We have a small farm in Swoope along Trimbles Mill Road. The Middle River flows through it for half a mile. We call it the River Farm. The cows were fenced away from the river in 2004, and we planted trees along the banks. Sycamores Hold the Line I walk...
Are there words that can describe 2020? Plenty of negative ones come to mind, like “Why can’t you wear a mask?” But I am staying positive and sharing images of hope and healing—and planting more trees. The presidential election is over. Vaccines to treat the virus are on the way....
Most of the world remains sequestered at home from the COVID-19 pandemic. Demonstrators with assault weapons dressed in military gear protest stay-at-home orders. You might get harassed for wearing a face mask in public. Our political divide widens. Farming Proceeds Despite the Pandemic On the farm, there are no politics...
I am grateful. The Virginia Outdoor Writers Association (VOWA) selected Swoope Almanac, Stories of Love, Land, and Water in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley as First Place, Outstanding Book 2019. My sincere thanks for their support and to my team that helped edit, design, publish, release, and market the book. It has been...
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...
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
The Osage Orange tree is native west of the Mississippi and is named after the Osage Indian tribe. The fruits look like little green brains and are about the size of an orange. People use the fruits to repel insects in their homes, but there is no scientific evidence to...
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...
Happy Earth Day! Today the pastures of Swoope are a brilliant, emerald-green. I can see forever north with the Allegheny Mountains to the west and white puffy clouds with flat bottoms overhead. The sight fills me with wonder. We have so much to be thankful for, in the stewardship of the...
This is the place . . . Swoope. I wrote a book about it . . . Swoope Almanac, Stories of love, land, and water in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
Remarkably, Bobby has managed to sum up six years of effort by thousands of people in three states into a tight, fun-to-read debrief. Four Factors is clear and empowering. I highly recommend this book to any organization, community leader, or neighbor who is taking on a campaign, be it a local neighborhood effort or a six-year fight against an unneeded $8 billion pipeline project.
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