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Jenny at the Ridge

Dear Florence

From Cassandra

Dear Florence,

When first learning of your existence, we took caution. As time went on, the severity of your strength put a bit of a threat on those of us on the east coast. Here at Stevenson Ridge, we feared for our bride and groom getting married over the weekend; we feared for those staying in our cabins this weekend. We prepared for the worst-case scenario, but the wedding must go on!

We Virginians took all expected precautions …



Fun Facts about Great Blue Herons

from Madeliza

On Wednesday, I told you about our great blue heron that’s been hanging out in the pond lately. Here are a few fun facts about great blues from All About Birds:

  • Despite their impressive size, great blue herons weigh only 5 to 6 pounds thanks in part to their hollow bones—a feature all birds.
  • Great blue herons can hunt day and night thanks to a high percentage of rod-type photoreceptors in their eyes that improve their night


Our Great Great Blue

from Madeliza

For the past few days, we’ve been hosting a great blue heron in our pond! I get so excited every time the heron visits us because he’s such a beautiful and graceful sight.

I’ve tried a bunch of times to go out to the pond and snap a picture, but I haven’t had much luck. This past weekend, though, right before a wedding ceremony was about to begin, I received a text message from the wedding coordinator letting …


A Civil War-Time Image of Stevenson Ridge

from Chris

I’ve written in the past of two wartime images that show the property that is now Stevenson Ridge. We’ve recently come across a third image that shows the property, and it’s the earliest image of the three.

Sketched on May 10, 1864—the same day that Thomas Greeley Stevenson was killed nearby–the image shows reinforcements from the Federal IX Corps marching down the Fredericksburg Road past the Gayle House toward the front. Artist Joseph Becker captured the scene for …


Departure of the Ducks

from Chef Anthony

Back in the spring of 2017, Stevenson Ridge took in a little family of ducklings to live on our pond. In the beginning, they wouldn’t leave their “house” across the pond. Over the following months, the staff watched them grow from little ducklings into full-grown ducks. They were then finding their way all over the property, even right up to our kitchen door to see what we were cooking up!

Everyone began to become so attached to …


National Cheese Pizza Day

from Elizabeth

Today, we celebrate a simple but delicious masterpiece: cheese pizza.

It’s National Cheese Pizza Day!

It’s a classic dish. Everyone grows up with this yummy treat with its fluffy dough, tomato sauce, and just cheese. And sometimes, even more cheese!

Let’s be honest: we’ve all had a lot of Friday night dinners provided by pizza. This week, switch up your week and grab a slice tonight at some of our great local pizzerias:

  • Vocelli Pizza
  • Vinny’s Italian Grill


Battle of the Bags

from Elizabeth

Everyone at the Ridge loves a good game of cornhole, and we frequently see it at weddings and events during the warmer months—but how did cornhole even begin?

In a 1883 patent described by Heyliger de Windt, his game “Parlor Quoits” has similar rules as the modern game of cornhole but with a square hole instead of a round one. It was the first game to use bean-bags and the slanted board with a hole as the target, …


Food from the Far East

from Chef Moe Marsh

Stevenson Ridge is expanding our horizons with some foods from the Far East!

We’ve been trying out some new ideas in our kitchen this week hoping to add them to some upcoming events. We’ve tried

  • soft, airy Chinese steamed buns with pork belly
  • ultimate Korean fried chicken with sesame potato rolls
  • spring rolls with carrots, pickled peppers, mixed greens, and cilantro with a peanut dipping sauce
  • buckwheat blini with citrus pearls, creme fraiche, and peach gastrique


Boots On!

from Chris

It’s been a “boots on” week for me. That’s my version of “game on” or “being ready to rumble.” I own a pair of cowboy boots—something I earned honestly because my daughter’s been a horse owner for a decade and a half—and I get them out when it’s time to get down to business.

This week marked the start of my nineteenth year teaching writing at St. Bonaventure University in western New York. I always wear my boots …