Archive for April, 2015

Call DCBees and they’ll remove them for you:

If you see a swarm of bees, please call, text or email, and a team of over a dozen DC beekeepers will Spring into action to give those homeless bees the place to live for which they are searching!

It has been another bad Winter and cold Spring, and many of us have lost hives, so we could really use your help.

If you see a swarm of bees, or even think you might, please call (202) 255 4318 or email dcbees at and we can get an experienced beekeeper over there quick to help you out. Insecticides truly will not take care of your situation, but we can.

We now have some groovy movies, etc., to show you about all this — check out:

Please remember: honeybees are under extreme survival pressure, and those swarms represent the few that have not only figured out how to survive pests, pesticides, and climate change, but THRIVE. We beekeepers can grab those bees, give them safe homes somewhere else, and help ensure a healthier future where honeybees can continue to make our food supply and green spaces grow. It is a kind of compliment to DC that we have a place where honeybees and people can collaborate so well.


Give the Gift of Nature to Loudoun’s Youth…..Choose Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy!

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is on a mission to expand our Youth & Family Programs. Specifically we need your help funding 10 Nature Programs and Field Trips that engage experts in teaching youth about local wildlife & habitats.
Our goal is to reach 200 children through programs offered free to our community.

Children have a natural love of nature. Won’t you help give them the opportunity to nurture that love?

LWC youth pic  20130324 discovery walk (23) corrected

On May 5th, for one 24 hour period, you can choose Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and help us help the children of Loudoun County.  Click Here on May 5th!

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THANK YOU for GIVING to Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and help nature come alive for Loudoun’s children!  Mark your Calendars for May 5th – when the giving begins!

GIVE…CHOOSE Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy!




To Be of Use


unnamedThe people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.

They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.

Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

April is National Volunteer Month.  A sincere thanks to all of the volunteers of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy who, day in and day out for the last 20 years, have resolved to “jump into work head first,” be it by creating a riparian buffer to help mitigate erosion, giving a talk on our local species, engaging tomorrow’s naturalists about macroinvertebrates, and many, many other labors of love. Your work has inspired and enabled countless projects that have helped proliferate wildlife both in and out of our community, so today we thank you!


NPS_(Julie)Join Julie at our Native Plant Sale on April 18, 2015 from 9am to 3pm at Morven Park in front of the Carriage Museum

Janet Bornemen of Watermark Woods Nursery says “We are so fortunate to have Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy to assist all Loudoun residents to live in harmony with nature.  The Loudoun Wildlife native plant sale is the only one of it’s kind in Loudoun as is the variety and quality of native plants you will find there. At Watermark Woods our philosophy is that a watermark on paper is a faint impression, which is how we hope our footprint appears on this earth.    Thank you Loudoun Wildlife for making natives accessible to the people of Loudoun.”



Join Janet at our Native Plant Sale on April 18, 2015 from 9am to 3pm at Morven Park in front of the Carriage Museum

Janet Davis of Hill House Nursery says “Our goal is to help you create harmonious gardens and diversity-rich landscapes, and to preserve and restore our natural ecosystems by doing so.”


NPS-(Randee)-copyJoin Randee at our Native Plant Sale on April 18, 2015 from 9am to 3pm at Morven Park in front of the Carriage Museum

Randee Wilson of Nature-by-Design says  “I have been mistakenly called a plant geek. Certainly I love the physical beauty of the native plants I sell, but by far to me the real beauty is in the native butterflies, birds and other wildlife that they attract and support.  If plants don’t attract and support wildlife, then all they are is another piece of furniture, with no meaning and no true beauty”


NPS_(Tony)Another happening at the Spring Native Plant Sale!

A little “TLC”- a win-win solution for your garden - Not only are you supporting your plants and soils by using a natural organic fertilizer, but you are also lowering your environmental impact by removing products from the waste stream.

Tony Garvey will be at the Loudoun Wildlife Spring Native Plant Sale talking about the safety and benefits of Tuscarora Landscaper’s Choice (TLC) and “giving away” 25 lb. bags of TLC.

Support healthier Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds, and feed your native plants the natural way.

Native Plant Sale on April 18th at Morven Park in Leesburg  - 9am to 3pm – in front of the Carriage Museum


Ten people showed up on a beautiful spring day at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve for the regular monthly bird walk led by Del Sargent, Mary Ann Good, & Joe Coleman.

The highlights of the walk were 2 Fox Sparrows, at least 6 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, two of which were singing away, a pair of Common Ravens which flew right overhead giving us great looks of their wedge tails and impressive flight,  and 5 female Common Mergansers and two Wood Ducks on the Goose Creek.

And while we managed to find only two warbler species, we managed to see at least 6 dif. Palm Warblers, few of whom looked the same.

Including the Fox Sparrows we had a total of 8 sparrow species, including at least a dozen Eastern Towhees, numerous Field Sparrows singing, and three beautiful Swamp Sparrows.

While it was a bit windy we were able to do most of the walk in sheltered areas and actually got warm a few times. There were a lot of hawks on the move though some of them were too far away & high for us to identify.

We also saw numerous Spring Azure butterflies, heard a lot of Spring Peepers, one Pickerel Frog, and one Grey Tree Frog.

For a complete list of the birds observed at Banshee Reeks see the eBird report below.

The regular monthly free bird walk (every 2nd Sat) at the Banshee Reeks Nature preserve is sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy ( & the Friends of Banshee Reeks ( ); information on both and their upcoming events can be found on their websites.

Good birding (regardless of the weather)!

Joe Coleman


Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve – MFF08, Loudoun, US-VA Apr 11, 2015 8:00 AM – 10:45 AM

Protocol: Traveling

1.3 mile(s)

46 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose  2, Wood Duck  2, Common Merganser  5     We saw five female Common Mergansers together on the Goose Creek where Little River runs into it. Before they flew saw the strong color differentiation between the reddish brown throat & the grayish white breast as well as the white right below the chin. Beak was longer & redder than on a Red-breasted Merganser., Black Vulture  X, Turkey Vulture  X, Osprey  2, Sharp-shinned Hawk  1, Bald Eagle  1, Red-shouldered Hawk  2, Red-tailed Hawk  3, Buteo sp.  3, Mourning Dove  3, Red-bellied Woodpecker  7, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  2, Downy Woodpecker  2, Northern Flicker  2, Pileated Woodpecker  1, Blue Jay  X, American Crow  X, Fish Crow  X, Common Raven  2, Tree Swallow  6, Carolina Chickadee  5, Tufted Titmouse  4, Carolina Wren  2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  3, Ruby-crowned Kinglet  6, Eastern Bluebird  X, American Robin  3, Brown Thrasher  2, Northern Mockingbird  3, European Starling  5, Louisiana Waterthrush  1, Palm Warbler  6, Eastern Towhee  12, Chipping Sparrow  2, Field Sparrow  8, Fox Sparrow  2     The group got excellent looks at two dif. Fox Sparrows, one at the pond near the Manor House & the other along the trail that goes down to the Goose Creek. Both were large chunky sparrows with rufous coloring & well-defined rufous spots, and with much shorter tails than Brown Thrashers (which are a similar color)., Song Sparrow  6, Swamp Sparrow  3, White-throated Sparrow  12, Dark-eyed Junco  2, Northern Cardinal  6, Red-winged Blackbird  1, Brown-headed Cowbird  2, House Finch  1, American Goldfinch  X

View this checklist online at


NPS_(Janet)Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s Native Plant Sale on April 18th at Morven Park  – 9am to 3pm – in front of the Carriage Museum**

Three vendors will have a wide variety of native plants to offer: Janet Davis of Hill House Farm and Nursery in Castleton, Virginia (; Julie Borneman of Watermark Woods Nursery in Hamilton, Virginia (; and Randee Wilson of Nature by Design in Alexandria, Virginia ( Full plant lists can be found on the vendor web sites – be sure to make a pre-order as not all plants are brought to the sale.

As always, there will be several interesting exhibitors at the Sale including Ramsey Hamilton with some great garden sculptures, and bluebird houses or complete set-ups (poles, guards and houses) will be available. We will also be giving away 25 lb. bags of TLC (Tuscarora Landscaping Choice – an organic soil amendment and fertilizer).

** Note the new venue – in front of the Carriage Museum – parking behind Administration building and up on Turkey Hill


Morven_Viburnum_20130506Ann Garvey and her team just finished compiling a great list of native plant sales and nurseries for 2015.

You can mark your calendar for special events or plan a run over to one of the great nurseries offering native plants:

Click here for the list of “Where to Buy Native Plants in Northern Virginia

Shown here: Viburnum — a wonderful woody understory plant that provides, nectar with its beautiful blooms and berries to birds.