Friday, July 25, 2014

Episode 224 (7-28-14): Belted Kingfisher

Click to listen to episode (2:23)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of July 28, 2014.

This week we feature another mystery sound.  Have a listen for about 10 seconds, and see if you can identify what’s making the twittering or rattling sound.  And here’s a hint: The answer is perching, virtually, on Virginia Water Radio.

SOUND


If you guessed a Kingfisher, you’re right!  You heard the main call of a Belted Kingfisher, a distinctive bird whose likeness perches atop the logo for this show.  Real-life Belted Kingfishers are found commonly throughout North America around streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and estuaries.  You can easily recognize this blue-gray and white bird [Ed. note, not in audio: Please note that female Belted Kingfishers has a brown breast band; see the photo below] with a large head crest, but you’re more likely to hear a kingfisher’s rattling call than to get a good look at the creature.  If you do see a kingfisher, the bird might be conducting a quick territory-patrolling flight; perched on a tree or wire preparing to dive into the water to catch fish; or hovering above water just before a dive.  If you’re as sharp as a kingfisher’s beak, you might also see a streamside or lakeside cavity marking where the bird has burrowed several feet into the bank to build its nest.  But that discovery would likely come with an earful of a kingfisher’s rattling alarm.  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
[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 7/25/14]


Belted Kingfisher along the New River in Radford, Va., July 23, 2014.  This is a female, as indicated by the brown band across the breast.  Photo by Robert Abraham, used with permission.


Acknowledgments
The sounds of the Belted Kingfisher were taken from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (New York: Time Warner, 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/.

Sounds of the Belted Kingfisher were also included in Virginia Water Radio episodes
118 (7-9-12), A Summertime Virginia Sampler of Birds around Water; and 141 (12-17-12), A Year of Water Sounds.

Virginia Water Radio thanks Robert Abraham for providing the photograph of a Belted Kingfisher.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Philip Brian Raflo, on the 60th anniversary of his birth.

Sources for this episode
Chandler S. Robbins et al., A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001).

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at http://www.allaboutbirds.org.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union, “Birds of North America Online,” at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (subscription required).

Lang Elliott with Donald Stokes and Lillian Stokes, Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region (New York: Time Warner, 1997).

Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson, Life in the Chesapeake Bay (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).


Other sources of information about birds in Virginia

Virginia Society of Ornithology at www.virginiabirds.net.


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.
 

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, July 22, 2014

Episode 223 (7-21-14): Bull Run's Past and Present, Featuring "Abe's Retreat"

Click to listen to episode (3:38)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of July 21, 2014.

This week, we feature a history-mystery.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds, and see if you can guess what historic Virginia waterway connects this traditional tune and these sounds.  And here’s a hint: if the waterway’s name were a kind of cattle exercise, you’d want to get out of the way.

 

MUSIC/SOUND

If you guessed, Bull Run, you’re right!  The music was part of “Abe’s Retreat,” performed by the Celtibillies, on their 2005 CD “The Shoemaker’s Child,” from Zygoat Records.  The tune’s name refers to the chaotic retreat of Union soldiers following the first major land battle of the American Civil War on July 21, 1861: the First Battle of Manassas, also called the first Battle of Bull Run.  The sounds you heard were cricket frogs, stream flow, and passing cars at the actual Bull Run in Manassas National Battlefield Park on July 20, 2014.

In 1861, Bull Run was the main geographic obstacle for a Union army aiming to capture the strategic railroad center of Manassas Junction, as part of the Union’s first advance towards Richmond.  The stream was again a military focal point in the August 1862 Second Battle of Manassas.  In 2014, Bull Run is the heart of some 5000 acres of natural areas in the national battlefield park; it’s the defining feature of Bull Run Regional Park; it’s a major tributary to the Occoquan River and in turn the Potomac River; and—as the border between densely populated and economically vital Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties—Bull Run is still in the middle of some of the Commonwealth’s most significant human forces and events.


Thanks to the Celtibillies for permission to use this week’s music, and thanks to John-Paul Raflo, Delaney Dunn, Jo Raflo, and Luke Raflo for recording the sounds of Bull Run.


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 addresses mentioned were functional as of 7/21/14]

Acknowledgments
“Abe’s Retreat” (part of the medley “Abe’s Retreat/Big Lick”) and “The Shoemaker’s Child” are copyright by The Celtibillies, used with permission.  More information on The Celtibillies is available online at http://celtibillies.com/.

Sounds of Bull Run were recorded for Virginia Water Radio on July 20, 2014, in the Manassas Battlefield Park by John-Paul Raflo, Delaney Dunn, Jo Raflo, and Luke Raflo

Sources for this episode

For “Abe’s Retreat”:

Andrew Kuntz, “The Fiddler’s Companion”), online at http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/.

For Bull Run:

Civil War Trust, “Bull Run—First Manassas,” online at http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/bullrun.html (includes an animated map that discusses the waterways involved); and “Second Manassas,” online at http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/second-manassas.html.


National Park Service, “Manassas Battlefield Park-Virginia,” online at http://www.nps.gov/mana/index.htm.  The section on “Science and Nature,” at http://www.nps.gov/mana/naturescience/index.htm, has information about the environment today and in 1861, including a brochure, “Battlefield Biodiversity,” online (as PDF) at http://www.nps.gov/mana/naturescience/upload/Battlefield-Biodiversity-Brochure.pdf.

Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, “Bull Run Regional Park,” online at http://www.nvrpa.org/park/bull_run/; and “Occoquan Water Trail,” online at http://www.nvrpa.org/park/occoquan_water_trail.

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/.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Episode 222 (7-14-14): "Over the Waterfall" and Cascades Falls are Gateways to Giles County, Va., Culture, Geography, and Water

Click to listen to episode (3:17)

TRANSCRIPT 

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of July 14, 2014.

This week, we feature a traditional tune and the sound of a splashing spectacle.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds and see if you can guess how the two are related to one another, and to the human and natural heritage of Giles County, Virginia.


MUSIC/SOUND


You’ve been listening to part of “Over the Waterfall,” performed by Stewart Scales, followed by the sounds of Cascades Falls, an approximately 70-foot-high waterfall near the Giles County town of Pembroke.  According to the Library of Congress, the tune of “Over the Waterfall”—under various names—has a long history both in Europe and North America.  Since the late 1960s, it’s become a popular, old-time fiddle tune, largely due to a version played by Giles County resident Henry Reed and recorded by folklorist Alan Jabbour.  Mr. Jabbour’s recordings of Henry Reed and other traditional musicians captured their local styles, skills, and knowledge and introduced these cultural treasures to people far beyond the Southern Appalachians. 


Listeners to Henry Reed’s music may also hear echoes of one of Virginia’s water-resources treasures, the spectacular Cascades Falls, because it’s located only about 20 miles from Mr. Reed’s adopted home town of Glen Lyn, Virginia.  According to Mr. Jabbour, “Over the Waterfall” is one of many traditional fiddle tunes in which cascading musical phrases aim to mimic the flowing and falling of creeks and streams.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his version of “Over the Waterfall,” and we end with a few seconds of another version, this time by Simple Gifts of the Blue Ridge, with the sound of Cascades Falls in the background.

MUSIC/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 
[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 7/11/14]

Cascades Falls in Giles County, Virginia, July 10, 2014.
One of many smaller cascades on Little Stony Creek as it flows downstream from Cascades Falls in Giles County, Va.  Photographed here on July 10, 2014.

Acknowledgments
This episode's first version of “Over the Falls” heard in this episode was recorded for Virginia Water Radio on July 11, 2014, by Stewart Scales, used with permission.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com. 

This episode’s second version of “Over the Falls” is copyright by Simple Gifts of the Blue Ridge, used with permission; the sound of the Cascades Falls was added by Virginia Water Radio to the original.  More information about Simple Gifts of the Blue Ridge is available from their Web site at http://www.sgotbr.com/.

Sources for this episode
Information on “Over the Waterfall” and on Henry Reed (1884-1968) was taken from the Library of Congress, “Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection,” online at
http://www.loc.gov/collection/henry-reed-fiddle-tunes/about-this-collection/; and from http://www.henryreed.org/, a Web site produced by Terry Reed, Henry Reed’s granddaughter.  Henry Reed’s version of “Over the Waterfall” is available from the Library of Congress’s online audio archive, at http://www.loc.gov/item/afcreed000177/.


Additional information was provided by Alan Jabbour, personal communication, July 11, 2014.  Information on Alan Jabbour was taken from his Web site,
http://www.alanjabbour.com/.


Information on the Cascades Recreation Area in the Jefferson National Forest was taken from the Giles County, Virginia, Web site at
http://gilescounty.org/cascades.html; and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ “Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail” Web site, at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/vbwt/site.asp?trail=2&loop=MED&site=MED09.

Other sources of information about Virginia waterfalls
Two previous Virginia Water Radio episodes featured music and information about waterfalls:

“Twin Falls,” Performed by Simple Gifts of the Blue Ridge, Honors a Virginia Travertine Treasure
(Episode 205, 3-17-14); and

“Crabtree Falls” by Timothy Seaman
(Episode 125, 8-27-12).


Geology.com, “Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland Waterfalls,” online at http://geology.com/waterfalls/virginia.shtml.

National Park Service, “Shenandoah National Park/Waterfalls,” online at http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm.


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/.