VMN Continuing Education Webinar, August 26: Fireflies

Who doesn’t love fireflies? Many of us have fond memories of catching fireflies when we were kids, or watching a magical light show on a summer evening. This webinar will discuss firefly natural history, behavior, identification, and conservation. We will outline useful physical and behavioral characteristics for identifying common groups of fireflies in Virginia.
Other questions we’ll discuss include:  How many firefly species are there? Why do fireflies flash? What do fireflies eat? Are firefly populations declining? 

Didn’t quite get your firefly fix this summer? There’s still time! We’ll discuss how you can organize your own personal firefly safari this fall. Tune in to learn more!

Presenter Ariel Firebaugh is a lifelong learner and explorer. As an undergraduate at Roanoke College, she spent weekends practicing German verb conjugations while hiking around the Blue Ridge Mountains. She became semi-nocturnal in graduate school studying firefly behavior at UVA’s Blandy Experimental Farm field station. She now serves as the Director of Scientific Engagement at Blandy.

Webinar Details

When: Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 12:00 pm

Meeting Registration: Register for webinar (a requirement)

Link for recordings of this and past webinars: VMN Continuing Education Webinar page

Virtual Walk & Talk: Healthier Streams for a Healthier Community

Thursday, 10 September 2020
7-8:30 pm EDT
Register and learn more.

Join Fairfax County staff Charles Smith & JoAnne Fiebe for a virtual walk and talk about ideas for making a stream part of the community again. Sponsored in part by Audubon Naturalist Society, they’ll show videos of a recent site visit, talk with Charles and JoAnne about the vision for the Route 1 redevelopment, and talk about how, as we face bigger rain storms, redevelopment can be tied to creating healthier streams, and therefore a healthier world for us. Free.

Wetland Ecology, Webinar 8 September

Tuesday, 8 September 2020
7:30 pm

Dr. Christian Jones of George Mason University’s Potomac Science Center will give a presentation titled “Wetland Ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic: Types, Functions and Threats.” Hosted on Zoom by the Friends of Dyke Marsh, registration required in advance. To sign up, please email info@fodm.org and put “September 8 program” in the subject line and your name in the body of the email. Free.

Xerces Society: Gardening for Invertebrates Webinar Series, 20 Aug & 3 Sep 2020

Your Insect Allies: Meet the Beneficial Insects Controlling Pests in Your Garden – Thursday, 20 August, 1-2 pm EDT

Learn about the wide range of insects that help keep garden pests in check, and strategies you can use to support them in your yard.

Click here for more information and to register.

Beyond Plants: What Else do Insects Need to Thrive? – Thursday, 3 September, 1-2 pm EDT

A garden that has an abundance of flowers will support insects—but to maximize the diversity of insects your garden can support, you’ll also need to provide places where they can nest, lay eggs, and shelter. Join Matthew Shepherd to learn about what you can do to support the entire life cycle of insects and help them to thrive in your backyard.

Click here for more information and to register.

Join Team Cricket for an Evening Sound Census, August 21

Friday, August 21 

Listen to the sounds of summer! Help researchers by collecting data in your own backyard!

If you live in the DC or Baltimore area, head outside this Friday 8/21 after 8:15pm and listen for crickets.

Visit https://www.discoverlife.org/cricket/DC/ for tips on identifying 6 common species and the data form to report your findings. Fun for the whole family!

Note: Even if you don’t live in the area, you can still learn all the sounds of species and practice listening wherever you are! Check out this site: https://songsofinsects.com/

#CricketCrawlDCBaltimore #citizenscience #crazyforcrickets #communityscience #naturenerdsunite

Creating a Wildlife Sanctuary on Your Property: The Audubon at Home Program, webinar 27 August

Photo: Audubon at Home Certified Wildlife Sanctuary, Toni Genberg

Thursday, 27 August 2020
7 – 8:30 pm
Register here

What can you do on your own property to attract and support wildlife? To learn how, join online for “Creating a Wildlife Sanctuary on Your Property: The Audubon at Home Program.” Originally scheduled as a live event last March, the program had to be canceled due to the pandemic. Now you’ll be able to attend from the comfort of your home.

Betsy Martin will talk about the Audubon at Home program, Wildlife Sanctuary certification and Habitat Best Practices. Betsy is a member of the ASNV Board of Directors and a Co-Coordinator of ASNV’s Audubon at Home program. She is a Virginia Master Naturalist, a founder and President of the Friends of Little Hunting Creek and the Mount Vernon representative to Fairfax County’s Chesapeake Bay Exception Review Committee, which she also chairs.

Laura Beaty will relate how she transformed her yard into a wildlife habitat with a slide program entitled: “Your Landscape as Habitat.” She will show how to support nature’s relationships in your wildlife habitat, and why it’s important to view your habitat from two perspectives: the eyes of turf-grass traditionalists and native pollinators. She’ll show you the truth behind the phrases, “The greater the plant diversity, the greater the wildlife” and “Plant it and they will come.” Laura Beaty is Horticulture Chair of the Virginia Native Plant Society and Propagation/Plant Sales Chair of the Potowmack Chapter of VNPS. She also represents her Fairfax County district on the Fairfax Tree Commission.

This program is co-sponsored by the Friends of Mason Neck State Park and Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. They’re charging a nominal fee of $5.00 per registration to help defray the costs.

Join the Next Rare Conversation!

In June, Rare welcomed Sarah Stein Greenberg, Executive Director of Stanford’s d.School, for its first Rare Conversation on innovating for sustainability (43 mins).

In August, they will speak with Robert Frank, Cornell University professor and author of the book, Under the Influence, about the power social forces have for motivating climate-friendly behavior. Dr. Frank will discuss Can Peer Pressure Solve Climate Change?

Thursday August 13, 2020 | 2:00 PM EST
Register here

For FMN members: both talks are on the Continuing Education calendar.

Identifying Shorebirds with Marc Ribaudo

Online: 12 and 13 August, 7-8 pm
Fee: $25
Limit: 95
Register: Here for 12 August session and/or Here for 13 August session

This class is recommended for anyone who would like to tackle shorebird identification on their own. Marc will spend two evenings online covering identification tips for shorebirds that can typically be seen in our region. Emphasis will be on shorebirds that pose the biggest identification challenges, such as peeps. He’ll also discuss places to practice and sharpen your new-found skills. A recommended book for this class is The Shorebird Guide by Michael O’Brien, Richard Crossley and Kevin Karlson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006). The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Sibley (Knopf, 2014) is also a good basic field guide.

Instructor: Marc Ribaudo has been birding since he was a teenager in New Jersey in the 1960s. He has a great amount of field experience and is a regular trip leader for the Northern Virginia Bird Club and the Friends of Dyke Marsh.

Virtual Green Breakfast with Clean Fairfax

Saturday, July 11, at 9 AM – 10:30 AM

Hosted by Clean Fairfax and Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

Snuggle up in the comfort of your own home, with your breakfast and beverage of choice, while joining us online to hear from Jen Cole, Executive Director with the Clean Fairfax Council. While you have been safer at home, have you thought about ways to be greener at home too? Learn why it is important to reduce waste production and consumption and steps we can all take in our day-to-day lives to make our world a little more sustainable.

This event is FREE.

If you have environmental stewardship events that you would like to promote, please send them to Laura.grape@fairfaxcounty.gov and she will share them during the webinar. Face-to-face interaction and networking are two things that make our Green Breakfasts so special. We miss seeing you all and look forward to a time soon when it is safe for all of us to gather again.

Join the meeting, by clicking the following link and using the meeting number and password, included below: 


Meeting number (access code): 126 436 0508 

Meeting password: Fj2Qdg (352734 from phones and video systems)

To listen to the presentation from a phone, dial 1-415-655-0001

Access Code: 1264360508#

Password: 352734# 

Lessons from the Living Landscape — Our Home Habitat: Webinar, August 3rd

With: Rick Darke 
When: Monday, August 3, 7:30 PM
Fee Options: $5, $10 or $15
To register, click here

Rick Darke and his co-horticulturist wife, Melinda Zoehrer, have been creating and tending their home garden for more than a quarter century. The garden is a living laboratory, devoted to proving how residential landscapes can be beautiful, manageable and joyfully livable while sustaining a vibrant diversity of plant and animal communities. In this presentation Rick will share insights and strategies from what continues to be an inspiring journey.

Rick heads RICK DARKE LLC, an independent design firm focused on conservation-based landscape design and management. His work is grounded in an observational ethic that blends art, ecology and horticulture. His projects include parks, botanic gardens, community landscapes and residential gardens. His many books include The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, co-authored with Doug Tallamy. For further info visit rickdarke.com.

Sponsors: Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and Plant NOVA Natives.