The Rapp for Sept. 20

Autumn welcome

Autumn officially arrives this Saturday, Sept. 22, at exactly 9:54 p.m. EDT.

As temperatures begin to drop, we are reminded that this year’s much-anticipated fall foliage isn’t due to weather conditions, a common misperception. Instead, leaves change color because of photosynthesis and dwindling daylight.

Speaking of which, Daylight Savings Time won’t end until Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 a.m., when as a reminder we “fall back in the fall.”

Cat’s meow

The Meadows, the delightful home of Beverly Sullivan and Washington Mayor John Fox Sullivan, welcomes everybody tomorrow (Friday) evening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in support of RappCats, the Rappahannock-based non-profit that rescues, cares for, and finds loving homes for needy cats and kittens.

The annual fundraiser will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and wonderful wines, as attendees listen to performances by jazz artist Monica Worth, jazz pianist Bob Bennetta, and other guest musicians. A live auction and a silent auction will also be held.

Tickets are $65 per person; $55 for seniors 65 and over. Visit to purchase tickets through Paypal. For additional information email or call 540-987-6050.

Free pass

All visitors enter Shenandoah National Park free of charge this Saturday, Sept. 22, in honor of the 25th National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

Milkweed is one focus of Saturday at the Byrd Visitor Center. Starting at 9 a.m., adults and children can help collect seeds and pods of the poke milkweed in Big Meadows. Collected seeds will then be used in various plant restoration projects throughout the park to re-establish native habitat. The more milkweed the more food for Monarch butterflies, thus the day will also feature a Monarch tagging demonstration.

Shenandoah will also be hosting the 85th Civilian Conservation Corps Reunion at the Big Meadows Lodge. Big Meadows and Skyland CCC camps were the first in the National Park Service and were visited by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in August 1933.

Slow down

Weather permitting, three miles of milling operations along the Rappahannock stretch of Route 211 through Shenandoah National Park will bring lane closures with pilot vehicles both today and tomorrow (Thursday and Friday), 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In addition, be on the lookout for tree trimming operations on Route 636 Schoolhouse Road tomorrow (Friday) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Also, westbound bridge replacement will continue (through July 2019) on Route 211 over the North Fork Thornton River in Sperryville.

VDOT crews, meanwhile, were able to finish rehabilitating the Route 626 Whorton Hollow Road Bridge over the Thornton River one day ahead of schedule, despite the rain.

On your mark

The 12th Annual 5K Fun Run is taking place at Wakefield Country Day School this Saturday, with same-day registration beginning at 8 a.m. and the race at 9. The friendly competition, which is open to the public, includes prizes to be awarded to the top two male and female finalists in all age categories. Entry fee is $15 for students, $20 for all others, and all proceeds will benefit the WCDS Athletic Department.

Visit for registration forms and details, or call 540-635-8555.

Take the Tour

The Rappahannock County Annual Farm Tour, a two-day self-guided tour offering behind-the-scenes glimpses of working farms, is just around the pasture: one week from Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30.

There are 15-plus venues for this year’s 10th annual tour, featuring beekeeping, llamas, organic vegetable farms, not to mention goats, chickens, cows and artisans selling their wares.

Farms include Bean Hollow Grassfed, Belle Meade Farm, Caledonia Farm, Crowfoot Farm, Freestate Llamas, Garden of Eatin’ at the Inn at Little Washington, Happy Henz, High Meadow Farm, Hinson Ford Cider and Mead, Kattle 1 Beef, Lee’s Orchard, Narmada Winery, Rock Mills Farm, The Farm at Sunnyside, and Whippoorwill Farm.

For tour details visit The event is free.

Pic countdown

The Piedmont Environmental Council annual photo contest is accepting submissions for only ten more days, through Sept. 30.

Professional and amatuer photographers are asked to submit images in these categories: Beautiful Landscapes and Streetscapes, Native Plants and Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation (hiking, trails, camping, fishing, biking, etc.). There is also a Youth category for photographers 17 and younger.

PEC judges will select finalists and the public will then pick the award winners. Images must be taken within Rappahannock, Madison, Culpeper, Fauquier, Loudoun, Clarke, Albemarle, Greene and Orange counties.

Flo, take two

The following events have been rescheduled to these new dates and times due to Hurricane Florence:

— The University of Virginia’s Connaughton Gallery will host the Florence-delayed reception for Two if By Land, a new show featuring paintings by Rappahannock-based (Gay Street in Washington) artist Kevin H. Adams and Giselle Gautreau, on Thursday, Oct. 25, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

— The Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center’s Bodies in Motion 5K, 10k, and Fun Run will now be held Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Warrenton Aquatics and Recreation Facility (WARF), starting at 8 a.m. All pre-hurricane registrations remain valid. Contact Jill Smith at or visit

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