Entries by Janet Quinn

Five Myths about Trees

Article and photo (Sara Holtz) by Plant NOVA Natives It’s no myth that trees hold a special place in our collective psyche. Trees play a prominent role in myths, often symbolizing life and rebirth. Unfortunately, some of the stories about them are just plain wrong. 1. Trees need big piles of mulch. Or perhaps we […]

Review of Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis

Article by FMN Marilyn Schroeder Dan Schwartz, Soil Science and FMN Instructor extraordinaire, knew what he was talking about when he recommended Teaming with Microbes.  With a conversational style and lots of pictures, Teaming is the perfect naturalist guide to soil structure and the organisms living in it.  I couldn’t wait to read each succeeding chapter – Bacteria, […]

Research and Monitoring of Macroinvertebrates

Feature photo: The Darrin Fresh Water Institute display. See https://dfwi.rpi.edu/ for more information. Article and photos by FMN Stephen Tzikas On October 7, 2022, I had the opportunity to attend the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Research Showcase in Troy, NY at the Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D. Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS). It was […]

Volunteer Opportunities: Raising Mealworms and Rehabilitating Wildlife

Kita’s backyard Article and photos by FMN Janet Quinn Kristina (Kita) Andersonhas high hopes as a wildlife rehabilitator. Her home, on one-and-a-half acres in Burke, is a sanctuary oasis in the suburbs. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has permitted her to work with a sponsor and care for migratory birds, squirrels and reptiles […]

Is Your Elevator Speech Ready? *

Photo by Russ Ward on Unsplash How can it be ready if I don’t know what it is?  Imagine you’ve just stepped on an elevator with someone who doesn’t know you are a passionate Virginia Master Naturalist (or any volunteer service you work in).  The average attention span is just about 30 seconds before minds start wandering, so […]

Mira, A Spectacular Variable Star

The Online Planetarium (In-The-Sky.org) star map snap shot, showing the location of Mira (circled) at 5:00 AM on June 15, 2023 in the eastern sky. Mira might be hard to see until later in the summer. Illustrations and article by FMN Stephen Tzikas When does a bright star come out of nowhere, rise in the […]

Responding to Misbehavior in Nature

Photo:  FMN Janet Quinn Article by FMN Laura Handley With all the time we Master Naturalists spend in nature, most of us have witnessed some sketchy behavior out there. Perhaps you’ve seen a lady digging trillium from the forest floor, or kids pulling the wings off insects, or young lovers carving their initials into the […]

The Virginia Geological Field Conference

Feature photo: An outcrop showing boudinaged felsic leucosomes and quartzofeldspathic domains. The location is along the south bank of the South Anna River a few yards east of Route 673, Rockville, VA. Article and photos by FMN Stephen Tzikas Every autumn the Virginia Geological Field Conference (VGFC) provides geologists, university students, and the public an […]

Ducks and Waterfowl Identification with Greg Butcher, February 2nd

Photo: FMN Ana Ka’ahanui Thursday, February 2, 2023 7 – 8:30 pm Online $10 ASNV members/$15 Nonmembers Register here. Join Greg Butcher, Audubon Society of Northern Virginia board member and recently retired migratory species coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service International Programs, for an introduction to waterfowl identification. Get to know many of the species […]

Save a Sapling: Pull Invasives

Photo:  Plant NOVA Trees Article by Laura Handley One of the most satisfying moments of invasive plant management comes when you pull the last vine off a struggling native sapling, freeing it to claim its full share of sunlight and grow without restraint. Volunteers with Fairfax County’s Invasive Management Area (IMA) program get to do […]