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...
Jeanne and I just returned from a trip to Southern Africa. We traveled to South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. After trips like this, I try to reflect on what I learned. Two things immediately come forward: the cultural explosions of the indigenous tribes as the cloak of Apartheid dissolves and...
One of eastern North America's greatest native trees is the American Sycamore, Platanus occidentals. Perhaps the most endearing feature of this legendary tree is its bark, especially in winter when the white bark, mottled with green and brown is fully exposed. These trees often exceed a hundred feet in height and...
Let me apologize right up front to all my ethical hunter friends. Thank you for hunting. It is a true American tradition and it's needed to manage wildlife populations. Hunters also feed the hungry. But today I gnash my teeth and rub myself with ashes because of the scum...
"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...
“Well-managed” farmland and other working "open-spaces" should not be taxed when they provide ecosystem services exceeding the cost of public services for the land. In many states including Virginia, local governments have a special way of collecting revenue from their constituents that have farmland or “open-space” called “land-use” taxation. It’s a...
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...
I have been involved with over 500 miles of riparian buffer plantings and have witnessed plenty of failures and successes. I would like to share with you what I believe is the recipe for success, that being TREE CANOPY CLOSURE IN TEN YEARS. I’ll get right to the point then...
I’m standing in the middle of the footbridge across the Potomac River at Harper’s Ferry looking downstream. Beneath me flows the nation’s river that at this point in its journey, drained six million acres of land. Just downstream to my right the waters from another two million acres join the...
“Bobby and Jeanne show us how agriculture and conservation can work together, just as the couple’s remarkable marriage does. This book is about their journey together on the farm to produce healthy livestock and clean water.
This book gives us a blueprint not only for the restoration of the Bay and the waters of the United States but also for the family farm.”
Will BakerPresident, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
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