I take a lot of photos. These are the few that are either really good photos or have lots of meaning—the best photos of 2019. All photos by R. Whitescarver and copyrighted except as noted.
The Really Good Swoope Hope Photos
Our Home. Meadowview in Swoope, Virginia.
Looking North. From the top of the hill behind the house.
Tree Swallow in Swoope
White-Tailed Deer in Swoope
Honey Bee and Crabapple
Yummo! The best homegrown tomato sandwich of the year. German Green tomato on tomato bread from Panera Bread. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Pollinators on Common Milkweed
Monarch Caterpillar in Swoope
Buckeye on Boneset
Pictures With Lots of Hope and Meaning
Rising Seas. Grandson Conley with Neal on a sandbar in Casco Bay, Maine.
Environmental Justice for Union Hill. Courtroom 1 of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. The Union Hill air permit case, Friends of Buckingham v. Virginia Air Board was heard here on October 29, 2019.
The Future of Conservation. My JMU ISAT students laying out contour lines.
Change of Command. My brother Paul at his Change of Command ceremony at the New London Submarine Base. Wife Katie is at his side and his son, Garrett, stands behind. His admiral is far left with the governor of Connecticut and a U.S. Representative next to him.
Hope for a Baby. The Bald Eagles of Swoope nested on Hoffman Farms this year and fledged one baby.
Building Soil Health. Rotational grazing in Swoope.
Harvesting Sunshine, Feed, and Fertilizer in Swoope
Three Legs. We rescued Val’s full brother, Raymond Wilson, this year.
Therapy Dog. Raymond Wilson during his Therapy Dog International certification. He passed without taking the six-week course.
Swoope Hope Photo of the Year. Four stellar leaders at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Merrill Center, the world’s first LEED platinum building: (from left) Jackie Shannon, Virginia’s oyster restoration manager for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Jon Mueller, vice president for litigation; Jeanne Trimble Hoffman, trustee of the foundation; and D. Keith Campbell, trustee of the foundation and shepherd for so many of us.
In Her Element. Jeanne, Princess of Swoope, doing her thing—talking to the babysitter cow and calves.
First Place Award for 2020 Outstanding Column & Blog from Virginia Outdoor Writers Association View All Awards
“I read every one of Bobby’s blog posts. They keep me informed on everything from their cattle farm operation to their best management practices in action. His blog always features relevant information on keeping our waters clean, our soil out of the runoff, and other environmental issues of our time.”
What great photos that show such a diverse commitment to environmental health. I remain in awe of Jeanne and you.
Thanks, Roger. Happy New Year! Hope you have lots of live bees and honey in the new year.
Thank you for your continuing work in making this a better world.
May this be the year the pipeline dies. Keep up the fight.
Thanks for this little journey by recording and sharing your memories, Bobby.
You are most welcome, Leo.
Lovely photos. My favorite? It’s hard to beat a rainbow, but the Princess of Swoope in her element is the hands down winner! Happy New Year, and many thanks for all you do.
David, thanks for your vote. Right now that one is tied with the tomato sandwich.
Thank you, Bobby! These are wonderful and do give me lots of hope. ? Happy New Year!
Thanks, Natalie. Good to hear from you.
Lots of good ones there, Bobby! But my favorite is the one of Raymond, largely because of the sad/ heartwarming story behind it. Lucky dog finally found a loving, forever home!
Susan, thanks for your comment and vote! We feel that we are the lucky ones to have Raymond.
Hope indeed !
Hey Bobby, we have a tri-paws as well. Our 10 year old husky developed a tumor on her font left leg. We had to have the leg amputated or put her down. She’s getting along quite well. Amazing how adaptable they are. Maybe a lesson there for us lesser species. I hope you and Jeanne are doing well. Best, Nick
Nick, thanks for stopping in and for your comment. They are indeed amazing.
Hi Bobby….I am in awe of Swoop Farm, its caretakers, and your photography skills! There’s no way I can choose, really, but your GRASS, evidence of the wonderful soil from which is grows, gets me every time. I know from experience the long-term care required to get that. How I hope others continue to learn from you!
But I do have questions: Has the Buckingham compressor case been decided? How is the American chestnut doing? And that three-legged dog rescue: looks like a winner to me! I didn’t know there was such a thing as a cow that looked after a bunch of calves, add that to the list of ignorance of city folk. Cheers, Anne
Anne, thanks so much for your kind words and for stopping in. The air compressor case has not been decided. I was in attendance during the arguments and I think we had a good day in court. American Chestnuts are doing well. The Virginia Department of Forestry sent one to the lumber yard for timber this year. Talk about hope? Those foresters and volunteers working on the AC are awesome.
Thanks Bobby for sharing as you do, and for the great work you are doing, spreading the word on environmental correctness. We have a long ways to go to shift the tides back in the right direction, but I also believe that we are making that shift- thanks to so many positively motivated young people and their teachers – like you!! Happy New Year to you and Jeanne! See you in the next decade.
Laurie, your words are spot on. Thanks for the work you do, AMI is an inspiring institute!
Great stuff Bobby–looking forward to getting a copy of your book signed by you and Raymond!
Thanks, Bill. You can order it online.
I love the photo of Jeanne reading what looks to be a children’s book to Raymond Wilson!
Thanks, Joe, that is a good one.
Bobby, I’m going to vote on the photo with Jeanne and the babysitter cow. Hard to decide! Are the Chestnuts part Chinese? I would love to try some. Ann
Thanks, Ann. The Restoration Am Chestnuts are 15/16 American and 1/16 Chinese. Plus three generations of selection for resistance.
Season’s Greetings to you and your family in Swoope! Thank you so much for sharing these amazing images with us. I feel so blessed to see them and take in the sights around Swoope. If I have to pick, I would say the American Chestnuts Leaves pic is my favorite. The beauty of the contrast between that green of the leaves and the blue blue sky is so inspiring and feels good on the eyes. But a VERY close second is your lovely wife out there talking with the cow family. She is incredible! Cheers to many more Swoope pics in 2020! -Meredeth
What a sweet note, Meredeth. Thank you. Happy New Year!
Very nice photos and optimistic year-end recap, Bobby. Lots of good ones here, but I love the illustration of rotational grazing and the green wide-open “looking north” shot. Here’s to a great 2020!
LOVE these photos Bobby! Hard to pick a favorite.
Thanks for stopping in, Katie. I hope you have a great new year.