Explore vernal pools at Lake Accotink, April 14th

Saturday, April 14th

1.00-4.00 pm, Lake Accotink

The Friends of Accotink Creek invite you to join them for a vernal pool exploration led by Mike Hayslett, a passionate and dedicated champion of these special habitats! This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy a lovely spring day in nature, learning about some of our intriguing neighbors like fairy shrimp and spring peepers and spotted salamanders!

The group will meet in the lower parking lot at Lake Accotink, below the dam.
Youth are welcome! Please dress for the weather. Some areas will be muddy, and there’s some possibility of ticks and poison ivy, so long pants and boots are recommended.

Mike Hayslett (Virginia Vernal Pools LLC), a state expert on vernal pools, is conducting an inventory of vernal pools in Fairfax County, as part of an initiative by the Fairfax County Park Authority. Vernal pools are seasonal wetlands, rare ecological features that provide essential habitat for a variety of living beings, including frogs and salamanders. They are vulnerable to a variety of threats associated with human impact, and this inventory will support efforts to monitor and protect them.

Please RSVP at the meetup  or by email to krisunger@gmail.com. If the group doesn’t get enough participants (12) then they will need to cancel the event, so it’s important to RSVP!

Learn at The Nature Foundation Spring Wildflower Symposium

18-20 May

Wintergreen Resort, Route 664
Wintergreen, VA 22958

Register by 20 April to receive an early registration discount

Presented by The Nature Foundation, for over 30 years Wintergreen’s Spring Wildflower Symposium has offered the best and most diverse coverage of wildflowers and mountain ecosystems. The setting is unique, with over 30 miles of hiking trails and convenient access to diverse geological sites. No one comes away from this event without learning more about botany, geology, entomology, ornithology and ecology. And all of this is available in the most beautiful springtime region in Virginia.  Learn more here.

Sign up for April activities with Virginia Working Landscapes

Blue Ridge Prism Quarterly Meeting: Restoring the Landscape

Thursday, 19 April

1:00 – 4:00 PM

Front Royal, VA

Join VWL partners, Blue Ridge PRISM for their quarterly meeting. They’ll focus on natural lands restoration following invasive plant treatment. Registration is required.

Remarkable Trees of Blandy: Arbor Day Celebration

Friday, 27 April

12:00 – 7:00 PM

Boyce, VA

Celebrate Arbor Day with VWL partners at Blandy Experimental Farm. Attendees may participate in activities such as outdoor workshops, a panel discussion, the Foundation of the State Arboretum annual meeting, and a social with refreshments. Registration is required.

For more events and courses, follow the VWL events page!

Mason Neck State Park Eagle Fest–Live Animal Presentations

Saturday, May 12th
10.00 am to 6.00 pm (8.00 am for a pre-opening bird walk)
Mason Neck State Park, 7301 High Point Rd, Lorton, VA 22079

See shows and talks in two tents, including live animal presentations by Reptiles Alive, Secret Garden Birds and Bees, and Wildlife Center of Virginia; and, with luck, there will be a visit from Buddy the Bald Eagle.  In addition, there will be hay rides, pony rides, food for purchase, two live bands, walks to view nesting bald eagles and (hopefully) their young, a live Bald Eagle Cam, and mini-clinics by REI, Inc. Check out the booths set up by environmentally-oriented groups such as the Fairfax Master Naturalists, Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Dogue Hollow Wildlife Sanctuary, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Potomac Riverkeepers, and the Virginia Sierra Club.

Weather permitting, we’ll also have a Boating Bonanza, where you can try out canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.  Presented by Friends of Mason Neck State Park. Learn more or volunteer to help at the event.

Come hear Robert K. Musil speak about Rachel Carson’s legacy, 8 May

Tuesday, 8 May, 7.30 – 9.00 pm
Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria VA

Dr. Robert K. Musil discusses his book Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America’s Environment and his explorations of nature throughout the nation’s capital, which resulted in his latest book, Washington in Spring: A Nature Journal for a Changing Climate.

Musil followed in the footsteps of nature writers and explorers from Captain John Smith through John Burroughs, Elliott Coues, Louis Halle and Rachel Carson — carefully noting the gradual shift in phenology and species with the progression of global warming in greater Washington. Musil will also sign copies of his books available for sale immediately after his talk.

Dr. Musil is President and CEO of the Rachel Carson Council, Inc. and former Executive Director and CEO, Physicians for Social Responsibility, 1985 Nobel Peace Prize organization.

Brought to you by the Virginia Native Plant Society, Potowmack Chapter.  Learn more.

Did you miss the FMN March chapter meeting? Gotcha covered

The crowd at the 19 March chapter meeting at Hidden Oaks asked and got the answer to an important question: Can you eat the

mushroom called Amanita bisporigera (Destroying Angel)? The answer: Only once.

We can’t help with the voice track for the rest of the Q&A, but Penny Firth and Robin Firth have graciously allowed us to share their presentation, What’s That Mushroom?

Enjoy the fungi pix, and be sure not to miss the next FMN chapter meeting: Sunday, 20 May, 4.30-6 pm, St. Dustan’s Episcopal Church, 1830 Kirby Road, McLean. We’ll congratulate the spring 2018 graduates and hear from our community.

Springtime Treasures at Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park

With biologist Marion Lobstein

Saturday, April 7
11.00 am to 1.00 pm

This event has LIMITED SPACE, and you must register to attend.

Please click here to REGISTER.

To CANCEL your registration or ask a QUESTION, please email vnps.pot@gmail.com

Balls Bluff, like much of piedmont Northern Virginia, is underlain by limestone deposits and topped by Ball’s Bluff siltstone deposits that date back 308 to 345 million years. The brick-red siltstone bluffs are more than 100 feet high in places and parallel the floodplain on the banks of the Potomac. The basic to neutral pH of the soils from the siltstone parent rock provide a rich habitat for less common to rarer species of native plants such as twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla), blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), green violet (Hybanthus concolor), white trout lily (Erythronium albidum), Eastern shooting star (Primula meadia, formerly Dodecatheon meadia), and walking fern (Asplenium rhizophyllum). Masses of Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) carpet the floodplain along with spicebush (Lindera benzoin) and pawpaw (Asimina triloba).

Marion Blois Lobstein is Professor Emeritus of NVCC, where she taught botany, general biology, microbiology, and other courses over her thirty-seven-year teaching career. She also taught Field Botany for thirteen summers at UVA’s Blandy Experimental Farm. For twenty-six years she conducted tours and taught classes for the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program. Her academic degrees include a BSEd (Biology) from W. Carolina Univ., MAT from UNC-Chapel Hill, and MS in Biology from George Mason Univ. She is co-author of Finding Wildflowers in the Washington-Baltimore Area. Marion serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project and is a former Board Member of the Foundation of the State Arboretum at Blandy Experimental Farm. Marion is a founding and active member of the Virginia Native Plant Society. She currently lives in Warrenton, VA.

Other: Dogs are not permitted on Virginia Native Plant Society field trips.

What to wear: Dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes.

Bring binoculars and hand lens if desired.

Join Alonso Abugattas at Thompson Wildlife Management Area for Trillium Walk, 28 April

The Virginia Native Plant Society is sponsoring Alonso Abugattas, noted naturalist, ethno-botanist, and host of the Capital Naturalist blog as he leads a Trillium Walk at Thompson Wildlife Management Area on the east slope of the Shenandoahs, east of Front Royal. This site is recognized for the abundance of spring ephemerals, especially the native trilliums.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

9 am – 2 pm

If you are a Fairfax Master Naturalist, this activity counts toward continuing education credits

Learn more

Go Birding on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and Chincoteague Island

Enjoy special access to Wallops Island and other protected birding destinations, where you’ll learn from experts as you look for the region’s more than 400 species of birds. During the migratory season, millions of birds along the Atlantic Flyway “funnel” through a small area along Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where more than 400 species have been recorded. Explore the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge’s restricted back country on Chincoteague and Assateague islands with Chincoteague Bay Field Station.

The 6-day event costs $599. April and May are waitlisted; September and December are accepting applications.

If you are a Fairfax Master Naturalist, this activity counts toward continuing education credits

Learn more

April Activities at Huntley Meadows

Twilight Boardwalk

7 April 2018

7-9 pm

(6-Adult) Join a naturalist at Huntley Meadows Park on a guided tour through the forested paths to the wetland, and experience the park as it transitions from day into night. Watch and listen for beavers, owls and other nocturnal residents. The  cost is $9 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525. Register online

 

Wetlands Spring to Life: Sketch Hike

21 April 2018

10 am-noon

(10-Adult) Join artist and naturalist Margaret Wohler to explore and sketch the wetland at Huntley Meadows Park as it wakes up for spring. Learn to identify and draw the first plants and animals that spring to life. Enhance your observation and sketching skills. The cost is $9 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525. Register online

 

Get Ready for Warbler Migration

22 April 2018

8-11 am

(Adults) Learn or refresh your warbler calls and identification skills with this educational session at Huntley Meadows Park. Common warbler migrants of Huntley Meadows will be covered. The cost is $10 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525. Register online

Learn more