In celebration of Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week (June 4 - 12) Jeanne and I are hosting a "River Walk at the Farm" on Sunday, June 12th at 3pm. Meet at the intersection of Boy Scout Lane and Trimbles Mill Road in Augusta County, Virginia. Space is limited to the first...
We live on a farm in the headwaters of the Shenandoah River - a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. How cool is that? We started this year’s calving season on March 1st with 122 pregnant beef cows. All of them have calved except nine. Cow #65 and #X6 had twins....
The Princess of Swoope and I walked barefoot in South Africa. Cape Town, Nelspruit, Kruger National Park, Ballito and the Drakensberg escarpment were on our itinerary that encompassed three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. That means we took in some of the most spectacular and unique places on Earth. First, Cape...
May might be my favorite month. The energy of spring swells in every living thing. I remain in awe of all the energy. A Catbird sings all night outside our open window. Robins begin their singing at 5:15am. That’s the warm-up for the avian symphony that will last all day....
May fills my senses as I walk our “river field”. Life’s energy surges this time of year. The avian migration is at its peak. All the birds that want to be here have arrived except for the Dickcissels. They will arrive when the peonies and day lilies open. The...
We usually clean out the Bluebird nesting boxes when we see birds starting to make nests. That's usually in late February but since spring is so late this year, we just completed this task on thirty of our boxes. The infamous English Sparrows are starting to carry nesting material into...
"Just because the problem seems unsolvable doesn't give us the right to give up". I can't remember who wrote that but it sticks in my mind. And just like the people trying to find that one blight resistant American Chestnut tree, Bobwhite Quail lovers keep hoping that maybe...
Cobble Hill Farm in Staunton Virginia released pen raised Northern Bobwhites in December of 2012. I interviewed Jim Pile, the farm’s manager on October 1st 2013 for this article and I could hear Quail giving their "Hoy-ee" call. Click on the hot link above to go a website with the...
I finally found a plant that will take over tall fescue – wingstem, but I’m not sure I like it. Let me explain. Both plants are invasive, tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is a non-native invasive plant; wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) is a native plant that is invasive. Invasive Plant Definition What...
This past week Swoope bore the brunt of the Snowquester, a.k.a. winter storm Saturn. It gave us almost two feet of snow - unwelcome weather for cattle farmers during calving season. A calf born in this weather can perish quickly. We were lucky. The storm left no casualties among our...
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