Mysterious Witch of Shenandoah

I have wanted to visit the Shenandoah National Park for quite some time and take a trip down Skyline Drive. Unfortunately,  the weather started to shift on the day that I planned to go. When I listened to the morning weather report, it said the humidity in the Shenandoah mountain area was 100%  (I think that is a creative way of saying it’s raining).
Oh well.
Luckily, when I got there an hour later, the sun broke through the clouds long enough to accentuate the autumn colors of orange, yellow, and red leaves on the trees.  So beautiful! I decided to stop at one of the scenic overlooks and sit on the stone wall there,  so I could take in the awesome sight for a while.
Only a few moments went by before an excited voice broke into my reverie— “Mom…Dad….come over here and look!  Wow! There’s a witch down there and she’s moving pretty fast.”
I turned to my right and saw a young boy (about 6 years old) pointing down to the valley below. Sure enough, there was a shadowy image that looked like a witch flying over the treetops.  But, as soon as the boy’s mom saw it, she quickly said,  “No. That’s not a witch. It’s just a shadow made by the clouds passing by overhead.”
“Oh.” The boy’s voice sounded slightly disappointed.
Maybe it would have been more fun to say — “Aha! It’s almost Halloween. The witch probably came here to practice broom flying.  Maybe she wants to get it just right, so she doesn’t look silly on Halloween night!”
(Actually, knowing me, my children would have expected me to say something like that, and follow it with a story about what happens to witches who don’t practice).
The rest of my day in Shenandoah swung back and forth between sunlight and rain, from colorful to dark and foreboding. During the times when I stood in the shadow cast by the bewitching clouds above, I was glad I had brought my raincoat.

There are cabins, camping areas, hiking trails, and many other things to experience at the Shenandoah National Park.  It’s not too far from my house, so I will definitely return!

About Mary Strong-Spaid

You can find me any time wandering around in my own mind gathering thoughts.
This entry was posted in Fall Colors, Nature, photography, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Mysterious Witch of Shenandoah

  1. janjoy52 says:

    Great shots and I liked your musing alternative banter with the enquiring boy;-)

  2. beautiful shots, loved the experience you shared 🙂

  3. Mike Powell says:

    Your witch tale reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite books, The Little Prince. “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” Beautiful shots too.

    • Thanks! I love the book “The Little Prince” also. My daughter read it in English, and then read it again as it was originally written (Le Petit Prince) for an assignment in a French class. Absolutely wonderful story.

  4. Loved your photos of those beautiful mountains which brought back memories of my inspirations in younger days when I went to school there. Your daughter is wise beyond her years…

  5. Southern Sea Muse… grew up in these mountains!
    How wonderful.
    I think there is a special power emanating from the mountains and the ocean, or at least that’s what I feel. I think that is why I love Hawaii so much (I lived there for 11 years).
    In Hawaii, you can sit on a mountain (used to be volcano) and listen to the ocean waves breathing in and out. Going back to visit there soon!

  6. You captured some beautiful scenes! Thanks for visiting my blog as well!

  7. Love the park. love your story! Good pictures too. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thanks! Now this whole area of the East Coast is starting to get prepared for an unexpected hurricane (Sandy) that appears to be coming this way. It is being called “Frankenstorm.” 🙂

  9. Fantelius says:

    The six-year-old’s mom should lose her mom-license.

    • Or maybe mom could take a class in creative writing…and how to look at the world from more than one direction. I had a math professor that said Creative Writing was the worst class she ever took. How can anyone just make things up out of thin air? She said she was asked to make up a story about the tree standing outside of the classroom window. She said that she wrote: “The tree is about 30 foot tall, has about 150 branches and an X amount of leaves.” That was all she wrote. 🙂
      This made me smile. I can write BUT I am absolutely horrible at math, so it was nice to hear that the math professor struggled with writing.
      Oh and…Hahaha…it only took me 5 years to notice your comment! It’s 2017 now. What’s up with that? Not only am I not good at math–it appears that I don’t have a good grasp on time and space (Physics) either.

  10. Perhaps the six-year old showing his mother the “Shadow of the Bear” on this video site will convince her of the magic. I understand that at a certain time of the year, it changes into several different different animals:

  11. charlieray45 says:

    Don’t you just hate it when unimaginative people stomp on imagination like that?

  12. writenaked says:

    Fantastic–always stir someone’s imagination! My boyfriend and I have been wanting to go to Shenandoah. There’s a part just south of there with some of the darkest skies in the country, great for stargazing and photography of night skies.

  13. in Virginia? Or in North Carolina?

  14. melmannphoto says:

    Negative space (or shadows) can be more interesting than the subject sometimes. We should all pay attention to cloud shapes – will make us better photographers. And probably better philosophers!

    I’m envious of your proximity to such a great place. Thanks for posting some scenes.

    • Ah, yes! The last time I interviewed for a job, I was asked what subject I had majored in for my degree. When I said “Philosophy,” the person started laughing and replied, “What kind of a job did you think you could get with that?!”
      Sigh. A job would be nice, BUT…I majored in Philosophy because I love the “why” and “what if,” as much as I love taking pictures.
      Thanks for the compliment. I agree. The Shenandoah National Park is a great place.

  15. Mark Young says:

    Nice shots Mary – I liked the story but was so saddened by the mother’s response – typical today, people are scared to let their kids use their imaginations.


    ps I liked the witch

    • Thanks, Mark! I think people are sometimes unnerved by imagination because it can freely wander outside of the box (out of the norm).
      I like the witch also. I think she is either practicing broom flying…or…trying to catch the 2 cauldrons that are floating ahead, just out of her reach. 🙂

  16. Love the story and the photos! 🙂 Maybe it was a witch…you never know!

  17. kbfotografix says:

    such great photos, and an entertaining story to boot. thanks for sharing!

    • H.! I must be trapped in some sort of time warp. It’s July 2017 and I just saw your response dated Dec. 9, 2012. Thank you! I see the last entry on the attached link to kbfotografix was back on December 12, 2012? I sincerely hope that you are still out there taking photos and writing…..

  18. elmediat says:

    A child’s imagination exceeds our grasp
    Like a witch’s shadow rippling by.
    Great post. 🙂

    • Hi elmediat!
      It’s July 2017 (almost August). Amazing…Today, I just saw your response from December 2012.
      Surprise! Where have my eyes been? 5 1/2 years of time have flown away, just like the mysterious Shenandoah shadows drifting beneath passing clouds. Eeek! Somehow I have grown older right in front of my face, and behind my own back. 🙂

      • elmediat says:

        One of the advantages of blogging – we can communicate across time zones & across time & space. These new-fangle computer thingies are bigger on the inside than the outside – like a Tardis. 😀

        • Well…I just learned something new! I didn’t know what a ‘Tardis’ was, so I had to look it up.
          Apparently it is a time machine disguised as a old police box. And TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension in Space. I wish there was such a thing as a time machine. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could travel far forward or backwards in time, any time we wanted to? But then again, maybe we would find out about some things that we really don’t want to know.

          • elmediat says:

            and now The Doctor is going to be a woman after some fifty years. The times are different indeed. 😀

            • Too much confusion for me, that’s for sure.
              These days, there seems to be a lot of people who think the grass is greener or better on the other side of the fence.
              Just another illusion…..

  19. domtakis says:

    A very special place Shenandoah. We used to drive down from Mass. I have lots of childhood memories sitting on the stone walls of skyline drive. I sa my first bear in the wild camping at Matthew’s arm.

    • It is a beautiful place. Very relaxing to sit on the wall and look at the valley below. I didn’t see a bear or anything like that, probably because it was raining off and on. I am sure the bears were smart enough to find some good shelter. 😉

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