I found this stone with writing: "In memory of the unknown Indian" in the grounds of the Berkeley Plantation.
Indians lived in this area in peace and quiet by 1607 when the first English settlers came. Approximately 14,000 Powhatan Indians inhabited coastal areas of Virginia that time. The conflict between the settlers and the Indians lasted many years, a lot of both Indains and colonists died.
We stopped in the middle of a pretty broadleaved forest when we drove along scenic route 5 from Richmond to Charles City. I didn't want to get bogged down after the rains a day before, so I only took a picture there. It was in the middle of October, unfortunately about 2 weeks before the peak fall colours of leaves. I caught it later in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina/Tennessee).
During my southern trip I used to watch The Wearher Channel (TWC) in my motel/hotel room each night. What a surprice! They showed approx. time of peak fall colours on the U.S. map.
Driving SR-5 from Richmond to Williamsburg I turned right towards the Berkeley Plantation in Charles City just before this gas station on my picture. It looked like say 20 or more years ago, I think. It advertised unleaded gas. Is there still any leaded gas in the US market?
Do not change it please. It's pretty nice to feel old times at least from time to time.
We drove scenic Virginia Route 5 from Richmond to Charles City and futher east to Williamsburg. The route winds along flat land covered by pretty broadleaved forests, still green (in the middle of October) meadows and farmlands.
I was very surprised that the landcapes along looked very similar to those just outside my hometown in Poland. I could take almost identical picture on any old road from my hometown Tychy to Pszczyna 3 days before. The only difference is the yellow middle line, in Poland it's white. And we don't call such roads scenic because... all roads (except the occasional freeway) are scenic in my part of Poland :-).
I think that the climate of this part of Virginia is similar to that of my area of Poland. Maybe we have a little bit milder summers and longer winters.
Walking around the grounds of the Berkeley Plantation I saw right many running and jumping squirrels. In contrast to the ones in Richmond they didn't want to pose. Country squirrels are a humble lot. City squirrels apparently can't get enough photo opportunities. They have a lot of food around and didn't pay any attention to human beings and food they may bring to them. Well, generally you are not allowed to feed any wild animals in the USA unless it's clearly stated (at a petting zoo for example).
The main walkway lead us from the backside of the Berkeley mansion to the bank of James River. It is lined by orderly cut decorative bushes and looks like traditional, French style garden where symmetry rules. Someone said that symmetry is a feature of fools...
This white, wooden fence and simple, metal, a little bit neglected mailbox on my picture belongs to Indian Field Tavern restaurant in Charles City. Both were typical features of the rural landscape in Virginia.
Keep in mind that the Americans say "mailbox" instead of "post box" althoufh the last word is understable for them.
The ground floor of nice looking 2-storey southern style building which houses Indian Field Tavern restaurant is mostly hidden by numerous decorative trees and bushes. The entrance and typical southern front porch is almost invisible. I found right many similarily hidden houses in the South.
This picture was taken by the Indian Fields Tavern restaurant. Although it was already mid-October the meadow was still green with some yellow and violet plants/flowers added. I realised that this part of Virginia must have warmer climate than Poland has. In Poland green colour disappers at late September.
I found this small lake on my picture driving back from the Berkeley Plantation towards Virginia Scenic Route 5 (SR-5). It was surrounded by trees in fall colours and reeds growing around and looked so beautiful that I had to stop there to take the picture. It reminded me a lake close to my hometown where I used to ride a bicycle in the past.
This stone monument was put off the beaten path at the Berkeley Plantation. It was very modest grave yard. Excuse, I don't know who was burried there.
The writing is the following:
There is no place as beautiful as Virginia and when my times come to die, just take me back and let me lie, close to where the James goes, rolling by, in Virginia.
The bank of the James River looked like on an old painting but it was real, pretty image. The trees in fall colours in mid-October, reeds growing by the river and light morning fog made the landcape somewhat wild and sad but beautiful. Imagine that at this place the first settlers landed in 1619, just 12 years after the first pernament English settlement on American soil, Jamestown, was founded.
There are huge trees especially magnolia trees and decorative bushes growing in the back of the Berkeley. They are put in no specific order and look like traditional wild, chaotic English garden.
Well, I was told that mess is more common in the South than in other parts of the USA. Well, I prefer a little bit mess (but clean) than boring order, don't you? And a mess is somewhat more... human. That's why (add warm weather and... lower prices) I usually prefer to spend vacation in Italy, Greece or Spain than, say, Germany or Austria in Europe.
I found this path on my picture at the Berkeley Plantation. It is lined by strange looking trees, I have never seen before. The tree has many thin, twisted trunks with small leaves. I didn't see these trees anywhere else in the USA. Excuse, I don't know their name. E-mail me please, if you know.
There are impressive, old and huge trees in the grounds of the Berkeley Plantation. I paid attention especially to huge, a few story building tall, magnolia trees at the backside of the mansion. Some of them were seed too close to the building.
Well, they were surely not blooming in October but were much larger than magnolias in Poland where they never grow in the wild. We don't have so many squirrels who eat their seeds and either drop or "plant" them while storing away food. The Berkeley magnolias had larger cone-shaped fruits and larger and thicker dark green leaves. I would love to see them blooming in the late spring.
Magnolia trees grow all over the world. There are over 200 species of which about 80 in the USA. The most common in the South is Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) which can rich 80 ft (24 m) height and 50 ft (15 m) width!