Category: Education

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods? Daffodils!

February 25, 2020 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Daffodils, Narcissus spp., are always a welcome sight — they are nature’s colorful announcement that spring is near! When we encounter daffodils in the middle of the woods, they are often a sign of an abandoned homestead. In the photos below, the flowers appear to surround an old shed or well (left), and these blooms near an old brick foundation (right) have thrived under 70... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods? Cold Bullfrogs Don’t Jump 

February 3, 2020 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton For many of us who work in the natural resources arena, it is a joy to see school buses arrive for an outdoor field trip. Throughout the state, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) staff partner with many school divisions and local, state and federal natural resource agencies to provide elements of meaningful watershed educational experiences, also called MWEEs, for students. It is especially nice... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods? Best of Summer 2019

January 16, 2020 - By Area Forester Lisa Deaton A Round-up of Interesting Moments & Encounters in the Woods from Summer 2019 When a local deadline for forest land use reports passed in late fall, I had time to share photos from the past few months. Note:  Land Use Assessment is available in many Virginia counties (but not all) for property owners with 20 or more acres of woods.  You can check with your... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s In The Woods Today? September 2, 2019

September 13, 2019 - By Project Learning Tree Coordinator Page Hutchinson Look A Little Closer… Although I work for the Virginia Department of Forestry, my job doesn’t actually allow me much time in the forest. Being a tree hugger from way back, I take as many opportunities as I can to get in the forest. On the recent Labor Day holiday, my friend Karen and I went for a hike on the Graves Mill... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s In The Woods Today? August 14, 2019

September 11, 2019 - By Area Forester Lisa Deaton Dung Beetles A local farmer asked me to examine a 40-year-old stand of loblolly pines to see if they were large enough to harvest. A corn field was located in the center of the property and we noticed some very fresh deer scat along the field edge. On the way back to the truck we saw something moving on the ground. It was a dung... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: A Rare Tree Adventure

September 10, 2019 - By Emerald Ash Borer Coordinator Meredith Bean It was August 27, very late in the season to be treating ash for protection against the emerald ash borer (EAB), and we were about to do just that. With the state’s most active “Big Tree hunter” as our guide through the swamps of Cypress Bridge Natural Area Preserve, we hopped into canoes to find the largest Carolina ash trees on record in... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s In The Woods Today? August 7, 2019

August 13, 2019 - By Area Forester Lisa Deaton Spiders August is spider month. If you have ever been the first person in line on a hiking trail, you have probably experienced the feeling of a spider web wrapping around your face. Just about the time you remove that web, another one lands in its place. By late summer, these “shell-backed” spiders (above), Micrathena gracilis, seem to have taken over the forest and cobwebs... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s In The Woods Today? July 23, 2019

August 6, 2019 - By Area Forester Lisa Deaton Country Roads The last few generations of trees have literally grown over top of numerous changes in our transportation network. Sometimes what looks like a wide trail or ditch is actually a road to an old homestead, as in the photo below. Sometimes the old roads follow property line boundaries (below). Sometimes, we come across former logging roads (below). This can simplify preparations for the... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: VDOF Supports Dominion Energy’s Project Plant It!

June 24, 2019 - by Sara Hunt, Project Plant It! Page Hutchinson, the VDOF’s forest education specialist, shared her knowledge of trees with students who were enrolled in Dominion Energy’s Project Plant It! program. During the month of April, she visited Meriwether Lewis Elementary in Albemarle County and Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Louisa County. Her interactive presentations helped the students understand more about the products that come from trees and also about the important... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? May 15, 2019

June 5, 2019 - Brush Piles and ‘Possums and Other Little Surprises By Area Forester Lisa Deaton As I was walking through a clearcut to help a landowner consider reforestation options, I saw an opossum cross a nearby dirt road. I thought to myself, “Surely I can outrun a ‘possum and take some photos.” However, I had to hop over logging debris and briars, while the opossum followed its well-worn path through the vines... Read More