Claude Moore Park: September

This is the sixth installment in a year-long series of monthly scenes from Claude Moore Park in Sterling, VA. To read from the beginning, please visit the past months:







South Entrance

I nearly abandoned this post. It’s been a hard month for us, with a death in the family and another expected, emergency trips to New Hampshire, frequent solo parenting, and kid maladies including a broken wrist, strep, and start-of-school anxiety. Spending time writing feels frivolous, but I’m trying to become better at taking breaks to re-charge. So I present to you:

A September Morning Walk in the Park

I began at the Claude Moore Community Center and headed north, past the ball fields and Heritage Farm Museum, and through the Lanesville Historic District.

Behind the Barn

Front of Barn

Grinding Stone

Light green maple leaves

Rusty Wheel

Then I cut west through the meadows to the Visitor’s Center. The monarch caterpillars I photographed last month transformed to butterflies and were released before I could return to the park, but more caterpillars have been discovered and I was hoping to photograph a newly hatched butterfly. I did see one monarch flitting around in the meadow, but he or she was too fast for me to capture on camera.


Scout Trail

Yellow Flowers

At the Visitor’s Center there were more chrysalises and a caterpillar about to change.

Monarch Hanging

I hiked north again, up to the top of Little Stonyman. What a gorgeous, sunny day it was.



White Trail

Stones on the Mountain

Beach stones on top of a mountain? Thanks, glaciers!



Sometimes, a little hike is exactly what’s needed for mind, body, and spirit.

Views looking west from the top of Little Stonyman:

View from the Top 2

View from the Top

On the other side of the mountain lies Costco, more of Sterling’s development, and in the far distance, the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I continued down and around the eastern side of the park on the Scout Trail, past the neighboring farm, Park View High School, and back around to the Community Center. The total route was a couple of miles, perfect to sneak in while my youngest was at preschool.

Woods 2




I saw several more monarchs in flight while on my hike. They’re too quick for me to photograph! I’m including this one terrible shot, just to prove that I saw them. This one landed on a branch of poison ivy right in front of me, but before I could change my camera to the macro setting the butterfly was gone. Maybe I’ll get an image for next month. At any rate, I’m glad to see them in the park, even so late in the season.


I hope you can get out into nature a bit this month, too. Even if it’s a crazy hard month. Especially if it’s a crazy hard month.

Pumpkin Display

Betsy with Pumpkin


About rbpepper

Rebecca is an artist, writer, and photographer with degrees in Theater and Social Work, and is currently a Stay at Home Mom to her three kids. Some part of her house is always a mess, she lets her kids paint on the table and design their own costumes, and she makes excellent allergen-free cookies. She lives with her equally creative husband and children in a part of Virginia known for being "pretty close to Dulles Airport", and dreams of moving to an old farmhouse in New England.
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2 Responses to Claude Moore Park: September

  1. Pingback: Claude Moore Park: October | Rebecca Breed Pepper

  2. Pingback: A Year in Claude Moore Park: November | Rebecca Breed Pepper

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