Monday, September 24, 2012

Episode 129 (September 24, 2012): Trains and Rivers


Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 24, 2012.

This week we feature a series of mystery sounds.  Actually, the sounds will be easily recognizable, but the mystery is—what’s their connection to water?  Have a listen for about 20 seconds.

SOUNDS.

You’ve been listening to railroad clatter and a warning horn from trains recorded along the New River in Montgomery County, Virginia; along the Roanoke River in Roanoke County, Virginia; and along the Potomac River near Pawpaw, West Virginia.  Many railroad lines developed along river courses that provided passageways through mountain ridges, or where cities and other commercial centers had originally located to take advantage of river-based transportation and commerce.  Other Virginia examples include active rail lines along parts of the Clinch, James, and Shenandoah rivers, as well as former lines now converted to recreational trails, such as the Chessie Nature Trail along the Maury River in Rockbridge County, the Guest River Gorge Trail in Wise County, and the New River Trail State Park from Galax to Pulaski.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


SHOW NOTES
Photos













(Above) Swinging pedestrian bridge view toward railroad cars across the James River from downtown Buchanan, Virginia (Botetourt County), September 19, 2010.














This February 11, 2009, view from Scottsville, Virginia (Albemarle County), shows the town’s James River flood gate in foreground, the railroad line in middle ground, and trees along the river bank in the background.

Acknowledgments:   The connection between railroad lines and rivers was previously featured as part of Episode 25 (week of July 19, 2010).

Sources and more information: For one example of the development of different transportation means along a river course, see “Scottsville Transportation” at the Web site of The Scottsville Museum, http://scottsvillemuseum.com/transportation/home.html.  Information about the history of transportation along the Potomac River is available at the National Park Service’s Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Web site, at http://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm.  The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDFIG) provides information about the Chessie Nature Trail online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/vbwt/site.asp?trail=2&loop=MRR&site=MRR02, and about the Guest River Gorge Trail online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/vbwt/site.asp?trail=2&loop=MAW&site=MAW03 (both are featured in the VDFIG’s Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail Guide).  Information about New River Trail State Park is available from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/new.shtml.


Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Episode 128 (September 17, 2012): Northern Neck Chantey Singers


Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 17, 2012.

This week, we feature a musical tradition from African-American watermen harvesting fish in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coastal waters.  Have a listen for about 90 seconds.

VOICE/MUSIC. 

You’ve been listening to the Northern Neck Chantey Singers, performing at the 2011 Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Festival in Charlottesville.  Menhaden chanteys are an example of African-American work songs, used in this case to coordinate several watermen in the grueling labor of hauling up nets full of fish.  Atlantic Menhaden are relatively small, oily fish that feed on microscopic plants and animals and in turn are prey for larger fish.  Menhaden have been harvested since the 1800s for a variety of industrial uses of their oils; today, the Northern Neck town of Reedville is home to the Chesapeake Bay’s only remaining industrial Menhaden operation, run by Omega Protein Corporation of Houston, Texas.  Hydraulic equipment now does the net-hauling work formerly performed by watermen, and Menhaden harvest quotas are a controversial issue among Atlantic states.  The Northern Neck Chantey Singers remind us that such current issues are part of the long, challenging history of Virginians on the water.  Thanks to the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities for permission to use this week’s sounds.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES
 














Hauling in the purse seine net, 1930.  Photo courtesy of the image collection of the Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, used with permission; online at
http://images.marinersmuseum.org/#/page/home/ (9/14/12).

Acknowledgments: Audio of the Northern Neck Chantey Singers was from a video of their September 11, 2011, performance at the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase in Charlottesville, used with permission of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (145 Ednam Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22903; phone: (434) 924-3296; e-mail: folklife@virginia.edu; Web site: http://virginiahumanities.org/).  The full performance video is available online at http://virginiafolklife.org/2011/09/apprenticeshipslideshow/.

Sources and More Information:  Information on the Northern Neck Chantey Singers was taken from “Menhaden Chanteys: An African American Legacy,” by Harold Anderson in the Jan.-Feb. 2000 issue of Maryland Marine Notes, from the Maryland Sea Grant Program, available online at http://www.mdsg.umd.edu/marinenotes/jan-feb00/index.html (as of 9/14/12). 

Other sources of information on Atlantic Menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) and Menhaden fishing are the following (all accessed 9/14/12):
“Atlantic Menhaden” (August 2012), Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, online at http://www.asmfc.org/atlanticMenhaden.htm;
“A History of Menhaden Fishing,” Maryland Marine Notes (January-February 2000), Maryland Sea Grant, online at http://www.mdsg.umd.edu/MarineNotes/jan-feb00/side3/;
“Menhaden Fishing” (2002), The Mariners Museum (Newport News, Va.), online at http://www.marinersmuseum.org/sites/micro/cbhf/waterman/wat011.html;
“Menhaden” (undated), Chesapeake Bay Program, online at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/issues/issue/menhaden#inline; and
“The History” (undated), Omega Protein Corporation, online at http://www.omegaproteininc.com/about/history.aspx.


Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.


Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Episode 127 (September 10, 2012): Green Heron


Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 10, 2012.

This week we feature another mystery sound.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you can guess what’s making these squawks, squeaks, and cackles.  And here’s a hint: The landscape is probably green if you’re hear-on these sounds in Virginia.

SOUND.

If you guessed a Green Heron, you’re right!  Green Herons are common summer residents in all kinds of freshwater and marine habitats throughout Virginia and much of the United States.  They’re rarely seen in Virginia during the winter, which they spend along the southern U.S. coasts and in Central and South America.  Green Herons are one of the smallest herons found in North America; they’re only about one-third as tall as the continent’s largest heron, the Great Blue.  They can make a variety of sounds for different situations, including  raising an alarm, advertising for a mate, or defending a nest.  The birds are predators on fish, frogs, and other aquatic animals, and they’re remarkable for their practice of dropping leaves, live insects, or other materials onto the water surface as lures for their prey.  Thanks to Lang Elliott for permission to use this week’s sound.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES 
Green Heron photo by Gary Kramer, made available for public use the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov, accessed 9-10-12.

Immature Green Heron at Claytor Lake State Park near Dublin, Va., September 23, 2012.  Photo by Alan Raflo.


Acknowledgments:  The sounds of the Green Heron were taken from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott, whose work is available online at http://www.langelliott.com/ and the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/ (as of 9/10/12).  Sounds of Green Herons were used previously as part of a longer Virginia Water Radio episode (#48, week of January 10, 2011).

Sources and More Information: The scientific name of Green Heron is Butorides virescens.  Information on Green Herons was taken from the Wildlife Information Database maintained by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, online at http://vafwis.org/fwis/?Title=VaFWIS+Species+Information (as of 7/9/12); A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, by Chandler S. Robbins et al. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001); and the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s “Bird Guide” Web site at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search, and the Cornell lab’s “Birds of North America Online” at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna.  Both Cornell sites include photos, distribution maps, recordings of calls, and ecological information on birds throughout the Western Hemisphere; a subscription is required to use the “Birds of North America Online” site.
 
For more information about birds or bird-watching in Virginia, visit the Web site of the Virginia Society of Ornithology at www.virginiabirds.net; or the “Wildlife Information” Web page of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/, which includes the March 2010 “Official List of Native and Naturalized Fauna of Virginia” (as of 9/10/12).

Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Episode 126 (September 3, 2012): "Cumberland Gap" by Dwight Diller and Timothy Seaman


Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 3, 2012.

This week, we feature a traditional song about a prominent geographic feature found at the southwestern tip of Virginia and at the top of each Virginia Water Radio episode.  Have a listen for about 45 seconds.

MUSIC.

You’ve been listening to part of “Cumberland Gap,” performed by Dwight Diller and Timothy Seaman on the 2004 CD “Virginia Wildlife,” from Pine Wind Music.  Dating at least from the Civil War and widely recorded, the song refers to the gap in Cumberland Mountain at the far southwestern tip of Lee County, Virginia, where Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee meet.  For centuries, the gap provided passage through the mountains for native peoples, and after European settlement it was the opening through which hundreds of thousands of settlers took the Wilderness Road from Virginia to western territories.  For millions of years before those human passages, geologic movements, water, wind, and perhaps the impact of a meteorite were causing the erosion that eventually formed a key pathway over the imposing mountains of the Appalachian chain.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES 


View from Pinnacle Overlook in Cumberland Gap National Historical Site.  Photo from the National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/cuga/index.htm, 8/27/12.


Acknowledgments: Music on the CD “Virginia Wildlife” is copyright 2004 by Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission.  Mr. Seaman’s Web site is http://www.timothyseaman.com/.  The “Virginia Wildlife” CD was a collaboration between Mr. Seaman and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; for more information, visit https://www3.dgif.virginia.gov/estore/proddetail.asp?prod=VW219

Sources and More Information:  Information on the Cumberland Gap area was taken from the National Park Service’s Web site for the Cumberland Gap National Recreation Area, http://www.nps.gov/cuga/index.htm, 8/27/12.  For an introduction to the Cumberland Gap meteorite impact crater, see “Giant Meteor Found to have Struck Appalachia,” Christian Science Monitor, 5/18/10.  The long history of the song “Cumberland Gap” is shown by its inclusion on “Songs of the Civil War Era,” a 1972 recording at the Library of Congress’s online catalog (at http://lccn.loc.gov/72761455, 8/27/12), and on “Ballads of the Civil War,” a 1954 recording at the Smithsonian Folkways Web site (http://www.folkways.si.edu/, 8/27/12).

Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.