Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Episode 246 (12-29-14): A Year of Virginia Water Sounds and Music – 2014 Edition

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:19)

Transcript, a photo, and additional notes follow below.

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of December 23, 2014.

This week, we look back on 2014 with a medley of mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 60 seconds, and see if you can identify these sounds from the past year of Virginia Water Radio.


If you guessed all these, you get the 2014 water prize!  The sounds were a New Year’s Day wader in the New River; a snow shovel; a sling psychrometer for measuring relative humidity; a fishing-warning signal at the Claytor Lake Hydroelectric dam; a Black Skimmer; a well-drilling rig; Cricket Frogs at Bull Run near the Manassas Civil War battlefields; an Eastern Screech-owl amidst katydids; a NOAA Weather Radio forecast on air pollutants that can affect water; the name of an aquatic “true bug”; recyclable materials; and finally, a truck crossing the 136-year-old Waterloo Bridge over the Rappahannock River between Culpeper and Fauquier counties.  Thanks to the Lang Elliott for permission to use the Black Skimmer sound, and thanks to several friends for providing sounds or their voices.

I’ll close 2014 with a 60-sec sample of music heard on Virginia Water Radio this year.  Thanks to Stewart Scales, the Floorboards, Chamomile and Whiskey, and the Celtibilllies for these pieces, and to all the other musicians who have allowed me to play their music.  Here’s to a New Year rich with friends, sounds, music, and water.

“Cripple Creek,” traditional tune performed by Stewart Scales; “Woman Named Whiskey,” by The Floorboards; “Dirty Sea,” by Chamomile and Whiskey; “Abe’s Retreat,” traditional tune performed by the Celtibillies.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, 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.


[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 12/23/14]

All year round, Virginia’s waters are full of potential—and sometimes hard-to-spot—surprises, such as these two grebes on a pond in Blacksburg, Sept. 28, 2014.  They provided the idea for Virginia Water Episode 233, 9-29-14.

The sound of the Black Skimmer was 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 and the “Music of Nature” Web site,

The version of the traditional tune “Cripple Creek” used in this episode was recorded for Virginia Water Radio on February 11, 2014, by Stewart Scales; used with permission.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group
New Standard is available online at

“Woman Named Whiskey” is copyright 2012 by The Floorboards, used with permission.  More information about The Floorboards is available online at

“Dirty Sea,” from the 2013 album “Wandering Boots,” copyright by Chamomile and Whiskey and by County Wide Records, used with permission of Chamomile and Whiskey.  More information about Chamomile and Whiskey is available online at, and information about Charlottesville-based County Wide Records is available online at

“Abe’s Retreat” (part of the medley “Abe’s Retreat/Big Lick”), on the 2005 album “The Shoemaker’s Child,” is copyright by The Celtibillies, used with permission.  More information on The Celtibillies is available online at

Links to Full Episodes

Please see the following episodes (all are hyperlinked to the respective episode) to listen to the sounds and music heard in this episode, for acknowledgments to people involved, for more information and sources used, and for suggestions on possible use by Virginia’s K-12 teachers:

New River and water thermodynamics on New Year’s Day – Episode 195, 1-6-14

Snow shoveling lessons in water chemistry and physics –
Episode 199, 2-3-14
Sling psychrometer and other tools related to spring wildfire season –
Episode 207, 3-31-13

Fisherman’s warning signal and seasonal signals for fish –
Episode 208, 4-7-14

Black Skimmer –
Episode 213, 5-12-14

Well-drilling –
Episode 219, 6-23-14

Bull Run and the Manassas, Va., Civil War battles –
Episode 223, 7-21-14

Eastern Screech-owl –
Episode 227, 8-8-14

Air  pollutants affecting water –
Episode 230, 9-8-14

Aquatic true bugs –
Episode 237, 10-27-14

Recycling and water –
Episode 240, 11-17-14
Waterloo Bridge and Virginia’s heritage of bridges –
Episode 245, 12-22-14

“Cripple Creek,” performed by Stewart Scales – Episode 202, 2-14-14

“Woman Named Whiskey,” by The Floorboards – Episode 210, 4-21-14

“Dirty Sea,” by Chamomile and Whiskey – Episode 214, 5-19-14

“Abe’s Retreat,” performed by the Celtibillies – Episode 224, 7/21/14

Previous "Year of Sounds" Episodes