The Cherry on Top: Old Hill Cidery

This week’s prompt for The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge is “Cherry on Top”.  As an explanation, Michelle offers:

“The cherry on top. The icing on the cake. Or, as the straightforward folks at Oxford Dictionaries explain it, “a desirable feature perceived as the finishing touch to something that is already very good.”

My most recent “cherry on top” experience happened on the return leg of a road trip through Virginia Jay and I took for our anniversary a few weeks ago.  From the beginning the vacation was exactly what we hoped it would be: relaxing at a gorgeous resort (Primland) between hikes in the Blue Ridge mountains with a very few touristy destinations (like Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest and Chateau Morrisette Winery) thrown in the mix.

The last stop on our journey home required a short detour off Interstate 81 to the town of Timberville, VA.  Our destination? Old Hill Cidery, which we found nestled among rolling hills in the Shenandoah Valley.  The grounds were adorable, the cider tasting was educational and fun, and because we were the only customers in the shop at the time, we enjoyed a friendly conversation with the young woman who ran the shop.  She then directed us behind the shop, where we found a unique “Virginia is for Lovers” sign with a quintessential rural Virginia view.  It was the perfect ending to our anniversary trip, an unexpected and delightful “cherry on top”!


{ View from the parking area of Old Hill Cidery }


{ Cider Tasting }


{ View of the Shenandoah Valley }

Check out other “cherry on top” offerings at The Daily Post.


Phone Photos: Steall Falls, Scotland

Steall Falls is a rather short and scenic hike located at the end of a winding road through Nevis Gorge near Fort William.  It’s especially atmospheric covered in the famed Scottish mistiness. The hike to the falls was a Plan B for us after we decided the fog-shrouded peak of Ben Nevis wasn’t worth the nine hours of effort required to get there.  Plan B, it turns out, was more than worth the effort.  We relished the solitude, dramatic scenery and the challenge of the wire bridge.  A true Fairyland…


{ View from the parking area }


{ The trail }


{ A river tumbling through the boulders }


{ The glen – the only place in Scotland we encountered midges }


{ Steall Falls: An Steall Bàn (The White Spout) }


{ The notorious wire bridge (and yes, we all attempted it – twice!) }

Photos were taken with a Samsung Galaxy 5.

Landscapes (Lancaster County, Pennsylvania)


Lancaster County is a rather rural place with many farms and a strong Amish population.  It’s quiet beauty still moves me even though I’ve lived here all my life.  Although my photos didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped (I wasn’t getting along with my camera or the sun today), I think the image below adequately conveys the loveliness I experience every day.

The cropped version
The cropped version


The uncropped version
The uncropped version




The Natural World (and Leading Lines)


Today’s Photo 101 prompt is The Natural World. Luckily, I had time  to spend with my camera so I took myself to Shenk’s Ferry and got up close and personal with nature.  Shenk’s Ferry is  a little preserve known for its wild flowers that burst forth in April.  I was a little early for that colorful lovliness but still found much to photograph in the quiet charm of the forest.