Monday, April 29, 2013

Episode 159 (4-29-13): "Smart Buoys" in the Chesapeake Bay

Click to listen to episode (2:26).

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 April 29, 2013.

This week, we feature some of the Chesapeake Bay’s newest boating technology, teaching about one of Virginia’s oldest historic events—the April 1607 landing of English colonists at the point now called Cape Henry.  Have a listen for about 30 seconds.


VOICE.


You’ve been listening to an excerpt from the phone and online recording available for the First Landing buoy in the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System.  Often called “smart buoys,” these buoys provide current weather and water conditions at ten Bay locations, from the Susquehanna River’s mouth near Havre de Grace, Maryland, to Cape Henry.  The system is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.  Along with wind speed and direction, wave height, water temperature, and other valuable boating information, the buoys provide geographic and historical information for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Water Trail, which marks Smith’s explorations of the Bay and several area rivers in 1608.  You can get information from the smart buoy system by phoning (877) 286-9229—that’s 877 Buoy Bay—or online at buoybay.noaa.gov.


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
 

All Internet locations noted were functional as of 4-29-13.



Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS) First Landing buoy near Cape Henry, Virginia.  Photo the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, accessed at the CBIBS Web site, http://buoybay.noaa.gov/locations/first-landing.html, 4/29/13.

Acknowledgments and Sources: Voice excerpts were taken from the online audio files for the 10 locations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS), online at http://buoybay.noaa.gov/.  Information on the CBIBS system was also taken from that Web site.  The phone number to access CBIBS buoys is (877) 286-9229 (877 BUOY BAY).


The CBIBS buoy locations, from north to south, are as follows: Susquehanna River near Havre de Grace, Md.; Patapsco River, near Baltimore, Md.; Annapolis, Md. (mouth of Severn River); upper Potomac River, near Washington, D.C.; Gooses Reef, in the Bay channel off the mouth of the Choptank River in Maryland; the Potomac River, near Point Lookout, Md.; Stingray Point, near Deltaville, Va. (Middlesex County); in the James River near Jamestown Island; Norfolk, Va.; and First Landing, near Cape Henry, Va. (City of Virginia Beach).


Information about the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Water Trail (along with CBIBS buoys are located) is available online at http://www.smithtrail.net/; or contact the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Office at 410 Severn Ave., Suite 314, Annapolis, MD 21403; phone (410) 260-2470.



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


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Episode 158 (4-22-13): "In the Cave" by Pepe Deluxé, for Virginia Cave Week

Click to listen to episode (2:56).

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 April 22, 2013.

This week, we feature a mysterious musical selection written for, and performed on, what might be Virginia’s most unusual instrument—and almost certainly the Commonwealth’s deepest!  Have a listen for about 30 seconds.

MUSIC


You’ve been listening to an excerpt from “In the Cave,” by the group Pepe Deluxé, from the 2012 album, “Queen of the Wave,” on Catskills Records.  Pepe Deluxé’s Paul Malmström composed the music for the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Luray Caverns, in Page County, Virginia, and he performed it there in February 2011.  The Great Stalacpipe Organ, invented in the 1950s by Leland Sprinkle of Springfield, Virginia, uses rubber-tipped mallets to strike stalactites, producing sounds with various tones and pitches.  As remarkable as this human invention is, it’s matched by the natural wonders found in Virginia’s approximately 2000 known caves, of which caverns are spectacular examples.  Formed over millions of years by acidic groundwater acting on limestone and other soluble bedrock, caves are one of the several features characteristic of karst terrain, found especially in Virginia’s western valleys and in particular areas throughout the world.  Sinkholes, sinking streams, and even the famous Natural Bridge are other karst-related features.  Such features are the focus of Virginia Cave week, April 21-27 this year, sponsored by the Virginia Cave Board to increase public appreciation for the Commonwealth’s heritage of remarkable areas formed by groundwater’s slow and steady dissolving action.

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
All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 4/23/13. 
Although nowhere near as dramatic as Virginia’s famous caverns at Luray and other locations, this sinkhole near Radford is also a feature characteristic of karst terrain with bedrock of limestone or similarly soluble material.

Acknowledgments: “In the Cave” and “Queen of the Wave” are copyright by Pepe Deluxé and Catskills Records, used with permission.  More information about Pepe Deluxé is available at their Web site, http://www.pepedeluxe.com/; click on the "Album Companions" link on that page to access an article on the Great Stalacpipe Organ and the making of "In the Cave."  A music video of the “In the Cave” is available on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkvvcN6rt-I.  Virginia Water Radio thanks Pepe Deluxé very much for permission to use this week's music.
 
Sources and More Information:

Information on karst was taken from “Living with Karst,” by George Veni et al., American Geological Institute Environmental Awareness Series, 2001; available online at http://www.agiweb.org/environment/publications/karst.pdf.

Information on caves in Virginia was taken from the Web site of the Virginia Cave Board, http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/cavehome.shtml.

Information from Luray Caverns on the Stalacpipe Organ is available online at http://luraycaverns.com/DiscoverTheCaverns/StalacpipeOrgan/tabid/504/Default.aspx.

Information on Virginia Cave Week and more information on Virginia caves are available online at http://www.vacaveweek.com/.

More information on caves nationwide is available from the National Speleological Society, online at http://www.caves.org/.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service audio recording (13 minutes/6 seconds) of an interview on the White Nose Syndrome, a disease affecting bats in caves in Virginia and throughout the eastern United States and Canada, is available online at White-nose http://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/audio/id/88/rec/2.  More information on White Nose Syndrome is available online from the Virginia Cave Board at the Web site listed above and from the National Speleological Society at http://www.caves.org/WNS/index.htm.


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, April 15, 2013

Episode 157 (4-15-13): Warblers Announce Spring Bird Migration

Click to listen to episode (2:30).

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 April 15, 2013.

This week we feature another series of mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you can guess what’s making these three different high-pitched songs.  And here’s a hint: These small creatures make big journeys, twice a year.

SOUND.
If you guessed warblers, you’re right.  And if you’re an experienced birder, you may have recognized the songs of a Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, and Tennessee Warbler.  These species, which breed primarily in Canada or the northern United States, but winter in Central and South America, are among the birds that may pass through Virginia during spring or fall migration.  Virginia’s location along the Atlantic coast and Chesapeake Bay allows Commonwealth birders to have a chance to see songbirds, waterfowl, and birds of prey that migrate along the broad, eastern North American route known as the Atlantic Flyway, one of four main routes on this continent.  For example, about 100 bird species breed in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Virginia, but over 200 species have been identified there, particularly during the spring migration from April to June.  If you’d like to see some of these birds on the move, the Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival takes place this year from April 25-27.  Thanks to Lang Elliott 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

Blackpoll Warbler.  Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library, http://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/, accessed 4/15/13.


Acknowledgments

            The sounds of the Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackpoll, and Tennessee Warbler 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/.

            The sound of the Bay-breasted Warbler and information on bird migration was previously included in Virginia Water Radio Episode 66 (week of 5-16-11; audio now archived).

Sources

Information on migratory flyways in North America was taken from the “Migratory Birds” Web site of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) Chesapeake Bay Field Office, at http://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/migbird.html; and from the “Migratory Bird Flyways” Web site of the FWS’ Migratory Bird Program, online at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/Flyways.html.

Information on distribution and habitats of Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, and Tennessee Warbler was taken from 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 “Birds of North America Online” Web site from the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union, online at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (subscription required for this Web site).

I
nformation on birds in Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s bird checklist for the Refuge, online at http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/chekbird/r5/dismal.htm, and from the Refuge Web site at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/great_dismal_swamp/.    Information on migration dates for birds in Virginia and other states is available from the “Nutty Birdwatcher” Web site at http://www.birdnature.com/timetable.html.

The 2013 Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival will be held April 25-27.  Information is available online at http://www.visitchesapeake.com/gds-birding-festival/ or from Deloras Freeman (U.S. FWS) at (757) 986-3705.

International Migratory Bird Day is held each year on the second Saturday in May; the event’s Web site is http://www.birdday.org/birdday.

For an account of one particularly water-based warbler, see "Yellow warbler's song means mellow days of spring can't be too far behind," by Mike Burke in the April 2013 issue of Bay Journal.  This species, found in summer in Virginia and other Bay states, prefers habitat in willow trees and other thick vegetation around streams, ponds, and other aquatic areas.



Other sources of information on birds in Virginia are the following:

*Virginia Society of Ornithology at www.virginiabirds.net.

*Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s “All About Birds” Web site at http://www.allaboutbirds.org.  The site includes 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.

*E-bird Web site at
http://ebird.org/content/ebird/, maintained by the Cornell Lab and the Audubon Society.  Here you can find locations of species observations made by contributors, and you can sign up to contribute your own observations.

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, April 8, 2013

Episode 156 (4-8-13): A Watersheds Lesson in "Mountain Stream" by Bob Gramann

Click to listen to episode (2:37).

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 April 8, 2013.

This week, we feature a tune about springtime stream paddling that touches on many aspects of a key water resources concept: the watershed.  Have a listen for about a minute.

MUSIC

You’ve been listening to an excerpt from “Mountain Stream” by Bob Gramann of Fredericksburg, with Laura Lengnick on fiddle, from the 2001 CD “See Further in the Darkness.”  A watershed is the land area that drains into a specific body of water.  In Virginia, the watersheds of most of our major rivers start with streams flowing down mountain slopes.  While water moving downhill is the most basic part of any watershed, different watersheds have distinctive features because of particular landscapes, geology, wildlife, vegetation, climate, and human land uses.  Stream paddlers—whether in mountains or flat land, in spring or some other season—become part of watersheds in action.  Thanks to Bob Gramann for permission to use this week’s music.

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
(All Web site addresses noted were functional as of 4/8/13.) 

A southwest Virginia mountain stream: Wolf Creek (a New River tributary) near Narrows, Va. (Giles County), April 17, 2008.

Acknowledgments “Mountain Stream” and “See Further in the Darkness” are copyright by Bob Gramann, used with permission.  Bob Gramann’s Web site is http://www.bobgramann.com

Sources: An introduction to watersheds in Virginia is available in “Divide and Confluence,” Virginia Water Central, February 2000, online at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/watercentral.html; and at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Web site at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/stormwater_management/wsheds.shtml.  Information on watersheds nationwide is available from the U.S. EPA’s “Surf Your Watershed” Web site, at http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/locate/index.cfm, and many other sources.

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, April 1, 2013

Episode 155 (4-1-13): Gulls

Click to listen to episode (2:06).

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 April 1, 2013.

This week, we feature another mystery sound, chosen just for April Fools’ Day.  Have a listen for about 15 seconds, and see if you can guess what’s making sounds resembling those that often follow a funny, successful trick.  And here’s a hint: you might hear sounds like these on April Fools’ Day if you’re GULL-ible.

SOUND. 

If you guessed a Laughing Gull, you’re right!  The Laughing Gull is one of 16 gull species whose occurrence has been documented in Virginia.  Some, like the California Gull or Iceland Gull, are rare visitors to the Commonwealth.  But others—such as the Laughing Gull, Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, and Great Black-backed Gull—are common around Virginia’s coastal waters, and some species are found at times around inland fresh waters.  Besides their distinctive sounds, which can vary considerably, gulls are popularly known for gathering in large groups, for their hovering ability, and for scavenging for food around fishing boats, plowed fields, parking lots, and landfills.  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 
A Laughing Gull rookery (nesting colony) at Breton National Wildlife Refuge in the Gulf of Mexico offshore of Louisiana.  Photograph by Donna A. Dewhurst, made avaialble for public use at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library, http://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/, accessed 4/1/13.


Acknowledgments:  The sounds of the Laughing Gull 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 4/11/13).

Sources: Information on gulls in Virginia was taken from the Fish and Wildlife Information Service database maintained by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, online at http://vafwis.org/fwis/?Title=VaFWIS+Species+Information; A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, by Chandler S. Robbins et al. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001), pp. 140-149; and Life in the Chesapeake Bay, by Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), pp. 38-40, 116-118, and 308.

Here are some other sources of information on Virginia birds:
*Virginia Society of Ornithology Web site at www.virginiabirds.net;
*Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s “Bird Guide” Web site at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search;
*Cornell lab’s “Birds of North America Online” at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (a subscription is required to use this site);
*E-bird Web site at http://ebird.org/content/ebird/, maintained by the Cornell Lab and the Audubon Society (at this site, you can find locations of species observations made by contributors, and you can sign up to contribute your own observations).

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.