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 […]

Report from the Design + Restoration Department

Above: Part of the CUH landscape restoration crew at Brumfield Elementary School in Northern Virginia. From left to right, field techs Julia, Ashley, Maren, Lance, and Jessie. Image by Rachel Floyd. The 2020 Roundup What a year! 2020 was a year of cultural upheaval, and this presented many challenges. We have emerged the stronger for […]

Report from the Field Station

Above: Part of the CUH survey crew at a survey site near Montebello, Virginia. Crew members, left to right, Devin, Jessie, Olivia, Emily, Ashley, and Ezra.  Image by the client, Anna Lane. What have we been up to in 2020? It’s been a challenging year for all of us, but we are happy to report […]

Winter Finch Invasion Update!

Above: A male Evening Grosbeak feeds on boxelder seeds along the James River in southern Albemarle County, VA. Drew Chaney December 4th, 2020 This fall/winter has been bountiful for birders so far, as the east has seen a major irruption of boreal birds, with large numbers of Red-breasted Nuthatches, Purple Finches and Pine Siskins reaching […]

CUH Spotted Salamander Conservation effort

2 spotted salamanders crossing Polo Grounds Road in Charlottesville, Virginia

By Devin Floyd 12/3/2020 We are so excited to be featured on the nationally syndicated show, “Untamed”, featuring the wonders of salamanders, and the threats they face. The focal point will be the spotted salamander, and a conservation success story at a salamander migration site in Central Virginia. Here’s the story that will frame the […]

Late Autumn Prairie

View of Piedmont Prairie

By Devin Floyd 12/1/2020 The video relays a simple glimpse of the beauty of a Piedmont grassland in the dormant season. The footage was captured recently by one of our volunteers and supporters (Bill Sykes). The view is dominated by the characteristic indicator species of high quality grasslands, including little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and early […]

Finches are Moving In!

Female purple finch

Theo Staengl November 5th, 2020 This fall and winter, we’re expecting many more finches in the area because the pines in the northern states and Canada did not produce as many seeds as usual. Many finches eat pine seeds, so when there isn’t a good crop, they travel further south to look for food. Pine […]

Impacts on Animals and Systems: A Misguided way of using Native Plants

Section of a natural grassland in Albemarle County, with about 125 species in the view, and 15-20 plants per square foot.

Also perpetuating the issue of species and habitat loss in the Piedmont is the idea and practice that an individual plant can support wildlife. It cannot, and many well-intentioned people and organizations are falling into a trap. A plant may attract wildlife, and for some reason we assume it is doing something good beyond attraction. […]