Leigh Surdukowski—seen here with an Eastern bluebird and a Yellow-rumped warbler photographed by Ezra Staengl—will lead a bird walk at The Quarry Gardens on Sunday, May 1 at 7 a. m.—when the birds are up and about. To see and hear some of the more than 100 species of birds that have been identified at the QGs, we’ll explore areas beyond the main trails. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring your binoculars.
A lifelong avian enthusiast, Leigh co-founded the Monticello Bird Club and leads bird walks for the club, and for Ivy Creek Foundation, UVA Olli classes, and Master Naturalists. She is both a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist. She and her husband maintain 10 miles of trail in the Shenandoah National Park and the Rivanna Trail Foundation and recently completed a 2,100-mile section hike of the Appalachian Trail. Leigh taught high school biology for 30 years and worked as a naturalist for the National Park Service.
Reservations for the walk are $15 per person, payable online. Sign up at quarrygardensatschuyler.org/visit
With an immersive outdoor concert exploring the natural acoustics of high rock walls and deep water to magnify the human voice, Victory Hall Opera will be back at the QGs with four performances of Soundflight 2 on June 3, 5, 7, and 9. Artists will perform from overlooks and bridges around the two quarry pools. The audience will follow the program by walking the perimeter trail. In the featured photo, performers are using as a stage the top of the North Quarry’s north wall.
The early evening program will include operatic, popular, folk, spiritual, and contemporary works by Puccini, Bach, Mozart, Copland, Leoncavallo, Carly Simon, Morricone, and Verdi. Featured artists will be Miriam Gordon-Stewart, soprano; Jorell Williams, baritone; Will Holhouser, accordian; Kelly Perel, oboe, and Kerlyn Vina, percussion. (As occurred last year, various amphibians and birds may be expected to contribute.)
Details may be found at victoryhallopera.org/soundflight. Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 16, at 9 a.m. (Don’t delay—the first 2021 performance sold out in four minutes.)
Cynthia Wood, seen here with an early spring group, will lead a wildflower walk at the Quarry Gardens on Thursday, April 21, at 10 a.m. Cynthia’s charming and authoritative Virginia Wildflowers blog has earned more than 4,000 devoted followers and 14,000 monthly readers on Facebook.
If our phenology is a guide, participants may expect to see in bloom—and learn from Cynthia about—Wood anemone, Pussytoes, Wild columbine, Green and gold, Fringe tree, Dwarf larkspur, Wild geranium, Alumroot, Bluets, Dwarf crested iris, Golden ragwort, Moss phlox, Eastern shooting star, Mayapple, Solomon’s seal, Wild pink, Bladdernut, Spring beauty, Foamflower, Mountain and Perfoliated bellworts, Heartleaf, Golden Alexanders—and many others.
Reservations are $15 per person, payable online. Sign up at quarrygardensatschuyler.org/visit.