Headwaters Master Naturalists November 2016 Newsletter
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Upcoming ...

Headwaters Chapter Board of Directors Meeting
Sunday, November 6, 3:30PM.
Chapter President Sandy Greene's house, Mt. Sidney. All members welcome. More details below. Contact Sandy Greene.

Joe Keiper Talk at Wayne Theatre
Tuesday, November 8, 7PM
. Wayne Theatre, 521 W. Main St., Waynesboro. Science Talk Series. Joe Keiper, Executive Director, Virginia Museum of Natural History, presents “Is Santa truly jolly? A science-based look at old St. Nick.” Admission is pay what you will. More HERE.

The end of night? The challenge of light pollution
Wednesday, November 9, 5-6PM.
Festival Highlands Room, James Madison University, Harrisonburg. Presentation by author and activist Paul Bogard, JMU professor of English. More HERE.

21st Annual Call of the Wild Conference
Friday, November 11-Sunday, November 13.
  Best Western Inn & Suites Conference Center, Waynesboro. All about wildlife rehabilitation. Hosted by the Wildlife Center of Virginia in collaboration with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. More HERE.

Love Thy Nature Film Screening
Tuesday, November 15, 7PM.
Wayne Theatre, 521 W. Main St., Waynesboro. "... a guided tour of our relationship with nature that proposes new approaches to a sustainable future." The film director Sylvie Rokab will be in attendance for Q&A. $10 admission. More HERE.

117th Aububon Christmas Bird Count
Saturday, December 17, all day.
Rockingham and Augusta Counties. Contacts: Rockingham Bird Club, Bill Benish: Augusta Bird Club, Allen Larner:
More about the Christmas Bird Count HERE.
Field Trips!

With the HMN Basic Training class in full swing, thanks to Kate Guenther's organizational skills, chapter members have been given opportunities to join in on a wide variety of field trips. Here is a sampling of where we went in October:

Black Bear Composting Facility Tour, October 6. Black Bear founder and Chief Composting Officer Eric Walter led the group through his commercial scale composting process in Crimora. His company was instrumental in the diversion of four tons of kitchen wastes through the HMN-supported Market Compost Drop-off Program this year. More HERE.
Photo credit Art Fovargue
Make Rope Cordage Out of Local Wild Plants, October 12. Kate Guenther, Cohort I, led this workshop out of her home near Churchville to "work with and experiment with local plants that can be used for cord making—dogbane, yucca, cattail, burdock, greenbrier, black walnut, grape and milkweed." In the photo at left, Kate shows a plant from a wetland near her home to Janet James, Cohort III, and Cohort V trainees Sue Gier and Kim McCray.
Carbon: The Unsung Nutrient for Soil and Water, October 15. Conservationist Bobby Whitescarver discussed soils, riparian buffers and native grasses on his farm in Swoope to illustrate important farm management concepts for healthy ecosystems. Learn more from Bobby's blog: Getting More on the Ground.
Thanks to Ann Murray, Cohort II, for the photo and Ginny Hoffman, Cohort III, and Kate for input.
Macroinvertebrate Benthic Stream Monitoring, October 16. Through Friends of the Middle River, HMNs help sample, identify and count aquatic insects, snails, worms and other small creatures living on the rocky bottoms of different sections of the Middle River. The data is used to help determine the water quality and overall health of the stream. In the photo at left, Cohort V basic training class members Kathy McKenzie, Kim Atkins and Chris Shaw examine a netting from the Eastwood site.

Forestry Management at Historic McCormick Farm, October 29
. Allen Baker, Cohort V, shown at left above, helped Sandy Greene cook up a “soup” with a mixture of fresh water and local ingredients in the way of some of the many types of pollutants that make their way into our waterways - offering a lesson on why riparian buffers are so important. Allen assures us that "... the 'pollutants' we were using were safe stand-ins." This was part of Sandy's demonstration on how members could use the education boxes in the education shed at McCormick Farm when classes come to the farm.

Retired forester Charlie Huppuch, in the above photo on right, talked about the different trees and how the McCormick Farm interpretive trail came to be made. He also talked about buffers, autumn olive and Ailanthus and other invasives, and how he is trying to preserve this old-growth section of trees.
Thanks to Deb Pugh, Cohort V, for the photos and Janet James and Allen Baker for input.
More October Photos:

From top and left to right:
  • HMNs preparing to set out for trash collection along Spring Creek Rd. in Bridgewater on October 5th. This is our third year of biannual pickups for VDOT's Adopt-a-Highway program.
  • Shelley and Allen Baker with a classmate soaking in a presentation for the HMN Basic Training class on October 4.
  • Basic Training Committee Chair Brian Lux in class on October 4.
  • HMN Pollinator Gardens facilitator Chris Bowlen at the Project Grows garden in Verona. Photo by Ann Murray.
  • Kathy Byers and Kate Guenther at the October 4 Basic Training class. Kate was the featured presenter on weather. Kathy, Cohort IV, introduced herself and shared about her work with the Rockingham Bird Club.
  • Adrie Voors, Kate, and Art Vasy, Cohort II, staff the final Market Compost Drop-off station for the year at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market on October 29. Photo by Cathy Strickler.
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos are by Carl Droms, Cohort II.
Birds of the Burg' 2016

In October, Birds of the ‘Burg completed its second season of bird walks at Hillandale Park in Harrisonburg.

Find out more about this project from HMN Kathy Byers HERE.
HMN Byron Hukee to Get Published

Byron Hukee, Cohort IV, photographed a great blue heron killing a horned grebe near the Gulf coast of western Florida last January. His research on this activity and photos are scheduled for publication in the Florida Field Naturalist, a publication of the Florida Ornithological Society.

Find Byron's work HERE and photos on Flickr HERE. Congratulations!
Project Update: E. coli Monitoring in the Upper Middle River
From Friends of the Middle River

Friends of the Middle River have been conducting benthic macroinvertebrate sampling at multiple sites along the Middle River since 2010. To further assess stream health, last year they also began an E. coli monitoring program which includes sites at other area streams in addition to the Middle River. Why E. coli monitoring is important, the program's methods and the results to date from the Friends of Middle River HERE.

HMNs contribute volunteer time to several water monitoring projects in the valley. Photo at right shows Judy Tammi, Cohort II, collecting a sample for the Friends of the Shenandoah River program last year.

Inside the fall edition of The Pollinator you will find:
If you haven't already done so, subscribe to get future quarterly issues of The Pollinator.
Headwaters Chapter Board of Directors Meeting
Sunday, November 6
3:30-5:30 PM
Sandy Greene's house
123 Foxwood Lane
Mount Sidney 24467

click on the image at right to find Google directions
All members are welcome and encouraged to attend chapter board meetings.
This is the last meeting for the year.

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.
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