Sunday, March 27, 2011

2011 Mid Atlantic Spring Snow

In the last days of spring, the Mid Atlantic has seen dramatic variations in weather. Recent days have included cold mornings, warm afternoons, rain and even an unexpected snow fall. Although spring snows are an unwelcome reminder of the long winter, this one passed quickly and within a few hours, the sun was out and flowers re-appeared un-affected.

Best Mid Atlantic Bed and Breakfasts

The Mid Atlantic region is fortunate to have an incredible range of bed & breakfasts and other inns. Settings include remote mountain retreats, historic colonial homes, beach homes, and other destinations.

Bed and breakfast inns usually accommodate guests by day or week, with some units available for longer stays. Inns range from simple homes in residential neighborhoods to upscale historic homes.

Bed and breakfasts are popular for honeymoons, weekend getaways, summer vacations, or simply for an overnight visit. Another popular option is to book an entire inn for family re-unions, company retreats or other functions.

When choosing a bed and breakfast in the Mid Atlantic, its always a good idea to have a list of questions ready in advance. Usually a little research prior to traveling will help vacationers find the perfect inn.

This list offers a few ideas for choosing the perfect inn or b&b:

Is a deposit required in advance?
Can a room be canceled once a deposit is placed?
Does the facility have a website or social network page?
Are reviews of the inn available?
Is the inn part of an innkeepers association or chamber of commerce?
Is a spare bed available if needed?
Are pets allowed?
What about restrictions?
How can the innkeeper be contacted in case of emergency?
Are room rates cheaper during the off season?
Is room service available?
What attractions are nearby?

Need to find a bed and breakfast or plan your next getaway? Visit these regional websites to learn more about accommodations near some of the Mid Atlantic's top travel destinations:

Tidewater Virginia accommodations

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Mid Atlantic Garden Planting Ideas

With food prices skyrocketing and food safety becoming more of an issue, more and more homeowners are turning to backyard gardens as a source of fresh fruits and vegetables.

This list provides a few ideas for early season plantings in Mid-Atlantic backyard vegetable gardens:

  - Onion sets are simple to plant, just dig a furrow as soon as the ground is workable, add a little fertilizer and place onions 3-4 inches apart, oriented up. Cover with soil and water lightly.

  - Mixed lettuce can be planted as early as April 1. Work the ground until smooth and then sow seeds an inch or 2 apart. Thin plants often and keep watered. Lettuce bolts quickly when weather warms, so harvest and share lettuce as soon as possible

  - Zucchini and straightneck yellow squash are both extremely simple to grow. Plant either type as soon as the danger of frost subsides.

  - Stringbeans are another easy to grow crop that matures quickly. Plant stringbeans a few inches apart, sowing several crops during the season. Stringbeans are a good mid to late season choice that can follow early season vegetables.

  - Roma tomatoes are among the simplest and most prolific vegetables for Mid Atlantic small gardens. Just a few plants are needed. These are remarkably easy to grow in beds by covering the ground with poly mulch or any of the many synthetic mulching materials. For all natural and organic gardening fanatics, mulching with wheat straw will ensure bountiful harvests, even during dry spells.

  - Herbs are an important addition to Mid Atlantic gardens. When space allows, sow a few annual herbs such as dill, basil, cilantro, and parsley. Perennial herbs are usually available as plants, with sage, oregano and chives being essentials.

Spring is a good time to start a compost pile. These simple garden additions allow hobbyists to dispose of excess debris while enriching the soil at the same time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mid Atlantic Striped Bass Management

Management of striped bass is a hot issue along the Mid Atlantic Coast. On Wednesday March 23, 2011, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board will hold their winter/spring 2011 meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia.

According to Stripers Forever, a recreational fishing organization, a very important agenda item for this board meeting which is a proposal by the Maine Department of Natural Resources requesting that the board consider initiating an addendum to the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass to reduce coastwide mortality on striped bass.

Maine, Massachusetts, and possibly other New England states are said to be pushing this issue as is Stripers Forever.

Striped bass, also known as rockfish have become an icon of Mid Atlantic saltwater fishing since their incredible comeback in the 1990's.

Spring in the Mid Atlantic Region

As this blog gets underway, so is Spring in the Mid Atlantic. Leaving in great numbers are the snow geese, replaced by a less welcome visitor, the mosquito. Although freshwater and river fishing never ceases in the Mid Atlantic, the winter period is certainly slow. With recent warm days, this is changing quickly. Throughout the region, anglers are catching yellow perch, white perch, bass, crappie, rainbow trout and other species.