SHENANDOAH NATURALISTS
                NOVEMBER NEWS




 

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The holidays are here!

I hope you had more treats than tricks over Halloween!  We forget that the term comes from the Christian “All Hallows Eve”, the night before All Saints Day. Apparently, the date Oct. 31 is the last day in the Celtic calendar when they honored the dead.  I guess that is where to idea for ghost and goblins comes from.

I always look forward to the next holiday, Thanksgiving, when it is okay to over eat! No reason to watch my weight now until the New Year!

Mark your calendars: it is time to start signing up for the Christmas Bird Counts.  Charlie is coordinating the Northern Shenandoah Valley count and is always in need of people who will cover some sections which are not “popular”. The date is Dec. 16th.

 

My favorite time of the year!   

 

A Treehopper! He landed on me while we were at the Locust Springs Picnic area.  I don't know if I have ever seen one before. He was about the size of my thumb nail. If you want to see some of the great variety of shapes and colors they come in, go to

https://www.pinterest.com/clothearedjunk/treehopper/  

 

Not a great photo of a male Pileated Woodpecker. But he lives at a friend's house so I will be checking in the spring to see if he has a family.

 

This time Charlie found a Black Rat Snake. He uses his cell phone camera.  If I tried to do that, the snake would be gone before I could even find my phone!

 

 


"OUR" Eastern Screech-owl is back in the bird box outside of our garage!  Hopefully he will spend the winter there. His eyes are not completely closed.  Do they sleep with their eyes open?? or does he not trust me!!

 

Enjoy this wonderful autumn,   Judy

 

.Elect Conservation-minded People
Elections matter.  On November 7, Virginians will elect a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and all 100 members of the Virginia House of Delegates.  This election is a prime opportunity to influence state environmental policy.  To learn more, including candidates who have filed, visit the election website.  

 


 

Christmas Bird Counts:

Charles Town CBC Sat. Dec. 16th    Bob Dean at bobdean52@gmail.com
Inwood CBC Fri. Jan. 5th
Bob Dean at bobdean52@gmail.com
The Plains/Airlie CBC Sunday Dec. 17 Sue Garvin at sgarvin@envstudies.org
Manassas-Bull Run CBC Dec. 17 https://www.eventbee.com/v/audubonva/event?eid=118059542#/rsvp
Shenandoah CBC I believe is Dec. 17. Contact Rob Simpson 869-2051
Calmes Neck CBC Dec. 23 Parts of western Loudoun and eastern Clarke counties. The cutoff date to join up to participate is December 18. Contact compiler, Margaret Wester at margaretwester@hotmail.com
CENTRAL LOUDOUN Thursday, December 28 Joe Coleman: 540-554-2542 or joecoleman@rstarmail.com

 


 

November 12, 1 pm – 3 pm The Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society invites you to a SECOND SUNDAY WALK with Ron Hughes of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at Chester F. Phelps Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Fauquier and Culpeper Counties 5669 Sumerduck Road., Remington, VA 22734 Join Ron, VDGIF  Wildlife Lands Manager and Biologist, for an easy walk to see fall foliage and delicate remnants of perennials, shrubs and grasses that give brilliance in late fall. This area is near the village of Sumerduck where the Rappahannock River forms the western boundary of its rolling hills. If you plan to attend, please RSVP and contact us at piedmontvnps@gmail.com. Directions and parking location will be forwarded. This walk is free and open to everyone.

December 10, Second Sunday Walk at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Washington D.C. Join Carrie Blair for a walk in Hillwood’s 13 acres of gardens, and enjoy the Russian Winter Festival happening that weekend!  

 


Sunday, Nov. 5, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Full Moon Walk at Blandy Explore the Arboretum under the full moon. Wear comfortable shoes, bring a flashlight, and enjoy the natural world at dusk and after dark. We will walk about 3/4 mile over gently rolling terrain. For those 16 and older. Registration Required  Register  for Programs Here

Nov. 16 at 6:30 pm at Blandy  FILM: Just Eat It--A Food Waste Story More than 130 billion pounds of food is wasted each year in the U.S. Join us in watching this documentary about food waste and rescue, and see how Jen and Grant manage to eat well without buying food. FREE. Donations accepted toward cost of the film.

 

Virginia Society of Ornithology Field Trip Announcement: 1-3 December 2017 - Virginia Beach, VA http://www.virginiabirds.org/events/field-trip-announcements/2017-winter-field-trip-announcement

To learn more about VSO’s support for bird-window collision project: go to http://www.virginiabirds.org/news/bird-window-collision-study-cmi

 

Virginia Bluebird Society Fall Conference, November 18.
Come join us Saturday, November 18 in Charlottesville for our Virginia Bluebird Society Biennial Conference from 9:30 A.M.—2:30 P.M. Every other year, VBS holds a statewide conference to connect with all our members. We are excited to have Bob Schamerhorn returning to talk about “Gardening for Birds.” We will also hear from Pattie Reum and the Kestrel box project. This is a great way to network with other bluebirders and meet your VBS Officers and Board members. The registration fee of $25/person includes continental breakfast and lunch. You do not need to be a member to attend. Register early; space is limited. Last day for registration is Monday the 6th!

 


 

Potomac Valley Audubon Society

November 8th Monthly Program: Join local bird expert Wil Hershberger on when he'll present "The Amazing Songs of the Vesper Sparrow." Wil's discussion will cover the Vesper Sparrow’s natural history, the study of bird songs, how we can “see” bird songs, and the way Vesper Sparrows compose their songs. As always, this program is free and open to all. Programs are held at Hospice of the Panhandle in Kearneysville

November 7th Bird Events:  join Jim Farley on for a bird walk at Shannondale Springs Wildlife Management Area, Deb Hale on the 10th for a vulture walk and watch at Bolivar Heights, and Lynne Wiseman on the 11th for a Cool Spring Preserve bird walk.


Nov. 11 9 am to 11:30 am Bird Walk at Cool Springs at 1469 Lloyd Rd Charles Town, WV. http://www.potomacaudubon.org/event-2688733/Registration 

 


Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Celebrates Opening of New HeadquartersOpen House and Ribbon-Cutting Planned for December 9, 2017 from10 am to 5 pm. and ribbon-cutting ceremony (12 p.m.) on Saturday, December 9, 2017. The nonprofit’s new home is located on the grounds of Leesburg’s Morven Park, in a historic building known as the Gate House.

Birding Banshee ― Second Saturdays: November 11, and December 9, 8:00 a.m. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Friends of Banshee Reeks for the monthly bird walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve south of Leesburg. Because of its rich and varied habitat, it is a birding hot spot. Bring binoculars if you have them. Questions: Contact Joe Coleman at 540-554-2542 or jcoleman@loudounwildlife.org

Birding the Blue Ridge Center — Fourth Saturdays: November 25, 8:00 a.m. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy on the monthly bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (BRCES), a beautiful 900-acre preserve in northwestern Loudoun County. The property includes diverse wildlife habitats, including meadows, streams and heavily forested slopes. 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); detailed directions at www.blueridgecenter.org Questions: Contact Joe Coleman at 540-554-2542 or jcoleman@loudounwildlife.org .

 Exploring Loudoun Nature Walk Series — Sunday:  December 3, Times TBD.  Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy for a free nature walk at various locations throughout Loudoun County. The walks will cover a wide variety of topics including native woodlands, wetlands, birds and seasonal changes. Check our website for more details. If you own binoculars, please bring them. Registration required: https://loudounwildlife.org/events

Along Came a Spider, November 9, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Stone Barn, Morven Park  - Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy for a free program exploring the world of spiders. Teta Kain brings us a close-up investigation of these greatly maligned, often feared, creatures that live in such close proximity to man. Details of spiders’ lives are caught by Teta’s camera as she details their eating, mating, and predatory habits. She laces her talk with folklore, scientific facts, myths, and mysteries and spices it up with a few funny stories of her frequent encounters with these very misunderstood animals. Registration required: Sign Up Online, https://loudounwildlife.org/events .
 
Reading the LandSaturday, November 18, 10 a.m. Have you ever wondered what Loudoun County looked like a hundred years ago? Today the 900-acre Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (BRCES) is comprised mostly of meadows in the valley and heavily forested mountain slopes but it hasn’t always looked that way. Join Emily Southgate at the Blue Ridge Center on a walk to discover humankind’s impact on the land. People have lived and used the land there for centuries and have had a tremendous impact on it. Dr. Southgate, a historical ecologist, will describe how you can use old maps, aerial photographs, and plants to study the impact on the land and ecology and how it came to be the way it is today. Directions can be found at www.blueridgecenter.org. Registration required: Sign Up Online, http://brces.org/event-2624223?CalendarViewType=1&SelectedDate=11/4/2017

Birding Hot Spots in Loudoun County, Sunday, December 10, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join Joe Coleman and Laura McGranaghan, two of Loudoun County’s top birders, on a day-long search for sparrows, hawks, waterfowl, and other seasonal birds at some of this county’s richest birding destinations. The group will meet in Leesburg, then move on to several locations before ending the day in the Lucketts area. Possible locations, depending on what species have been recently sighted, include Beaverdam Reservoir, Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, and the Dulles Wetlands. All levels of birders are welcome. This event is cosponsored by the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS). Registration required. Members: $36; non-members: $50. Visit https://anshome.org/adults Important note: If you are a Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy member, please indicate that you are an ANS member when completing the online form and list “LWC” in the member ID number field. Questions: Contact Pam Oves at 301-652-9188 x16 or pam.oves@anshome.org 

 

You can do a fast trip to the National Zoo without leaving your comfortable home by going to: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/

Wild Birds Unlimited is having customer appreciation days thru Nov. 19th.  Go to https://winchester.wbu.com/  for coupons!

The 2017-18 Project FeederWatch season starts November 11. Sign up today! It is part of The Cornell Lab’s Citizen Science Network. Go to https://feederwatch.org/ for interesting Feeder Watch Cams, facts about feeder birds and lots of other information. Count birds from your chair! From their Blog:

 


 


Sky Meadows State Park

Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 from 10 am to 2 pm March of Prisoners: Revolutionary War Living History In 1781, during the American Revolutionary War following their surrender at Yorktown, British prisoners of war were marched through what is now Sky Meadows State Park on their way to Winchester. Join the 2nd Virginia Regiment living historians as they demonstrate glimpses of military life during the American Revolution, as well as Christmas traditions of the 18th century, including cooking demonstrations in the Log Cabin. 
Nov. 25 & 26; Dec 2 & 3; Dec. 9 &10 at 11 am Holiday House Tours

 

.Saturday, December 2nd,  8:00 PM at Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston, Virginia The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks  Terry Tempest Williams has been called "a citizen writer," a writer who speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward all life forms. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. "So here is my question," she asks, "what might a different kind of power look like, feel like, and can power be redistributed equitably even beyond our own species?" Ticket Price: $15 Non-Reston Tickets: $20

 


 


 


 

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