March 18, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Highland County Maple Festival

This morning Jacqueline and I drove to Highland County, for the final day of the annual Maple Festival. We were surprised to encounter so much snow in our neighboring county to the west, and indeed, snow was falling for much of the day. It was a veritable late, late "winter wonderland," with the trees draped in a heavy coat of wet snow. Fortunately, the highways were safe and clean.

ABOVE: Downtown Monterey, Virginia, looking east. Roll your mouse over the image to see an afternoon view of the snow-covered Confederate Breastworks, at the crest of of Shenandoah Mountain, which marks the county line. Click on it to see it in the morning, when the visibility was low because of the snow.

Of course, the main attraction at the festival is the maple syrup, as well as doughnuts, fudge, and other confections made from the delectable concentrated tree sap. A wide variety of arts and crafts are for sale, including wood, woolens, jewelry, and paintings. I bought myself a small plaque with an inspirational quotation from the 18th-Century English writer Samuel Johnson:

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance. (See

Anyone who has completed a doctoral dissertation will appreciate those words. For more information on the Maple Festival, see