Friday, May 30, 2014

Just Sittin'

This Eastern Kingbird has been sitting on eggs in the barn for a few weeks.
Pretty soon we'll hear chirping hungry chicks.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Unexpected Company

Every Spring we power wash the barns.
Today we interrupted someone's nap.

Mrs. Raccoon was not happy about the spring cleaning.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Horsing Around at 500 Parade

I volunteered with the equine units for the 500 parade.
Experienced horse people are needed to help teams get ready
and walk the parade route with them, ready to help if a horse has problems.
You get to hold flags, tighten cinches, retrieve gloves and keep spectators out from under horse feet.
I really enjoy seeing these hardworking performing horses & their riders.

Each trailer arrives at the fenced parking lot assigned to the horse units.
Here the Culver Military students unload their black Friesian horses & walk them after the long trip.

Some horses get glittered up!

This university equestrain team hustled to get ready after arriving a little late.

Horses are saddled and uniforms put on & checked.

 The mounted police are in the parade too.
The two horses & riders in the back are visiting Canadian policemen.

Finally we are off to the staging area, escorted by the mounted police.
The horse units are all lined up on a side street away from the floats & bands and 
other scary things where we wait until our place in the parade comes up.

Meanwhile we can watch the parade go by.
The scary balloons are lined up across the street.

Some of the units waited more than an hour before stepping out on the parade route,
but these seasoned horses were patient and well behaved.

I escorted the Mid America Cowgirls in the parade.
About halfway through, we circle the Soldiers & Sailors Monument.
(By the way, some horses do not like those dreaded manhole covers!)

The weather was perfect and before we knew it, 
we're at the end of the parade and headed back to the trailers.
The cowgirls posed for a picture for me.
It was a fun & rewarding day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blue Ridge Parkway

We spent some time driving the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Yes, the terrain really is that steep.

We camped at Rocky Knob and had an inviting campsite.
 We also hiked part of the Castle Rock Gorge Trail.

It was the perfect time to visit the Blue Ridge.
The flame azaleas and many other wildflowers were blooming.

 Nearby is the scenic Mabry Mill.

The Blue Ridge is especially beautiful in the Spring.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Stone Mountain State Park

I've heard of Stone Mountain Georgia, but had not known of 
Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina.
It looked interesting online, so we decided to camp there.

Stone Mountain is named for the 600 foot granite dome that rises above the landscape.

After a strenuous 4.5 mile hike, we finally reached the top
and the view was worth it.

 The mountain laurel was blooming in the North Carolina mountains.

 We saw an awesome waterfall while hiking.
Water slid over the smooth granite and fell 200 feet.

This type of waterfall is called a horsetail waterfall.

We also saw a timber rattlesnake on our hike.
That made us scurry up the trail!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Finding my Roots

Our trip also included some genealogy highlights.

 We first found my 6th great grandfather's grave, Joseph Louis Crockett,
who ties me into Davy Crockett.

Next, in the middle of a cow pasture, we found a family cemetery
 where my 3rd great grandparents at buried.

Their tombstone was fairly new, attesting to the fact that the family had maintained the gravesite.
We looked for another ancestor's grave, but were unable to see it since it was on private property.
It was fun & interesting to see where my ancestors lived. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

Another National Park - Shenandoah

Shenandoah, in Virginia, is in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We were in bear country and were fortunate to see several bears, 
including this mom & one of her cubs.

 We hiked to the top of Stoney Man Summit and could see for miles.

And when we returned to our camper, we found deer grazing nearby.

 The view from our Loft Mountain Campsite was picturesque.

An unusual wildflower 

We saw many animals in the park, including this rabbit.  

One more bear seen along Skyline Drive.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Antietam - The Bloodiest Battle

Have you ever heard of Antietam?
The battle of Antietam was the bloodiest one day battle in American history.
 Its hard to believe that over 23,000 men were killed, wounded or missing in such a beautiful place.

Another reason we visited this site was that my husband's ancestors owned the land at one time before the Civil War. 

A lovely place with a bloody history.