Photo by Patricia McMurray
Time and program location to be determined
Kati Rubis, Botanist with the Nature Conservancy, will give a program/field study trip to Dameron Marsh to showcase the TNC restoration of formerly degraded farm field into a thriving marsh and natural area. Time and exact details to be announced.
Dr. Judy Lang, a coral biologist, will present a program related to oceans, plants & climate change. At Wicomico Parish Church on Rt. 200 in Wicomico Church, noon – 2 pm. Bring bag lunch.
Time and meeting location have not been announced. Check back for updates.
As previously announced the Inaugural George Washington Birthplace Butterfly Count will take place on Tuesday 17 Sept.
This inaugural and fun event is sponsored jointly by the Northern Neck Master Naturalists and the Middle Peninsula Master Naturalists. The event is important to citizen science to help determine the species of butterflies in our area and their abundance. It is also intended to help all of us learn about and identify the many butterflies loving the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. If you can tell the difference between a hummingbird and an osprey this event may be for you.
The event is open to the public. If you have an interest in participating in the count, please contact Jeff Wright, the compiler for the count, at firstname.lastname@example.org to register and be on the list for e-mail updates and educational information and materials related to this butterfly count. By registering you will also get information on sectors, teams, starting times, meeting places, etc.
The Inaugural Northumberland-Lancaster Butterfly Count was on 30 July - 33 participants in the count, identifying 38 species, and nearly 1,000 butterflies. Members of the Northern Neck Master Naturalists, Middle Peninsula Master Naturalists, and the Historic Rivers Master Naturalists participated as well as individuals from the public. Here is a picture Leslie Fellowstook of one of the more un-common species seen - a Viceroy Limenitis archippus.
This inaugural count is part of the annual North American Butterfly Association count that collects data in North America. The North American Butterfly Association has run the Butterfly Count Program in the United States, Canada, and Mexico since 1993. Each of the approximately 450 counts consists of a compilation of all butterflies observed at sites within a 15-mile diameter count circle in a one-day period. The annually published reports provide a tremendous amount of information about the geographical distribution and relative population sizes of the species counted. Comparisons of the results across years can be used to monitor changes in butterfly populations and study the effects of weather and habitat change on North American butterflies.
These events are similar to Christmas Bird Counts. For the George Washington Birthplace count the same 15 mile circle will be used that was established for the George Washington Birthplace Christmas Bird Count. The circle includes George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Westmoreland State Park, Stratford Hall, the nature Conservancy’s Voorhees Preserve, segments of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuges, the Town of Montross, the Fones Cliffs Area, Beverly Marsh, Wilmont Landing, farms, vineyards, nurseries, villages as well as various communities and land segments of four counties - Essex, King George, Richmond, and Westmorland as well as segments of the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. Here is an image of the George Washington Birthplace Butterfly Count Circle.
Please contact Jeff Wright, the compiler for the count, at email@example.com to register. Counts are open to public participation and new participants are encouraged. Depending on the count, one or more count sectors and parties will survey sites within the 15-mile diameter count circle on a given day. Four to Six count sectors are planned for this year’s event. Give it a try and enjoy!
I also recommend looking at the outstanding collection of photos of butterflies in Westmoreland County taken by Katharina Bergdoll that are posted in iNaturalist.
Many Master naturalists such as Leslie Fellows, Katharina Bergdoll, Porter Washington, Kyle Langford, Betsy Washington, Kevin Howe, and Ellen Crist to name a few (and I am sure many, many others) have used photography to record and identify many of the insects and in particular the butterflies found in Virginia’s Coastal Plain and in the counties of the Northern Neck.
Some very good pictures of butterflies - with correct IDs and scientific names! - appeared in journals of students in the 2019 Basic Training Class (BTC).
Please contact me if you have any questions.
What? A BioBlitz is an intense period of biological surveying in attempt to identify all living species within a unit of the refuge. During this BioBlitz, biologists and citizen scientists will have the opportunity to assist the refuge with a biological inventory of Presquile National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Surrounded by the James River, Presquile NWR contains freshwater marshes, a network of creeks, fields, and hardwood forests. While attending this event, surveyors are welcome to explore the extent of the refuge and will be given a data sheet to record all identifiable species. You can also opt to record your information in your iNaturalist app.
Surveyors have the option to choose between two survey periods. Space is limited as each survey period can have 14 surveyors. Spots will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Please specify which survey period when you RSVP to Lauren_cruz@fws.gov.
Survey Period 1: An overnight survey for those who plan to inventory wildlife at night and/or in the early morning. Overnight surveyors will be able to stay in the bunkhouse. The pontoon boat departs for Presquile at September 13, at 5p and returns for pick up on September 14, 9a. (max. capacity 14 surveyors)
Survey Period 2: Pontoon Boat Departs on September 14 at 10a and returns at 3pm. (max. capacity 14 surveyors)
Where? Henrico, VA. Directions to the pontoon boat launch will be distributed closer to the event.
What to Bring? Any equipment you may need to complete your survey (ie, binoculars, field scopes, water quality measurement devices). Survey Period 1: We will send a separate email closer to the event. Survey Period 2: We will provide water and snacks but be sure to bring your own water bottle and lunch.
RSVP? Email Lauren at Lauren_cruz@fws.gov with your specified Survey Period if you are interested or have any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!
Risk Management Training is required of all members whose training class was prior to 2017. Watch for more details. The meeting is at the Northumberland Public Library in Heathsville, 1-3 pm.
Northern Neck Chapter
Virginia Native Plant Society
Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019
9 am to Noon
Wicomico Parish Church
5191 Jesse Ball duPont Hwy (Rt 200) • Wicomico Church, VA
Largest Native Plant Inventory Ever!
Over 1,000 Northern Neck native plants offered for sale. Most
raised by members of the Chapter. Come early for best selection.
NO SALES BEFORE 9 AM.
Come join other volunteers at Westmoreland State Park to:
Tidy the native plant beds and pull weeds
Place and test the new Plantsmap.com interactive native plant signs
View the native plant Helianthus mollis in full bloom
Make new friends
The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will be presenting training to become certified or re-certified for Water Quality Monitoring for the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative at Belle Isle State Park from 10:00 to 1:00 on August 8.
Registration is now closed for the Butterfly Identification Workshop on Tuesday 16 July. All slots have been filled.
We plan on videotaping Teta Kain’s presentation at the workshop so it can be viewed remotely for those who were unable to attend the class and as a resource for learning butterfly identification to support Citizen Science projects.
The Northern Neck Virginia Master Naturalists invites all members on a field trip to the Wellford property, 13 miles north of Tappahannock just off Rt. 17. Alice and Hill Wellford have graciously invited us to their property for our July field studies event.
Members only and this qualifies for continuing education credit.
The Northern Neck Virginia Master Naturalists invites all members to the June meeting on Tuesday, June 11 at noon at the Wilna Lodge on the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Warsaw.
The meeting will begin with a 30 minute (or so) brown bag lunch and meet, greet, show and tell social gathering. It will then be followed by short presentation about Camera Trapping.
Everyone is invited to attend a spectacular event at Hull Springs Farm in which we not only get to celebrate and meet our newest trainees, a class that was first in taking training evenings and Saturdays, but we get to do it at beautiful Hull Springs Farm, which holds its own special draw.
As part of the wrap-up and final assessment for the 2019 Basic Training Class, the students will be participating in a BioBlitz on Saturday, May 18. The Bioblitz will be held at the Wilna Tract of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge starting at 9am.
Tuesday, May 14th, NN Master Naturalists will be holding a Field Trip (Continuing Education credit) at Hickory Hollow Natural Area Preserve in Lancaster. We will meet at 1:00 in the parking lot for Hickory Hollow. There will be no Board nor general membership meeting this month.
A special planning meeting of NN Virginia Master Naturalists will be held Tuesday, April 30 9 am - noon at Belle Isle State Park Visitors Center. The Chapter Board will be welcoming discussion from any and all members concerning the overall operation and structure of the chapter as we proceed forward.
There will be a Basic Training Lecture at 11:15 AM by Dr. Joan Maloof on Forest Ecology and Old Growth Forests at Lancaster Courthouse. All Master Naturalists are invited to attend this new topic/lecture.
The master naturalists will have a booth at this event. We always need help so contact Kevin Howe if you can participate.
“Enjoy three days of nature, exhibits, art, food, music, children’s activities, ospreys and birds galore at the Downtown Colonial Beach, Inc. “Osprey Festival” April 12 – 14, 2019.
Membership workshop at The Heathsville Library on the use of botanical keys with special emphasis on the use of the smart phone app “Flora of Virginia”. Betsy Washington will lead with Kyle Langford and Kevin Howe helping.