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...
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....
Middle River flows through our land. Brook Trout, Virginia's state fish, used to thrive in it. They migrated or died long ago, environmental refugees from the sediment-laden waters of the river. The river is slowly being restored and one day, we will re-introduce this native fish to the waters that flow...
He said, "Solar panels are only 40 percent efficient." I thought, "Are you kidding, it's free." The sun shines and "Zap", you have electricity, isn't that 100 percent efficient? Well, not so fast smarty pants. The 40 percent rating is true if one thinks about how "they" measure efficiency -...
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....
The sun’s energy has transformed our brown pastures into green carpets of food for our beef cattle. The surge of spring is upon us. Red Wing Blackbird males are singing their shoulders off, “Concareeee”. Meadowlarks are singing, "Spring of the yearrrr". Because of the vast grasslands in Swoope their populations...
Winter in Swoope. I walk along the banks of Middle River on our farm in search of treasure. Dexter, our Border Collie usually walks along with me but he passed on and I sure miss him. Cold air seeps through the opening in my collar; the brown, frozen grass crunches...
What is it going to take to restore the Chesapeake Bay? Every person and every tributary in the watershed. What will it take to restore the stream where you live? Every person and every tributary. Elizabeth Buckman, Vice President for Communications with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation asked me to write...
Jeanne, the Princess of Swoope and I had the privilege of attending the League of Conservation Voters annual Capital Dinner on June 25th. It was held in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in the nation's capital. We were there with the Virginia delegation. President Obama and Senator...
“Bobby is a force of nature! And with this compilation of his blog posts, musings, and articles, we gain insight into farming, family, and the forces that shape the Shenandoah Valley he calls home. I enjoyed his humorous yet direct writing style as he shared personal and professional observations on conserving the natural landscapes that, quite literally, feed and nourish us.”
Blog Post Categories
- Atlantic Coast Pipeline
- Cattle Farming
- Chesapeake Bay
- Climate Change
- Environmental Justice
- Herd Health
- Invasive Species
- Nutrient Management
- Quail Habitat
- Riparian Buffers
- Riparian Forest Buffers Ebook
- Soil and Water Conservation
- Soil Erosion
- Stream Fencing
- Student Required Reading
- Swoope Almanac
- Water Pollution
- Watershed restoration