Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2019-2020

A photographic record of whatever leapt out at us

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

Autumn views of Sherando Lake, progress at the Old Y, and downtown Staunton

Choupette exhausted after battling a cloth mouse to death

Another walk round Sherando Lake, in utter solitude

Fine afternoon sunlight, 28 November 2019

The Sherando Lake Recreation Area is managed by the US Forest Service and features, in addition to some swimming, low-key hiking, and picnic facilities, a number of popular campgrounds.

Today, however, there is no one at all in the park. Except us. (The shadowy figure in the foreground is accounted for.)

A classic shelter, with showers and a gift shop, presently closed

The picnic area, awaiting picnics

We're off for a casual walk on the loop trail round the shoreline. That is reputed to be the Williams Branch of the North Fork Back Creek. Fair enough.

Just for information, after passing along through the 600m length of the lake, the North Fork Back Creek meanders through the forest for a few miles and merges into the Back Creek, which just south of Waynesboro merges into the South River, which, having got past the Dollar General in Grottoes, VA, is joined 18 miles farther north by the North River to become the South Fork Shenandoah River, which a very meandery 60 miles farther north will be joined by the North Fork Shenandoah River near Front Royal to become, at last, the Shenandoah River. Which, ultimately, joins the Potomac at Harpers Ferry, and the rest is history.

We're traversing the western side of the lake, as is our wont, soon to become the unsunlit side of it.

The cute little island from the western side

We'll be running out of sunlight soon.

Eight inches of dead leaves on the trail. Why couldn't they have got someone in to rake the forest? The way they do in Finland. We've been told.

It's a little chillier out of the sunlight.

We're about 20 metres above the lake at this point, starting down soon.

At the northern end of the lake, the spillway bypasses a little dam when required.

Around to the sunlit side of the lake, much more pleasant.

The island from the other side (into the sun)

This is what, in a different season, would be classed as a small but suitable swimming beach, but is now just some sand.

Sherando Lake is becoming our go-to short but enjoyable afternoon walk in The Nature, the way the Aubonne River was for some years not long ago.

Presumably we'll be back.

Progress at the Old Y

Some nine months after moving into the Old YMCA, the bookshelving issues are settling down successfully on the mezzanine.

That's priority history stuff and European detective novels, mixed with DVDs where the existing shelves are unsuitable for books. And thanks to Mr Sneed, there's an attractive new shelf added below for the overflow.

And another new shelf below this rig, also for overflow, amongst the secondary history, Ren literature, English Reformation, philosophy, and travel.

Kristin's vintage maps

The mezzanine has now completed its evolution towards perfectly functional cosiness.

Oh, and the CDs

The kitchen below, and the newly assembled annual Christmas crèche, with rabbits on the shelf above

The boxing rabbits, something about antique molds for making toys, were got up there with some doubts, confirmed when a few days later the cats trotted out from the mezzanine along the shelf and swiped a bunch of them down. (Get out the wood glue.)

A classic nativity crèche collection; most of the pieces come from Naples, where these finely worked little things are a local art tradition for the presepio or nativity scene. (The cats were expected to knock most of these onto the floor as well, but showed better judgment.)

A few more scenes of Staunton VA

And especially the old Masonic building. 29 November 2019.

The Masonic 'Temple', at the town's central intersection of Beverley and Augusta Streets, was built in 1896. The local chapter of the Masonic Order was chartered here in 1786. (My grandfather in Connecticut was evidently a Mason ['32nd degree of the Scottish Right {Rite?} Bodies of the Valley of Norwich, Lodge of Perfection, Council Princess of Jerusalem'], and I inherited, at the age of 12, two swords and a laughable robe, no apparent resale value.)

Ground floor shops -- the entrance to the bookshop and access to law and professional offices above, a jewelry store, a Mexican restaurant (with separate facilities for smokers), and on the right, at the corner, the Camera Heritage museum.

The Staunton Books shop occupies a bit of the sidewalk out front . . .

. . . as well as the ground floor corridor, with a children's room in the back, and . . .

. . . the corridor and several rooms up on the first floor. The corridor displays are accessible even when the shop is closed, and you're invited to slip your payment under the door. The selections run from current pop lit to a surprising bunch of real classics, and at any three books for $10 it's hard to stay away.

The interior above the first-floor bookshop, and . . .

. . . a glance back down to the ground floor.

Our new street mural, by Christy Baker

The Clock Tower building was the original YMCA, from 1890, with bowling alley, running track, all the fixings, before our 'Old Y' building took over in about 1914 (the latest YMCA facility is part of a mall just north of town).

A 'fine old furniture' shop, with 'much more', and . . .

. . . with a clever political poster in the window to ensure that at least half the potential clientele will be giving it a miss.

The Clock Tower building

The Trinity Episcopal church, this version dating from 1855

Towers and verandas, one of a block of five brick buildings on W. Frederick St from the 1890-1920 era

7 E. Beverley, a 'colonial revival' building from ca. 1900. That's enough for today.

Next stop: Staunton's Christmas parade

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 28 January 2020.

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