A great day out! Really beginning to feel like autumn for the first time this year. We plummeted from 80s to 40s overnight, only reaching into the 60s today. For an early birthday gift, Hubby reserved a short tour of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center. On our way there, we stopped by a small plot of land set aside as a little park where a Civil War skirmish took place. The feature is a beautiful arched bridge built in 1802 and still standing. It spans Goose Creek and was in use until 1957. It’s the oldest stone bridge in the state. We also popped by Blandy, the state’s arboretum just to kill some time and drop off a couple of my books in their Little Free Library. Every book I’ve put there has been taken. A young doe and buck took their time crossing the gravel road in front of us. Looked like this year’s young.
Blue Ridge Wildlife Center takes in injured animals, fixes them up, and releases them again if they think the animal can survive. Those they don’t think will make in the wild find a permanent home in indoor/outdoor enclosures. I’m glad that they have a place to live out their lives being taken care of by people who love them, but I’m sad these critters can’t roam free anymore. The residents included
- peregrine falcon (collided with an airplane)
- 2 red-tailed hawks
- bald eagle (broke a shoulder flying into a light post)
- 2 vultures (turkey and black; both hand-reared until the owners realized they couldn’t care for a vulture—and it’s illegal)
- 2 screech owls (1 alleged to have a developmental disorder)
- 2 opossums
- 2 wood turtles (1 blind, the other missing a foot and with a damaged shell)
- mostly white skunk (former pet but didn’t come out to greet us, so no pic)
- 2 flying squirrels
- red squirrel that was literally bouncing off the enclosure wire
- black rat snake
- other turtle of undetermined speciation (on my part)
- Arctic fox (recovered from a drug bust)
We got a private guided tour from a couple of young volunteers whose stories about each animal were touching, funny, and sad, of course. Afterward we headed for our favorite lunch spot in that area, the Locke Store in Millwood (clam chowder, coconut chicken curry soup, potato chips, and we split a chicken avocado club sandwich). Across the road at the Burwell-Morgan Mill, the last day of their annual art show was wrapping up. I saw a handmade wooden bowl I liked, which Hubby bought for me (another birthday present).
We love this area of the Shenandoah and I keep putting it out there that I’d love to have some property and move there. We spend a lot driving or riding our bikes in this region and have come to know it well. Where’s that social media influencer who’s going to recommend my books to her following of thousands?
Back at the ranch, we spent a few hours cleaning out under the deck and in the garage and around the yard to set out junk to haul away for the town’s fall cleanup (haul large stuff away for free). Then we harvested the last of the peppers (6 bags!), scored some cukes, carrots, eggplant, a turnip, and butternut squash. Anybody want some peppers—everything from mild to skull-and-crossbones?