Lately we’ve heard and seen much about asteroids, meteors, and comets racing across our skies. Join us Tuesday, March 5 at 7PM when members of the Shenandoah Astronomical Society will give us an overview of the observations they have made locally and perhaps give us insight into recent phenomena. You can hear more about how amateur astronomers make a contribution by monitoring stars, tracking asteroids and discovering curious objects. Also learn about the frequent star gazing parties the Society holds in our Park. That’s 7PM, March 5 at the Visitors Center.
February 5 the Friends and Warren Heritage Society co-sponsored a presentation by Patrick Farris, executive director of the WHS, on the pre-historic native American presence in Warren County. Patrick highlighted “Lost Arrowheads and Broken Pottery”, a book by archaeologist William M. Gardner about the early 1970s excavations at the Thunderbird Site and the Flint Run Paleoindian Complex along the river just outside the Park. Copies of the book are available for sale at the Heritage Society on Chester Street in Front Royal.
On January 21 we had a truly interesting and informative program about birds and their songs. Wil Hershberger, noted photographer, author, and expert in bird songs, showed photos and played recordings of many of our common birds. By slowing recordings down he demonstrated how birds communicate, providing each other with much more information than the human ear can hear. One of his great pictures of a downy woodpecker nest appears here and check out his blog at wilhershberger.wordpress.com.
Other activities for the young and young at heart included making bird feeders, building a bird’s nest, and playing bird games.
Park Ranger Jennifer, and over 20 Friends and neighbors (some from as far as Woodbridge) spent part of January 1 on the Blue Bell Trail to help usher in 2013. This First Day walk is always lots of fun for the whole family. It was a great day and the trail was clear of the Christmas snow – well, maybe it was a little sloppy – but who cared. Refreshments were provided at the Visitor’s Center. What a fantastic way to start 2013!
The Friends October tree walk, hosted by David Means of the Front Royal Tree Stewards, was a great success. We walked the Blue Bell Trail on an absolutely beautiful Fall day. Along the way David told the stories of different tree species and helped us identify them by looking at size, bark, leaves, and other characteristics.
The Tree Stewards have provided tree identification markers on 2 of the Park’s many trails so you can enjoy a tree walk on your own.
Prior to the walk, we planted two native shrubs at the Visitor’s Center in memory of our friend and Board member Dr. Sally Murray, who passed away on September 5.
The Friends held their fourth annual river clean up on September 16. Fifteen volunteers collected an estimated half ton of trash from the South Fork including tires, cans, bottles, a tent, chairs, a tape recorder, and a crock pot. Front Royal Canoe and Downriver Canoe provided the canoes. This is always a fun day and a great chance for community service.
Saturday, August 11, the community joined for a spectacular Riverfest at Andy Guest/ Shenandoah River State Park. Sponsored by the Shenandoah Riverkeeper, Shenandoah River State Park, the Friends of Shenandoah River State Park, and several others, the day featured lots of activities for the whole family. Games for the kids, canoe rides, presentations by local non-profit organizations, chances on great items, and more, more more! The weather was beautiful, food was great, and everyone enjoyed the day.