We are on the road and have been for a couple of days now. Today we stopped in VA where we lived for 18 years until 6 years ago. We went to church there and discovered that we only recognized one face in ten. That was surprising, because when we left, we knew ten faces in ten!

Former slave lodgings at the Ben Lomond Manor House

Former slave lodgings at the Ben Lomond Manor House


After church we went to our old neighborhood, primarily because someone had hidden a geocache there and I wanted to log it. It was hidden at Ben Lomond Manor House. Beth and I had no trouble finding it, and then we all hung out for a while to let Penny stretch her legs. The manor house was used as a field hospital during both Battles of Manassas during the Civil War. The photo above shows where the manor’s slaves lived.

While Penny stretched her legs, I moseyed on over to the rose garden.

Normally, cultivated flowers do not hold my interest, but since they had so few “weeds” in bloom, I decided to take a look, camera in hand. To my delight, I saw a hummingbird moth (Hemaris spp) darting among the flowers. I had never even heard of these until last week when I saw a photo on a blog I read. Here’s the shot I managed in my excitement:

Hummingbird moth (Hemaris spp)

Hummingbird moth (Hemaris spp)

After a bit we got in the car and resumed our drive. On the way, Va got a call from our neighbor back behind us. Seems the house to the south of us was fully engulfed in flames, and she wanted to be sure Penny wasn’t in our house. It must have been quite a spectacle.

One of the sad things about this incident is that we never once spoke to the people who lived there over the past five and a half years. They moved out last month, and put the house on the market. The sign came down quickly, and Beth says she had seen a couple unloading a moving van into the house. I thought it was still empty. I hope they were OK, but I really don’t have any other news on that front.