Another Snowy Saturday

A light snow is falling softly today, quite the contrast to the howling blizzard we endured Christmas weekend.  The air has a damp, cold touch that encourages you to stay indoors, wrapped in a blanket, enjoying a good book.  

I opted for The Wild Vine.   A friend introduced this book at his Christmas party, which was as much wine-tasting as holiday gathering.  An evening of good friends, good food, good wine – exactly what the holidays should be all about, by my estimation.  I picked up a copy of the book shortly after his party and started reading it today.  According to the inside jacket, this is “a rich romp through untold American history”  and promises to be “the tale of a little-known American grape that rocked the fine-wine world of the nineteenth century and is poised to do so again”.   So far, so good. 

The book is a story of Norton, a grape native to America that some say is the only one to produce drinkable wine.   All the rage during the late nineteenth century, winning gold medals at wine-tasting events in Europe,  Norton was forgotten and nearly disappeared completely.  A few vineyards are beginning to grow Norton again, primarily in Virginia and Missouri.  I was lucky enough to sample a glass, thanks to my good friend’s efforts, and am now planning my own wine-tasting excursion to Virginia. 

And so I took a photo, with my cellphone, to share my snowy Saturday afternoon with  you.  The photo, taken with an Android X,  has only minimal processing.  The wine, alas, is not Norton!  I hope you are enjoying your Saturday afternoon as much as I am mine!


Fall Colors of the Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive Fall Colors


 I was just checking the news and learned that my town is under a Blizzard Watch today.  A coastal nor’easter is bringing heavy snow and wind our way and we could end up with a foot of snow or more on the ground by this time tomorrow.  While waiting for the storm I started sifting through some photos taken earlier this year and thought I might share a couple with you.

A few weeks ago my wife and I were traveling back to New Jersey from Tennessee and decided to make a side trip along the Skyline Drive.  The Skyline Drive is part of Shenandoah National Park and a favorite destination of ours.   We love the winding roads, beautiful vistas and during Fall, the breath-taking colors.
Fall Colors along Skyline Drive
We traveled from south to north, stopping often to view the valley below and hike along  trails bathed in orange, red, and gold.   The slanted angles of the sun created glowing shafts of color in the trees and the feeling that you were walking through a rainbow.  The day was warm and dry and leaves rustled and crunched under foot as we hiked along the trails. 
It was an amazing day to be outdoors and we enjoyed every minute.  And we can’t wait to go back for another visit! 

Theme 219 – Out West


Hello everyone!  I am just back after a few days away.  I’ve been visiting my folks and doing a little sightseeing, and almost no computer stuff.  So here is my first “after vacation” submission – a buffalo.  Perfect picture for the “Out West” theme I thought, though, like Ron, I am taking a little poetic license with this one.  I was in the most western part of the state of Virginia, where it meets Tennessee and Kentucky, when I took this photo.  My Mom had told me of a buffalo farm located near Cumberland Gap National Park and I just couldn’t resist.  Nothing like driving along in Virginia and suddenly finding grazing buffalo.  This huge fellow seemed very content to eating the new grass (Spring is just breaking there) and allowed me several photos.  The farm is managed by the State of Virginia, though I have not been able to find any information about its purpose.

Ron had a really good question about the true name of these great animals.  An explanation is found here!  Thanks Ron!