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An Art Exhibition to Remind Us of Warmer Days

Line Dance

“Line Dance” by Peter Corbin

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer,” the dour existentialist Albert Camus once wrote. This sentiment bears repeating. The heaps of snow Jonas left behind are melting, warm sunny days have mounted a counterattack, and Punxsutawney Phil recently voiced his support of an early springtime platform.

"Broad River Redfish"

“Broad River Redfish” by Peter Corbin

Together these signs point towards the coming spring. These hints are tantalizing; we close our eyes and imagine a warm breeze, only to open them and find ourselves in the car with the heat blowing out at gale-force velocities.

There is a cure for these seasonal delusions: art.

The National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg opened a new exhibit January 30th. “Line Dance–The Art of Fly Fishing” features the work of angler and painter Peter Corbin.

"Ligonier Point" by Peter Corbin

“Ligonier Point” by Peter Corbin

“How do you start a painting? Go fishing. Experience the awe. See the fish, the land, and the seascape. Take notes with your mind, camera, or sketch book. Gather all the information you can in every way you can,” Corbin says.

His works capture the ocean’s vibrant blues, the warmth of a cloudless sky, the excitement of reeling in a gleaming striped bass. His works show the influence of the Hudson River School, and capture the intensity of Winslow Homer’s seascapes.

For more information, check the National Sporting Library and Museum

1796573_10202889919310186_4960203201090092007_nMorgan Hensley is a recent graduate of William & Mary where he studied English and creative writing with an emphasis on poetry. He is the Assistant Editor of the Piedmont Virginian and enjoys writing about music and the arts.

January 29: Local Breweries Add New Beer on Tap for a Great Cause

kerris cure

Just weeks after welcoming his son Lance into the world, Matt Rose, brewmaster and owner of Forge Brew Works in Lorton, lost his wife Kerri to cancer.

The Belgian beer enthusiast and former aerospace engineer and his wife were eagerly awaiting the birth of their son when Kerri began to have some problems. What were first deemed complications of her pregnancy turned out to be Stage IV gastrointestinal cancer. The shocked parents-to-be received the news in August, and Lance was delivered safely in September.

The cancer proved too malignant to combat, and Kerri passed away on January 15th.

A fundraising page was made to help with the costs of treatment, with any extra donations benefiting Lance’s education. The page has already raised over $55,000!

Tonight, many local breweries will offer “Kerri’s Cure”: a Belgian pale ale tailored to the Rose’s tastes and with proceeds benefitting the family.

When else will you find a way to sample limited edition beer, visit local breweries, and directly help support a family that is recovering from a loss?

Here is a list of breweries “Kerri’s Cure” on tap tonight:

• Adroit Theory Brewing Company (Purcellville)
• Adventure Brewing Company (Fredericksburg)
• Bad Wolf Brewing Company (Manassas)
• Caboose Brewing Company (Vienna)
• Capitol City Brewing Company (Arlington and DC)
• Corcoran Brewing Company (Purcellville)
• Crooked Run Brewing (Leesburg)
• Fair Winds Brewing Company (Lorton)
• Forge Brew Works (Lorton)
• Heritage Brewing Company (Manassas)
• Lost Rhino Brewing Company (Ashburn)
• Mad Fox Brewing Company (Falls Church)
• Ocelot Brewing Company (Dulles)
• Old Bust Head Brewing Company (Warrenton)
• Old Ox Brewery (Ashburn)
• Ornery Beer Company (Woodbridge)
• Port City Brewing Company (Alexandria)
• Spencer Devon (Fredericksburg)
• Tin Cannon Brewing Company (Gainesville)
• Pro Re Nata Farm Brewery (Crozet)

1796573_10202889919310186_4960203201090092007_nMorgan Hensley is a recent graduate of William & Mary where he studied English and creative writing with an emphasis on poetry. He is the Assistant Editor of the Piedmont Virginian and enjoys writing about music and the arts.

What’s Happening with the Old Waterloo Bridge?

Photo courtesy of Preservation Virginia

Photo courtesy of Preservation Virginia

Two years have passed since the Old Waterloo “Ghost” Bridge was closed. Day by day the bridge, a historic monument and beautiful landmark, falls into disrepair. Recent correspondence between the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) have reignited the discussion around the bridge’s rehabilitation.

A community meeting is scheduled for February 1st, 6:30 p.m., at the Orlean Fire Hall. For more information about the event, visit the PEC’s calendar listing.

Now that talks have begun again, now is the most important time to contact our local politicians, urging them to preserve this emblem of our past. Here is a quick, pre-written letter (courtesy of the PEC) you can send to your representatives.

This historical bridge is too good to be demolished and be replaced by a costly concrete eyesore. Please take a few minutes to read our founder Walter Nicklin’s piece about Piedmont rivers and his childhood memories on the Old Waterloo Bridge.

Rivers Define Us
Letter from Amissville, By Walter Nicklin, Piedmont Virginian, Summer 2014

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

The name “Piedmont” invokes images of the land, specifically the rolling hills forming the beautifully undulating landscape that literally means at the foot (“pied”) of the mountain (“mont”). But the Piedmont is actually defined by water.

Geologically and geographically, the southeastern boundary of Virginia’s northern Piedmont lies precisely at the fall lines of the Potomac, Rappahannock, and James Rivers. Below the falls lies Tidewater Virginia. The Piedmont’s northwestern boundary runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains, from which the headwaters of the Rappahannock and its tributaries spring. (The Potomac and James actually cut through the mountains, so their headwaters are further west.)

Indeed, the Piedmont’s rich history was determined by its rivers. At the fall lines, where ocean-going ships could travel upstream no further, grew Virginia’s major commercial hubs — Alexandria, Fredericksburg, and Richmond. During the Civil War, the so-called “Rappahannock Line” separated Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and the Union’s Army of the Potomac.  The Battle of the Wilderness, for instance — whose 150th anniversary occurred just this May — took place on the terrain of the Rapidan-Rappahannock confluence.

Further upstream, Kelly’s Ford and other river crossings were the pivotal points for flanking maneuvers and resultant skirmishes, sometimes full-scale battles. One such site — Waterloo Landing — is witnessing a skirmish of sorts today. Its old truss bridge has been closed for safety reasons; should it be torn down or rehabilitated? The battle lines are drawn.

Waterloo Landing was the upstream terminus of a 19th Century canal paralleling the Rappahannock and linking Fredericksburg with the upstream Piedmonters. Beginning in 1853, a series of wooden bridges were constructed here. In 1878, the new, durable metal-truss bridge was installed that is still standing today. Considered a significant engineered work, the bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the Hedgeman-Rappahannock Rural Historic District nomination that has been submitted to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Although not as historic as the bridge, I’m still ancient enough to confess that some of my fondest boyhood memories, from a time long gone, are entwined with it. It was our favored, seemingly foreign, destination for my friends and I bicycling from Warrenton, less than 10 miles away.  From the bridge span, we would fish and (probably illegally?) use BB guns to target-practice at the rock outcroppings below. Beneath the span, we would swim and launch canoes, as we heard the scary, rumbling sound of an occasional vehicle crossing overhead.

Recently I had an opportunity to relive those memories as I floated beneath the bridge on a canoe trip made possible by heavy spring rains. Normally, the upper Rappahannock is much too shallow to run without constantly getting hung up on the river’s ubiquitous rocks. In its shallow, unmuddied waters, you’re reminded that the Rappahannock is one of the very few East Coast rivers unpolluted (except for agricultural runoff) and running free (with the dam in Fredericksburg now gone).

The Old Waterloo Bridge is much more than an occasion for reverie and nostalgia, however. It contributes to the unique character of the northern Virginia Piedmont. It’s not always the case that human engineering enhances the landscape so. When it does, we should preserve it.

Links

The Old Waterloo Bridge has been designated one of Preservation Virginia’s “Most Endangered Landmarks” in 2014

A local high school teacher has created a Facebook page

The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) has started a “Save the Bridge” campaign

A Piedmont Snow Day—the “must haves” and “know hows”

DeathtoStock_Zach7

Most of the Piedmont is bracing for a major winter storm this coming weekend. With the forecasters predicting 10″ to 30″ of snow, there are some precautions that all Piedmonters must take before the time comes. In fact, these are things we should have prepared for before we actually “need” them. Unfortunately, many of us wait until the very last minute.

It’s inevitable—you race to the store to find bread and milk, and then when you’re snowed in, all you have are bread and milk sandwiches. Don’t be that person, think ahead! While most people are headed to the big box stores, there are some “snow day” jewels right in our back yard. And, honestly, you’ll have a better chance finding what you need at your small local businesses.

But let’s not just look for bread, milk, shovels, and boots. There’s more to be had! Our editors have compiled a list of places to find drinks & spirits, food & snacks, shovels, boots, sleds, and more. Don’t forget the family dog, or the games! And there’s even a DIY birdseed project you can do with the kids. All these things, along with a grocery check list of the most important things to buy, will help you have the best Piedmont snow day ever.

Cheers!
The Piedmont Virginian Staff

DRINKS AND SPIRITS

Catoctin Creek, “Roundstone Rye” (Purcellville, VA)
One of the only organic whiskies in the nation, this rye has a delicious woody taste, with notes of caramel, rich butter toffee, and just a hint of lemon in the nose.

Lost Rhino, “Woody Stout” (Ashburn, VA)

A bourbon-barrel aged stout, this brew has a blend of spicy chocolate, vanilla, and the toasty aroma of coffee.

Starr Hill, “Snow Blind Doppelbock Lager (Crozet, VA)
Snow Blind Doppelbock is a full-bodied winter beer with a massive caramel aroma and lightly toasted malt flavor. Sweetness dominates the front of the palate while the beer finishes clean and crisp.

Other places to visit:
Barboursville Winery
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards
DuCard Vineyards
Keswick Vineyards

 

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FOOD AND SNACKS

The Frenchman’s Corner
Culpeper, VA
Fine chocolates and snacks.

Gearharts Fine Chocolates
Charlottesville, VA
World class chocolates in the heart of VA!

Culpeper Cheese Company
Culpeper, VA
Cheese, snacks, brews and more!

Whiffletree Farm
Warrenton, VA
Stock up on farm fresh eggs, meat, raw milk, and snacks!

Heritage Hollow Farm
Sperryville, VA
More farm fresh meats and products!

Blue Ridge Country Store
Charlottesville, VA
Soups, organic produce, and more!

Bluemont Country Store
Bluemont, VA
Flour, sugar, sandwiches, chocolates, fresh eggs, farm raised chicken…and, their special feature….old fashioned sleigh bells, if you have horses, or even just to adorn your sled!
…the list is endless!

IMG_1940

LOCAL SHOVELS, BOOTS AND SLEDS

Groves Hardware | Remington, VA
Rankins | Warrenton, VA
Warrenton Farm & Home Center | Warrenton, VA
Gilliam’s | Warrenton, VA
CK Home & Hardware (True Value) | Bealeton, VA
Gary’s ACE Hardware | Culpeper, VA
Culpeper Farm & Home Center | Culpeper, VA
Martin Hardware | Charlottesville, VA

ACE Fluvanna Hardware | Palmyra, VA
Faulconer Hardware Inc. (True Value) | Orange, VA
Crozet Hardware Company | Crozet, VA
Nichol’s Hardware Store | Purcellville, VA
Middleburg Millwork | Middleburg, VA
Morrisville Farm & Home Center | Morrisville, VA
Rappahannock Farm & Home Center | Washington, VA
Marshall Farm & Home Center | Marshall, VA

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FOR THE KIDS (BIG AND SMALL!)

DIY Wild Birdseed Treats

Ingredients:
1 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup birdseed
Molds or cookie cutters
Parchment paper

Method:
1. Over low heat, melt coconut oil in a saucepan.
2. Add birdseed and stir until evenly coated.
3. Transfer to a new bowl and let cool until coconut oil begins to firm. You can also place it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes until it begins to firm.
4. Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface along with the molds of your choice (cookie cutters work best).
5. Place birdseed mixture into the molds, pressing firmly, and allow to set up for 5 minutes. Carefully remove them from the molds and place them back on the parchment paper.
6. Poke small holes through the molds for hanging string. Once completely set, add string and hang!

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THE PETS (THE OTHER KIDS)

All too often, we forget about keeping our pets busy, and safe, during these big storms. Here are some tips to keep them happy and healthy this weekend.

Limit your pet’s outdoor time. Frostbite and hypothermia can set in less than 5 minutes. While some pets, especially dogs, enjoy playing in the snow, too much play and on slick ice can cause injuries for your pet (we know, it has happened to us). Please use caution when allowing your pets to play outside.  In many cases,  you may want to consider leash walking. Please keep in mind that many emergency pet clinics will be closed during this snow storm.

Dry off your pet’s body and paws to help them warm up when coming back inside from play time, and to help keep your floors clean.

Stock up on pet food now, before the storm hits. Make sure you have enough to last at least a week.

Never leave animals unattended outdoors. With below freezing temperatures, your pet should not be chained outside during this time. Collars and chains can freeze to your pet, causing trauma and injury, and unfortunately, sometimes death.

• If your animals is not attended to during play and breaks outside, only let them out in 5 minute intervals.

Pick up a few new toys and raw bones for your pet. Managing Editor Amy Fewell, says her dog Samson (pictured above) loves raw marrow bones from Cibola Farms in Culpeper, VA. It keeps him busy, and it’s healthy for him!

Never forget that your pet is important, and has needs just like you during these times. Make them as comfortable as possible when they become anxious, and try to find things to keep them calm while stuck inside during this impending storm.

Death_to_stock_home_buyer_5

THE BIG MUST HAVE LIST

You can’t avoid it, so you might as well embrace it! Here are the “must have” items to prepare for this storm.

THE BIG “PIEDMONT SNOW DAY” MUST HAVE LIST

Milk (don’t forget the creamer for coffee!)
• Coffee
• Bread (Peanut Butter and Jelly too)
• Veggies (you’ll need your energy)
• Medications
• Juice boxes
• Snacks
• Wine
• Hot Cocoa
• Tea & Sports Drinks
• Aspirin/Tylenol
• First Aid Kit
• Boots
• Shovel
• Waterproof Gloves
• Flashlights
• Kerosene heater
• Generator
• Extra blankets
• Gas for your grill (outside use only)
• Matches/Lighters
• Oil Lamps & Oil (or candles)
• Emergency contact numbers
• Extra cell charger
• Corded phone (if you have a land line)
• Inflatable Mattress (in case you have to sleep in the basement)
• Cooler for your cold food, put outside if you lose electric
• Coloring books, games, and crayons for the kids
• A “game plan” on how to get out if you get snowed in (get a notebook!)

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OTHER QUICK TIPS & SUGGESTIONS

• Check on your elderly or sick neighbors and family members. Offer to shovel their driveway, or at least make sure they are warm.

• Get the number for a local snow removal company in case you can’t do it yourself.

• If your electricity fails, place your food and milk in the snow, not just outside. If you place your food outside, it will surely freeze. But if you place it in the snow it will remain cold and  insulated from freezing temps.

•If you get hot while playing outside or clearing the driveway, make sure you keep your core warm. While you may be sweating because of strenuous activity, your body still needs to retain heat at its core to help you  pull through.

• Don’t over do it! Stay on top of the snow while it’s snowing instead of waiting to shovel after the storm has passed. Your body will thank you!

• Make sure your family has a “what if” plan. What if your electricity goes out and you don’t have a heat source? What if you’re stuck in your driveway and can’t get out? Where will you go? What will you do? Having a plan before things happen will keep your family much calmer during this time.

• Head out to the store now! Don’t wait until this evening when you get off of work. In fact, planning several days before a storm, even if it’s a miss, is important. Always being prepared ahead of time is key.

• Remember to HAVE FUN! We don’t get two feet of snow dumped on us very often here in VA, so learn to embrace it, love it, and have fun with it!

We really hope that you’ll prepare ahead of time, not just with the necessities, but with the fun and delicious things the Piedmont’s local businesses have to offer you.  Happy “Snow Day”!!

Acclaimed PBS Civil War Miniseries Stars Piedmont Actress

In the above photo, Emma Green (Hannah James), the beautiful Southern belle and daughter of James Green, Sr. (Gary Cole), owner of the Mansion House, a luxury hotel now turned into a Civil War hospital, Mansion House Hospital, watches as Dr. Jedidiah Foster. (Josh Radnor) helps a patient. Dr. Foster is the son of a slave-owning tobacco plantation owner in Maryland. His loyalties are with the Union. He is a contract surgeon who will decide to wear the blue as a military surgeon.

In the above photo, Emma Green (Hannah James), the beautiful Southern belle and daughter of James Green, Sr. (Gary Cole), owner of the Mansion House, a luxury hotel now turned into a Civil War hospital, Mansion House Hospital, watches as Dr. Jedidiah Foster. (Josh Radnor) helps a patient. Dr. Foster is the son of a slave-owning tobacco plantation owner in Maryland. His loyalties are with the Union. He is a contract surgeon who will decide to wear the blue as a military surgeon.

Depictions of the Civil War are often limited to the frontlines and generals’ quarters. However, much of the bloodshed and drama occurred off the battlefields, in hospitals such as the Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria, the setting of PBS’s new six-episode miniseries Mercy Street.

The period-drama, PBS’s first series set in America in nearly a decade, subverts traditional war narratives, generally told by male soldiers, and instead casts the spotlight on two female nurses, one on each side of the conflict.

Executive Producer and Co-creator Lisa Wolfinger conceived of the Civil War medical drama five years ago. She portrays the nurses that the series highlights as “strong female protagonists, feisty ladies.” In an interview with Nancy Olds for Civil War News, she described her brainchild as “M.A.S.H meets Gone with the Wind” and all-encompassing: “[Mercy Street] is about love, about war, about medicine . . . It’s about how the experience of war brings out the very best and the very worst in people.”

MERCY-ST.-ALEX.46 – L-R: -Sandra Wilson is a member of FREED (Female RE-Enactors of Distinction) a group of African American women representing distinguished African American women from the Civil War. Wilson has portrayed Dr. Rebecca Davis Lee Cumpler, the first African American woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. Cumpler became a physician who also served freed slaves in Richmond, Va. She wrote Book of Medical Discourses about at home medical and health care for women and their families -Hannah James, the actress who portrays Emma Green, the lovely 19 year-old daughter of Alexandria’s prominent family who owns the Mansion House and the girlfriend of Frank Stringfellow, a Confederate scout. James is a native Virginian who grew up in Charlottesville.

Hannah James with Sandra Wilson, a member of FREED (Female RE-Enactors of Distinction), a group of African American women representing distinguished African, American women from the Civil War.

Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a recent widow and ardent abolitionist who has come down to Alexandria, a Union-occupied city in a Confederate state, to disseminate modern medical knowledge as well as her then-liberal beliefs. Her foil is Emma Green (Hannah James), a Southern belle and advocate for wounded Confederates. Dr. Jedediah Foster (How I Met Your Mother‘s Josh Radnor), a progressive physician with a morphine habit and mixed feelings regarding slavery, serves as a catalyst for drama while Samuel Diggs (McKinley Belcher III), a free black man with extensive medical knowledge, helps to move medical science and racial expectations forward simultaneously, and perhaps, inextricably.

The dazzling Hannah James grew up in Madison County, Virginia. A recent graduate of the Guilford School of Acting in England, the young actress masterfully handles the difficult role of a Confederate sympathizer with a profound sense of empathy. Understanding historical dramas requires a suspension of disbelief, as it’s easy to forget that what we view as commonsense human rights were once borderline radical. I look forward to watching her character’s development.

If the aim of historical potboilers is to highlight how far society has progressed, and yet how much the human condition has stayed the same (often questioning whether our nature is at all mutable), then the new series succeeds admirably, if not boldly considering the strong feminine characters and points of view. Whether you are a armchair historian, Civil War buff, period-piece fanatic, or maybe even just a little too tired to change the channel after Downton Abbey, you do not want to miss Mercy Street which premieres this Sunday, January 17th at 10 p.m. on PBS-WETA.

Also, see http://www.pbs.org/mercy-street/home/ for preview and trailers

1796573_10202889919310186_4960203201090092007_nMorgan Hensley is a recent graduate of William & Mary where he studied English and creative writing with an emphasis on poetry. He is the Assistant Editor of the Piedmont Virginian and enjoys writing about music and the arts.

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