I've got a lot to learn about the plants and wildlife in Virginia, so I'd been looking forward to attending Saturday's nature walk sponsored by the local Master Naturalists concerning winter woodland habitat.
The walk began out on the eastern end of the Chessie Trail and was led by Bruce Bytnar, a retired National Park Service Ranger.
The Chessie starts in town and stretches for 6 miles following the Maury River along the old railway bed of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. We spent about 2 hours out walking with perfect crisp weather but other than a few flocks of Canadian geese who flew in for landings on the river, the wildlife stayed far away from our group of 15.
(No I haven't let my hair go brown since moving to VA... that isn't me in the photo above!)
Bruce was informative and entertaining, and at the conclusion of the walk, you just know that we had to let him (and his wife) know that we were proud parents of a NPS ranger!
Saturday night we took off our walking shoes and put on something a little dressier to go in to hear the Rockbridge Symphony concert held on the campus of VMI. Comprised of about 45 volunteer members from the community, the Rockbridge Symphony was awesome!
And how I made it to be an adult without having heard classical guitar in played in person before is a mystery! If you ever have a chance to hear Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, GO!
Here's a fuzzy cell phone photo taken from the balcony of Jackson Hall which serves as VMI's assembly hall. (The straight backs in the lower pews had both of us squirming around, so we retreated to the cushioned seats in the upper balcony after intermission!)
The mural at the end of the hall is 18x23 feet and was painted by an 1880 graduate to commemorate VMI's participation in the Civil War battle of New Market.
More Lexington simplicity .... tickets were only $10.00, no advance tickets, no assigned seating, no need to get dressed to the nines, parking was a short stroll through campus. It was a lovely evening!
Sunday we skipped church in order to enter a Hunter Pace (basically a marked trail ride) through the grounds of the Middlebrook Hounds Hunt Club. Foxhunting is a big deal up here! A Hunter Pace is open to all disciplines so we didn't need blazers, english saddles, knee boots etc. No hounds or hunting, a Hunter Pace is just a "go as you please" ride.
We went about 6 miles through the woods over some very hilly terrain and only saw one other set of riders out on the course, so it was peaceful and quiet.
Cloud was a joy to ride and we met several trail riding enthusiasts who've promised to help us learn some good trails nearby.
Although Sarge almost looks as though he could just step over this one, neither of us were tempted by the jumps along the course.... guess I'm getting old and more cautious!
I don't think that Sarge could gather up his Tennessee Walking Horse legs and hurl himself over a jump if grizzly bears were after him, so there isn't much hope of Joe being Master of the Hunt!