Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blue Ridge High Birthday Girl

One of my favorite places that we live near is the Blue Ridge Parkway. Only 45 minutes away and it's almost heaven! So, of course my 60th birthday would have to include some time there. After the wonderful visit to the Mountainside Petting Farm, we picked up some sandwiches in Nellysford at the Ambrosia Deli and headed for our favorite spot, Ravens Roost.

© 2010 Randal J. Watkins - One of Donna's New 60 Experiences for Her 60th Birthday
Climbing Down a Cliff Just a Bit For The Adventure - Ravens Roost - Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

We found a quiet spot in a grove of trees and enjoyed the sandwiches and the views, took a bunch of photos, and a funny video because Ben didn't know he had the video rolling while he was taking photos of Randal and me. I've titled it "Ben's Blooper Video."

Ben didn't want to be near when I decided to climb a bit down the rocks to a place on the edge. Actually, I was paying so much attention to my feet and then turning around to face Randal for the camera, that it was a little while before I actually looked to my right to notice there was quite a drop. Yikes! But I love adventure and going against fear, so it was just another one of the 60 new experiences since I'd never done that before. I've never had any desire to climb rocks.

©2010 Randal J. Watkins - Blue Ridge Donna
Greenstone Overlook Trail - Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
We went a few miles up the Parkway to Greenstone Overlook where there's a loop trail with incredible rock formations and views of the Shenandoah Valley.

We walked alone as if the place belonged only to us. Gorgeous with a faint breeze ever stirring. One of my 60 new experiences was added to my list on this trail when we discovered a Locust Borer, a beautiful bug that we didn't know was a pest in its larval stage.

Further up the Parkway we made our last stop at Humpback Rocks Visitor Center where there's a homestead setting with home, out buildings and garden area. The masses of zinnias around the garden area had butterflies everywhere and I was fortunate to add another one of my 60 new experiences to my list with another butterfly species I'd never seen, the Sachem Skipper (Atalopedes campestris).  I was blessed to have taken a photo of a flower with three of them on it, two females with a male between them. Awesome!  View the Blue Ridge Parkway Birthday album.

©2010 Donna L. Watkins - Two Females with Male in Middle - Sachem Skipper Butterfly on Zinnia
Humpback Rocks Visitors Center - Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

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