Tuesday, April 27, 2010

1958 Vintage Classic

We were visited by a classic of the rolling type on Monday.  The day was overcast and damp, with occasional thundershowers on and off throughout the day.  Every so often I'd poke my head out of the cellar to see what the weather brought.  On looking out something caught the corner of my eye; the glint of something classic and refined... It was a 1958 DeSoto. Owners of classic vehicles sometimes visit the winery, appearing out of the fog as if emerging from a time-machine, and we glimpse the art and engineering of a bygone era.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring Watch April 25, 2010 - Wild Azaleas

As promised in the preceding post, photographs of the wild azaleas can now be shown. These azaleas (presumably Rhododendron periclymenoides) are found in the George Washington National Forest, most frequently along streams and wet areas.  They are just beginning to bloom. The colors range from a very pale pink-almost white, to the deep rose pink shades in the photographs. These were found along Passage Creek, near the Elizabeth Furnace area in Fort Valley. Flower buds are forming on the Mountain Laurel, but haven't yet bloomed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Watch April 13, 2010 - More Redbuds

The weather turned cool and drizzly today. Cloudy, damp weather accentuates the colors of the forest, so the redbuds demanded more pictures be taken. Again, all of these were taken in Fort Valley, once called a "gem within a gem" because of its location within Shenandoah Valley.

"The Fort" as it's known is easily accessible by following Rt. 675 east from very near the vineyard. The Fort is a mountain valley surrounded by Massanutten Mountain and the George Washington National Forest. Mountain Laurel and native Azaleas are abundant in the forest too, but bloom later. We'll take pictures when they begin to show. To repeat the previous post, the Fort is a living, breathing Impressionist painting.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Watch April 12, 2010

The Redbuds (Cercis canadensis) are blooming in a most magnificent display of color. Most often seen growing wild along roadsides and fence rows, in spring they blossom with splashes and sprays of magenta that would make Monet proud. An Impressionist masterpiece awaits around every turn down a country road. The two photos above are from the nearby Fort Valley in late afternoon as the sun drops behind a mountain ridge.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Watch April 8, 2010

With several very warm days approaching 90° the pace of spring is dizzying. Trees blossom and shower windborne flower petals in the space of a couple days. Leaves appear almost overnight. The mountain is covered by a thickening blanket of green.

Photo shows a crabapple tree on the front lawn. Behind it are large white oaks with leaves not yet full, and behind them the green pastures of the sheep farm next door. Most of the vines are budding out now; perilously early as they are susceptible to frost injury.