Tag Archive: Wildlife

Evergreens? Ever Useful!

January 13, 2023 - By Ellen Powell, DOF Conservation Education Coordinator In a bare winter landscape, our eyes are often drawn to any remnants of green, stirring the memory and promise of warmer days. But our native evergreens have winter value far beyond their looks. Perhaps the greatest winter benefits of evergreens go to wildlife. Plants that keep their foliage through the winter provide thermal cover, or protection from cold temperatures. Dark needles absorb... Read More

Native Plants for Hummingbirds

July 21, 2022 - By Ellen Powell, DOF Conservation Education Coordinator You’re working in the garden when you notice a low-pitched hum, and you look around for its source. Could it be a territorial carpenter bee? A clumsy June beetle? Someone’s tiny, wayward drone? No, it’s a hummingbird – our favorite feathered pollinator! The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only species that breeds in the East, although you might see an occasional rufous hummingbird during... Read More

Springtime in February?

February 11, 2022 - By Ellen Powell, DOF Conservation Education Coordinator   Nothing says springtime like birds carrying food to the young in their nests. Wait, it’s not spring; it’s February. Birds aren’t nesting yet…or are they? Most birds do wait until warmer months to begin raising young. One reason is better availability of high quality food for the nestlings. Almost all of our songbirds and gamebirds feed their young insects, a high protein... Read More

Woodpecker Attends New Employee Orientation

November 15, 2021 - By Scott Bachman, DOF Senior Area Forester Several weeks ago, the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) Eastern Region had the opportunity to show off our work for the agency’s most recently hired employees, during their orientation tour. A group of our region’s staff – Heather Dowling, Jeremey Falkenau, Bryant Bays, Lisa Burke, Brenda Clarke and I – collaborated to come up with several days of activities that we hoped would... Read More

A Woodcock Encounter

April 26, 2021 - By Scott Bachman, DOF 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: Partnerships at Pleasant Grove

April 19, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, DOF 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. DOF 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

Field Notes: Spring Break for Salamanders

March 26, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, DOF Conservation Education Coordinator The woods are alive, with the sound of … frog calls? Yes, it must be spring in Virginia! Beginning in late winter, ponds, swamps, sloughs and vernal pools become concert halls for breeding choruses of frogs and toads, known collectively as anurans (nerd-word of the day). Joining them are the much quieter – but no less numerous – salamanders. These amphibians spend most... Read More

Field Notes: Atlantic White-cedar Makes a Comeback?

March 18, 2021 - By Scott Bachman, DOF Senior Area Forester, Blackwater Work Area A number of years back, a hurricane made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and forced her way through the southeastern coastal area of Virginia on the way to dumping flooding rains on the remainder of the Commonwealth. That storm was Isabel. In her wake, she left 32 people dead and more than 1.85 billion dollars in damage. Directly... Read More

Field Notes: Wandering the Winter Woods

March 16, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, DOF Conservation Education Coordinator A few weeks ago, on a cold but sunny day, I visited Paul State Forest in Rockingham County for the first time. It was a great place for a winter woods walk. The Paul became a State Forest in 1962 – a gift to the state from a local judge, John Paul. The forest is included in the Department of Wildlife Resources’ (DWR)... Read More

Native Ecosystem Restoration Expanded in Southeastern Virginia

February 16, 2021 - The Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) and the Meadowview Biological Research Station (MBRS) recently acquired land that expands an existing conservation easement on the Joseph Pines Preserve in Sussex County.  The 196-acre purchase by MBRS increases the preserve property to nearly 428 acres. The easement, donated to DOF by MBRS, includes the entire preserve. “This partnership exemplifies the positive impact of multiple agencies and nonprofit organizations working together with a shared... Read More