrees west of Staunton. The wildflowers were in full bloom under cloudy skies that became sunny in the afternoon, leaving the mountains in a haze, and the beauty of it all was breath-taking. The wild red berries above, with the Appalachian Mountains in the background, are plentiful throughout the Shenandoah Valley but I’m not sure what they are called.

2Queen Anne’s Lace is plentiful along roadways and in fields, a delicate grouping of tiny white blossoms that populated the ditch along this particular back road with the Appalachians in the background.

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Blackberry season celebrated at Shenandoah National Park on July 25

BlackberriesBy Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s blackberry season in Virginia with thickets of the juicy, black fruit ripening in open areas along trails and streams, which means it’s time to join in the summer fun at Skyland Resort.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, July 25, from 10am until 5pm, when everyone is invited to meet on the lower level area of Skyland to celebrate with blackberry-themed food, live entertainment, dancing, Shenandoah story-telling, children’s crafts, and more (see Blackberry Delight).

Located at Milepost 42 on the Skyline Drive, Skyland’s “Blackberry Delight” is an annual event held each July that celebrates the sweet-tart fruit in all its glory. Skyland chefs create special blackberry-infused dishes such as Blackberry BBQ Pulled Pork, Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich with Blackberry Jalapeño Sauce, Grilled Brat Sandwich with Blackberry Whole Grain Mustard and Caramelized Onions, Blackberry Cobbler a la Mode, Blackberry Ice Cream, Blackberry Short Cake, Blackberry Lemonade, and Blackberry Wine and Beer.

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The Valley back roads on a spring afternoon

By Lynn R. Mitchell

1The clouds in the sky over the Shenandoah Valley were especially interesting on Saturday and so I pulled out my camera and began to take pictures throughout the warm spring day. This was the view of the Appalachians from my neighborhood with clouds above the ridges.

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Fee free days at Shenandoah National Park April 18-19

Shenandoah National Park logo 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

Mark your calendar for the opening weekend of National Park Week and fee free days on April 18-19. Shenandoah National Park begins to come back to life after winter, offering wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, clogging, and time to enjoy the mountain solitude at Skyland Resort (see Events Calendar). Enjoy the Skyline Drive … hike a trail … take in the mountain vistas.

Don’t miss the other fee-free days in 2015:

August 25 — National Park Service’s 99th Birthday
September 26 — National Public Lands Day
November 11 — Veterans Day

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Waynesboro: Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival this weekend

Virginia Fly Fishing FestivalBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The weather is sunny with temps in the 60s for Waynesboro’s 15th Annual Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival this weekend. This is the largest outdoor event of its kind in the county so expect to see crowds on the banks of the South River and in downtown Waynesboro, taking in the vendors, restaurants, shops, and the experience of fishing in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Waynesboro is a heartbeat away from Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Skyland, Limberlost, Big Meadows … Shenandoah called

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????The mountains called. Skyland Resort is open for the season and it was hopping on Easter Monday as my Richmond sister Lori and I popped in to the dining room with dozens of other visitors for lunch and to enjoy the views out the huge windows overlooking the Page Valley.

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Skyline Drive’s icy wonderland

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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Snow-flocked trees at Big Meadows.

Winter. It’s a special time to visit Shenandoah National Park in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains because conditions continually change. On Wednesday SWAC Husband and I were in Weyers Cave so when we left, our path turned north toward Route 33, and then east toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. We were heading to the Skyline Drive, and I had my camera in hand.

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Presidents Day fee-free weekend in Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park logo 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

Mark your calendar for a winter escape in Shenandoah National Park next weekend, February 13-16, when entrance fees to the park will be waived Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It will provide the perfect opportunity to visit the Byrd Visitor Center, located at Milepost 51 at Big Meadows, open 9:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Shenandoah National Park in winter offers a slower pace, less people, and open vistas unavailable during warmer months (see Winter in Shenandoah to find open facilities):

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Photos … Skyline Drive in late November 2014

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????The Friday before Thanksgiving … we took the day to play in Shenandoah National Park. It was sunny but a very cold 22 degrees with some wind and few visitors. I wrote about our day with photos (see The mountains were calling) … here are more photos from a wonderful day on the mountain.

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The mountains were calling

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

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” –Psalm 121:1

I had a million things to do today. I should have gotten my work done. But I couldn’t get my mind off a friend in Richmond who is going through some serious health issues and is back in the hospital for a third time. I could have done any one of the many items on my list today but sometimes it seems life is too short.

The mountains were calling.

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Shenandoah National Park’s hunting season night closure

Shenandoah National Park logo 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

Shenandoah National Park implements this policy each fall during hunting season:

Shenandoah National Park to Implement Night Closures of Skyline Drive During Virginia Hunting Season

Luray, Virginia – Park Superintendent Jim Northup announced today that portions of the Skyline Drive, the famed mountain road through Shenandoah National Park, will be closed at night during hunting season. He noted that this is the thirty-fourth year that this closure has been undertaken and stressed its importance in reducing illegal hunting activity within the park during the Commonwealth of Virginia hunting season outside the park.
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October 2014 … 20 things to do in and around Staunton, Va.

Staunton 3

Historic Wharf District in downtown Staunton.

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 are inexpensive, 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.

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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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