Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Episode 500 (11-25-19): The Variety of Virginia's Water Story

Click to listen to episode (5:55)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 11-22-19.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of November 25, 2019.

This Thanksgiving week marks the 500th episode of Virginia Water Radio, which began nearly 10 years ago.  For that milestone, this episode revisits 10 previously featured mystery sounds or voices.  After each audio segment, I’ll identify a related aspect Virginia’s common wealth of water that this program has aimed to explore. Have a listen!

1. SOUND - ~3 sec – A chorus of Spring Peepers and an American Toad represents frogs, birds, and other audible aquatic life.

2. VOICE - ~4 sec - A call-out of aquatic plant names represents aquatic creatures or phenomena that don’t make sounds.

3. SOUND - ~5 sec - The James River at Richmond represents stories of Virginia’s waterways and other aquatic places.

4. SOUND - ~6 sec – Boats on the New River represent uses of waterways as well as waterway safety and stewardship.

5. VOICES - ~6 sec – A call-out of some of 2019’s tropical cyclone names represents weather and other water cycle events.

6. VOICES - ~7 sec – The opening of the Virginia General Assembly in 2017 represents governmental entities that affect water.

7. VOICE - ~6 sec – An excerpt from a promotion by WHRO radio in Norfolk for citizens to help measure the annual “king tide” represents citizen involvement with water resources.

8. SOUND - ~6 sec – A restored, 19th Century, water-driven mill wheel in Craig County represents water’s historical connections and influences.

9. SOUND - ~5 sec – A boiling tea kettle represents physical and chemical properties that make water a widespread and versatile substance.

10. SOUND and VOICE - ~7 sec – And a visit with a Virginia Tech graduate student represents the work of water scientists.

Virginia Water Radio looks forward to more exploration of all of these subject areas.   Likewise, we hope to continue finding water-related music, either by Virginians or about Virginia waters.  So we close this 500th episode with about 90 seconds of samples from musicians featured in many previous episodes: The Steel Wheels, Timothy Seaman, No Strings Attached, Torrin Hallett, Bob Gramann, Chamomile and Whiskey, and Kat Mills.  Thanks to those musicians and to all the other collaborators who have helped make this show possible, especially Patrick Fay, who helped create the show in 2010.  We hope they, and you, have liked the outcomes. Now here’s the music, and…

VOICES - ~3 sec – “Happy Thanksgiving!”

MUSIC - ~84 sec

The Steel Wheels – “Rain in the Valley” – ~7 sec – “There’s a rain comin’ down in the valley.”

Timothy Seaman – “Drive the Cold Winter Away” – ~11 sec – instrumental.

No Strings Attached – “Minor Meander” – ~11 sec – instrumental.

Torrin Hallett – “Geese Piece” – ~11 sec – instrumental.

Bob Gramann – “Pack of Neurons” – ~10 sec – “Well you’re nothin’ but a pack of neurons, in a shapely bag goo. All you thoughts and dreams, your hopes and schemes are electrochemical, too.”

Chamomile and Whiskey – ~11 sec - “Driving Rain” – ~sec – “Reflections in the window pane fallin’ in love, in the drivin’ rain.”

Kat Mills – “On a Ship” – ~23 sec – “We are riding on a ship.”


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close this show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


Thanks to the Virginia Water Resources Research Center for supporting this project; to Patrick Fay for helping create it in 2010; to George Wills for creating the show’s logo; to Torrin Hallett and Timothy Seaman for composing music especially for Virginia Water Radio; to Ben Cosgrove and Stewart Scales for recording the music selections used (on alternating weeks) to open and close episodes; and to the many other people who have provided sounds, music, voices, images, information, ideas, and encouragement.

The sounds and voices heard in this episode were recorded as indicated below, in the order heard.  (Recordings were by Virginia Water Radio unless otherwise indicated.  The main episodes in which these sounds or voices were featured are included and hyperlinked to the respective episode post.  All locations are in Virginia.)

1 - Frog chorus, from Episode 206, 3-24-14, recorded on March 13, 2011, in Blacksburg (Spring Peepers) and March 29, 2010, in Blacksburg (American Toad).

2 - Aquatic plant call-out, from Episode 325, 7-18-16, by students at Achievable Dream High School in Newport News, recorded in July 2016 in Blacksburg, used with participants’ permission.

3 - James River at Richmond, from Episode 265, 5-11-15, recorded on February 17, 2014, at Brown’s Island by Michael Martz, used with permission.

4 - Boats, from Episode 111, 5-12-12, recorded on May 19, 2012, beside the New River.

5 - Tropical storm call-out, from Episode 474, 5-27-19, by Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students, recorded on May 16-17, 2019, in Blacksburg, used with permission.

6 - General Assembly opening, from Episode 402, 1-8-18, excerpted from audio of the January 11, 2017, opening of the Virginia House of Delegates and Virginia Senate, accessed from the Virginia General Assembly’s session video-stream archives, online at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the House of Delegates and online at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the Senate.

7 - King Tide measurement promotional message, from Episode 441, 10-8-18, taken from a video produced by WHRO FM in Norfolk, used with permission.  The video (1 min./33 sec.) was accessed online at is available online at http://kingtide.whro.org/.

8 – Water-driven mill wheel, from Episode 386, 9-18-17, recorded on September 4, 2017, at Tingler’s Mill in Paint Bank (Craig County).

9 - Tea kettle of boiling water, from Episode 250, 1-26-15, recorded January 25, 2015, in Blacksburg.

10 - Tyler Weiglein, at the time a Virginia Tech graduate student, from Episode 312, 4-18-16, recorded April 13, 2016, in Blacksburg, used with permission.

11 - Happy Thanksgiving call-out, from Episode 189, 11-25-13, by friends of Virginia Water Radio, recorded November 24, 2013, in Blacksburg, used with permission.

The music heard in this episode, in the order heard, was as follows:

1 - “Rain in the Valley,” from the 2012 album, “Lay Down, Lay Low,” is copyright by The Steel Wheels, used with permission.  More information about The Steel Wheels is available online at http://www.thesteelwheels.com/.  This music was most recently featured in Episode 455, 1-14-19.

2 - “Drive the Cold Winter Away” is a traditional tune performed by Timothy Seaman and Phillip Skeens on the 1998 album “Celebration of Centuries,” copyright by Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission.  More information about Mr. Seaman’s music is available online http://timothyseaman.com/. This music was most recently featured in Episode 344, 11-28-16.

3 - “Minor Meander,” from the 1999 album “In the Vinyl Tradition Volume II,” is copyright by No Strings Attached and Enessay Music, used with permission. More information about No Strings Attached is available online at http://enessay.com/index.html.  This music was featured in Episode 248, 1-12-15.

4 - “Geese Piece,” composed for Virginia Water Radio in September 2016, is copyright by Torrin Hallett, used with permission.  More information about Torrin Hallett is available online at https://www.facebook.com/torrin.hallett.  This music was most recently featured in Episode 440, 10-1-18.

5 - “Pack of Neurons,” from the 2008 album “Mostly Live,” is copyright by Bob Gramann, used with permission.  More information about Bob Gramann is available online at http://www.bobgramann.com/.  This music was most recently featured in Episode 450, 12-10-18.

6 - “Driving Rain,” from the 2012 album “The Barn Sessions,” is copyright by Chamomile and Whiskey and by County Wide Records, used with permission.  More information about Chamomile and Whiskey is available online at http://www.chamomileandwhiskey.com/, and information about Charlottesville-based County Wide records is available online at http://countywidemusic.worldsecuresystems.com/.  This music was most recently featured in Episode 474, 5-27-19.

7 - “On a Ship,” from the 2015 album “Silver,” is copyright by Kat Mills, used with permission.  Accompanists on the song are Ida Polys, vocals; Rachel Handman, violin; and Nicholas Polys, banjo.  More information about Kat Mills is available online at http://www.katmills.com/.  This music was most recently featured in Episode 418, 4-30-18.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode and episodes on alternating weeks.  More information about Stewart Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

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 episodes on alternating weeks.  More information about Ben Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.


Following are six images connected to some of the aspects of Virginia’s water resources mentioned in this episode.

Blue-winged Teal painting originally published between 1827 and 1838 by John James Audubon in Birds of America (plates 313 [CCCXIII] and 228 [CCXXVIII], respectively), as reprinted in 1985 by Abbeville Press, New York.  Photo taken December 10, 2017, from the reprint copy (no. 6 of 350 copies printed in 1985) owned by Special Collections of Virginia Tech Libraries.  Virginia Water Radio thanks Special Collections for permission to photograph their copy and for their assistance.  Information about Birds of America is available from the National Audubon Society, online at http://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america.  For more on teal, please see Episode 398, 12-11-17.

Hollow trunk of an American Sycamore tree beside the New River in Radford, Va., October 4, 2009. For more on sycamores, please see Episode 176, 8-26-13.

Lake Drummond, located in the Virginia cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk within the Great Dismal Swamp, April 30, 2005. For more on the Dismal Swamp, please see Episode 479, 7-1-19.

Virginia Senate session in Richmond, January 31, 2018.   For more on the General Assembly, please see the most recent annual episode, Episode 454, 1-7-19.

Tingler’s Mill restored wheel and building in Paint Bank, Va. (Craig County), September 4, 2017. For more on Tingler’s Mill and the Paint Bank area, please see Episode 386, 9-18-17.

Boiling water at a Blacksburg residence, January 25, 2015.  For more on the properties of boiling, please see Episode 250, 1-26-15.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  Subject categories are the following:

Invertebrates Other Than Insects;
Overall Importance of Water;
Rivers, Streams, and Other Surface Water;
Water Quality, including Waste Management and Water/Wastewater Treatment;
Weather/Natural Disasters.


The episode—the audio/transcript or the information in the accompanying Show Notes—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

2013 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2010 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
3.9 – Water cycle, including sources of water, energy driving water cycle, water essential for living things, and water limitations and conservation.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 – Virginia natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment (including resource management and conservation, land use decisions, hazard mitigation, and cost/benefit assessments).

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
4.5 – ecosystem interactions and human influences on ecosystems.
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Virginia watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Grades K-6 Matter Theme
K.5 – water properties, including flowing, objects floating or sinking, and water occurring in different phases.
2.3 – properties of solids, liquids, and gases.
6.5 – properties and characteristics of water and its roles in the human and natural environment.

Life Science Course
LS.1 – understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science, including current applications to reinforce science concepts.
LS.6 – ecosystem interactions, including the water cycle, other cycles, and energy flow.
LS.11 – relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
ES.8 – influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia, “with reference to the hydrologic cycle.”

Biology Course
BIO.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
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.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Grades K-3 Economics Theme
2.8 – natural, human, and capital resources.
3.8 – understanding of cultures and of how natural, human, and capital resources are used for goods and services.

Virginia Studies Course
VS.1 – impact of geographic features on people, places, and events in Virginia history.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 – how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.4 – types and significance of natural, human, and capital resources.

Government Course
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.