Friday, May 13, 2016

Driving Miss Ava

Last week Miss Ava and I took off for a few days R & R in the hills of West Virginia. You know "almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountain, Shenandoah River"...

First disclaimer - the river in the above view is not the Shenandoah - I think it is the Cacapon but there's an outside chance it may be the Potomac. But maybe you won't be too fixated on which river it exactly is and will instead be noticing the elevation and the reality that the native dogwood is still blooming here although it has faded to leaf at home in VA.

West Virginia, where the moose roam. Well, not exactly. But where we were staying they had this very handsome outdoor sculpture made from old farm machinery. It kept calling out to my camera...

If you also read my quilt blog you will know that staying here pushed me over the edge into making a new quilt project in a green and brown color palette. This cabin looks so very...inviting. There is a deck surrounding it with fabulous views into the treed landscape. I am not showing you the side of the cabin with the outdoor shower.

Out front of the cabin there are pockets of garden beauty like this little plot of lily of the valley.

This was my first sighting of a swallowtail butterfly for the 2016 season. No butterflies in my Virginia garden yet.

A splendid place to build a happy home if you are a bird.

This burst of color from an allium bloom made a good image.

We were carefully guarded by two wonderful Pyrenees Mountain dogs - I think this one is Belle.

Okay, I couldn't resist trying to find just the right angle for this piece of sculpture. In certain angles it is easy to identify the various bits and pieces that have been put together to create this work of art. H'mm, this may not be one of the easier angles.

When I am on a road trip in a new locale I like to see as much as I can. Often I will drive there on one route and take a different route home. What I wanted to find was the panorama shot that I had seen in a photo where we were staying. Maybe it was taken from this lookout? While I was here there was a very stiff breeze blowing and it was not easy to make a beautiful photo despite the (above) credentials for the location.

I'm thinking this is the view that shows the three states; West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. But perhaps not. I do not claim to be super knowledgeable. One thing I do know is that this was a favorite spot for George Washington to ride in - and to visit along with Martha.

One midday I was outside in an attempt to take photos. The dog (but which one? there are two and I could only tell them apart if both were together) had followed me up the driveway. All of a sudden there was a rustling behind me and as I whirled round to see what was happening the dog ran forward barking furiously at whatever had come into her territory. I saw a large bird (eagle?) rise into the air but I think the dog saw a deer run through (which had disturbed the eagle). We'll never know.

To close out this is the beautiful home we stayed in. It was as if we were in nature's cathedral - all these beautiful trees cloaked in fresh, newly washed leaves and no traffic noise, cell phone signal or 'to do"lists. Did I mention that we have been in a period where it has rained every day for at least two weeks? Good for the landscape but not good for the home gardener who must now weed!

A blissful retreat.