SEPTEMBER NEWS


Can it really be September?  Except for it being ragweed allergy season, I love autumn!

We went to Sumter, S. C. to see the total eclipse with our granddaughter. Even with the horrible traffic, it was worth it!  The interstates were almost impassable so we drove from Sumter to Roanoke on back roads before we could get on I-81. We enjoyed seeing the sights along the way, such as  Pilot Mt. State Park and Kukla loved swimming in the Maury River. Our son who went to a different location than us, spent 11 hours on I-77 and I-81 trying to get home.  It only took him 6 hour to get there!

We have a camping trip planned to Big Bend State Park in WV.  It is our cat’s favorite campground! He has a wonderful sandy beach to play in and fresh river water any time he is thirsty
��.  We have seen Eagles there and heard Great Horn Owls. If you don’t mind COLD water, you can swim or tube the afternoon away. It is on the North Fork of the Potomac. You should go sometime!

Get out and enjoy the best season of the year!


What an experience!



The other evening we were entertained by a flock of Common Nighthawks.
The Common Nighthawks are according to "All About Birds", long-distance migrants. Common Nighthawks migrate at all hours of the day in large flocks, on one of the longest migration routes of any North American bird. Most travel over land through Mexico and Central America, although many do pass through Florida and Cuba, flying over the Gulf to reach their wintering grounds in southern South America. Common Nighthawks are among the last migrants to return to their breeding grounds in spring.




This sculpture is named "RECOVERY".. It is in Sumter's Swan Lake and Iris Gardens.  It is a depiction of a the right wing of a Pintail Duck in it's recovery stoke which is considered weakest part of the flight.


I don't know snails. I love his twinning shell. This one was about 1/2 long and crossing a yellow curb.  I don't know where he thought  he was going!


A dragonfly at Poinsettia State Park in SC. He was huge.  Maybe a male Blue Dasher Dragonfly..


Mark your calendars! Jim Smith’s walks will be starting next month! Sept. 9, Sept. 23, Oct.7, and Oct. 21 for Abrams Creek Wetlands Park walks focusing on birds and migration. Meet at Children of America parking lot on Jubal Early Drive at 8:30 am for the approx. 2-hour walk. All ages welcome. (540)303-3983



.Start Friday, September 08  End Sunday, September 10 “A Swift Night Out: Bird count”  A "SWIFT NIGHT OUT" is a continent-wide effort to raise awareness about and encourage interest in Chimney Swifts. For the second weekend in September, groups of birders across the nation will help locate and count roosts. Swifts roost in large numbers at dusk during their fall migration to South America. These bird counts contribute to awareness about important roost sites and the population of Chimney Swifts that pass through. Participants will observe a specific roost starting about 30 minutes before sunset (~7:00pm) and estimate the number of swifts that enter the roosting area.  More information about the Chimney Swift count, known as "A Swift Night Out" can be found online.  For more information, or to locate a roost near you please contact Bridget Tinsley at

September 9 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am Birding Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, 21085 The Woods Road Leesburg, VA Whether you’re a beginning birder or an expert, you’ll be dazzled by the many bird species you’ll find at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve south of Leesburg. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Friends of Banshee Reeks for the monthly bird walk at this birding hot spot. Bring binoculars if you have them. Questions: Contact Joe Coleman at 540-554-2542 or   

 September 9 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Fall Native Plant Sale at Morven Park, 17195 Southern Planter Ln Leesburg,  Restoring native habitat is essential to preserve biodiversity. A Fall planting of natives generally outperforms those installed in the Spring. Root growth in the Fall, when soils are warmer and more aerated, is more extensive, compared to Spring when there is rapid top growth. Questions: Contact Ann Garvey at or Danielle Dillion at
Sunday, September 10   3:00pm 5:00 pm  The Challenges of Bird Illustration with Artist John Anderton His talk will include his current project with the Smithsonian Institution’s Migratory Bird Center. September Audubon Afternoon at National Wildlife Federation 11100 Wildlife Center Drive Reston, VA,

Sept. 12; Sept. 14; Sept 17 from 10 am to 6 pm "National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers" is a highly interactive, hands-on, family-friendly exhibition that allows visitors to learn and use methods employed by Nat Geo explorers in the field. Exhibit visitors will embark on an epic adventure through six themed and immersive environments to discover new species; study animal behavior; and learn about the important roles that technology, innovation, and ingenuity play in making and documenting explorers' discoveries. Cost: Included in admission Phone: 1600 M St., NW Washington, DC 20036
Wednesday, September 13 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Potomac Valley Audubon Society's Monthly Program: The Impact of Climate Change on Public Health at Hospice of the Panhandle, Education Center, Kearneysville. Diana Gaviria is the medical director and deputy health officer of the Washington County Health Department. This program is free and everyone is welcome to attend. Please contact Krista Hawley at or 703-303-1026 with any questions you may have.

Start Sept 15 ends Sept. 17 at Cacapon Resort State Park: “Mountaineer Photography Excursions Workshop” Excursion Photography is made possible by Mountaineer Photo Excursions, Ron Gaskins and Amanda Haddox, instructors. The two night, three day experience at Cacapon State Park promises a “through the lens” look at September in eastern West Virginia. Workshop details, fees, and participation is managed by the workshop instructors.

Sept. 16 from 7:30 to 10:30 pm at Sky Meadows State Park “Astronomy for Everyone” Our evening of space exploration begins with our half-hour "Junior Astronomer" program, for children ages 5-12, led by volunteer Ambassadors of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. Immediately following the children's program, join the Ambassadors for a half-hour multimedia presentation on the latest in the United States' space research. Then, get yourselves oriented to the celestial skies with a 15-20 minute 'sky tour' by a volunteer Star Guide.

Sept. 17 from 1 to 3 pm at Sky Meadows State Park. What's that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists Doug and Ramona Morris of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah (BONS) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping).  This monthly program series examines all aspects of beekeeping from hive construction to honey extraction.  See the park's apiary and learn how to set up and care for your own hives using historic and modern agricultural techniques.
September 17 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Migratory Birds and Nature Walk at Willowsford Conservancy, 25355 Peach Orchard Lane Ashburn Birds are a priceless part of our heritage. They are not only a delight to observe, identify and photograph, but they also serve as bellwethers of our natural and cultural health. Join Larry Meade and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy for a family-friendly field trip to observe migratory birds and discuss some of the threats they face today. In addition, we will observe and discuss butterflies and dragonflies that we find along the walk. Registration required. Questions: Contact
September 23 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am Birding the Blue Ridge Center  
The Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (BRCES) is a beautiful 900-acre preserve in northwestern Loudoun County. With its diverse wildlife habitats, including meadows, streams and heavily forested slopes, BRCES draws a wide variety of birds and other creatures. Join the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy on our monthly walk, and see what’s there! Meet at the Education Center; bring binoculars if you have them. BRCES is located just north of Neersville at 11661 Harpers Ferry Road (Rte 671).

Saturday, September 23 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM Inspired by Nature - Natural History Workshop: Nature Sketching at Cool Spring Preserve, 1469 Lloyd Road, Charles Town  $10 for PVAS Members, $15 for general public. It will focus on teaching drawing techniques that quickly capture as much information about the subject being observed in nature as possible; information not always present or obvious in a photo. This type of drawing is useful in the field when you want to come back with enough information to correctly identify the fern, flower, insect, etc. you have observed.  Most importantly, this type of drawing can help you learn to see in more detail the beauty and complexity in nature.  This workshop is aimed at those with little or no drawing experience although all levels are welcome. Please bring along pencils and a small portable sketchpad. Please contact Krista Hawley at or 703-303-1026 with any questions you may have. Registration for this workshop is required.

SUN. SEP. 24TH @ 2 PM FREE Community Event Doug Tallamy: “Making Insects A guide to restoring the little things that run the world”  Insect populations have declined 45% globally since 1974. The most alarming part of this statistic is that we don’t seem to care, despite the fact that a world without insects is a world without humans!  540-675-1253 SUN. SEP. 24TH @ 2 PM
September 30 @ 7:00 am - 6:30 pm “Meet in the Meadow” with Loudoun Wildlife for a tour of Longwood Gardens, one of the premier gardens in the country. The gardens in Kennet Square, Pennsylvania, consist of over 1,000 acres of varied landscapes ranging from formal to naturalistic in design. Our trip will focus on the 86-acre meadow that opened in 2014. We will be attending Longwood’s “Meet us in the Meadow Day” to celebrate this incredible habitat through guided tours informing us about the watershed, plants and animals it supports. Transportation will be by bus. Meet in the shopping center behind Wells Fargo Bank at 30 Catoctin Circle SE, Leesburg. The bus will depart at 7:00 a.m. and return at 6:30 p.m. On ly 12 tickets left at $85 for trip

October 1 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Coyote Moon at Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place 
Potomac Falls, VA  for
Families and children of all ages are invited to hear Maria Gianferrari talk about the elusive and beautiful coyote. Gianferrari will also read her latest book, Coyote Moon.  Questions: Contact

October 3 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am Landscape for Life at Watermark Woods, 16764 Hamilton Station Rd Hamilton, VA Landscape for Life is a six-session sustainable gardening course developed by the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden. It is offered locally in partnership with the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, the Piedmont Environmental Council, Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District, Watermark Woods Native Plants, and LushLife Landscapes. It teaches us how we can transform our home landscapes and public places into healthy refuges that benefit not only birds, pollinators, and other wildlife, but also the community.


PIEDMONT CHAPTER OF THE VIRGINIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY                                             
Sunday, September 10, 1:00 pm Piedmont Prairie Sunday Walk Raccoon Ford Road, south of Culpeper Join us for an opportunity to explore late summer blooming grasses. The twenty foot grassland along Raccoon Ford Road in southern Culpeper County has not been overtaken by woody plants because it is periodically mowed offering a unique habitat in northern Virginia. This is a level roadside walk. For directions to meeting place and more information, email  This walk is free and all are welcome! Save the Dates!
Saturday, September 23, 10 am-noon. SCBI Forest Monitoring Plot in Warren County. Hear a discussion of the tree mortality census at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute forest monitoring plot, part of the Biotic Disturbances and Tree Mortality in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Ecoregion project funded by a VNPS grant, followed by a walk in the forest. For details, email

Tuesdays, Sep 26-Oct 24, 4-6 pm. Autumn Colors: Autumn Tree Identification at Earth Village Education in Fauquier County. In this beginner-friendly class, every Tuesday for five weeks, tree expert and master naturalist Carrie Blair will show how to identify dozens of trees at a glance. Register at

Sunday, October 8 @ noon. Chapter Annual Meeting, Earth Village Education in Fauquier County. All are welcome. More information in our Autumn 2017 edition of The Leaflet @   

Sat-Sun, Oct 14-15, 9 am – 4:30 pm. Arborfest at Blandy in Clarke County. Visit the VNPS booth during this annual event to get advice on how to select and grow native plants in your special location. There will be handouts with useful information for you to pick up. Arborfest information at



Sep 6, 7:00 to 9 PM Haiku: An Introduction & Practice Traditional haiku is inspired by nature, and haiku walks through nature’s beauty are favored by haiku poets the world over. Come to the Blandy Arboretum and learn the basics of haiku, walk the grounds to find inspiration, and share your work with fellow poets. Reservations required Register  for Programs Here
Sep 13, 3:00 PM Blandy Free Arboretum Walking Tour FREE, but Reservations Required--Space is Limited. Register Here:

Sep 23,  7:00 to 9 PM Exploring the Night Sky by Telescope After a short introduction in the library, Astronomical Society members will set up a variety of telescopes to observe the moon, planets, constellations, galaxies, and more. Dress for the weather.
FOSA members and UVA Alumni $10, nonmembers $12
Member/Alumni families $20, nonmember families $25 Register here:

Sep 26,  12:00 PM Free Lunchtime TreeTorial: Maples Bring your lunch and join us for an informal "TreeTorial" on select Virginia trees. We begin with a short, illustrated introduction to identification, ecology, and points of interest. Weather permitting, we'll then take a short walk to see trees up-close and personal. FREE, but Reservations Required--Space is Limited Register Here:

Sep 28, 1:00 to 2 PM Blandy Book Club PawPaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit, by Andrew Moore. Participants should obtain their own copy of the book and read prior to the meeting. Call 540-837-1758 ext 287 with questions. FREE