Monday, December 29, 2014

Landing in a good spot

Shenandoah River State Park, Wildcat Ledge Trail overlooking the River (photo by Jacob Malcom)

We've made the move from northeastern Connecticut to Front Royal, Virginia.  There are many natural features that make this area appealing to naturalists like Jacob and me.  We have the Blue Ridge Mountains, with the Appalachian Trail passing through, and the Shenandoah River in our neighborhood.  The Skyline Drive of Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, Shenandoah River State Park, and more state and local parks offer thousands of acres accessible to the public.  Jacob and I learned how much we appreciate large areas of public lands like National Forests when we lived in Austin TX.  From Austin, it takes over 4 hours to drive to a National Forest, and the State Parks, while very nice, were few and relatively small for the number of people who use them.  After unpacking and Christmas festivities, Jacob and I have been out hiking everyday at Shenandoah River State Park, and Elizabeth Furnace in the George Washington Forest.  (More on these outings soon.)

Shenandoah River State Park, Shenandoah River along Bluebell Trail (photo by Jacob Malcom)

Shenandoah River State Park, Sycamore Tree (photo by Jacob Malcom)

Shenandoah River State Park, Shenandoah River along Bluebell Trail (photo by Jacob Malcom)

However, the spot that we are enjoying the most is the ten acres where we are living. Jacob's parents moved to the property more than 35 years ago, and Jacob's dad is a fantastic gardener and naturalist. The ten acres have many great trees, a stream, pond, old orchard field, and the gardens filled with both natives, and exotic plant species.  The wildlife abound in the shrubbery and varied habitats with numerous birds, chipmunk, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, deer, and in the Summer the bird feeders are often visited by black bears!  Ansel's garden are a testament to getting rid of boring lawns, and growing wildlife habitat.  Click here to check out a post I did a little over a year ago about Ansel's Garden.  We are very happy to be calling Virginia home with both Ansel and Mary Carol. I'm sure there will be lots of fun nature oriented things to blog about.

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!