Some Headwaters Master Naturalists news for you!
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Saw-whet Owl Banding

Headwaters Master Naturalists enjoyed three different opportunities to observe and participate in Dr. Clair Mellinger and Charles Ziegenfus' Northern Saw-whet Owl banding project in Bergton last month.

Click HERE for:
  • More about this from RoxAnna and Ann
  • More photos from Byron Huckee
  • Links to Steven David Johnson and Diane Lepkowski's photos

Monarchs Project

It may be winter but Sandy Greene, the Project Committee and the various project groups are hard at work making progress on our Monarchs and More! 2014/2015 Focus Project.

We can still use your help with design plans and implementation! Join a group through the contacts listed below.

For all sites: Individual sites:
  • Harrisonburg/ Purcell Park: Adrie
  • Bridgewater/ Cooks Creek Arboretum: RoxAnna
  • Verona/ Project Grows: Ann
  • Staunton/ Frontier Culture Museum: Kathy
  • Mt. Solon/ Natural Chimneys: Kelly
  • JMU Arboretum Way Station/ Project Ambassador: Betty Forrest
Fairy Godmother for July disaster support (extra plants, watering, care) if needed: Teresa

August "migration" site tour planning, and continuing to investigate funding sources: anyone? contact Sandy

A major goal of the focus project is to involve all chapter members and partners in any way they would like!

A "Show and Tell" meeting is set for Jan 29th at 6:30 in the evening in a central place to be determined. Attended by at least one member from each group, we will exchange ideas on our designs, measurements, plants, sign parameters, fencing needs, and more. All interested parties invited!

We hope to document progress on our pollinator plots through images and notes on our website and VMN Volunteer Management System. Any and all contributions welcome! Please send them to Adrie or Janet James.
Audubon Christmas Bird Counts

Join one of our three local bird count circles for this year's 115th annual Christmas Bird Count!

To participate in this project, contact one or more of the circle compilers.

  • An entirely Augusta County circle is centered at Verona. This count will be on Sunday, December 14. Contact Allen Larner, Read about last year's Augusta County circle count from Penny Warren here. 
  • A mostly Rockingham County circle is centered at Ottobine Rd. and Clover Hill Rd. (257 and 613). Its count will be on Saturday, December 20. Contact Bill Benish, 540-908-7336, If at all possible, he needs to hear from you by December 13 for you to participate.
  • The Waynesboro counting circle straddles the Augusta and Nelson County line and incorporates Stuarts Draft and parts of Waynesboro. It will be held on Saturday, January 3, 2015. Contact Crista Cabe, ... no later than December 15.

Don't want to leave your house? If you are located within one of the counting circles, each about 15 miles in diameter, you are most welcome and encouraged to count birds in your backyard during the 24 hour period designated for the circle area you are within. Contact the circle compiler listed above about your participation.

Find our circle areas by clicking on the image at right and navigating to and zooming in on Rockingham and Augusta Counties, VA.
Shenandoah Summit: You're Invited!

1st Shenandoah Summit
Tuesday, December 16, 9:30AM - 4:00PM
Room 104, Gregory Hall
Shenandoah University
Winchester, VA

The purpose of this meeting is to listen to and discuss ongoing observations, citizen science, and agency science regarding the Shenandoah River watershed. Presentations will include:
  • river guide observations
  • fisheries research
  • algae research
  • nutrient studies
  • a bacteria study
  • presentations from “Friends” groups
  • David Mellor, collaborative science modeling exercise

Headwaters Chapter members are welcome to attend for Advanced Training. They need to contact me so I can allow for space and lunch. There is no charge. - Paul Bugas

click on image at right for maps and directions
Naturalist Book Nook

Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island

by Will Harlan

Carol Ruckdeschel grew up along the Chattahoochee River in Georgia and immersed herself in nature from a very early age. She became the ultimate extreme naturalist, learning to eat D.O.R. (dead on the road) critters, constantly exploring and searching and learning from nature, even discovering a new species of salamander, and has remained a colorful, controversial character. ... Read more from Penny Warren here!
Members: Record Your Hours!

For our chapter to get credit this year for all the volunteer hours members have donated, please humor us with this bookkeeping task and take the time to record them into the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System (VMN VMS) by December 15. They are needed to help compile our chapter's 2014 Annual Report to the state program due early next year.

One section of the report requires an accounting of volunteer membership and hours, and another section requires more detailed and qualitative descriptions of the impacts your projects have had in your communities.

We recognize that reporting and accounting for volunteer hours is not the most fun aspect of the program, but it is a critical piece that allows us to show the impacts of the program across the state. Your reports help demonstrate how the Virginia Master Naturalist Program is a cost-effective strategy for accomplishing natural resource education, citizen science, and stewardship.

Your chapter reports will be compiled into an annual report for the program and used in reports to every sponsoring agency, federal reports required for Cooperative Extension, and communications with other program partners. By giving all parts of the report your best effort, you are helping us keep the program funded and supported throughout the Commonwealth.
- VMN Program Coordinator Alycia Crall

Feel free to contact RoxAnna or Adrie if you would like help getting your hours recorded!

A message from the President

Holiday Greetings to all Headwaters Master Naturalists

While the snow is swirling, there is a lot of activity on-going for the 2015 Focus Project. Sites for planting are having their soil prepared and various groups are doing the design for the various plants. If you would like to participate it is not too late.  Email Sandy Greene ( and let her know.  She will be able to connect you with a group close to you. You can almost see the butterflies in a holding pattern waiting for nectar plants to bloom.

Hunting season for big game is still open (and will be through December and ending on January 3).  So be smart and wear some blaze orange when working or enjoying  the  great outdoors. (There are some areas in northeastern VA that will have a late deer season that runs until March 29.)

There will be no Board Meeting in December. The next Board Meeting will be Thursday, January 15.

I would like to wish you a warm and joyous Holiday Season, and a happy and safe New Year.

Thank you for all you do for the world of nature.

- Jerry Hopkins
Headwaters Chapter Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, January 15, Noon- 2 PM

There will be no meeting in December!

@ Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Office
517 Lee Highway, Verona, in odd months
Click on image at right to find directions through Google maps.

An informal bag lunch at 11:30 will precede the meeting.

All members welcome!
Training Committee work on our 2015 Basic Training Class "is looking good and we are energized and encouraged!  If you know of anyone you think would be a good candidate, send them our way ..."  Read more from Training Committee Chair RoxAnna here.
You! ... are needed.
  • Tell us what you're doing.
  • Send us a photo or two.
We'd love to share your projects on the HMN website and in this eNewsletter.
Contact Adrie.
Copyright © 2014 Headwaters Master Naturalists, All rights reserved.

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