Nova bonsai garden

markyscott

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The halo around the moon is a sign of high, thin cirrus clouds in an otherwise clear sky. These clouds contain millions of tiny ice crystals. The halos you see are caused by light both refracting and reflecting from these ice crystals. If the crystals are in exactly the right orientation with respect to your eye, the halo will appear. Pretty cool.
 

markyscott

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… back to Ashby’s Gap.

So, during the civil war, the road across Ashby’s Gap passed through the Delaplane area on a very different route, passing over the Goose Creek Bridge. This bridge was built in 1802 (during the Jefferson administration) and was the main road until 1957, when it was redirected to its route. Amazingly, the Goose Creek Bridge is still there, and only a few miles away from out property in Delaplane. 44202CFD-6196-4412-83D7-5DBD38868737.jpeg
… my wife took this awesome picture.
 
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Never mind the comments from Westerly folks about "real" mountains. ;) I've heard them for years. You get used to it, particularly from Coloradans...😁Thing is, comparing the Appalachians with the Rockies is silly. No, the Appalachians aren't the Rockies, but the converse is also true. The Appalachian chain is one of the oldest mountain ranges on the planet. A lot of their territory remains wild--head over to Highland County and see one of the least populated counties east of the Mississippi (BTW, the maple festival in Monterey, Va. over there is just around the corner). Most of the history of America's first 150 years took place in or near the Appalachians. Eight presidents in Virginia alone were born in their shadow or in their valleys...They get in your blood just as much as larger more dramatic mountains. Where my parents where laid to rest:
Beautiful Rockm, as a life long West Coaster, I've been guilty of Appalachian bashing in my past, but a post by you many
many years ago opened my eyes to the historical significance of those old worn down mountains and as an amateur geology buff
I now truly appreciate them, especially after driving through parts of the northern section a few years ago.
 
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… back to Ashby’s Gap.

So, during the civil war, the road across Ashby’s Gap passed through the Delaplane area on a very different route, passing over the Goose Creek Bridge. This bridge was built in 1802 (during the Jefferson administration) and was the main road until 1957, when it was redirected to its route. Amazingly, the Goose Creek Bridge is still there, and only a few miles away from out property in Delaplane. View attachment 415892
… my wife took this awesome picture.
I love history, this so cool keep it coming
 

rockm

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… back to Ashby’s Gap.

So, during the civil war, the road across Ashby’s Gap passed through the Delaplane area on a very different route, passing over the Goose Creek Bridge. This bridge was built in 1802 (during the Jefferson administration) and was the main road until 1957, when it was redirected to its route. Amazingly, the Goose Creek Bridge is still there, and only a few miles away from out property in Delaplane. View attachment 415892
… my wife took this awesome picture.
Nice photo. One thing about living around here is you literally can't swing a cat without hitting something historic, or something G. Washington and friends either built, surveyed or bled for.

Virginia was also the primary battleground for the Civil War. 123 principal battles of that bloody war were fought here, by far the most of any state. In 1864, the Shenandoah Valley was burned, from Winchester down to Waynesboro by Union Troops led by Gen. Sheridan (also including George Armstrong Custer in a supporting role)--as it was the pantry for Lee's Army of Northern Virginia-as well as to get rid of guerilla groups led by Stonewall Jackson and Ashby.
 
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ShadyStump

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... can't swing a cat without hitting something...
I'm stealing this, BTW.
Just because I can imagine you twirling a cat above your hear by it's tail.

That is my single biggest regret from when I was stationed out there; that I didn't get around to seeing more of the history.
 

markyscott

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Nice photo. One thing about living around here is you literally can't swing a cat without hitting something historic, or something G. Washington and friends either built, surveyed or bled for.

Virginia was also the primary battleground for the Civil War. 123 principal battles of that bloody war were fought here, by far the most of any state. In 1864, the Shenandoah Valley was burned, from Winchester down to Waynesboro by Union Troops led by Gen. Sheridan (also including George Armstrong Custer in a supporting role)--as it was the pantry for Lee's Army of Northern Virginia-as well as to get rid of guerilla groups led by Stonewall Jackson and Ashby.
I’m loving the history here. As you might well tell.

… case in point. So today we got to wondering. Who was this Ashby guy? Well- five minutes of searching revealed that this was a family of long standing in the region. One of the most famous was Captain Jack Ashby, for whom Ashby’s Pass was named. Apparently it involved a daredevil dash down the mountain with a heavy load of tobacco. Ashby was active in the Culpepper Minute Battalion and later commissioned captain in the 3rd Virginia Regiment. He saw action in Harlem Heights and the Battle of Brandywine. As it turns out, he’s buried in Delaplane just off the road in the Ashby family cemetery just few minutes from our farm. We drove there and hopped the fence to have a look. 4EFCB65F-7053-4651-A32C-7D882A9B44F4.jpeg7BD78323-BC81-4B30-8D25-AD629939FAD8.jpegD14F5E3A-E788-44E1-8365-3F758A5DBFD8.jpegE49090A7-EC5A-46C0-B0E5-E82B2B1160D0.jpeg
 

rockm

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I’m loving the history here. As you might well tell.

… case in point. So today we got to wondering. Who was this Ashby guy? Well- five minutes of searching revealed that this was a family of long standing in the region. One of the most famous was Captain Jack Ashby, for whom Ashby’s Pass was named. Apparently it involved a daredevil dash down the mountain with a heavy load of tobacco. Ashby was active in the Culpepper Minute Battalion and later commissioned captain in the 3rd Virginia Regiment. He saw action in Harlem Heights and the Battle of Brandywine. As it turns out, he’s buried in Delaplane just off the road in the Ashby family cemetery just few minutes from our farm. We drove there and hopped the fence to have a look. View attachment 415980View attachment 415981View attachment 415982View attachment 415983
Gen. Turner Ashby was the confederate general under Stonewall Jackson. He was a notorious guerilla commander during Jackson's Valley campaign. He was born in Fauquier County near Markham (your neck of the woods now) We used to play high school football against Turner Ashby High School in Bridgewater, Va. (The Raiders) The high school, I think,, has been renamed. John Ashby was a revolutionary war officer and Turner Ashby's Grandfather.
 

markyscott

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A question for my Virginia friends. I love working with native species (and non native ones too), but I’m still learning the tree species here. I had a lot of success with a number of native Texas trees. I’m curious to know what native Virginia species the local folks have tried, what has been successful and what you’d recommend avoiding.

scott
 

n8

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So the deal is done and I’m relocating from Houston to Virginia. It’s a beautiful piece of property about halfway between Front Royal and Warrenton.

Exciting move and amazing property, Scott. Thanks for sharing all this.

Never mind the comments from Westerly folks about "real" mountains.

Amen. All mountains are beautiful.
 

cbroad

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curious to know what native Virginia species the local folks have tried, what has been successful and what you’d recommend avoiding
If you read enough about our native species here, you'll figure out the majority of them are swamp/wet/lowland type species, which to me means prone to die back. Also, fungus is a way of life here...

Itea, ilex verticillata, glabra, opaca, wax myrtle, birch, aronia (chokeberry), witch hazel...

Mountain laurel might be cool and grows wild up there, also the native rhodo.

Some of the native viburnums may be interesting to try, all viburnums for the most part do well here, but you might be too cold for some to be unprotected.

Our native tree species aren't that exciting really: Red maple, all of the oaks, elms, erc, white pine, loblolly. You might be able to find a cool Virginia pine. Tulip poplar, beech, sycamore...

Sweetgum may be viable. The native winged elms seem pretty nice (yours should do well here). I have a few, and they get the very pronounced corking on all wood and eventually mature into plates. Some sweetgum around here also has the corky winged growth. Maybe black gum. Hornbeams definitely.

I'm missing a lot for sure, this is just off the top of my head.. Hopefully some other local people will chime in about which natives may or may not have potential.

Welcome to Virginia!
 

rockm

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You will find many of the same species here as in Texas--sweetgum, willow oak, winged elm, hornbeam.

There is also American beech (which is a good species, but takes a lot of patience), blackhaw viburnum, blueberry, black cherry (another species that is good if you can find a decent trunk and can put up with its weird habits, including abandoning branching intermittently), Hickories of many varieties are common but not great bonsai subjects because of compound leaves. American elm is around, but they tend to be smaller trees. Oaks too, mainly white oak and red oak. Not as many oak species as in Texas, however, Willow oak is among the better subjects. They look a bit different here than in Texas. Leaves tend to be completely lance shaped. I noticed in Texas that the species has slightly lobed leaves...Dogwood, amalanchier (shad blow) offer white flowers and sometimes rugged trunks. Red maple is everywhere. Tupelo (pepperridge) is also, but difficult to collect.

Since you're in the Blue Ridge, you can find pine species too--Virginia pine is the most common and it's mostly iffy unless you can find a decent trunk with low branching. Loblolly isn't as common in the mountains as it is in the Piedmont. Table Mountain pine and pitch pine are around, but you have to look. Hemlock and even red spruce are also on the higher ridges and elevated back country in some areas.

The issue with collecting trees here is one of permission from landowners (not a huge issue for you since you have you own land). More alpine species like pitch pine and table mountain pine, however, tend to grow on protected land (federal and state).

FWIW, your cedar elms bald cypress and some other Texas natives, will probably do well here if given adequate winter protection--mulch in a garden bed, etc.
 

rockm

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Also don't overlook vine species, Wisteria, bittersweet and trumpet vine all grow in the area. If you can locate old plants that have overgrown areas, you can often find significant trunks on all those species. They are all considered invasive here and are pretty much fair game. Some local parks in this area pay people to remove them...Also be on the lookout for old vining (rambling) roses, particularly around old home sites where they've "escaped" into the wild. Some can have very nice trunks (if you don't mind the thorns).
 

rockm

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Sorry, things keep crossing my mind...you might also look for old apple orchards. Apples used to be a big cash crop in the valley. Not so much anymore, but there are a lot of old orchards around that might be sources...Also vineyards are big now in the area. Some have been in operation for a long time. Might be worth asking if any of them want to get rid of older vines...
 
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