Archive for September, 2009

A society grows great
when old men plant trees
whose shade they know
they shall never sit in.

- Greek proverb


Just came across this You Tube video by Pat Sutton, helping to answer this question of “Where were all the butterflies?” this year:

Pat Sutton talks about butterflies


If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.

- Anatole France


Loudoun is fortunate to have a nice variety of woodpeckers. They can be heard throughout out woods and evidence of their presence, the holes in trees is unmistakable.

We published a pretty complete article on Loudoun’s Woodpeckers in our Habitat Herald earlier in the year.  You can read it here in its two parts: Loudoun’s Woodpeckers Part 1 and Loudoun’s Woodpeckers Parts 2. Then, check out our Loudoun’s Woodpeckers wordsearch puzzle (wow, try saying that 10 times fast!).  Enjoy!

More puzzles on Loudoun wildlife and our environment can be found on our Educational Resources page.


The Snickers Gap Hawkwatch season officially begins September 1 and will continue until December 1. Counters are needed as the watch still has many days not currently covered by volunteers. Both volunteers with experience and those willing to learn are welcome.

If you are interested, contact Joan Boudreau or Bob Abrams at 703-734-1238 or or just come on up (if no one is watching when you arrive start counting!). The Hawkwatch is about 10 minutes west of Purcellville where Route 7 crosses the Loudoun-Clarke County line and the Appalachian Trail (AT) on the Blue Ridge Mountains near Bluemont (formerly Snickersville). The watch is adjacent to the highway (take a left at the top of the ridge on Rte 601 and an immediate right into the parking lot) and is conducted from the parking lot serving both commuters and AT hikers.

The Snickers Gap Hawkwatch is manned solely by volunteers and is one of several official watch sites in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It is affiliated with the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA), which compiles the migration data of over 200 such sites located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Typically, about 12,000 raptors are counted here each season.  The highest seasonal count was over 23,000 in 1998. The birds are generally observed traveling in a southwesterly direction either directly over the ridge line or just off to either side, at varying heights and distances depending on weather conditions. Many can be seen with the naked eye, but binoculars and a spotting scope are required for identification and, when possible, age and sex determinations.

For more information on the Hawkwatch, visit: