Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Last of Autumn Before the Hybrid Storm

My husband drove to our Northern Virginia home after a week in upstate New York last Thursday. That evening he suggested a drive retracing his route, to visit all the farm markets along the way and leave the kids at home since they had so much schoolwork to do. Friday and Saturday morning was spent battening down the hatches before the onslought of the hybrid storm's (aka Sandy) pending arrival. Saturday after lunch we drove in the last of autumnal splendor on a warm and sunny afternoon.

Here is a farm market in a town called Haymarket. This pig was quite cute happily wagging his little tail! There was another one whose extreme shyness kept him in the crate.
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I was trying to capture the autumn color of the mountains behind the white pumpkins. I should have taken another shot angling down to capture the yellow mums.

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Then my husband surprised me by pulling into to Oatlands Plantation! This plantation is the home of George Carter in the early 19th century, descendant (I think son or grandson) of Robert Carter III, who I think is the grandson of King Carter, all of Virginia. I have been higher intrigued by this family and have been promising a major blog post about them, after having read The First Emancipator a couple of summers ago. Alas school studies always take precedence and I start to forget some of the specific details. There are a huge family of Carters but Robert Carter III lived in my favorite Colonial Williamburg house, the one with the long porch next to the Palace. My kids and I portrayed his family in our most recent history presentation. It is so easy to confuse Robert Carter III with his cousin, Robert Carter Nicholas, both of whom are portrayed in CW. Robert Carter III carries the distinction of having emancipated all of his slaves! I'm going to have to reread the book and take this house tour and walk the gorgeous grounds...then a massive blog post (or two or three or more!) Anyway I've been wanting to visit here for years but I didn't think my husband ever heard me, so I've been planning to visit one day alone with the kids. However he was hopeful we'd get here in time before they closed, because he remembered I always wanted to go here. Alas no history tour this time. He was only interested in doing the gift shop so I reveled in the scenery! We got to drive by the mansion, because we took the wrong road which allowed us to see more! We'll come back with the kids one day. He took all the brochures I grabbed and he looked at them and said he could surprise me with lots of stuff from there (like a tea or a Christmas tour???)

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Then another farm market to the north of Loudon which had their produce beautifully staged.

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We stopped at a few other places but these were our favorites. But the further north we went, everything became twice as expensive but had only half the quality. Our favorite farm markets for scope for the imagination and value are right near us! That's nice to know, but it was a lovely drive, and definitely the last we'll see the colors.

This afternoon we are already getting winds (14mph with 20+mph gusts) and it's cold! I'll try to post ahead before we lose power. This is a massive hybrid storm. The hurricane from the South is merging with a storm system from the west which is merging with a cold front from Canada. We are right in the middle. Never has there been a storm of this magnitude.

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