Viceroys and Pussy Willows

Pollinator Gardeners, expand your plant lists to include Pussy Willows. So much effort has gone into making pollinator gardens to benefit the Monarch butterflies that migrate through our area every year. And rightly so. All pollinators benefit from restoring even just a small amount of habitat. I want to talk to you about a butterfly…

Naturalist Book Nook

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors Set in the Gila Wilderness, this book seemed to be an appropriate read while I was on the road for my November adventure in New Mexico and Arizona.  Connors, a copy editor for the Wall Street Journal, leaves his existence of a concrete city…

RareQuest Update

Headwaters Master Naturalist RareQuest Team 2 (Ginny Hoffman, Elaine Smith, and Chip Brown) conducted their final outing for the season on September 25th to search for Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) in Rockingham county. To get an idea of what they were looking for Elaine suggested they make a stop at a known specimen found in…

Naturalist Book Nook

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald Spiraling in a tail spin with the loss of her father, MacDonald, a seasoned falconer, acquires a goshawk, a notoriously difficult predator to train with the notion it will help her to disappear into another world and momentarily forget about her loss, her grief. Part memoir, part natural…

It’s a Wrap! …. The Great Backy

Not all of the figures and data are in but as of February 25th, checklists that have been submitted surpassed 158,000 and 5,500 species were reported, topping 50% of the world’s birds from more than 130 countries.  The collective spirit of such an event provides an impressive weekend of tallying birds around the world. The…

Penny’s New Nest

My new ‘nest away from nest’ for the next couple of years will be New Mexico as my youngest son decided to attend St. John’s College in Santa Fe.  Many thanks to him for choosing the Land of Enchantment! All went well for the late August orientation and start up of the freshman year and…

Living the Frog Life at the Wildlife Center

This was written by HMN and Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV) Front-Desk Coordinator Kate Guenther and published on the Wildlife Center’s website on May 8, 2015. It is reprinted here with Kate’s permission. The WCV pond was part of our Headwaters Master Naturalists’ 2013/2014 Focus Project, coordinated by Kate, to create wildlife habitat around the…