Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lynnhaven River Art and Photography Exhibit in Virginia Beach

“The Art of Saving a River,” an art and photography exhibit celebrating the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach, will open with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 6, at Towne Pavilion Center II, 600 22nd Street in Virginia Beach.

The reception is open to the public.  The exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday through December 31.

Hosted by The Runnymede Corporation, the show features many of the photographs and art in the new book, “The Lynnhaven, Restoring a Legend” as well as other works of art and pottery.

Lynnhaven River Now, the conservation group that has been working to clean up the river, published the full color book of paintings, photographs and essays on the river and is sponsoring the art show.

 The book will be for sale for $50 at the opening reception and through Lynnhaven River Now.

For more information on the exhibit or the book, call 757-962-5398.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2011 Waterfowl Festival in Easton Md

The 41st annual Waterfowl Festival takes place in the colonial town of Easton, Maryland. The historic buildings of Easton serve as venues for galleries and exhibits, while events and demonstrations are held at the surrounding ponds and scenic areas.

The Waterfowl Festival is America’s premiere wildlife art exposition featuring art work from more than 300 artists recognized world-wide. Hundreds of paintings, sculpture, carvings, photos, and fine crafts reflect the beauty of the natural world. Dealers offer antique and contemporary decoys.

The Festival offers fly fishing and retriever dog demonstrations – sure to entertain the experienced outdoor enthusiast, children and everyone in between, as well as DockDogs, an entertaining competition between dogs to see who can make the longest jump into a pool.

There are numerous hands-on activities for the entire family, especially for the little ones, such as nature arts and crafts activities and up close wildlife education.

Four world-class calling contests take place at the Festival attracting top callers from across the country and Canada. Contests: World Championship Goose Calling Contest® with $10,000 first prize, Mason-Dixon Regional Duck Calling Contest, World Champion Live Duck Calling Contest® and World Champion Live Goose Calling Contest™ – all with cash and gear prizes.

Attendees can checkout the latest gear, accessories and gadgets for hunting, fishing and marine sports at the Sportsman’s Pavilion.Great Eastern shore food and music add to the festivities.

The Waterfowl Festival is produced annually by Waterfowl Festival Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to wildlife conservation, the promotion of wildlife art and the celebration of life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

In its 41 years, the Festival has become a leader in the conservation of waterfowl and wildlife habitat. More than $5 million has been donated to projects throughout the Atlantic Flyway and in particular the Chesapeake Bay.

The Waterfowl Festival takes place November 11-13 in downtown Easton, Maryland, off Route 50. Festival hours are: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Admission is $10 for all three days - children under 12 free.

For additional information or tickets online, visit or call 410/822-4567.

Lynhaven River Now Fall Festival

The LRNow Fall Festival will be held on November 5th from 11 AM - 5 PM at Virginia Beach Middle School, 600 25th Street. This family friendly event is free and open to the public.

Family activities will include good local food, native plant sale, autographing copies of LRNow's new book, activities for children, information on LRNow's programs, painted rain barrel auctions, and much more.

Also featured will be exhibits will cover building rain barrels, rain gardens, oyster gardening, learning to shuck an oyster, and other topics.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mid Atlantic Wild Mushrooms

Among the more unexpected sights that residents of the Mid Atlantic region began seeing after Hurricane Irene and flooding from Tropical Storm Lee was the growth of wild mushrooms.

In woodlands and forests throughout North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and elsewhere an incredible array of fungi sprang up following heavy rainfall and flooding.

With recent weather systems bringing more rainfall, the fall of 2011 should be an exceptional time to see these beautiful mushrooms in Mid Atlantic forests. Many forms of fungi grow rapidly and die after only a few days. 

On September 15, 2011 The Wicomico County Young Farmers and Ranchers, the Maryland Farm Bureau, and Perdue announced the launch of, a group of agriculture interests who have come together to raise much-needed funds for the legal defense of a Berlin, Maryland farm family involved in a protracted and crippling lawsuit with the New York-based Waterkeeper Alliance since March 2010.

The Waterkeeper Alliance filed a federal lawsuit against Alan and Kristin Hudson accusing them of violating the Maryland Clean Water Act. At the heart of this suit is a pile of fertilizer, believed by the Waterkeepers to be poultry litter, which the activists identified from a small plane they flew over the
Hudson’s property.

Since the suit was filed, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) confirmed the pile was actually biosolids, which the Hudsons obtained from nearby Ocean City, as part of a successful environmental program to recycle municipal waste for agricultural purposes. MDE determined that no action was required other than to spread the biosolids on the farm’s crops.

However, the Waterkeepers have persisted with the suit, which has put a massive financial strain on the Hudson family and could force a settlement or bankruptcy while they wait to make their arguments in court sometime in 2012.

In their suit, the Waterkeeper Alliance contends the Hudsons are a “factory farm,” despite the fact that they have only two chicken houses and has been farmed by members of the Hudson family for four generations. is concerned because, if successful, the Waterkeepers’ bankruptcy-by-litigation
tactic could be a damaging precedent for America’s family farmers, who could be dragged into court just for following every-day farming practices.

“The Waterkeepers litigation is a job killer for Maryland,” said Lee Richardson, a member of the Wicomico County Young Farmers and Ranchers and “If this extremist group succeeds in forcing the Hudson family to settle or declare bankruptcy before arguments are even heard in court, they’ll do it to other family farmers here and across the country, just because we don’t conform to the Waterkeepers misguided image of how animals should be raised.”

The lawsuit marks a watershed moment for the agriculture community, particularly in Maryland, where the farming industry plays a large role in the state’s economy and is responsible for 14 percent of its workforce, the largest percentage of any sector in the state. Many local farmers believe that if this lawsuit proceeds it would open up the flood gate for more frivolous litigation.

“By pursuing this malicious lawsuit, this extremist group is sending a message to American farmers: if you raise chickens, hogs or cattle – and don’t do it their way – then the Waterkeeper Alliance is willing to use the courts to force you out of business,” said Val Connelly, with the Maryland Farm Bureau and encourages members of the agriculture community and those who care about sustaining family farming to visit, to learn about the threats and consequences of misguided environmental litigation and to make a donation to the Hudsons’ legal defense fund.“The Hudsons can’t do it alone, they need help,” said Richardson. “This lawsuit is just the start and we need to send a loud and clear signal to these radical groups, otherwise there will be dire consequences for family farms across the state of Maryland and around the country. We need to act now, or we could lose a great American asset – our farming community.”

For more information visit:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sustainability Art Exhibit - Auction in Durham NC

Sustainability Art Exhibit - Auction at Watts Grocery

1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC, 27705

October 3, 2011, 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Hosted by: Walking Fish

Sponsors: Craven Allen Gallery, Eastern Carolina Organics, Elodie Farms, and Farmhand Foods

Walking Fish is hosting a Sustainability Art Exhibit and Auction at Watts Grocery Durham, NC on Monday, October 3rd. This one-night “pop-up” show features artwork by Douglas Gayeton paired with locally sourced hors d’oeuvres prepared by Amy Tornquist.

Twenty-four of Gayeton’s prints will be auctioned off to support other fishing communities design creative business plans that make local, healthy, high quality, low-impact seafood more accessible.

The Lexicon of Sustainability show is 1 of 100 shows taking place around the country. For the past two years Douglas Gayeton has been photographing some of the foremost practitioners of sustainability in food and farming. These insights have been translated into beautiful large format photo collages (24 x 38 inch).

To bring these important ideas to a national audience, the Lexicon Project is asking local groups from around the country to host temporary exhibits in their respective communities as a way to spur dialog about how people can have a positive impact on their local food systems.

Walking Fish invites friends to see Gayeton’s work, sample local hors d’peuvres, and participate in the silent auction.

Space is limited. RSVP required.  There will be a cash bar and locally sourced hors d'oeuvres prepared by Amy Tornquist, chef and owner of Watts Grocery.

RSVP to attend - Please send a note to info at walking-fish dot org with your name(s) and email address(es). A confirmation email will be sent.

Walking Fish is a community supported fishery (CSF) that links fishermen on the coast of North Carolina to consumers in the Triangle.

Mid Atlantic Crop Damage From Storms

Crop damage from several recent weather systems has been significant in the Mid Atlantic region. Reports of crop damage includes corn, soybeans, vegetables, fruit trees, and even farm-raised fish.

According to the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB), high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Irene caused sporadic damage to farms and orchards in several areas of Pennsylvania. The most common problem cited by farmers is that field corn was leaning or flattened by strong winds, while apples and other fruits fell to the ground during the storm.

“The largest and most mature fruit fell off the trees.We estimate that about 20% of our fruit is on the ground, which is a significant loss,” said Brad Hollabaugh of Hollabaugh Brothers Fruit Farm and Market in Biglerville, Adams County.

“There is nothing more disheartening than looking at apples on the ground, after you’ve put your heart and soul into growing and nurturing the fruit throughout the season,” added Hollabaugh.

Jim Schupp, the director of Penn State’s Fruit Research and Extension Center, confirmed that winds from Hurricane Irene uprooted fruit trees. “Damages vary widely from farm-to-farm and even from one section of a farm to the other.  Some farms were hardly touched, while others have fruit losses of 50%,” said Jim Schupp.

Corn crops throughout the Mid Atlantic were tangled or flattened by Hurricane Irene and later by heavy rainfall associated with Tropical Storm Lee. In some areas, corn which was already stressed from lack of rain was severely flattened by rain and wind.

Flood damage to crops was most extensive in Pennsylvania as the Susquehanna River flooded portions of Harrisburg, Hershey, and surrounding communities.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mid Atlantic Flooding

Throughout the Mid Atlantic region, rivers and creeks are on the rise, with flooding being reported in several states. Rainfall from Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and other weather systems have pushed several rivers beyond flood stage.

In Maryland, several areas were experiencing flooding during early September:
On the Susquehanna, the Conowingo Dam floodgates are being opened due higher than normal flows caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. Flows have been on the rise since early Monday and are predicted to continue for the next several days.

The Avalon area of Patapsco Valley State Park in Elkridge is experiencing significant flooding along both the Baltimore County and Howard County sides of the river near U.S. Route 1.

Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) issued a warning on September 7 that boating and other recreational use of the Upper Potomac River, including its creeks and streams, should be avoided until September 9, 2011. The advisory will be updated if necessary.

The advisory was based on information received from the National Weather Service and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

According to DNR, river levels are hazardous for recreational use on the main stem of the Upper Potomac River from Cumberland to Little Falls. According to DNR, hazardous conditions may also exist on tributaries of the Potomac River.

In Pennsylvania, flooding is extensive, with Harrisburg, Hershey and other areas being especially hard hit. The Susquehanna River was expected to crest in the coming days as rainfall continues.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mid Atlantic Icons

The Mid Atlantic is represented by a number of cultural icons. Many of the region's icons are influenced by marine culture, including fishing, boating, seafood, and other subjects. Included below are just a small sample of the many icons that are popular in the Mid Atlantic region.

The Atlantic blue crab is an icon of the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding states. This delicious crab is harvested by local watermen and shipped around the world.

Outer Banks Jolly Roger shirt
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is said to have been a stronghold for pirates. Numerous local legends, ghost stories, and pirate books have made the "jolly roger" logo an icon of the region.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fall 2011 Things to Do in the Mid Atlantic

An incredible range of festivals, shows and other events are held throughout the Mid Atlantic during the fall months. This list highlights some of the most popular fall things to do for the 2011 fall season:

The Maryland Renaissance Festival is set on a beautiful 25-acre wooded site with 85 acres of free parking. The festival includes craft and food booths, five pubs, ten major stages, a Jousting Arena and lots of games.

The festival is located on Crownsville Road, in Anne Arundel County in Crownsville, just outside of Annapolis, MD. The festival is held on weekends during August, September and October.

Sunfest in Ocean City Md is held on Sep 22nd, 2011at the inlet and along the beach.This Maryland fall festival includes music, food, arts and crafts, hayrides, children's activities and more.

The 2011 Potomac River Ramble, happens on Sunday, September 11, 2011 (rescheduled for October). The Potomac River Ramble is a canoeing and kayaking event that features environmental programming, restoration projects, festive meals, meetings with elected officials, and much more.

Join the Maryland Chapter of Trout Unlimited (MDTU) on September 21 when Lefty Kreh is scheduled to to speak at the Trout Unlimited Annual Meeting. His presentation is entitled: “Tips and Tricks for Fly Fishing.”

The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival runs from September 30, 2011 thru October 2, 2011. The festival includes Boardwalk Weekend, the Neptune Art and Craft Show, a sandcastle competition, athletic competitions, the Neptune Grand Parade, and other activities.

Harvest Faire, the Peninsula’s oldest Renaissance Festival, runs October 7-9, 2011 to Newport News to Newport News Virginia.