Winter in Swoope The grasslands in Swoope are brown and dormant. Late in the afternoon I stand on our deck with my binoculars and search the wide-open pastures for Short-eared Owls. I can see for several miles north and sweep slowly 180 degrees to the south. First, I spot a...
"If you save your own backyard, then you start to save the world," wrote the late Winston Nanon, the man who saved the Caroni Swamp and the bird that became the national bird of Trinidad—the Scarlet Ibis. Virginia Paved Over the Nesting Site of 25,000 Migratory Seabirds We have something...
May miracles in Swoope Lush, green pastures fill the landscape, here at the beginning of the Chesapeake Bay in the Shenandoah Valley along Middle River. Baby calves form up in groups and run fast with their tails high in the air. The smell of lilacs fills the air. A new...
Jeanne and I recently traveled to the most remote island of the British Virgin Islands—Anegada. Most mornings, we were the only people on the beach at the Anegada Beach Club. The beaches here are the most beautiful we have ever experienced with white sand and crystal clear water loaded with...
I watched it devour a whole nest of tent caterpillars. Yellow-billed Cuckoos, we need a lot more of them - they prefer to eat hairy caterpillars like the eastern tent caterpillar that defoliate trees. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus, sometimes called the rain crow, nests and forages in the riparian forests along our...
As we drove into the pasture with a half-ton bale of hay for the cows I saw a flock of perhaps thirty small birds fly in a tight pattern away from us. The flying flock turned one way, then another, their white bellies exposed as they turned. This is a...
Over the years they slowly disappeared. And then they were gone. I last saw a Loggerhead Shrike in Swoope in 2014. The Loggerhead Shrike is a "common bird" whose population is in "steep decline". In this post, I will describe the bird, chronicle its population, report efforts to bring the...
The debate between cat lovers and bird lovers is not a new one and steeped with passion on both sides. The debate usually ends in a stalemate: cats kill birds but it's not the cat's fault - it's their nature. Rarely does the discussion deviate from these two fundamental issues....
I live in such a beautiful place – It’s mostly grasslands and forests. In some places, one cannot see another dwelling in any direction. On most mornings in September, mist hugs the hollows and heavy dew blankets the ground.
“There’s often a story about cattle, a little talk of environmental concerns, and a mention of his “Princess” and her collaborative work with him. That’s how conversations go when I get a chance to visit with Bobby. He’s easygoing and always has a great story, but there’s a wealth of shared experience, knowledge, and love of farming and our environment in everything Bobby does. This latest book is just like sitting down and visiting with Bobby. You’ll enjoy every bit of it.”
Emmett W. Hanger Jr.Virginia Senator
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