Washington column for March 22

Ah, springtime in the Blue Ridge !

We have had some beautiful warm days the past several weeks, with the birds chirping. They were happy as I was for the warm weather. My spring flowers are peeking through the ground. With snow on top of them, of course.

This season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures and the rebirth of flora and fauna. Spring officially began on Tuesday, March 20. Although spring came in with rain, sleet and snow, I encourage you to welcome spring by taking time out to enjoy Rappahannock County’s rich natural beauty.

Although we still might be on a roller coaster ride some days, I can promise you that spring is well on its way.

CCLC news

The children at the Child Care and Learning Center have been studying birds with their teachers and Children-in-Nature Director, Christina Loock. The children enjoy learning how to identify local birds that stop to eat the seeds in the butterfly garden while the children observe behind the bird blind.

Katie Burney, assisted by Mike Wenger and Gail Swift, some of CCLC’s Old Rag Master Naturalist mentors, led an informative hands-on program about worm composting. Photo by Christina Loock

Old Rag Master naturalist volunteer and CCLC board member, Joyce Wenger and Christina Loock, continued this study with a program on bird nests. The children learned how different species use different materials for their nests and collected nesting material to hang for the birds.

Recently, Katie Burney with the help of Mike Wenger and Gail Swift, some of CCLC’s Old Rag Master Naturalist mentors, led an informative hands-on and fun program about worm composting for the school age program. Worms are a gardener’s best friend for fertilizer and decomposition of compost materials. Later the children explored our playground forest to find other examples of decomposition.

Last week, Commit to Be Fit Wellness Integration Specialist Holly Jenkins and Wellness Integration Coordinator Jackie Tederick presented their impressive Action Based Learning program to the teachers at CCLC.

The ABL program at RCES has become very popular and the staff at CCLC are anxious it can be implemented in their early childhood classrooms as well. CCLC teachers have implemented several of the new ideas and are excited to see Active Based Learning supported to help develop the whole child so they can be prepared to succeed in school and life.

Easter hopping

The 1996 Easter Egg Hunt at the Washington volunteer firehouse. The tradition is still going strong. Courtesy photo

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail. Hippity, hoppity, Easter’s on its way. Bringing every girl and boy baskets full of Easter joy, things to make your Easter bright and gay.

And here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down Firehouse Lane. Look at him stop, and listen to what he has to say . . . which is that the Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue is having its breakfast and free Easter egg hunt Saturday (March 31).

Breakfast is 7 to 11 a.m., followed by the egg hunt at 11. It’s free to all children, so bring a basket. The Easter bunny will also be present during breakfast, so parents, bring your camera and get that shot of the Easter bunny with your child. Remember: a picture is worth thousands words. In years to come that picture will tell a story.

This year’s Easter egg hunt marks 30 years for the Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue. They started back in 1988 with 25 kids and it is now grown to 150. Chief Ann Spieker has been there for every egg hunt. Thank you Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue for your services to our children.

Relay fundraiser

Hope on the Move Relay Team is having their Relay for Life fundraiser Easter Bake Sale on Saturday, March 31 from 8 a.m. until they sell out of everything, at the 211 Quickie Mart. For more information call Karen at 540-635-4673.


Due to the weather, the Watergate Gallery in Washington, D.C. has postponed Rappahannock artist Kevin Adams’ “meet the artist” reception until Wednesday, March 28, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Kevin will discuss his paintings from Cuba and Virginia.

Have a wonderful week.