An Egret Came A-Calling

from Chris

We get a lot of great blue herons that visit Stevenson Ridge’s ponds, but recently, we had a visit from a bird we’ve not seen nearly so often: a great egret.

Egrets are actually pretty common, but in all honesty, none of us could remember the last time we’d seen one at the Ridge.

Egrets are closely related to herons and have the same tall, thin build. They prowl the shallows in search of small fish—although in this …

 

Parasols by the Post Office

from Chris

I don’t know much about wild mushrooms, but I find them fascinating because of the wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors they come in.

These ones, which sprung up near the Post Office, are called parasol mushrooms:

The caps on the big ones are each as wide as my spread-out hand. They have gills underneath, which places them in a category of fungi called “gilled mushrooms” (creative, huh?).

 …

 

 

Woolgathering and Rain Watching

from Chris

With another fall semester about to start for me, I took a little “personal retreat” time at the Log Home yesterday. Of all Stevenson Ridge’s cabins, the Log Home has perhaps the most epic front porch for passing the time. It’s a great spot for woolgathering with a cold beer or a glass of wine. In the mornings, it’s the perfect setting for that first cup or two of coffee.

We’ve had sweltering days this week, which finally …

 

History on Display

from Chris

We have some “new” Stevenson Ridge history on display in the Lodge. I say “new” because it’s history, which by definition makes it old–but the displays themselves are new.

The first is a frame containing some images of Brig. Gen. Thomas Greely Stevenson, for whom the property is named. There’s a brief bio accompanying the images so that visitors can learn at least a little bit about him. (More info on Stevenson is available in our book Traces

 

The Five-Leaf Clover

from Chris

One of my super-powers, apparently, is my ability to find four-leaf clovers. I don’t go looking for them; instead, they tend to leap out at me.

I always think of the scene from the movie Rain Man when someone spills a whole box of matches and Dustin Hoffman’s character glances at them and then rattles off the exact number of matches on the floor. That’s sort of what it’s like for me spotting four-leaf clovers: i just glance, …

 

Our Geese and Their Goslings

from Chris

We’ve had a pretty few intense days here on the blog because of the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, so let’s turn our attention to something a little lighter:

We’ve had a pair of geese raising some goslings on the property this spring. The chicks have gotten pretty big already, too!

Here, momma and her four goslings are waddling from the Riddick House to the pond. Daddy goose was with the gaggle, too, but …

 

Spotsylvania Court House: The Armies Move South

A map on a wayside panel in Spotsylvania National Battlefield shows the alignment of the armies during the second half of the battle, prior to their withdrawals from Spotsy.

from Chris

Think of the village of Spotsylvania Court House as sitting at the center of a clock. Brock Road, where the armies first clashed on the morning of May 8, sits at roughly 10 o’clock. The Mule Shoe, scene of the horrific hand-to-hand battle on May 12, sits at roughly …

 

Spotsylvania Court House: The Battle of Harris Farm

A historical marker along modern Rt. 208 marks the area where Confederates broke through the Federal supply line on Fredericksburg Road.

from Chris

The main action on Spotsylvania’s eastern front opened on May 9 during the battle of the Ny River. Ten days later, in a fight that brought the battle full circle, the last major action of the battle also happened on the eastern front—or, more accurately, in the rear, rather than the front.

Robert E. Lee, discontent to …

 

Spotsylvania Court House: Grant’s Next Attack

from Chris

At daylight on May 18, Gourverneur K. Warren ordered a cannonade all along his line. Twenty-six guns came to bear in a thundering roar.

The “whole army having moved off to our right to make an assault on the enemy,” he wrote, he opened the artillery bombardment in support of the assault. It was also intended to discourage Confederates from making a counter-attack of their own along his line, which was now stretched thin to cover the works …