Monday, August 14, 2017

Episode 381 (8-14-17): Midnight at the Water

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:29).

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, photos, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 8-11-17.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of August 14, 2017.

MUSIC – ~6 sec.

This week, “Midnight on the Water,” a tune attributed to Texan Luke Thomasson and performed here by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, introduces an exploration of midnight sounds at waters in Virginia.  Have a listen while I play six short recordings, one at a time, from water locations visited near midnight over several nights last week.

We start at Mountain Lake in Giles County, where right at midnight, owls, crows, and a songbird piped up.

SOUNDS - ~16 sec.

Next, at a public boat launch on the New River in Montgomery County, midnight wasn’t too late for some boaters or for a Great Blue Heron.

SOUNDS - ~15 sec.

On to Pandapas Pond, in the Jefferson National Forest in Montgomery County, where rain was accompanied by Green Frogs and mosquitoes.

SOUNDS - ~16 sec.

Next, at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, about 100 ducks and geese were congregated and calling.

SOUNDS - ~16 sec.

Finally, to two spots on Claytor Lake in Pulaski County.  First, near a private dock, a Bullfrog’s call sounded faintly underneath insects chirping.

SOUNDS - ~12 sec.

And last, at Claytor Lake State Park, the sounds of banging boat gear, katydids, and a nearly silent beach ended this series of midnight adventures.

SOUNDS - ~22 sec.

Thanks to several people who helped make these recordings possible.   Thanks also to Timothy Seaman for this week’s music, and we close with a few more seconds of “Midnight on the Water.”

MUSIC - ~16 sec


For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


Thanks to the following people for their help with this episode: Rhonda Bollinger, Mike Dunn, Tara Fowlkes, Nancy Mignone, and Stephen Schoenholtz.

Thanks to the staff at Mountain Lake Hotel, and to Claytor Lake State Park Manager Chris Doss and his staff, for their hospitality.

The dates and locations of the recordings in this episode are as follows (all dates in 2017; all locations in Virginia):
Late August 5 to early August 6 - Mountain Lake in Giles County;
Late August 6 to early August 7 - Whitethorn public boat launch on the New River in Montgomery County;
Late August 7 to early August 8 - Pandapas Pond in the Jefferson National Forest in Montgomery County;
Late August 8 to early August 9 - Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg (Montgomery County);
Late August 9 - private boat dock beside the confluence of Sloan Branch with Claytor Lake in Pulaski County;
Late August 9 to early August 10 - Claytor Lake State Park in Pulaski County.

“Midnight on the Water,” a fiddle tune attributed to Texan Luke Thomasson, was recorded for this episode by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va., in his studio August 9, 2017.  For more information on the tune, please see Andrew Kuntz and Valerio Pelliccioni, “The Traditional Tune Archive/Midnight on the Water,” online at and More information on Timothy Seaman is available online at

The title of this episode was inspired by “Midnight at the Oasis,” written by David Nichtern and recorded by Maria Muldaur on her 1974 self-titled album.  For more information about that song, please see SongFacts, “Midnight at the Oasis by Maria Muldaur,” online at; or AllMusic, “Maria Muldaur,” online at

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at

Lights at Mountain Lake Hotel in Giles County, Va., just after midnight on August 6, 2017.
Ducks and geese at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, Va., just after midnight on August 9, 2017.
Moon above Claytor Lake State Park in Pulaski County, Va., at about 11:45 p.m. on August 9, 2017.

Mountain Lake Lodge, online at

Montgomery County, Va., Department of Parks and Recreation, “Whitethorne Public Boat Launch (New River),” online at

U.S. Forest Service, “Pandapas Pond Day Use Area,” online at

Mason Adams, “Waterways—Inside the Duck Pond,” Virginia Tech Magazine, Fall 2014, online at

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, “Claytor Lake State Park,” online at


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (  See particularly the following subject categories: “Amphibians”; “Birds”; “Insects”; “Recreation”; and “Rivers, Streams, and Other Surface Water.”

Following are links to some previous episodes with topics related to this week’s episode:
Boating safety – Episode 270, 6/15/15 and Episode 370, 5/29/17;
Bullfrog – Episode 74, 8/8/11;
Dock safety – Episode 131, 10/8/12;
Green Frog – Episode 310, 4/4/16;
Great Blue Heron – Episode 118, 7/9/12 and Episode 77, 8/10/15;
Mosquitoes – Episode 78, 9/5/11 and Episode 259, 3/30/15;
New River – Episode 109, 5/7/12, Episode 179, 9/16/13, and Episode 264, 5/4/15;
Virginia State Parks – Episode 161, 5/13/13 and Episode 320, 6/13/16.


The episode may help with Virginia 2013 Music SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

This episode may also help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
3.8 – Basic patterns and cycles in nature.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 - living things as part of a system, including habitats.
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.9 - adaptations for particular ecosystems’ biotic and abiotic factors, including characteristics of land, marine, and freshwater environments.

Biology Course
BIO.8 - dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2015 Social Studies SOL:

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at