Forest Scavenger Hunt at Ragged Mountain Natural Area

About 5 families joined me on July 14 for a scavenger hunt at Ragged Mountain Natural Area, Charlottesville City’s Blue Ridge jewel. We started the hunt from the parking area, where each participant got a checklist containing species that we had seen on an earlier scouting trip. Line drawings or photographs accompanied each listing to […]

BRDC Monthly Walk: What are trees tellling you?

“Rocks > Soil > Trees” June 25. Charlottesville Area Monthly Exploration.What are Trees Telling You? Description: Join BRDC’s Devin Floyd for an 1.5 – 2 mile hike at Secluded farm in Albemarle County, Va. When one explores the factors that determine where different trees grow, one discovers the web of connections and relationships that bind […]

Expedition at Secluded Farm

Saturday’s walk, led by Devin Floyd (president of the Blue Ridge Discovery Center) consisted of a two-hour expedition exploring habitat diversity at the Secluded Farm tract. The farm includes nearly 150 acres of field lands and forest, containing a wealth of flora and fauna. The trails and property, which link to the Monticello trails, are […]

The Johnson Elementary School Giant

Bur Oak, Quercus macrocarpa The kids and teachers at Johnson Elementary are proud of there giant! Participants of Blue Ridge discovery Center’s second Amazing Trees visit were a class of third graders from Johnson Elementary School. We hypothesize that the tree is a bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) and do so based on several attributes. Notably, […]

The Giant at Quarry Park

There’s a giant in the neighborhood! Participants of Blue Ridge discovery Center’s first Amazing Trees visit met at Quarry Park to measure a truly amazing tree. The tree is an American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and it is located along the north bank of Moore’s creek. The tree is part of the stream ecosystem called a […]

What’s this Hawk up to? Part 2

The maintenance crew patiently waits. These photographs were taken by the Maintenance crew at Upper Darby High School. The high school is less than a mile to the east of Drexel Hill Middle School (subject of Part 1).See the nest behind the lights? The maintenance crew decided to “wait on Mama” to finish rearing her […]

What is this hawk up to? Part 1

This large hawk has been hanging around Drexel Hill Elementary School for three days.The school is located in the Northern Piedmont about 6 miles west of Philadelphia, PA. The school grounds consist of open fields that are mowed on a regular basis. This photograph was taken at about 5-10 feet away from the bird, and […]

Earthweek EcoFair 2011

What Lives Where You Live? At the EcoFair this year BRDC featured dozens of local plants and animals and enticed participants to have a closer look at animals that share our yards, parks and living spaces. Through this direct hands-on engagement we spent the day considering the relationships we have with living and nonliving things. […]

Dung Sipping Beauty

Question Mark Butterfly, Polygonia interrogationis Nature is filled with metaphors and dichotomies. The question mark is both, in my mind. It is a great symbol of strength and beauty in late winter and early spring, a time that can present great challenges for delicate life forms.The butterfly’s underwings are patterned perfectly for hiding among the […]