Tag Archives: western Virginia

Remembering a very special day

1Three years ago … September 15, 2012 … a beautiful mid-September day when SWAC Daughter married SWAC Son-in-Law at House Mountain in Rockbridge County west of Lexington. With the Virginia mountains as a backdrop, it was a very special occasion for family, friends, and colleagues to come together to celebrate the joining of two families. We danced into the night and held onto the memories. Three years ago today….

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Late summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains

5Hazy Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in late summer.

By Lynn R. Mitchell
August 2015

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Showy flowers of Fall

2Chrysanthemums … one of the flowers of Fall.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
August 2015

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Bright colors of late summer

By Lynn R. Mitchell

MumsThe chrysanthemums are beginning to bloom in our flower garden, the bright yellow color popping in the mulched beds. It is late summer but they are a reminder that cooler temps and shorter days are waiting in the eaves….

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
August 24, 2015

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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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Hiker survives black bear attack in Virginia, Yellowstone hiker killed by grizzly

BearBy Lynn R. Mitchell

A black bear attack on Saturday that injured a woman hiker from the Richmond suburb of Midlothian was a reminder that we are surrounded by national forest land and wild animals (see Midlothian woman survives bear attack in Douthat State Park and Bear attacks and wounds hiker at Douthat State Park). The attack, that took place at Douthat State Park in Bath County southwest of Staunton, is about 45 minutes from our front door. The injured hiker was with a group of five that startled the bear in a wilderness area four miles from their vehicle. All ran and the bear caught up with the woman, knocking her down and causing bite and scratch wounds that required multiple stitches on her legs and back.

Meanwhile, a 63-year-old man described as an experienced hiker was killed by a grizzly bear in the back country of Yellowstone National Park (see Yellowstone grizzly bear attack victim identified, bear caught).

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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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Appalachian sunset

1“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.”

— Rabindranath Tagore
Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1913

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
June 23, 2015

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Augusta County: Todd Lake Recreation Area closed for 2015 season

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By Lynn R. Mitchell

Press releases shared the news that Todd Lake, located in the northwestern corner of Augusta County, would be closed for the 2015 season to rebuild the dam. When my children were young, we spent many happy summer days on the beach of Todd Lake with friends, enjoying this watering hole surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains of western Virginia. It was far less populated than Sherando located in the southeastern area of Augusta County, and quiet, a meandering 30-minute drive from our home west of Staunton. The photos above were taken in October 2013 when Congress had shut down all the national parks and we were not able to access the beach area.

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Appalachian spring sunset

Sunset 2Wednesday night’s sunset over the Appalachian Mountains west of Staunton was taken by my neighbor who shared her photo of the setting sun at the end of a fabulous spring day in the Shenandoah Valley….

Photo by Carolyn Dameron
April 29, 2015

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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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Finding spring in my yard

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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Hello, jonquils! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. Welcome!

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Will snow usher in first day of spring?

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March snow 2014

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Friday marks the first day of spring and Mother Nature must have thought it would be humorous to usher it in with a bit of snow. Forecasters have predicted an inch or so of the white stuff in the Shenandoah Valley and a couple of inches at higher elevations.

An inch? Just enough to dust the emerging spring flowers. I think we can handle it….

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Ingleside Golf Resort under renovation

InglesideBy Lynn R. Mitchell

It has been a staple since 1928. Now Staunton’s Ingleside Resort, home of the first Republican Advance twenty-six years ago, is seeing renovations to the golf course and rooms that will hopefully bring it back to its former glory (see Ingleside renovations to bring lodging and new businesses). Let’s hope it eventually becomes the queen on the hill that it’s been in the past….

 

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Looking back at our white St. Patrick’s Day 2014

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Last year’s St. Patrick’s Day brought 8-10 inches of heavy, wet snow to my corner of the world. This year it’s expected to be 70 degrees, the second day in a row with a taste of spring temps in the Shenandoah Valley.

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