Thursday, 23 March 2017

Just for the Birds


This is Main Street, Waterford.  A little further up the road, a telegraph pole caught my attention..


I went a little closer to see what the 'lumps' on the post were.


Quite a collection of bird houses, all the way up the post..


This one was probably the most elaborate - although needing some renovation.


I wonder how many of them will be occupied during the breeding season?

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

School House & Jail House


The old School House in Waterford is a one-room building where the first school in the village was established in 1867.
Although it was not open to visitors, we were able to peer through the windows to see inside.


Twin desks, complete with reading books were set out as if for a lesson.  


On the blackboard the date - February 11th 1880, the name of the teacher and of the president and a motto 'Beautiful hands are they that do deeds that are noble, good and true'.


Also in Waterford we saw another one-room building - although considerably smaller than the school.  This was the jail - apparently in use (hopefully only occasionally) until 1936.


Outside was this old pump - presumably once supplying the water for the village..


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Groundhog Encounter


Of course we have heard of groundhogs and knew that they are fairly common residents of Virginia but, until Saturday, we had never seen one.  We almost didn't see one then, as soon as he saw us he froze and he was extremely well camouflaged.


In case you couldn't spot him, here he is up close.  


And smiling for the camera to show his rather impressive front teeth!

These are not small animals - they can be up to 3 feet long and they are powerful diggers.  The easiest way to spot their homes is by the new earth thrown out the front door..


Later we saw one emerging from under the wooden porch steps of one of the historic homes.  Not something that the home owner would welcome I imagine - they are quite prolific breeders and can dig a burrow which is 5-10feet deep - not really what you would want under your house!

Monday, 20 March 2017

Monday at Meadowlark

It was a lovely sunny morning at Meadowlark but the garden was very quiet.  


There were splashes of Spring colour  around the lake. 

Some of the bulbs had suffered a little from the snow but most were undamaged.

The sunshine on the fountain created a mini rainbow.

Along the side of the lake are rows of cherry trees.


We had thought that there might be cherry blossom to see but it is a few weeks behind the blooms in Washington DC which this year is fortunate as most of it has not been damaged by the recent snow and cold.


A few of the younger and more exposed trees were showing some brown on the blossom.


In the shadier parts of the garden there were many different types of  Hellebore in bloom..







It will be worth another visit in a week or two to see the cherry blossom in full bloom.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Waterford Market


Before we visited Waterford I had looked at the webpages for the village and read that the Saturday opening hours for the Waterford Market were '10am - 5pm unless the sheep need tending'.


As we approached, this became a little clearer as, in the field next to the 'market' (actually a kind of grocery store and general social hub of the village) was a very handsome flock of sheep.


Inside the shop we met Linda, owner of the business (and sheep)..


It was hard to know where to look first - the pot belly stove, spinning wheels, wool, finished items, fleeces were all fascinating.. as were all the rosettes won by the sheep.




The grocery items in the store were quite quaintly arranged on shelves from a bygone era..


The freezer was a 1940's Coca Cola branded model..


The owner herself was very happy to talk to us about the village and about her sheep, it was a fascinating visit.


In the middle of the village at the crossroads this shop had been a store and visitor centre, now sadly closed.


On the opposite corner of the crossroads there is still a post office..



As well as s village blacksmith..


This little building had originally housed an insurance company..


Saturday, 18 March 2017

Waterford, Virginia


We had read about the small town of Waterford, Virginia which is protected as a national historic monument since with the urban sprawl into Loudon County, there are few historic towns from the eighteenth century which remain undeveloped.


The town is built on Catoctin Creek and Waterford Mill, a working mill until 1939, was very important to the town.


Sadly it is unrestored and the old mill wheel is in a very bad state.


The mill race is quite dry..


We had the impression that the mill may occasionally be open to the public, but not today.



The street signs in Waterford give a feel for its history and apart from parked cars it does look as if major parts of it may not have changed for many many years.



Some of the houses were very modest in size and style..


Others were considerably more grand..



Today was much milder than it has been this week and so much of the snow had melted overnight.  It was a lovely day for wandering through the village.