Taking a Birthday Hike Up “Cliff Trail”

Photo: by Dave Forrer Fringed Polygala (Polygala paucifolia), Cliff Trail Hone Quarry It’s always fun to discover a new trail. For my birthday hike (May 12), Patsy and I walked up “Cliff Trail” across from the Hone Quarry picnic area. There’s a beautiful outcrop/overlook only about 30 minutes up the trail.  And beyond that, there were lots…

Beautiful Sights on the Chessie and McCormick Farm Trails!

Photo: from Cyane Lowden Virginia bluebells on the Chessie Trail.   Recently, Cyane Lowden walked the Chessie and McCormick Farm Trails and shared some photos of the wonderful sights she enjoyed. Thank you, Cyane! If on your walks you find some beautiful flora or fauna, or if you find that great flora and fauna in and around your…

Book Announcement: A Great New Field Guide from One of Our Own!

Photo: Johns Hopkins University Press Book Announcement: Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Virginia Congratulations, Paul E. Bugas, Jr.!   In Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Virginia, the foremost experts on Commonwealth fishes bring their decades of field experience to readers, offering a complete reference to the fishes of the entire state of Virginia. Gathering…

Rattlesnake Encounter

By Cheryl Shull, Cohort V During a recent fishing trip at Elkhorn Lake, my husband and I observed what we believed to be a brown water snake swimming towards us. As I began shooting photos, we quickly realized that we had a timber rattlesnake in our midst. We enjoyed the afternoon watching the snake quietly…

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…