Friday, September 10, 2021

SKYLINE DRIVE - 8-29-21

It is hard to believe we are in September already.  The year is ticking right along.  
Our trip up to Skyline Drive took place on Sunday the 29th of August, on a very grey, misty day.  It was different to the sunny skies we have had before, but it was still lovely.
I am sharing a video that I downloaded, taken at the beginning of our drive, with a little bit of a chit-chat.  We love that chicken, lol!  You can watch the video here.  Or if the link doesn't work for you, you can go to this address: 

Added note: I had mistakenly made this video private.  I have corrected it now and you should be able to view it.  I am a little rusty on loading these things up.  Sorry about that!

https://youtu.be/QBjARE_4Lx0

I haven't explored how to add videos on this blog since the changeover a while back.  Soon I hope!  Also, I mentioned the tunnel in the video and you can read about it at this link.
No pretty view at the above overlook, but a chance to admire the stone wall.  I actually enjoy looking at them.  Didn't Winston Churchill like building walls?  I can see why!  (and as I do tend to get off on a tangent, when I wrote this my curiosity started knocking and I looked up about Winny and his walls.  I found this link.) The second photo was taken at another overlook not too long afterwards.  The clouds started lifting.
You can just about see the bag I brought our picnic in.  
We had finished our chili crisp chicken left over from the night before, made as a sandwich on a cheese, garlic and onion roll we bought at the farmer's market in Manassas.  It was a decided in the moment picnic and I just grabbed what was available.  I put everything into an old tote bag that I don't use often but it comes in useful for things like this.  (I couldn't find our smaller ice box and did not want to bring the big one.  
I did bring along an ice-pack wrapped in aluminum foil and then wrapped another piece of foil around the chicken and the icepack to keep cold. 
I wasn't in the Girl Guides six week for nothing. However, looking back at my short stint, the crunch came when this ten year old was told we were going camping.  The horrors!  "They're going camping Mum, in an actual TENT Mum!  There'll be creepy crawlies and everything, I'm not going!" said ten year old child with chin jutted out and hands on hips.  I was a stubborn child and could not be persuaded, and that, as they say, was that.  A delicate flower and yes I'm rolling my eyes and smiling!  My Mum was a saint!  She would be surprised to learn that later on in life I would jump at the chance, especially if I could take my camera along.  
It wasn't a total loss, I did learn how to basket-weave, and my Mum declared my gift of a tiny basket to be the best she had ever seen.  It wasn't but she was as tickled pink as if it was.  
These are the memories told that make my Sweet Other Half chortle in the retelling, as happens when he tells me his boyhood stories.) 
Tangent! Off on a tangent yet again, but now am back to this day.  Our 'veg' was a couple of radishes each and reusable bottles of water with two paper cups, pieces of kitchen towel and wipes, in case of messy fingers. Nothing fancy but they did the trick. Everything left went into a trash bag which we wrapped securely and put into the trunk of the car, to be deposited in the trash bin when we got home.
  The romantic me would have packed everything in the picnic basket that is now stored in the basement, along with a bottle of champagne with two wine glasses, a lovely red gingham tablecloth laid on a grassy meadow, proper silverware and pretty lace cloth napkins in case of messy fingers.  Those were the days, or I did I ever have those days?  If I did it's been so long ago that it's gone like the mist we experienced on the mountain.  Definitely no alcohol involved on those winding, curvy roads with steep drops in places. 
Nope, we don't roll too fancy these days and definitely a grab and go before we left the house.  It was a last minute decision to take food with us.  Not much thought put into it, but we both declared that it was fun and very tasty.  Rather than seek out the picnic areas, we always find a wall to sit on, hanging our feet over the edge where there is a beautiful view, usually.  No, we don't hang our feet over a precipice, there's safety where we sit, thanks to the original designers of these overlooks.  It was when we were packing everything, that other cars started arriving.  We enjoyed our leisurely picnic in solitude.  By the time we left there were other cars arriving and we were ready to go but...
I noticed all the thistles.  They were very popular with busy flying things enjoying their own impromptu picnic.  I saw Hoverflies hoping to get a spot among the Bumblebees...
and then there were the butterflies.  This is an Eastern Black Swallowtail, a male from the photos I saw at this website.
These took our attention for another 15 minutes or so.
I always stop for butterflies!

Further along our drive at another overlook, there was someone snoozing in a hammock strung between two sturdy-ish trees at one of the overlooks.  A young lady was putting a few things back into their car nearby.  Gregg pointed to the hammock, I laughed and she in turned smiled at me.  I imagined they had been on a long journey and the driver was tired.  Smart move, not only to bring the hammock along with them, but to get some rest before continuing on those winding, curvy roads I mentioned earlier.

I was happy to find hundreds of milkweeds on Big Meadows and other areas of Skyline Drive.  On several of them I found the Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus).  I found a fascinating article written by Ricki Lewis at this website, who says: "I was very pleased to read of the recent publication of its genome sequence (of the Milkweed Bug), an effort undertaken by 83 researchers working as 27 teams in 10 nations.  The findings are reported in Genome Biology."  

I like to research my photos and have known about the Milkweed Bug for several years, but this information was a little bit different to what I have read before.  What is written at the link is most interesting.  Its author writes that the milkweed bug gets its name because it eats the bitter seeds of the milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca).

There are more photos to come from Skyline Drive, and I will be sharing them soon. In the meantime enjoy your weekend and I will be back with my Monday recipe.




52 comments:

  1. Love the photos and windy roads with fog - all a delight wondering what's a head. Love that hammock on the side of the road, it sure does stand out.

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    1. Thank you Margaret, yes that's a hammock I would like to have in my own garden :)

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  2. You were in our neck of the woods, just a stone's throw away from me! This mostly looks familiar! The video screen in your link said "video unavalable". Your story of you as a little girl is priceless! That would have been me, too.

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    1. Thanks Ginny, I have already changed the setting. You should be able to watch it now. Glad you enjoyed my childhood memories :)

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  3. Sadly neither video would play for me - because they were 'private'.
    I loved travelling with you though. Hammocks and I don't get along, and I envy those who can relax in them.

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    1. I'm sorry about that Sue, I accidentally made the setting to private but it should work now after I changed it. Thanks for letting me know :)

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  4. What a great post you had me giggling with your diversions. Lovely photos and info as usual.

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    1. Muito obrigado :) Um abraço e uma boa e continuada semana a vocês :)

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  6. I enjoyed going along on your little day trip. What a beautiful area.

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  7. Wow. Impressive views!!
    Your drive turned into a perfect outing. I love the idea of an impromptu picnic!! And best of all being alone with a loved one, surrounded by nature & having a bit of solitude before too many others showed up.
    Beautiful male butterfly.

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  8. Hello,
    Skyline Drive is one of my favorite go to places. Hubby and I usually take a picnic too. Lovely captures of the butterflies , bees and insects. Great collection of photos.
    Have a great day and happy weekend!

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    1. We have that in common Eileen, we love it too. Picnics are fun things aren't they? I hope you enjoyed your weekend and wish you a great week ahead :)

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  9. "Didn't Winston Churchill like building walls?"

    This is something I've never heard about Winston Churchill. Where did he build walls?

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    1. On his own property Sandi :) There a page on him right here:

      https://winstonchurchill.org/publications/finest-hour/finest-hour-157/churchill-as-bricklayer/

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  10. What a nice drive and picnic. I would have loved that hammock. How idyllic! Love those butterflies!

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  11. first things first. I would never sleep in a tent, and i would never sleep in a hammock on side of road or in my back yard. that is the real me.
    I LOVE those fog pictures of the road, especially the first one. they are awesome. chicken sounds yummy

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    1. Hi Sandra, I'm with you, 20 years ago maybe, maybe ;) The hammock is actually not as close as it looks to the road. The actual road is on the other side of where you see the hammock, and the place that looks like the road this side, is the overlook. Cars coming and going all the time though, just not very fast. I'm thinking the person in the hammock was desperate for a nap.

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  12. time fly so fast....

    thank you for sharing series of beautiful photos....

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    1. Yes it does :) Thank you Tanza and you are very welcome.

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  13. Fun post and I enjoyed reading your tangents. Chuckling at your stance telling your mum you wouldn't be going camping. My mom had her hands full raising me!

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    1. Hi Ellen and thank you, glad you enjoyed. Fun to learn about your mom too :)

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  14. Thanks for sharing your lovely drive! It is easy to insert a video, much like inserting a photo, just click the insert video icon instead of the image icon. It is a much improved feature since google bought youtube.

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    1. You are very welcome Christine, and thanks for pointing me in the right direction for the videos. I think I have put one on another post okay, which will be shared next week :)

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  15. That was an enjoying trip – I watched the video. I would have liked to share the sandwich too! That is a pretty drive, so green. I would be afraid to lay in a hammock so close to the road around here with traffic going so fast, and if it were out of the way, I’d be afraid of bobcats too. Your photos are lovely.

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    1. Happy you enjoyed it :) The hammock wasn't as close to the road as it looked but I understand your concern. Traffic has to go a lot slower around there because of those narrow, winding roads. And they would have to go to a campground for overnight stays. I'd be afraid of bears around there :0

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  16. A lovely drive and beautiful photographs.
    Enjoy your weekend.

    All the best Jan

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  17. I love mist but scares me when you're driving. We've been on Skyline Drive a LONG time ago when the kids were little. One of these days we'll have to try it again after seeing your photos. That's a gorgeous shot of the swallowtail butterfly.

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    1. I love mist also Kay and definitely wouldn't like to drive if it was too thick. I hope you get to Skyline again one day :) Thank you!

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  18. Looks like a fascinating drive. You've clicked some lovely pics

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  19. Hello Denise,
    Appears to be a beautiful place to visit, even if a little mist initially, some excellent and varied images, your picnic has made me feel hungry.
    Best Wishes,
    John

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    1. Hello John, glad you enjoyed and I'm feeling hungry thinking about that picnic also. A bit too late to eat now, I will enjoy my breakfast. Best wishes to you also :)

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  20. One of my favorite places! I enjoyed your video of the Mary's Rock Tunnel. One time we did see a bear in the mist. It was magical but I was not able to stop safely to get a picture.

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    1. Happy you enjoyed it Linda :) seeing your bear must have been magical indeed.

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  21. Thanks for taking us along on your outing. It is my kind of trip, fun things to see and photograph and food to eat. I loved the stone wall photo and I puzzled over who in tarnation is Winny then I got it.

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    1. Hi Yogi, you are very welcome :) Glad you realized who Winny was :)

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  22. oooooh i adore a long car ride and a picnic. i think picnics are one of my favorites especially this time of year!! the hammock was such a cool idea and what a pretty one, so bright and beautiful!!!

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    1. Me too, I always enjoy getting out. It's a good time of the year to go on a picnic isn't it? I would love a hammock in my garden :)

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  23. This sounds like the perfect day...love doing things on the spur of the moment. I like rock walls, stone houses...anything with stones.

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    1. Spur of the moment things are the best aren't they Rose :) Thank you, I love those rock walls too and enjoy seeing houses made with them.

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