Compton Peak Fall View

November 12, 2017
View from Western Overlook at Compton Peak

We had some good friends visiting us over the November 4-5th weekend so we went up into Skyline Drive for a short hike (mile up and down) to Compton Peak. Fall color was still really nice the first weekend of November. We saw lots of chipmunks getting ready for winter (sorry no chipmunk pictures as…

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Total Solar Eclipse

August 26, 2017
Totality reveals the sun's corona.

This is a new section of the blog Beyond Virginia to showcase vacation pictures taken outside my home state of Virginia. Last week, we combined a visit with my in-laws in Tennessee with a day-trip to Madisonville, TN for the total eclipse. It was a hot day and we fought a lot of traffic to…

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Monarch on Milkweed

July 28, 2017
Monarch on Milkweed

Yesterday, while waiting for a train, I took a couple photos of a monarch butterfly on milkweed.

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Mangy Bear

July 10, 2017
Mangy Bear

My daughters spotted this mangy black bear walking across the backyard this PM. I didn’t get a picture, but a few minutes later a male bear appeared to be following this one, perhaps looking for a mate.

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“Bear Toy”

June 8, 2017
“Bear Toy”

My neighbor James M. shared this photo he took of a bear with a traffic cone. Someone had placed a cone along the side of our road where recent heavy rains caused damaged. A black bear evidently took the cone to play with for awhile. Thanks a lot to James for sharing!

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Dobsonfly

June 7, 2017
Dobsonfly

Last Sunday, we took the girls to Pen Druid brewery in Sperryville, Virginia. It’s not cheap, but I really like their wild IPAs. Also, it’s a family-friendly brewery as they have blocks for kids to play with inside and, even better, a nice grassy field next to the Thornton River. Cara, my youngest daughter, alerted…

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October 2016 – May 2017 Mountain Lions in Virginia Reports

June 1, 2017
October 2016 – May 2017 Mountain Lions in Virginia Reports

Request for Information In addition to posting reports in the comments section of this Virginia wildlife blog, please also send them to John Lutz who is actively monitoring eastern mountain lions in Virginia and West Virginia and writes: The native, wild, free-roaming eastern puma, cougar, mountain lion, panther nor their offspring have NOT left the…

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2016-17 Snowfall Report

March 19, 2017
Cara made a snowman with the last of the snow on 3/18/2017.

Since I started keeping track of snowfall here in 2009-10, this was the least snowy winter I’ve measured. Nothing in December was followed by a series of small snowfalls in January and February. There was one promising snow storm in March, but even that underperformed versus forecasted totals. I doubt we’ll get any more snow…

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Skunk Cabbage

February 14, 2017
Skunk Cabbage Flowering

An early sign of spring, I spotted this skunk cabbage in a low area of the Appalachian Scenic Trail Corridor today in Linden, Virginia. You can see the flower inside of the leaves. Added new picture from 2/26/2017:

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A Little More Snow

January 25, 2017
A Snowy Morning in the Blue Ridge Mountains

There was a period of snow this past Monday followed by a little more overnight to add up to another two inch snowfall this year. Here’s a shot Kristy took in the front yard. It was definitely an elevation-dependent event… the bottom of the mountain had no snow!

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Finally Some Snow

January 8, 2017
Norfolk Southern Train 211 Crosses the Blue Ridge at Linden Hill

Finally, we got a little bit of snow this season with 2 inches on Thursday night followed by 5/8ths of an inch on Saturday. Southeast Virginia got the larger totals with this one. Here are a couple of pictures from Friday: Also, if you are still looking for a 2017 Calendar, I’m selling a railroad…

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North Marshall Hike

November 3, 2016
View from Cliffs at North Marshall (Shenandoah National Park)

Since Front Royal and Skyline Drive gets quite crowded on the weekends this time of year, I took off work early yesterday afternoon to join my family for a little trip. Fall color is still very nice near Front Royal but as you go up in elevation you find trees past peak and brown. I…

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January – September 2016 Mountain Lions in Virginia News & Reports

October 2, 2016
Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park above their backyard

Sorry for the lack of updates, I have been wanting to do these more frequently, but I finally had time for an update. Here are the reports I’ve seen of mountain lions in Virginia and nearby states during 2016 thus far: Tabatha writes on 01/20/2016: I seen one in WV on Interstate 64w near White…

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