Fly Agaric

1Prince William Conservation Alliance

Community Report
October 28, 2011
Newsletter Archive


Merrimac Farm this Sunday

Invasive Alien Exotic Plants - 1st Thursday Speaker Series

Work Day - Conservation Landscape at Merrimac Farm

Nature Journaling Workshop

Get to Know Backyard Birds - Carolina Chickadee

Dragonfly face
Prince William Conservation Alliance

Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.
-Elizabeth Lawrence


Save the Date!
Nature Night

Saturday, January 21, 7:30 pm

Occoquan Reservoir

Important public drinking water supply, recreational amenity and wildlife habitat.

The Occoquan watershed (drainage area) covers 590 square miles and includes the 1,700-acre Occoquan Reservoir, which serves as the boundary between Fairfax and Prince William counties.

The Occoquan Reservoir supplies about 40% of the clean drinking water for 1.7 million people and, in an emergency, can supply the whole demand.

About two-thirds of the land in Prince William drains into the Occoquan River. Water from much of this area enters the Occoquan upstream from the dam.

Prince William land accounts for 40.1% of the Occoquan watershed.

Initial recommendations to safeguard the reservoir included restricting the population within the watershed area to 100,000 people. This was not to be and growth has far surpassed this limitation.

According to the 2000 Census, 363,000 people call the Occoquan Reservoir watershed home. Nearly 40% of this population is in Prince William County. Keep reading...

Merrimac Farm this Sunday...

Bluebird Eggs8:00 am Bird Walk

1:00 pm Bluebird Trail Year End Celebration & Open House

October 30 at the Merrimac Farm Stone House, 15020 Deepwood Lane, Nokesville

At 8:00 am, we'll meet in the parking lot by the Stone House and bird that area before heading off to the upland forest and floodplain wetlands. Everyone is welcome. Dress for the weather, bring binoculars and cameras.

At 1:00 pm, we're celebrating successful Bluebird trails at Chinn Park and Merrimac Farm. Trail monitors are having a pot luck get together and unveiling of Ernie Sears' new 2011 Bluebird trail video, The Family in Box 12.

Please join us! It's a great opportunity to learn about events along the Bluebird Trails and meet the people who are making things happen.

Expect light refreshments, good conversation and a refreshing walk around the conservation landscape project area. No RSVP needed, bring your family and explore nature close to home.

Questions & RSVP (appreciated but not required):, 703-499-4954

Invasive Exotic Plants & Insects

Pretty but unpredictable1st Thursday Speaker Series

When: Thursday, Nov 3, 7:30-9:00pm

Where: Bull Run Unitarian Church, 9350 Main Street, Manassas

Speaker: Claudia Thompson Deahl, Environmental Resource Manager, Reston Association

What are invasives and why are they a problem? Come to hear about the invasive plants that are found though out our natural areas and what can be done about them.

Learn about what native plants can be used instead of the commonly sold plants that are wrecking havoc in our forests. Find out how you can increase biodiversity with your plantings and help provide food for our migrating birds.

 Work Day - Conservation Landscape at Merrimac Farm
Planting at Merrimac FarmWhen: Saturday, 9:00 - 11:00 am

Where: Meet at the Stone House at Merrimac Farm, 15020 Deepwood Lane, Nokesville

We're going to be planting perennials and doing minor clean up on November 5.

For all work days, bring a smile and a shovel, we appreciate your help! Food provided. RSVP appreciated but not required to, 703-499-4954.

 Nature Journaling Workshop

Nature journalWhen: Sunday, Nov 6, 1:30 to 3:30 pm

Where: Merrimac Farm Stone House, 15020 Deepwood Land, Nokesville

RSVP to alliance

Workshop leader and art enthusiast Joyce Andrew loves the natural world and creating journals to record her discoveries. During the workshop Joyce will cover the basics of nature journaling and observing.

Hone your observational skills, experiment with different media and learn how to use these to create a personal nature journal.

No art or literary talent needed. We'll supply paper and pencils. Recommended donation $10, $5 for members.

Get to Know Backyard Birds - Carolina Chickadee

Carolina ChickadeePhoto Essay - Chickadees from egg to fledging

As its name suggests, the Carolina Chickadee is an inhabitant of the warmer parts of eastern North America. It can be found in lowland forests, woodlands, suburbs, and city parks - almost anywhere there are large trees.

Normally it feeds on insects, spiders, seeds and berries that it finds on those trees, often hanging upside down from a branch to pluck its food.

Chickadees also come readily to feeders, particularly in winter, when they join with other small birds such as titmice, nuthatches and kinglets, to forage in groups. The chickadee will not stay at the feeder, though, but fly to a nearby branch and eat the seed or nut there by itself. Keep reading...