Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Days and Nights

Saturday November 1 through Tuesday November 4, 2014
Greenfield Mountain Farm
Near Charlottesville Virginia


My previous post post showed some of what David has been doing with his days.  An earlier one showed a series of weekly hikes I’ve been on over the weeks we’ve been here.   But what happens at night?   Well I read and David socializes.  LOL   Unfortunately I have many more pictures of my days than of his nights. 

Let’s start with David and the pictures he provided



Our farm lane is located exactly 5.8 miles west of the little town of Batesville.  Batesville has had a GREAT store since 1911. 

From 1942 to 1994 the town general store and post office was run by the Page family and called Page’s Store.  Since then it has had several incarnations and several names, the Batesville Store, the Plank Road Exchange and now it is The Batesville Market where one of David’s favorite groups, Red and the Romantics was playing on a Saturday night.   One of the things David really likes about Red is that he writes nearlyl all the music he performs.  This is not the first time that David has heard him play while we’ve been here.

We have a long history with Red actually.  His formal name is Eric and he was a sweet little boy in Carrie’s preschool class.  His father is our dentist.  David enjoyed a few beers and some fine music. 

Whatever its name, occupying the building with the post office, the store is still the center of the little town of Batesville.
May it always be so.










ivy creek

This week Lynda wasn’t able to go hiking so I went out on my own hiking at Ivy Creek Natural Area. This is a wonderful 215-acre preserve bordering the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir just outside of Charlottesville Virginia. It is a mix of upland woods, pine stands, open fields, streams, and two miles of shoreline. Eleven trails through diverse habitat and of varying difficulty make up the network of more than 7 miles of walking trails here.  This trip I hike the red, peninsula and purple trails.   I started the red trail at the barn and follow it down to Martin’s Branch which drains into Ivy Creek and then into the Reservoir.  I cross the creek and follow the red trail along the water, past the big oak.  At the point where it runs into a teal colored trail, I take that, the peninsula trail loop.  I come back to the red trail and follow it all the way back to the black oval which indicates the parking lot.  Then I walk back to the barn and do the purple trial.  That gets me about 4 of the 7 miles of trails.  Enough for today.


ICNA is an official site on the Virginia African American Heritage Trail in recognition of its rich social and agricultural history dating back to 1870 when former slave Hugh Carr purchased the land as a family farm. Known as Riverview Farm, the land was in the Carr and Greer family for a century before becoming the Ivy Creek Natural Area.   At the entrance kiosk they have a nice 3D map of the trails as well as trail maps and information about River View Farm and the Carrs.





Ivy Creek Natural Area is another property, like the Tall Grass Prairie in Kansas which owes its salvation in part to The Nature Conservency.

Ivy Creek was founded in 1975, thanks to efforts of local citizens who valued the former farmland for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife habitat. Enlisting the help of The Nature Conservancy, the 80 acres remaining of Riverview Farm was purchased to protect it from impending development. Visualize condos in the spots I walk through today. By 1981, with the aid of federal grants, an additional 97 acres of former farmland was bought and that, along with 38 acres of City-owned land bordering the reservoir, was added to the Natural Area, bringing ICNA to its present size of 215 acres — approximately the original boundaries of Riverview Farm.




The Carr Farmhouse is still there.  It is now the private residence for the Natural Area’s caretaker.   This Carr family graveyard is between the house and the barn. 








The red trail begins to the left of the barn and goes down to Martin’s Branch which at this time of year is quite low and water and so filled with leaves you can hardly see the water that is there.  Still, it’s a pretty spot.






The branch empties into Ivy Creek and the trail goes along the creek.





And then it climbs up to the oldest tree on the tract named the Bartholomew Oak, named for an early volunteer and member of the Ivy Creek Board, Bart Bartholomew.   The tree was definitely here in Thomas Jefferson’s time.   And of course it needs a hug.  Tough picture with no one around and no where to set the camera except on the ground.








From there it isn’t too far to the junction of the Peninsula lollipop trail.   Being a peninsula, the loop trail has water visible almost all the way around.   Many lovely benches to sit and just be.




The geese are also enjoying the beautiful day.





After I rejoin the Red trail I am able to get a picture of the former farm field walls made of stone before my battery decides to die.  Of course I’ve left my extra batteries in the car.  DUH!





It does resurrect for one shining moment just before I get to the purple trail that circles the Native Plants field that they have taken great care to create.  At the head of this trail is what they call a bat shelter.   I stood under it and took a picture of all the baffles into which bats can go during the day time.  Today unfortunately is one of the days that the education center here is closed so I can’t find out whether they have a colony of bats there or not.  I couldn’t see any.  Nor can I ask whether they have ever had and if bats could winter over here.  The weather next week is getting down to 26.  Brrrrrr.  Not sure bats can do that.   

As for the Native plants field, they had the fire department come and use it as a training spot for burning the ground before they replanted with only native grasses and plants.   Today it looks a lot like the fields on the farm if we let them go for a year or two.   Tall grasses and lots of blackberry brambles.  Good spot to be in the summer for berries.  I assume they will cut it back this year or they will have the start of cedar trees and pines as Mother Nature makes her bid to fill it up with what is naturally here in this area, a complete covering of East Coast Deciduous forest.





All things come from the Earth


  1. That is such a gorgeous part of the country you live in. Your shot of the park bench overlooking the water looks so inviting! Bat shelters are interesting. I have never seen one that is inhabited though.

    I am about ready for some green out here in the desert...this particular area (Desert Hot Springs) is exceedingly brown, compared to the Sonoran Desert for example.

  2. Inside that bat house looks pretty pristine to me. My guess would be that nothing is using it yet.

  3. Your town reminds me of the one we lived in in VT, our general store was the town gathering place. When we took extended trips with out the kids we'd let the owner know and anything the kids needed they could go there. When the fire dept got called out no matter the time they'd get coffee and such ready for the volunteer firemen, small towns-great places to raise a family. Love all the hiking you have available so close to your farm.

  4. loved your hike today. . .such a beautiful walk in the woods.

    The season for the Mexican Free Tailed Bat Colony that lives under the bridge in Austin TX is April thru Nov. . .I''m assuming the season in VA might be much shorter. . .and like Judy says. . .wouldn't look or smell that clean if they were inhabiting it.

    Keep livin' the good life. . .

  5. You two sure know how to have fun, together or separate. So happy the Nature Conservancy steps in to help save these pockets of the Mother. The remnants of fall in your photos tells me cold is coming and it's time to fly south.

  6. I love to read, but in this case I'd be socializing! You took some fine pictures on your walk.

  7. What a beautiful fall day for a hike. All to soon the fall splendor will be replaced with cold. I love that you are showing us the country side and historical sites around the farm

  8. What a beautiful time of years to hike right in your own back yard! Glad David is enjoying the company of good friends. You and he know what the good life is all about. :)

  9. We love small town America. What a nice little spot David has in town:)

    Your hike area is just gorgeous, Sherry, with all the fall foliage. It's nice that you can go out alone and return!!! If I headed out alone, I would still be out there...haha!! I agree with Lisa about the photo of the bench over the water.

  10. Wow, a four mile hike! That's terrific! Nice that you have such great trails to take advantage of. Just wondering what you consider an average hike for you?

  11. Nice to see people who still enjoy where they live. Most people never get out to enjoy the beauty and interesting places right in their own towns. David and you have shared some lovely outings!!!

  12. What gorgeous photos you took. It's a perfect time for those hikes.

  13. I love the Nature Conservancy! They do such a great job of finding land that needs to be saved and would otherwise likely be developed. What a beautiful fall hike -- I can imagine spending some meditative time overlooking that pond. On a side note, Eric just ordered the latest Canon and now I have his camera, which means you and I have the same camera. Yay!! I've been waiting for this for a long time. It does seem to eat through the batteries pretty quickly, though -- or maybe it's because I take so many photos. :-)

  14. I find those family cemeteries very interesting and like to research as much of the occupants history, as possible.

  15. Ivy Creek is a lovely Charlottesville gem. Glad you got out there on a sunny day. Must be nice to have that freedom to just 'be.' I cannot remember being in the Batesville store; that can't be true, but I think I only remember it as Page's. I'm sure I'd enjoy going there with Pops. I do remember the post office. Wonder if it's exactly the same. I imagine so.

  16. I agree with Nancy, so many people get wrapped up in thinking they have to go to famous places that they fail to see what is in their own back yard. We have a nature center close by that seems so similar to Ivy Creek. Love the picture with the bench in it. And I've already googled Batesville - gotta go there, my kind of place!

  17. A long-lived-and-loved small town market is just the best - there's a wonderful "seasoned" smell they have that is rich with history. I know David really enjoyed seeing Red and his band play there :-) I love a walk in the woods in the Fall......kicking up the leaves, the occasional drip of moisture from high up, the promise of a cold snap while the sun is still warm on your skin.....it's a magical time and place. More so because you appreciate that it just "is". Bartholomew is very handsome, certainly worthy of a very long hug. My mother supported the Nature Conservancy for most of her adult life, even on a small fixed income later in life. The areas she helped to save with her dollars are as much her legacy as the people she touched with her words. I'm so glad you're soaking up some of this beautiful area. Now that you know you are able to go in just a couple days I'm sure the time you're spending there is much sweeter. Makes me smile :-)

  18. We have so much to be thankful for that there were visionaries back several decades that fought to keep this amazing area from being developed. May there always be people like that to preserve our wonders of nature for future generations to enjoy. :c)

  19. You are so fortunate that you can still hike nearby your farm and with a Nature Conservancy close by. I would welcome a solitude hike like that too.


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