Northern Neck Master Naturalists
Trained & Certified Virgina Master Naturalists


Northern Neck Master naturalists

Photo by Patricia McMurray

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Paddle tour of the Dragon Run with the Friends of Dragon Run

By Jeff Wright

On Thursday 12 April there is an opportunity to take a paddle tour of the Dragon Run with the Friends of Dragon Run (FODR).  I have asked that FODR hold all twelve of the paddle tour slots that day for members of the NNMN who might be interested.  Several members of the NNMN are also members of FODR.  I am one of them.  FODR’s spring paddle season runs from mid-April to mid-May.  Beyond that point in time the Dragon is usually choked with vegetation and more difficult for a kayak tour.

The paddle tour leader on the 12th will be Teta Kain supported by four paddle guides. Teta Kain taught the ornithology block in the last NNMN BTC and has been a prominent naturalist in Virginia for decades. 

This is an interpretive paddle through a Bald Cypress Swamp where there are ample opportunities to see and learn about the various flora and fauna that depend on the swamp. 

I was on the Dragon Run today (19 March) helping to prepare the water trails for the spring paddle season.  Prominent today were wood ducks, eagles, mallards, song birds, mistletoe!, submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), and incredible evidence of the amazing engineers of the swamp - the beavers.  The first signs of spring are apparent even though snow is in the forecast.  The swamp never disappoints and always provides some natural moment that is inspiring.  Two of the jewels of the Dragon are Prothonotary Warblers and Featherfoil.  Both are possible sightings on 12 April.

This is part of the annual fund raiser for the FODR and the suggested donation is $50 dollars.  The meeting place and time for the event is in Saluda Virginia at 9:00AM.  You will be on the water for approximately 2.5 and 3 hours and done by 2:00PM. 

Advanced reservations are required.  Please contact me if you are interested and have any questions about the event.