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September 18, 2005 [LINK]

Almost heaven, indeed!

Pileated woodpecker On Saturday Jacqueline and I took a casual road trip with no particular destination, and ended up at the Shrine Mont retreat and conference center owned by the Episcopal Church in the old resort town of Orkney Springs, Virginia. It is situated just west of the mountain ski resort of Bryce, about 30 miles north of Harrisonburg, very close to the West Virginia border. There are hiking trails, a picturesque pond, and a variety of recreational and artistic facilities. It was our first trip there, and we were so mesmerized by the natural beauty and tranquility of the place that we promised each other that we would return. This Pileated woodpecker (male) showed up just as we were walking through the unique and enchanting outdoor cathedral at Shrine Mont. An angel dressed in black, perhaps? Several photos of our visit there can be seen on the new Virginia, Fall 2005 page.

On the way to Orkney Springs we stopped at an ice cream stand on the west edge of Bryce, and were fortunate to see some White-breasted nuthatches, a Blue-headed vireo, and a Black and white warbler.

Early this morning we went for a walk behind R.E. Lee High School, and saw a family of five Brown thrashers, a Red-bellied woodpecker (M), a Downy woodpecker (F), a Hairy woodpecker (F), but only one warbler: a Chestnut-sided one.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 18 Sep 2005, 5: 56 PM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

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