From the category archives:

Ponds & Lakes

Winter Safety

by Staff on December 22, 2014

The winter months are cold, dark and unpredictable. The weather can change suddenly, so being prepared and informed can help you stay safe this winter season. These tips can help you whether you are working/playing outside or traveling in a car.

Always watch the weather report if you plan on spending long hours outside or traveling. The weather station can keep you properly informed of precipitation, wind chills and other factors you should be aware of.

REFRM river snow scene TSMBBROC2014 DSC_0145If you are working or playing outside, dressing appropriately and staying dry are two important points. Dress in waterproof clothes and boots and make sure to wear a heavy jacket, gloves and a hat. It’s important to avoid frostbite and hypothermia, which can affect the body very quickly.

If you plan on ice fishing or skating, it’s very important to check the ice. Simply looking at the ice isn’t a reliable method of gaging its strength. It is recommended that a responsible adult measures the thickness of the ice and it must be at least 6 inches thick, more if you plan on having snowmobiles and cars on the pond. Remember that ice thickness will vary throughout the pond, so you might have to measure several areas. Also- always have a friend with you when are doing activities that involve ice.

If you must shovel due to heavy snowfall, take it easy. Cold air can make it harder to breath and shoveling can result in falling and put a strain on your heart. Here are some wonderful tips on safely shoveling snow .

Sledding is one of the most favorite winter activities for kids and adults. However, individuals each year visit the ER due to accidents. Avoid sledding near a fence or any other stationary object. Choose a nice open field and go in the daytime. Also – consider wearing a bike helmet to prevent a head injury. Don’t sled near busy roads or on icy hills.

The winter can be a dangerous time of year- but with some preparation, you can enjoy all winter has to offer!

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Pastures Streams and Trees Advice

by Staff on September 29, 2014

The Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (VDACS) sponsors a lot of interesting workshops and seminars.  Some workshops  aim for an audience of new or potential farmers while other target the existing experienced farmers in the state.  On 11-8-14 they have a seminar scheduled that should attract farmers in all stages of farm experience.

On that date (Nov. 8th) they will host a day-long seminar on Agroforestry, which is not as complicated as the word would suggest.  Basically this is a management system for not only pastures but also for streams and trees…. that enhances the variety of farm products possible on the property while improving the condition of the land and its farm animals.  Check out the link above for details on the seminar.  It sounds interesting and creative!

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Charlottesville Area Stream Quality

by Gayle April 5, 2012

Quite often when showing acreage around central Virginia I am asked about the quality of the local streams.  Streams free from pollutants is important to everyone and if not, should be.  Whether you want a stream for recreational activities, fishing or to provide fresh water to your animals, clean water cannot be taken for granted.  Growing [...]


StreamWatch – Introductory Training

by Sue April 3, 2012

Ivy Creek Natural Area Education Center April 7, 2011 10:00AM Learn about benthic invertebrate sampling to monitor water quality and health. Reservation is required for this free class. For more information please visit the StreamWatch website.


The Dam Rules

by Gayle January 24, 2012

Quite often when I discuss with prospective farm and land buyers their criteria for a farm, I hear that they would like to have a lake or pond on the property.  No doubt, lakes and ponds can be a great source of enjoyment but they also require a lot of work to maintain.  Depending on [...]


Permits To Visit Wildlife Management Areas in VA

by Staff January 20, 2012

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries owns over 201,000 acres of land throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Those lands are in various Wildlife Management Areas and also in the state’s lakes. It used to be that horse riders had no real reason to be concerned about getting permission to ride (or fish or boat [...]