Meet at Carriage Barn in Historic Area.
Even after the chilly breezes of autumn have stripped them of their leaves, trees provide clues to their identification by way of their bark, leaf scars, and other individual characteristics. For the final branch of this series, explore Sky Meadows’ diverse forests and find the key characteristics that will provide you the skills to identify any tree, even in the winter months.
The program begins in the park’s Carriage Barn with an informative introductory presentation on tree anatomy, symbiotic and parasitic relationships among trees, tips and tricks for winter tree identification, and more. Then, test your new winter tree identification skills on an approximately 2-mile guided hike along the park’s wooded trails. Receive a color copy of the lecture to take home.
Bring water and lunch to eat along the trail, dress in layers, and wear sturdy shoes. Workshop fee is $15/adult, $5/child (12 and under), and is payable on arrival. Workshop fee includes parking.
Elks Lodge caps school year with ‘Americanism’ awards
Sadi Comstock of Skyline Middle School and Andrew Cabrera of E.Wilson Morrison Elementary each won first place prizes in Front Royal Elks Lodge’s essay contests at their respective schools during the final days of the school year. The question students were asked to respond to in their essays was: “What does it mean to love your country?” For their efforts, the pair received $100 cash prizes.
Second and third place awardees at E. Wilson Morrison elementary were Penelope Dublin and Lucy Phillips. Otto Hire got an honorable mention. At Skyline Middle School Mackenzie McIntyre and Katie Smith scored second and third places, with an honorable mention going to Lucy Campos-Escobar. All received lesser cash awards
Exalted Ruler Jim Sheppard made the awards at ceremonies attended by parents and teachers. In addition to cash, Skyline students also received corsages.
The sun is over the yardarm
As I relax behind the wheel of my outdated mobile, I realize I am the 15th car at this East Main traffic light. There appear to be more cars than roads in our fair city. The red glow of the brake lights silhouettes the passengers moving to their music and hanging out the windows. The revelry gives way to a sense of looming excitement all around. Summer has moved in. Coolness abounds.
Something is in the air. The vehicles aren’t from around here. It appears that the flatlanders are infiltrating the high country to kick off the summer season. Tents and hikers will soon pop up along the rivers and highlands. All is good. The spirits of the people are not succumbing to the elevated gas prices and the foreboding gloom on TV. That is just fine with the locals. We love the beaming new faces and the sweet smell of campfires up and down the river. Alas, COVID has taken up position in the rearview mirror.
Memorial Day revelers historically kick off the summer in the US of A and send a signal to the fashionistas that it’s okay to sport about in white blazers and slacks for the next 90 days – assuming anyone still adheres to that rule anymore. Soon the sun will be over the yardarm – and we can burn some meat and switch on the smoking lamp.
So, remember to make some noise this weekend as spring gives way to summer madness. Alas, the lengthy chill is billowing out to sea – rapidly replaced by rising temperatures. School’s out – it’s party time battalion style! Let the 90 days of summer commence! Next stop – fall football season. Not so fast. We’ll get to that in due time.
This Memorial Day starts a series of three Federal holidays within a six-week stretch. (Memorial Day – this weekend, Juneteenth (weekend of 19 June), and Independence Day (weekend of July 4th). How cool is that? Frankly, if you cannot find time during one of these extended weekends to step out – then you should consult a therapist. Do not waste time. It is the stuff that life is made of.
My advice this summer is to do something different. Grab an inexpensive cruise around the Caribbean or hit the beach. If you are staying local, get down by the river with some friends…Or…simply put on some ole ’60s Beach Music tunes, don some sandals and commandeer some small kid’s swimming pool. Forget about Biden and Ukraine for a spell and crank up “summertime’s calling me” by the Catalina’s. If you find that appealing, then have a go with some of the other Carolina Beach Music groups like The Embers, The Tams, The Drifters, or Chairman of the Board. You can be sure that is what they are doing in the affluent quarters of Charleston to usher in the summer. If you do not know what I am talking about – just look it up and listen to a few of these tunes and your karma will align properly. It is a beach thing and it goes well with beers and campfires in the Valley during this time of year too. If you tilt brown juice while listening to it, your girlfriend may have you shuffling about on the dance floor. It is called shagging in the Carolinas. Not to be confused with the English use of the term – which is also a possible by-product of this behavior.
However, as the night turns into the next morning kindly do not reference this article or call me in irritation. However, do know that accelerated revelry and adolescent antics into the night are good for the soul now and again. Keeps you young. There are, of course, other things to commemorate during this Memorial Day weekend so once the wind has blown your head clear, allow me a bit of refinement.
Memorial Day is also a time of reflection and commemoration of those that fought on our behalf in war. I always enjoy recording and watching the plethora of war movies that annually populate the Turner Classic Movie channel over Memorial Day weekend. That is one of the cool things I like about living in America. This year, 2022, in particular, commemorates several rounded military anniversary dates – and several of these commemorative sites are within close proximity. Keeping with the spirit of the holiday, remember that the US Civil War and World War II had quite a few memorable battles that we commemorate around the end of May and the first days of June. As you know, the locals just celebrated the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Front Royal on Monday (23 May 1862) and the US will soon celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942 – next Saturday. Two days later on the following Monday, we can raise a glass to our heroes that fought in the Battle of D-Day in 1944 – which we commemorate annually on 6 June.
Both of these significant dates are coming up next week. Just another fine reason to raise a glass I always say. So while you are enjoying coffee and donuts one of these glorious summer mornings, remember, a donut without a hole is a Danish and the only King without a mustache is the King of Hearts.
Association game: vegetables
Vegetables are excellent for your health and come in many colorful varieties and shapes. Try to match each clue to the correct vegetable.
1. This white vegetable is called Daikon
2. Bugs Bunny’s favorite food
3. A similar vegetable to collard greens
4. Another name for beans
5. There are summer and winter varieties of this vegetable
6. Rutabagas are from the same family as this vegetable
7. A crunchy green vegetable with lots of water
8. A dark green vegetable that looks like cauliflower
9. The leaves of this vegetable are used in salads
10. The most common varieties of this vegetable are English and Lebanese
11. Iceberg and Chinese are two varieties of this vegetable
12. A bulbous vegetable that’s said to repel vampires
13. A vegetable that’s often eaten with butter and salt
14. There are many ornamental varieties of this vegetable
15. The sweet version of a chili
1-N, 2-D, 3-B, 4-I, 5-H, 6-L, 7-E, 8-C, 9-O, 10-G, 11-F, 12-A, 13-K, 14-J, 15-M
4 edging materials for your garden
Borders help define the different parts of your landscape and simplify maintenance. Here are four edging materials to make your yard look great.
1. Aluminum edging is sleek, durable, and flexible. Moreover, it can withstand the changing of the seasons without warping.
2. Concrete edging is available in a variety of styles and sizes. You can also choose from several shades to perfectly match your landscape. Although durable, concrete borders are semi-permanent, making it difficult to change the shape of your flowerbeds on a whim.
3. Plastic edging is affordable and can be made into virtually any shape. However, it’s not as durable as other edging options and may need to be readjusted from one season to another. Additionally, some plastic borders can’t survive the winter and must be replaced every year.
4. Wood edging is timeless and easy to install. If you want to change the look of your landscape without moving anything, you can easily repaint wood borders.
Don’t hesitate to contact a landscaping professional for expert advice and installation.
The Cracked Acorn: Close and Saved
Wow!! Did you feel that, well, maybe not, but last June 21, 2003, a surprise asteroid the size of a football field nearly hit home? 50 square miles would have been left in a charred crater if this happened. Even at this moment, NASA is tracking and estimating the passages of NEO (near-earth objects). Scientists are closely watching 2002NT7, which had a close flyby in 2019. Its potential was 1.2 million megatons of TNT. Later on, there’s 2000SG3 44 that may orbit closely in 2030. This is a new field of study, but it is also the branch of mathematics to deal with all these distant predictions.
For sure, our planet has had some events in our past that have shaped what we enjoy today. Evolutionists even try to use this as leverage to say that a great asteroid may have wiped out the dinosaurs and enabled mammals (that’s us) to rise to the top of the food chain.
I am not certain where all this should be placed on our list of “things to be concerned about.” We can imagine massive tidal waves, great floods, and forests on fire; Hollywood has made several wonderful films on this subject where the human race emerges victorious. Most of us are probably more focused on the traffic, problems in the schools and in our neighborhoods, paying the bills, and finding a good restaurant.
If either 2002NT7 or 2000SGE 44 comes by close enough for it to be called a “concerned event,” maybe it will remind the human race that we are of and came from the earth.
A giant asteroid is heading straight towards Earth, and its nearest approach is expected during the last week of this month, May! Most of these events occur when we are asleep, so don’t worry too much. The currently known asteroid count is 1,113,527!
People on Earth have nothing to worry about because it will make its pass from such a safe distance of approximately 4 million kilometers, which is more than ten times the distance between both Earth and the Moon. The universe has a schedule, and so does the earth. (IF you disagree, contact me at email@example.com)
Genesis 2:7 – And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living soul.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 – Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
OUR SONG: #728 Songs of FAITH & PRAISE
It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
When sunlight thro’ darkness and shadow is breaking,
That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory,
To receive from the world “His own.”
O Lord Jesus, how long, how long,
Ere we shout the glad song,
Christ returneth! Hallelujah!
How to prepare for a family camping trip
Whether your family rents a serviced campsite for the weekend or prefers a few nights under the stars in the great outdoors, proper preparation will ensure you have a great time. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Choose the right equipment
When sleeping out, getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important. Although a night spent shivering because of an inadequately warm sleeping bag or leaky tent is good for a story or two, you risk souring the camping experience forever.
Before investing in camping equipment, consult an online guide to help you choose what you’ll need. Make your choices based on the location of your campsite, the weight of what you’ll be carrying, the elements you’ll be facing, and the size of your family.
Bring appropriate clothing
Don’t rely too heavily on the weather report. It’s better to be over-prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pack what you’ll need based on the activities you’ll be doing. For example, plan outfits that’ll allow you to adapt to changes in temperature and precipitation quickly. Also, choose clothing that dries quickly and wicks away moisture.
Prepare a checklist
Make a checklist of everything you need to bring, and don’t leave the house until you’ve carefully reviewed each item. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of the forest without the pump to inflate your air mattress. At the very least, your list should include the following must-have items:
• Tent, sleeping bags, and pillows
• Matches, lighter, or fire starter
• Knife and multi-tool
• Mosquito repellent and sun protection
• Kitchen equipment
• Hygiene products and accessories
• First-aid kit
• Water and food supplies
Prevent unexpected situations
If you’re planning to leave the comforts of civilization, make sure to tell someone close to you. They’ll need to know where you’re going and when you’ll be back so that they can contact emergency services if you don’t return on time. You may also want to consider taking a forest-survival course with your family. On top of being an unforgettable experience, you’ll learn new skills that will prepare you for your next adventure.