Post Type: Field Notes

Field Notes

Witnessing a Miracle

May 24, 2021 - By Sarah Parmelee, VDOF Forestland Conservation Coordinator This spring I didn’t go to many tree plantings, but I was able to take part in something very important, and in a way, miraculous. I am a country mouse if ever there was one, and even though Washington D.C. is just a an hour away, it feels like traveling to another country to leave the hills of Warrenton and make the trek... Read More

Field Notes

Growing a Food Forest

May 18, 2021 - By Meghan Mulroy-Goldman, VDOF Community Forester Ever wonder where the fruit in the grocery store comes from? In today’s supermarkets, you can find fruit and nuts from across the country and globe. You might find bananas from Guatemala, almonds from California, and apples from New York. Many familiar foods grow on trees and can be grown right in your backyard, in city parks, or even on street trees! While growing... Read More

Field Notes

The Early Caterpillar Gets the Leaf!

May 12, 2021 - By Katlin DeWitt, VDOF Forest Health Specialist Spring is a welcome season for many living things, signaling the end of cold weather and resurgence of color through plants blooming and leafing out. This period of awakening also means that insects emerge and utilize tender foliage for their own development. Forests support many insects throughout their life cycle, but some Lepidopteran species (butterflies and moths) are called early season defoliators, meaning... Read More

Field Notes

Woodland Weirdos

May 7, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator There’s a lot going on underfoot in Virginia’s forests, from wild to wonderful to just plain weird. Some of our strangest plants break all the rules we learned back in elementary school. They aren’t green, they don’t photosynthesize, and they don’t even look like plants. At first glance, these odd growths emerging from the leaf litter appear to be mushrooms. A closer look... Read More

Field Notes

Arbor Day in Pandemic Times

May 4, 2021 - By Molly O’Liddy, VDOF Community Forestry Partnership Coordinator Despite these uncertain times, communities across the Commonwealth have continued to celebrate their love of trees in Arbor Day celebrations. In Virginia, Arbor Day is annually recognized as the last Friday in April. Traditionally, cities and towns have held parades, concerts and festivals that bring the whole community together. During the first Arbor Day, held in Nebraska in 1872, one million trees... Read More

Field Notes

Flower Power

April 28, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator As a botany enthusiast, I spend a lot of spring hikes looking down, seeking out flashes of white and pops of color from early spring wildflowers. Fortunately, when I get tired of staring at the forest floor, there are blooms to be seen at eye level and above, thanks to our spring-blooming native trees and shrubs. I should first note that all of... Read More

Field Notes

A Woodcock Encounter

April 26, 2021 - By Scott Bachman, VDOF Senior Area Forester, Blackwater team Now that it’s April I will declare that spring is officially here in southeastern Virginia! Earlier this month, I was traveling a back road in Southampton County when ahead I saw a line of small objects on the highway. As I got closer, I could see they were birds. The lead bird was larger than the four that followed. My first thought was... Read More

Field Notes

Fighting the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid on State Forests

April 23, 2021 - By Lori Chamberlin, VDOF Forest Health Manager Hemlock trees have been under attack since the introduction of the hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect that was first discovered in eastern North America in the 1950s. These small insects settle at the base of hemlock needles, feed on plant sap, and surround themselves in soft, white ovisacs that resemble cotton balls. They may look harmless, but the hemlock woolly adelgid has... Read More

Field Notes

Reforestation of Timberlands Program – 50 Years Strong!

April 20, 2021 - By Todd Groh, VDOF Forest Resource Management Program Manager The Reforestation of Timberlands (RT) Program is turning fifty years old this year. This program, managed by the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF), is a good example of what can be done when people come together for a common goal.  More than fifty years ago, Virginia looked a lot different than it does today. Although forests were still prevalent across the state,... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Partnerships at Pleasant Grove

April 19, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator Pleasant Grove Park in Fluvanna County offers a nature-rich experience for visitors and a variety of habitats for wildlife. Behind the scenes, it’s also a model for collaboration between county government and a plethora of partners. VDOF has been a part of several education and stewardship projects at the park, including establishment of a tree identification trail, providing trees for planting, and most... Read More