An August Nature Ramble

An August Nature Ramble

We have enjoyed exploring the mountains around Boone for its considerable natural wonders. In August the birds have mostly finished breeding and reduced their vocalizations, so we enjoy watching insects and anything else in the natural world that draws our attention.

I was surprised to find that in August the most common large butterfly near Boone is the pipevine swallowtail. 

BRDC Partners with Galax for Hands-On Summer Day Camp Fun

BRDC Partners with Galax for Hands-On Summer Day Camp Fun

Continuing a successful relationship built through afterschool programs and weekend field trips during the 2016 and 2017 school years, BRDC partnered with Galax Public Schools this summer to offer four unique, weeklong camps in June and July. The camps were hands-on, experiential learning based, outdoor skills focused, and offered free of charge to 3rd-7th grade Galax students.

Discovery Day Camp

Discovery Day Camp

31 kids had a fun-filled week of exploration as part of BRDC's Discovery Day Camp.  From splashing in the water and examining what lives in a mountain stream, learning to use a map and compass, studying birds, bugs, flowers and rocks, nature arts and crafts, fun games and songs, to the age old pastime of dropping handcrafted vessels into the creek, exploring the Blue Ridge has never been so much fun!

Join BRDC for the Summer Naturalist Rally!

Join BRDC for the Summer Naturalist Rally!

EXPLORE THE NATURAL HISTORY OF MOUNT ROGERS, THE CROWN JEWEL OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA

The Summer Rally gives us a chance to explore Mt. Rogers in a different season. We have assembled a wide variety of field trips with leaders who are experts in their field and able to make it understandable and interesting for everyone from inquisitive amateurs to accomplished naturalists.

Birding Adventure in the High Country

Birding Adventure in the High Country

6 kids went on a gravity-defying adventure in the high country participating in BRDC’s inaugural Ornithology Camp. For four days and three nights, the kids camped out and honed their ornithology skills, searching for bird species that inhabit the diverse appalachian ecosystems of southwest Virginia.

Searching for Big Red

Searching for Big Red

For the Spring Naturalist Rally, Austin Thomas and I set out with a group in search of Big Red- a very large red spruce that is the second largest of that species recorded in Virginia. The rain cleared out and we had partly cloudy skies when we set the GPS coordinates for Big Red. With measurements of 77 inches circumference, 108 feet height and crown 26 feet recorded in 2010, our group was excited to stand at the base and take current measurements to update the tree's current status. 

Mount Rogers Spring Naturalist Rally

Mount Rogers Spring Naturalist Rally

Although the weather kept some away, the 43rd annual Mount Rogers Naturalist Rally drew a large crowd of enthusiastic participants during the second weekend in May.  Field trips on Saturday included several new opportunities such as Caving, Intro to Birding and Ecology of Grassy Balds, while many of the tried and true trips from the past also remained popular.  With the rain giving way to cloudy skies and even a little bit of sunshine, conditions were wet but good for the hearty naturalist who didn’t mind a little mud.

The Appalachian Forest, A Search For Roots and Renewal

The Appalachian Forest, A Search For Roots and Renewal

For May, the BRDC Book Club read The Appalachian Forest, A Search For Roots and Renewal by Chris Bolgiano.  "Steeped in history, the Appalachian wilderness has been profoundly affected by the people who have lived and worked there. This volume traces the natural history of the Appalachian forest while taking into account the people and politics that have shaped its development. Bolgiano is well qualified to write about this area, as she and her husband make their home on 100 acres of the old-growth forest. 

Galax Middle Visits Grandfather Mountain

Galax Middle Visits Grandfather Mountain

On May 6th, students from Galax Middle School took a trip up 5,946’ to the top of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. There they had the opportunity to learn about the various flora and fauna that inhabit the mountains’ 16 distinct ecosystems.

Wilderness Backpacking Camp June 27-July 1

Wilderness Backpacking Camp June 27-July 1

One of the most rewarding opportunities of the summer is discovering more of the Blue Ridge in the company of exceptional guides on this multi-day backpacking expedition. On the trail, you’ll observe and document the wildlife we encounter along the way, including unique birds, trees, plants, insects, mushrooms, salamanders, and many others.

Still time to apply for an Ornithology Camp Scholarship!

Still time to apply for an Ornithology Camp Scholarship!

BRDC's Ornithology Camp, for kids ages 9-12, offers 4 days and 3 nights all about birds: eagles, warblers, herons, wrens, woodpeckers, owls, thrushes and more!! The camp, which is funded through the William Roberts Memorial Fund and volunteer support, runs Wednesday-Saturday, June 7-10, and includes all meals and snacks.