June 15, 2016.

Our gig on Richmond PBS stations’ Virginia Home Grown May 31 was pure pleasure; hosts John Thompson and Peggy Singlemann made it easy. (There’s a link to it on our home page. Our part starts at about minute 28.)

On June 4, members of the Virginia Society of Herpetologists came to lift rocks and logs, make notes, photograph findings—and have lunch; their report on the slithy things found will be forthcoming.

The following day, we left for the annual conference of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami. There for four days we attended panels and workshops on, among other topics, native plant and pollinator garden education, plant collection policies and data management, private label garden shop products, and tourism collaborations—along the way making new friends and accumulating ideas. (Among which we learned that there is a lot of interest in “gardens after dark,” so we are awaiting a full moon to walk around our project and see if it’s magical, or just dangerous.) Botanical gardeners love their work, and we found them to be unfailingly warm, generous, and encouraging of our mom-and-pop project.

While we were gone, Fuzzy and his men delicately moved boulders in the conservation zone above Bern’s Run, the stream along the western side of the quarry, to create a new cliffside trail site that’s really pretty swell. The narrow wood chip path threads along for a couple of hundred yards. We plan no plant galleries or further disturbance here—it’s already beautiful, made even more wondrous by the rushing sound of a waterfall that can be heard only in this spot.

Progress on the visitor center continues, with the diorama sections of the train layout getting to be ever-better delineated, and the rebar for the planned solar-powered radiant floor now installed.


Upcoming events in June include visits by the Charlottesville Newcomers and by CATS (the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards), as well as Devin’s cataloging of the flora and fauna of the Magnolia Paw-paw Trail loop.

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