Assessment of the Breeding Birds of Oakencroft Farm: 2020

Above: Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), photo by Ezra Staengl. (Not taken at Oakencroft Farm.) Ezra StaenglMarch 4, 2021 Oakencroft Farm is a small, privately owned farm located in the Piedmont Uplands of central Virginia, near the town of Earlysville.  Greg Shriver and Sarah Goodwin of the University of Delaware surveyed Oakencroft’s breeding bird community in […]

Conservation Action in Early 2021

Unplanted Scaly blazing star (Liatris squarrosa) in a remnant natural grassland close to downtown Charlottesville. Image by D. Floyd February 24, 2021 Grasslands Conservation in our Communities. Because of growing concern in the conservation community, in January we made a public announcement that we intend to request the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and the […]

Winter Update 2021 –Design + Restoration Department

Heliopsis helianthoides seedheads in the snow. Photo credit: Devin Floyd February 23, 2021 In December and January, above ground plant growth is on pause and seeds are biding their time before they break dormancy and expose tender leaves to the sun. Those who tend the ground must use this calm and quiet time to rest […]

Winter Update 2021 – Biological Field Station

The dangling fruit of Celtis occidentalis (common hackberry) provides an extended offering of nutrient-rich food for birds even during the middle of winter. February 22, 2021 It’s been an unusually wet and icy winter thus far in the Central Virginia Piedmont, and we have been focused on writing, research, planning, and preparation for the coming […]

The Importance of Native Bees

Above: Metallic bee species, Agapostemon sp., by Emily Luebke by Rachel FloydJanuary 26, 2021 Bees have been media darlings for years now making hobby beekeeping, “bee-friendly” flower gardens, and decorative bee houses trendy additions to thousands of backyard landscapes. It seems simple enough and we all like supporting a good cause, but the truth is, […]

Question: What are the top 5 things you would like to see changed in Charlottesville/Albemarle that would make our community better? (Part 4 of 5)

Above: Unplanted, high-quality Piedmont prairie view, Fluvanna County. Image by D. Floyd, at one of CUH’s 2021 grassland research sites. Protect what is left of Indigenous Grassland Habitats By Devin FloydJanuary 25, 2021 Despite the indoctrination most of us received, towering dark forests are not natural in much of the Piedmont. Ecologists now understand that […]

Schizophyllum commune (Split-gill Mushroom)

Schizophyllum commune (split-gill mushroom) from above

January 14th, 2021 By Rachel Floyd, CUH Design+Restoration Project Manager I am less than fond of cold weather and would prefer to migrate or hibernate through the winter, but my partner finds chill air and snow invigorating and occasionally brings home interesting souvenirs from his wintertime forays. My current favorite is a small fallen branch […]