Headwaters Master Naturalists February 2017 Newsletter
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The Eastern Screech-Owl in Virginia and Beyond
Thursday, February 2, 7PM.
Detwiler Auditorium, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Center, 1501 Virginia Ave., Harrisonburg. Presentation by ornithologist John Spahr for the Rockingham Bird Club February meeting.

Dynamic Earth: Exploring Earth's Climate Engine
Every Saturday in February, 2:15 and 3:30PM
. John C. Wells Planetarium, Room 1103, Miller Hall, 91 East Grace St., Harrisonburg.  Dynamic Earth explores the inner workings of Earth’s great life support system: the global climate. More HERE.

Center of an Insect Universe: Wild Tomatillo
February 19, 2-4PM.
Delaplane, VA. Presented by T’ai Roulston, Curator at the State Arboretum of Virginia, and Research Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia for the Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society Winter Speaker Series. Details HERE. Approved for HMN CE.

Great Backyard Bird Count
Friday, February 17- Monday, February 20.
Everywhere. "...people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds." More HERE and below.

Frances Litten Botanical Lecture
Tuesday, February 21, 7PM.
Festival Conference Center, James Madison University, Harrisonburg.  Author Lytton John Musselman presents "Common Edible Wild Plants of Virginia and Their Uncommon Uses - A Cordial Invitation to Graze the Old Dominion." More HERE.

HMN Board of Directors Meeting
Sunday, February 26, 3:30-5:30PM.
Sandy Greene's home, Mount Sidney. All members welcome! Contact Sandy. More below.

Native Americans in the Shenandoah Valley
Tuesday, February 28, 7PM.
Wayne Theatre/Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 West Main St., Waynesboro. Presented by archaeologist/ anthropologist Carole Nash, James Madison University. Details HERE. Approved for HMN CE.

HMN Basic Training Class Spring Session Starts
Tuesday, March 7, 6-9PM.
Eagle Carpet Community Room, 1188 Port Republic Rd., Harrisonburg. This is a different location from other class sessions so as to include dinner. Welcome back! Contact Brian Lux.


Headwaters Chapter Annual Meeting

On Saturday, January 21, our Chapter's Annual Meeting brought together a great cross section of the membership for food and fellowship, learning opportunities, sharing chapter happenings and filling board positions.

Chapter President Sandy Greene expresses her gratitude for everyone who helped make it a memorable event:

"Great job Judy, on the facility and lunch, and thanks for all the willing hands (and mops) to set up, cleanup, fetch and carry, manage the projector (Brian!). Sally Hurlbert was a wonderful keynote speaker providing valuable insight and Continuing Education. Thanks so much to Margaret for inviting her.

Thank you to those providing committee reports, especially the Projects Committee Power Point, with valuable hustling by project coordinators.

The computer tutoring needs to be a regular feature of our meetings, and I really appreciate Brian, Kate, Peggy and Margaret creating the atmosphere and space to help folks with VMN VMS, eBird and iNaturalist. Very helpful!

It's always a fun booksale with Andy and Frances Sale. Thanks for creating that space - maybe HMN hats next year?

Special thanks to advisor Paul Bugas for being there all day - always available, always tuned in, always positive.

Thanks to all for coming to the ad hoc Board meeting, and your thoughtful input on our draft strategic plan.

Thanks again, wonderful Board, with many thanks to Judy and Malcolm, for their service last year. Hearty welcome to Chip and Ginny."

Chip Brown is taking over for Judy Tammi as Vice President/ Program Committee Chair. Ginny Joseph will fill the Historian/Parliamentarian seat vacated by Malcolm Cameron. The three other positions up for election agreed to stay on for another term: Treasurer, Carl Droms; Basic Training Committee Chair, Brian Lux; Newsletter and Website Committee Chair, Adrie Voors.

Thanks to the Nominating Committee of Jerry Hopkins, Chip Brown and Kelly Rourke for their good work on this transition!

Photos by Sandy Greene
Find more photos of the event from Peggy Plass HERE.
Great Backyard Bird Count February 17-20

Join the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) on Friday, February 17 through Monday, February 20.

It’s for everyone, from beginner birdwatchers to experts, and anyone can participate from anywhere in the world in as little as 15 minutes.

Each checklist submitted helps the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Bird Studies Canada, and the National Audubon Society learn more about how to protect birds and the environment we share.

HMNs get volunteer credit for this under CS-Bird Counts and Surveys in our VMN VMS.

Find the latest Christmas Bird Count results for the Rockingham and Waynesboro circles by going to the tally site HERE ( and putting VARC in the "Count Code" box for the Rockingham County circle and VAWY for the Waynesboro circle. Thirty-five Rockingham birders identified 78 species among 9780 individual birds sighted on December 17, 2016. Twenty-seven Waynesboro birders found 78 species among 6769 birds seen on January 2, 2017.
T-Shirts and Nametags

As we order shirts and nametags for our trainee class, we are happy to have members who are interested in replacing their namebadge or ordering an additional Master Naturalist t-shirt do so. If you are interested, please email Brian ( and indicate your size (t-shirt) or preferred name (nametags).

Nametags are $6.00 each
T-shirts are $10.00 each

Deadline for each is February 15th.

- Brian Lux, Basic Training Committee Chair

NEEDED ... volunteers for Earth Day Staunton

Saturday, April 22nd, 10AM-2PM, Gypsy Hill Park Bandstand
Help is needed with planning and organizing events related to the theme "We're for the Birds!" and for volunteering on the day of the event. Contact Penny Warren:
HMNs have a new mailing address!

As of mid-January our mailing address is:

Headwaters Master Naturalists
P.O.Box 3
Dayton, Virginia 22821

Used mostly for receiving basic training applications and dues payments, it is checked regularly by members of the Basic Training Committee.

As always, Chapter administrators can also be reached by email through
Put These Dates On Your Calendars
And contact Chip to volunteer!

Starry Nights 2017: Fri-Sat, March 24-25
We are looking for several volunteers to help plan and lead activities promoting dark night-time skies and reducing light pollution. Activities to lead/coordinate/volunteer for include planetarium talks and night walks and more! Contact Chip Brown at or 507-459-1839 to express interest or with questions.

2017 Shenandoah Mountain Wildflower Walks: Saturday, April 29
Please consider volunteering for this one-day event. We will likely lead 3-4 walks and need at least one wildflower "expert" and two other walk leaders on each walk. Contact Chip Brown at or 507-459-1839 to express interest or with questions.

Inside this edition of The Pollinator you will find:
Very little is known about the Eastern Spadefoot in Virginia, due to its secretive nature. It is believed that this frog is much more common and occurs in many more locations than what is currently known. Help Jason and others with their research by learning how to identify and keeping a watch out for this special amphibian. They have been found in both Augusta and Rockingham Counties.

If you haven't already done so, subscribe to get future quarterly issues of The Pollinator.

South River Mercury Contamination Settlement

A public information session held in Waynesboro on January 10 was well-attended by the many stakeholders in the South River mercury contamination restoration efforts. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), some fifty million dollars have been allocated in "the largest natural resource damage settlement in Virginia's history."

Separate from cleanup, this money is for restoring natural resources lost due to the contamination which extends over 100 miles from the old Dupont plant in Waynesboro on the South River up the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Proposed projects include purchasing land along the banks of the river for tree-planting and other wildlife habitat-creating efforts, seeding freshwater mussels for water filtration and streambed stabilization, and smallmouth bass hatchery renovations in Front Royal.

A comment period ended January 31. Find and follow all the details through the U.S. FWS website HERE.
Cool Finding

Chip Brown camera-captured this gorgeous creature a couple of weeks ago. Herpetologist Billy Flint confirmed it is an Eastern Tiger Salamander. The Virginia Herpetological Society lists the Eastern Tiger Salamander as "State Endangered," with "a high risk of extinction or extirpation. Populations of these species are at very low levels, facing real threat(s), or occur within a very limited distribution." They have been verified in only five counties in Virginia among which are Augusta and Nelson Counties.
Historic Rivers Chapter volunteer Sonny Bowers produced this video to let the world know what it means to be a Virginia Master Naturalist. Check it out!
Board Meetings Scheduled

The next board meeting will be held on:

Sunday, February 26
3:30-5:30 PM
Sandy Greene's house
123 Foxwood Lane
Mount Sidney 24467
click on image at right to find Google directions
All members are welcome and encouraged to attend chapter board meetings.

Future meeting dates have tentatively been scheduled for March 26, May 21, July 23, September 24, and November 19.

Our approved Chapter Board meeting minutes can be found in the Documents section of the VMN Volunteer Management System.
Submissions please!

The HMN newsletter and website need your input! Please send articles, photos or ideas to Adrie. Newsletter item deadlines are the last day of the month for the following month's issue.

Wind your way HERE for a Naturalist-related events calendar for our area. Contact Adrie if you know of events to add to the calendar.
Copyright © 2017 Headwaters Master Naturalists, All rights reserved.

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