my favorite place



























Big Meadows


We took an evening trip to Big Meadows this week.

We saw one bear, on our way up the mountain.  A scraggly looking thing. I love that on Skyline drive spotting a bear or even a family of deer is excuse enough to hit the hazard lights and come to a complete standstill in the road.  Strangers smile apologetically and wave to each other from car windows.  We all understand.

There was so much excitement as we arrived on the meadow.  It was 7 p.m.  and the latest we have ever visited. I wanted Jonny to drop me off at the meadow and then take the kids to the campground and feed them.  Everyone protested.

We were all starving, but couldn’t pull ourselves away.  Thunder rumbled and gray clouds floated across the sky.

We ate wild blueberries with the deer.  Beatrix announced that she had found the biggest blueberry ever.  Larkspur plucked it from her hand and ate it.  Beatrix shouted angrily, “God would not want you to take my biggest blueberry!” Larkspur apologized and quickly found her another.

Silas learned to pick blueberries.  As darkness settled we reluctantly headed out of the meadow.  Silas turned back and tried to return on his own, no doubt wanting to eat more blueberries.

We ate in the dark while watching a doe and her two fawns graze nearby.  The rain started to fall.  We drove back to the meadow just to stand on the edge of it and smell the air.  The smell of Big Meadows after dark in the rain is perfect.

Through darkness and fog we drove slowly down the mountain, knowing we’d be home way past bedtime.

I want to go back right now.


  1. okay this is my favorite post. i think i always say that, but really this is the one, i’ve been back to look 10 times. your all wonderful, it’s all wonderful. i hope you do go back soon dear.

  2. Every time I see that you have taken a day trip to the park, I feel guilt that we don’t go more. We are only 45 minutes from Big Meadows and I know it has to be a longer trip for you! I’m adding to the list this week. And what a great idea to picnic!

  3. Beauty!

  4. Beautiful! Beatrix is so funny 🙂

  5. Wow–what an amazing place! Your pictures of the deer are awesome!

  6. Marcie in Canada says:

    Breathtaking! Your pictures of the meadows are probably what the pioneers encountered. Note to self: Take more day trips! Thanks Ginny.

  7. Hi! : ) Amazing photos! To be with nature is God natural gift and to be share it with love ones is what you call perfect gift! I love your kids name too! : ) Ning

  8. crissy stokes says:

    That is beautiful!! Thanks for sharing. I’m a little jealous of wild blueberries 😉

  9. Kathryn says:

    We live in Rappahannock and have often gone to the park, but never to Big Meadow. Beautiful pictures. Hope to run into you once if you ever visit the church in Little Washington, St. Peter’s, on your way to or from the park one weekend. Have you ever been to Lake Arrowhead in Luray? That is a less wild but cute little park too, nice playground and little sandy swim area. My kids and I enjoy it.

  10. Your blog and photography are quite the inspiration for me! Thank you….

  11. What evocative photos. Your evening has made me determined to embark on a family adventure this weekend with my party of three (not likely to see any bears here in England though…) x

  12. I love the smell of rain on wet pavement too. I’m sure it smells better in the meadows. Years ago, we visited Skyline Drive and the areas nearby but it all seems so foggy now…

    I would say that’s a pretty good ‘favorite’ place.

  13. Sounds like a truly magical place.

  14. oh wow, pure magic! thanks for sharing this!

  15. That sounds lovely. What an adorable family you have.

  16. That sounds like the perfect evening. I’m glad you guys had a blast. 🙂

  17. Wonderful!

  18. Wow, what a magical place. Your photos gave me goosebumps.

  19. What a wonderful outing! We don’t have wild blueberries here (or not that I’ve found!) and our deer usually aren’t that tame!
    I only noticed this because we have a similar photo but is that young buck peeing?! ;o)
    ~ joey ~

  20. That looks like a lovely place you are all so lucky.

  21. that is amazing! what a great trip. i showed the kids the pictures and they were so excited. i can’t even imagine how great that must have been right there next to those deer!

  22. Oh my! What a wonderful place and such special memories. I can see why you like it so much. 🙂

  23. Beautiful.

  24. We went to Big Meadows last year in early August–it really is magical there! We also picked the blueberries, and we saw two mama deer and two babies–one of the larger babies was trying to nurse on both the mamas and got kicked off. It was amazing how much their behavior is like goats. I had never been able to observe deer that closely or when they were so comfortable with my presence. My son was really impressed by all the swallows there, too. It’s one of my favorite places, too.

  25. Jessica says:

    Sounds awesome! I wouldn’t want to leave either.

  26. Great pictures – thanks for sharing!

  27. Lovely story. The kids look like they are having a wonderful adventure!

  28. Looks like a wonderful evening! We have visited Skyline drive many times through the years, but we have not seen a bear yet. Maybe next time!

  29. Looks like a fantastic evening! What food did you take with you? I am always looking for ideas for outdoor picnics! Thanks

  30. I love your pictures – simply amazing!

  31. What a beautiful little spot! It reminds me of Blueberries for Sal as well. 🙂 The deer shots are gorgeous!

  32. Having visited, I now know how magical it is. I have told Dave that we must return again before we leave. Such a gorgeous place. (I do have one logistical question though. Dave was worried about ticks in the meadow. What do you do about this?)

  33. I don’t know whether it looks more like “Blueberries for Sal” or “Emily and Daisy,” but what a wonderful place to have close to home!

    We took Piper Anne blueberry picking the other week and I just parked her beside a blueberry bush and took the other kids a few bushes down to pick some that were higher up. I didn’t know how many berries she’d eat during that hour, but I *did* find out about 8 hours later. Apparently she doesn’t chew them, either! 🙂

    Warm wishes to you this weekend –

  34. Oh these pictures are beautiful! It looks like such a wonderful time enjoying God’s creation!

  35. I know the feeling. But for me it is the Texas Hill Country.

  36. Stunning!

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