Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Summer's end

The snow is already creeping down the mountains and the 1st day of Fall brings wind and rain. My attempt at a flower bed yielded some interesting colorful items. Bright pink peonies and I only got one bloom.

Mixed in with the ferns, the wildroses, irises and liliacs, I had mushrooms.

Too bad it's poisonous. But I had a pile of them in the yard, along with lots of other ones, like button mushrooms, little brown ones that I think are eatable.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hillsville flea market

Have you ever seen a flea market that stretches as far as the eye can see? The Labor Day weekend flea market in Hillsville, Va is the biggest spectacle I've ever encountered. Booths stretched across multiple streets in every direction. What ever you wanted you can find it here.
Over the three day period over 100,000 people were expected to attend.

To support the hundreds of vendors local residents rent out their homes to the influx of people and go somewhere else. People rent out their lawns for parking, $5 a car.

The flea market got its start as a gun show. While a gun show is still part of it, it's a small part. However lots of gun trading goes on, from dealers to private citizens. I was surprised to find someone walking the street with a rifle, but it was a common sight. Va. has open carry laws.

There were a lot of crafts for sale. Fountains made of every thing that held water were everywhere.
There were beautiful additions to a yard. I wish I could have gotten one home.

This is an ice cream engine. It's a one cylinder gasoline engine from the 30's, powering an ice cream maker. Kinda neat. Good ice cream.

And then there were the advertisements that made you go 'Huh?'

And a couple great jokes. Any guesses what's in the barrel?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Visiting my Va. roots, fall 2009

I spent this past week visiting my family's home in the mountains of Virginia. Wonderful summer weather and lots of relatives to catch up with. My mother is 90 and her health is always a concern among my many siblings.

My mother's home is an old farm house in the Blue Ridge mountains. The house was originally built in the late 1800s and has been rebuilt and remodeled to make it comfortable for a senior citizen.
The yard is full of tall green trees and carport providing some shelter for a boat (my brother's) and various cars belonging to brothers who live close by and always visiting.

The fields around my mother's house are home to lots of critters. Like wild turkeys, feeding in the hay fields on a summer evening.

Or white-tail deer, helping themselves to the pears on the trees around the edge of the yard. This doe had two fawns, still with spotted coats.

The family uses 4-wheelers to get around the farm and surrounding land. Trails and old logging roads criss-cross the mountains.

The trails cross heavily forested mountain sides. One of my younger brothers has marked safe paths across the mountains and streams.

Besides deer and turkey black bear call this area home. This particular tree had been chewed up by a large bear marking his territory.