Monday, December 23, 2019

Episode 504 (12-23-19): A Year of Water Sounds and Music – 2019 Edition

Click to listen to episode (5:31)

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 12-20-19.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of December 23, 2019.

This week, we look back on 2019 with a medley of mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 70 seconds to eight sounds or voice segments from the past year of Virginia Water Radio, and see if you can identify what you hear.

SOUNDS - ~66 sec

If you guessed all or most of those, you’re a 2019 mystery-sound mastermind!

You heard

Whites Ferry on the Potomac River between Loudoun County, Va., and Maryland;
a Mountain Chorus Frog;
the Bullpasture River in Highland County;
Mallard ducks;
people calling out the names of different milkweed species;
people calling out categories of substances considered “emerging contaminants” in water;
and last,
an excerpt from the “Connecting the Drops” program by Water Education Colorado in partnership with Rocky Mountain Community Radio, part of a series of episodes started this year to highlight water education in other states; and, last,

Thanks to Lang Elliott and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for the frog sound, to Blacksburg friends for the milkweeds call-out, to Virginia Tech colleagues for the emerging contaminants call-out, and to Water Education Colorado for the “Connecting the Drops” excerpt.

I hope that during this year you heard lots of water-related sounds, especially those of clean, adequate water; good water management; healthy aquatic life; and safe water fun.

We close out this review of 2019 with an 80-second sample of music heard on Virginia Water Radio this year, with excerpts of  “Cool Rumblins” by Kat Mills; “The Deep Blue Green” by Andrew VanNorstrand; “Cypress Canoe” by Bob Gramann; and “The Race” by The Steel Wheels.

Thanks to those musicians for permission to use the selections.  And to 2019: so long, soon, and thanks for the water!

MUSIC - ~82 sec

From “Cool Rumblins” – “Which way now,” then closing instrumental.

From “The Deep Blue Green” - “I went searching around the bend, the Shenandoah, river of my dreams.  And if I ever reach the end, I’m gonna fall back into the deep blue green.”

From “Cypress Canoe” – “But ‘til then I’ll remember the home of my youth, as I paddle around in my cypress canoe.”

From “The Race” – “Tempests turn and the winds are wailing. Oh we got a race that must be run, oh we got a race that must be run. Oh we got a race that must be run, oh we got a race that must be run.”


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, 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.


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.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at

Sounds Used

(Unless noted otherwise, sounds were recorded by Virginia Water Radio.)

The sounds of Whites Ferry were recorded on January 11, 2019, during a regular trip across the Potomac River near Leesburg in Loudoun County, Va.  The sounds were featured in Episode 457, 1-18-19.

The sleet sound was recorded on February 17, 2019, in Blacksburg, Va.  The sound was featured in Episode 461, 2-25-19.

The Mountain Chorus Frog sound was from “The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads” CD, copyright 2008 by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Lang Elliott/NatureSound Studio, used with permission.   The CD was included with the 2011 VDGIF publication, A Guide to the Frogs and Toads of Virginia. Lang Elliott’s work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site,  The sound was featured in Episode 464, 3-18-19.

The sound of the Bullpasture River was recorded on March 16, 2019, along Route 612 in Highland County, Va.  The sound was featured in Episode 469, 4-22-19.

The sounds of Mallards was recorded on December 10, 2015, at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg.  The sounds were featured in Episode 472, 5-13-19.

People calling out names of different milkweed species were recorded on August 7, 2019, in Blacksburg.  These voices were featured in Episode 487, 8-26-19.

The excerpt of “Connecting the Drops” was from Beverages Brewed with Reclaimed Wastewater Advance Reuse, November 7, 2018 (5 min./46 sec.), by Water Education Colorado and Rocky Mountain Community Radio stations, courtesy of Caitlin Coleman, Headwaters editor and communications specialist at Water Education Colorado, used with permission.  This excerpt was one of several “Connecting the Drops” excerpts featured in Episode 497, 11-4-19.

People calling out categories of substances considered “emerging contaminants” in water were recorded on November 14, 2019, at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Theses voices were featured in Episode 499, 11-18-19.

Music Used

“Cool Rumblins,” from the 2015 album “Silver,” is copyright by Kat Mills, used with permission.  More information about Kat Mills is available online at at  This music was used in Episode 492, 9-30-19.

“The Deep Blue Green,” from the 2019 album “That We Could Find a Way to Be,” is copyright by Andrew VanNorstrand, used with permission.  More information about Andrew VanNorstrand is available online at  This music was used in Episode 496, 10-29-19.

“Cypress Canoe,” from the 2019 album “I Made It Just for You,” is copyright by Bob Gramann, used with permission.  More information about Bob Gramann is available online at  This music was used in Episode 494, 10-14-19.

“The Race,” from the 2013 album “No More Rain,” is copyright by The Steel Wheels, is used with permission.  More information about The Steel Wheels is available online at  This music was used in Episode 460, 2-18-19, and Episode 475, 6-3-19.


From Episode 457, 1-18-19: View of White’s Ferry's approach to Loudoun County, Va., with the ferry cable to the right, January 11, 2019.

From Episode 469, 4-22-19: The Bullpasture River, looking upstream at County Route 612 in Highland County, Va., March 16, 2019.

From Episode 472, 5-13-19: Male Mallards on a branch of Stroubles Creek on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va., May 9, 2019.

From Episode 487, 8-26-19: Swamp Milkweed in a wetland along the Huckleberry Trail in Montgomery County, Va., July 13, 2019.

From Episode 494, 10-14-19: Tidal flooding in the harbor in downtown Annapolis, Md., on October 12, 2019, a day that saw tidal flooding also in Alexandria, Va., and other areas along the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. Photo by Paul Raflo, used with permission.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (  See particularly the “Overall Importance of Water” subject category.

Following are links to previous “year of sounds/music” episodes.

2018 – Episode 452, 12-24-18
2017 – Episode 400, 12-25-17
2016 – Episode 348, 12-26-16
2015 – Episode 295, 12-21-15
2014 – Episode 246, 12-29-14
2013 – Episode 193, 12-23-13
2012 – Episode 141, 12-17-12


The episodes listed and hyperlinked above under “Audio Notes and Acknowledgments” may help with various SOLs in Music, Science, and Social Studies.  For specific SOLs, please see the online show notes for each episode.

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

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.