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Walker Nature Center

A LOOK INSIDE • Calendar of events 4 • Kids’ Corner 6 • Bird Count Results 7

BRANCHING OUT

Nature Notes Pups in the Woods MARCH By Sharon Gurtz

• • • •

Snow Drops and Crocuses bloom. Wood Frogs lay eggs in local ponds and ephemeral pools. Eastern Phoebes and Tree Swallows return. Red-shouldered Hawks begin nesting.

APRIL • • • •

• •

Reston’s Red Fox population is alive and well, providing exciting wildlife encounters and comic relief for residents. Learn what’s in store for these adaptable small dogs and what challenges they face for the coming summer.

Our fox—a brief history

Bloodroot and Trillium are blooming. Eastern Bluebirds are building nests. Serviceberry, Dogwood, and Red Bud trees bloom. Box Turtles emerge from their winter homes.

MAY •

By Idalina Walker

Columbine and Wild Blue Phlox bloom. Garter Snakes, Black Rat Snakes and Copperheads emerge from winter dens. Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron shrubs are in bloom. Spring Azure and Tiger Swallowtail butterflies are in flight.

Of the 5 fox species in the world, the one with the red hair, Vulpes vulpes, is by far the most plentiful and wide-ranging. It is the sly adversary of Aesopian fables, the trickster Reynard of French-Canadian folklore, and the fox you can easily encounter right here in Reston. Despite the introduction of European Red Foxes for sport during Virginia’s colonial period, DNA research has shown that most of the matrilineal ancestry of eastern Red Foxes originated in North America.

The latest from your neighborhood fox den

In dens throughout our natural areas and possibly even in your backyard, fox pups (sometimes called kits or cubs) are taking their first breaths of air. Born deaf and blind in early March, they will spend the next two weeks in the leaf-lined nesting chamber snuggling with their mother. She will rarely leave their sides as her pups are unable to thermoregulate at this point. During this time, their father is the sole bread winner for the little family, bringing mice and small rodents for the mother as she nurses the young. Typical litter size is six although there may be as few as two or as many as 12. After a month, the pups begin to emerge from the den. Their black newborn hair has begun to fade to a sandy grey color, which better matches the soil around the den where they will romp and play for the coming weeks.

Continued on page 2

Photo by: Arthur Hass Reston, VA

Spring 16 Volume Eighteen


Pups in the Woods Continued from page 1

Walker Nature Center 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20191 Enjoy year-round access to trails, free parking and restroom facilities dawn to dusk.

These first few weeks above ground are the most dangerous for the pups as they are the right size snack for cats, Coyotes and Great Horned Owls. If a den is disturbed too frequently by predators or people, the parents will move their pups to a safer location. In some cases, foxes will use the same dens for generations.

FEATURES

72 acres of forested land, a picnic pavilion, demonstration gardens, educational signage, a campfire ring, two streams, a pond, the entrance to 44-acre Lake Audubon and an interpretive green building, known as Nature House.

NATURE HOUSE HOURS

Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays

Saturday 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Sunday 1–4 p.m. CLOSED

May 30. Memorial Day

FOR MORE INFORMATION

703-476-9689 • www.reston.org naturecenter@reston.org

At ten weeks, the inquisitive pups begin to follow their mother out on hunting excursions. They will develop their stealth and sharp senses, essential in a few short weeks to locate prey from a distance without being noticed. For now, they will practice these abilities on their brothers and sisters, but soon it could be a matter of life and death. Stalking and pouncing skills are key to taking their prey by surprise. By fall, roughly six months from their birth, the pups take on their adult coloration and are capable of fending for themselves. Although not fully grown, they will soon wander away from home to stake out territory of their own. Generally, male pups will be run off by their father early in the fall. Whereas some of the young females may stay in the den through the winter to help their mother with next year’s litter. During their first winter, young solitary foxes have to hunt and forage on their own. Foxes can be active at any time of day, but prefer to hunt at dawn and dusk when the light is in their favor. While small rodents, bugs and berries are favorite foods, foxes are opportunistic eaters when preparing to survive the cold months ahead.

www.facebook.com/walkernaturecenter

@restonnature Groups: Please call ahead to arrange your visit. Branching Out is a quarterly publication of the Walker Nature Center (WNC), owned and operated by Reston Association. The mission of the WNC is to foster an environmental stewardship ethic in the community. It is named after Reston’s first Open Space and Nature Center Director, Vernon J. Walker.

Branching Out is printed on 100 percent recycled paper using soy ink. It is produced using 100 percent wind power. Please recycle.

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Photo by: Arthur Hass Reston, VA

Fox life—the hard truth

More than half of every litter will succumb to the elements, disease, predators, traps, or poison before reaching maturity. For those making it to adulthood, the average life span is three to seven seasons. You can help foxes by not feeding them on purpose or by accident. Don’t leave unattended pet food bowls outside and secure your trash in a can with a tight fitting lid. Feeding of wildlife can threaten human and animal safety. When foxes are fed, they begin to lose their instinctual fear of humans and become too comfortable in residential areas, sometimes appearing almost tame. These animals may be considered a nuisance, display aggressive behaviors and become dangerous. This spring, watch for Red Foxes at the nature center, trotting across RA ballfields, taking a morning walk through The Glade Stream Valley or stalking gray squirrels in your own yard. These adaptable omnivores have a knack for making a life for themselves across the globe.


Reston’s Red Fox Facts • • • • •

A Red Fox measures ~3 ft. long, including its luxuriant foot-long tail. It stands 14-16” at the shoulders, and weighs a mere 8-10 pounds. Healthy foxes are often active during the day. Habitat loss and competition from larger predators (i.e. Coyotes) have resulted in their more diurnal behavior. Foxes are not known to attack cats or other domestic animals. However, larger Coyotes WILL go after cats and small dogs. Red Foxes reach speeds of nearly 30 mph and can leap more than 6’ high. The Red Fox uses its bushy tail as a blanket to keep warm.

For more information on foxes visit:

http://eol.org/pages/328609/literature

Read about fox mitochondrial DNA research at:

http://jmammal.oxfordjournals.org/content/93/1/52

Please and Thank You By Katie Shaw, Manager We are grateful for all of the individuals and organizations who continue to support the center through contributions and volunteer work. If you can donate one of the following items, please contact kshaw@reston.org or call 703-435-6510. Friends of Reston will provide you with a letter of receipt for tax purposes. Wish List: nature stickers, construction paper, pony beads, sunflower seeds/suet cakes, office folding machine. Tax deductible donations are gratefully received by our charitable 501c3 organization, Friends of Reston, 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Write “Nature Center” in the memo section of your check or donate online using the PayPal link at www.friendsofreston.org. Include a note at check out that your donation is for the nature center. You will receive a letter for tax purposes.

Donors:

Charlie & Julie Bond, Michele Esposito, Connie Hartke, Thea Kreinik, Paulette Lincoln-Baker, David & Mary Prochnow, Reston Garden Club

Reston’s Arbor Day Monday, March 28 (rain or shine) 9:30 a.m.– Noon Locations TBD

Volunteers:

Matt Bender, Julie & Charlie Bond, Bill Brown, Bill Burton, Anne Cannizzaro, Ian Carmack, John Angelo & Thomas Carver, Fabiana Cesa, Freya De Cola, Marilyn Dicke, John Eppler, Millan Fentress, June Ferrara, Michael Filchock, Cindy Foster, Janine Greenwood, Ron Grimes, Carol & Jay Hadlock, Jazmin Harris, Kylie Horst, Peter Larkins, Pat Lenz, Paulette Lincoln-Baker, Caitlin Lundquist; Sharon McHugh, Ilene & Jim McNeal, Jason Montoya, Cynthia O’Connell, Tom & Caroline O’Connell, Terri Ostrowski, Barbara Paolucci, Mireya Pasa, Ellen Perrins, Ken Rosenthal, Jillian & Kay Schmid, Deborah Schram, Anne Strange; Sandra Twohie, Brenda Van Doorn, Verna Webb

Reston is a Tree City USA as certified by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Join us as we plant and celebrate trees. Volunteers will be treated to a pizza lunch.

Contact Ha Brock at ha@reston.org or 703-435-7986. Perfect for gardeners, seniors, scout groups and students.

OUR AMAZON WISH LIST:

Check out our Amazon.com wish list. Under “Wish List”; select “Find a Wish List or Registry”. Type “Walker Nature Center” into the name field. Purchase an item on the spot and have it shipped directly to us as a gift, so we will know who to thank.

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March

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS Sunday, March 6 ∙ 2–3:30 p.m. $7/person RA members ∙ $9/person Non-members All ages

You would not, you could not, want to miss, a celebration as fun as this! Would you, could you, come and play? Dr. Seuss has been teaching valuable lessons for generations such as “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” Steer your shoes to the nature center for a fun afternoon of crafts, food and birthday party fun in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ 112th birthday. Reservations required by March 1. DANCING WIND Monday, March 7 ∙ 10–11 a.m. Or Tuesday, March 8 ∙ 10–11 a.m. $7/child RA members ∙ $9/child Non-members Ages 18 months to 35 months

March is the windy month. Take a walk and feel the wind as it dances around you. Blow around like a gale and float like a breeze. Make a wind sock so you can always tell which way the wind is blowing. Reservations required by March 3. ORGANIC GARDENING Thursday, March 10 ∙ 7–8 p.m. $5/person RA or RCC members $7/person Non-members Adults

Organic gardening uses landscape design and the environment to improve and maximize the health and the development of plants and soil without the use of commercial pesticides and fertilizers. Learn about this mainstay method of sustainable gardening, and bring your questions. Co-sponsored by Reston Community Center. Reservations required by March 5. OOBLECK ALYPSE Wednesday, March 16 ∙ 10–11 a.m. Or 1:30–2:30 p.m. $7/child RA members ∙ $9/child Non-members Ages 3 to 5

Have you ever wished that something other than rain, snow, sunshine or fog would fall from the sky? So did King Derwin from Dr. Suess’s book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Follow the king and the wise page boy on a seussian adventure, and learn that sometimes the simplest words can solve the biggest problems. Learn some real life lessons and make your own oobleck goo to take home. Reservations required by March 11. BIRD WALK: WALKER NATURE CENTER & SNAKEDEN STREAM VALLEY Sunday, March 20 ∙ 7:30–10:30 a.m. Free Adults • Leader: Jean Tatalias

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SPRING BEAUTIES Wednesday, March 23 ∙ 1:30–2:30 p.m. $7/person RA members ∙ $9/person Non-members All ages

Before the leaves appear on the trees, wildflowers bloom to soak up the sun. Plant flower seeds that will bloom later in the year, go on a scavenger hunt, and find beautiful wildflowers tucked away in the spring woods. Reservations required by March 18. ENVIRONMENTAL FILM: BEARS Friday, March 25 ∙ 7–9 p.m. Free, $5 suggested donation Adults and children 7+ years

Disneynature’s documentary showcases a year in the life of a brown bear family as two cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. Their journey begins as winter ends, and the bears leave their den. As seasons change, the bears work to find food, and stay safe from rival bears and predators. Fast-moving action is captured in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses-Alaska! Reservations required by March 22.

April

BIRD WALK: BROWN’S CHAPEL & LAKE NEWPORT Sunday, April 3 ∙ 7:30–10:30 a.m. Free Brown’s Chapel - 1575 Brown’s Chapel Road. Adults • Leader: Bill Brown COLOR YOUR WORLD Monday, April 4 ∙ 10–11 a.m. Or Tuesday, April 5 ∙ 10–11 a.m. $7/child RA members ∙ $9/child Non-members Ages 18 months to 35 months

Spring is the perfect time to hone your color identifying skills, and we can use nature’s wonders to help us. Discover the brilliant hues of animals in love, bright flowers attracting pollinators, and bold colors warning you of danger. Play a fun game and take home a colorful craft. Reservations required by March 30. AMPHIBIAN IDOL Saturday, April 9 ∙ 10:30 a.m.–Noon $5/person RA members ∙ $7/person Non-members All ages

Frogs and toads sing in the spring to attract mates providing us with a memorable outdoor experience. Explore the pond and lake to see who is singing, and what life stages our amphibian friends are in. Reservations required by April 6. WORLD OF HEALTH: CONNECTING PEOPLE, PLACE AND PLANET Mondays, April 11–May 16 ∙ 7–8:30 p.m. $35/person RA members ∙ $45/person Non-members Adults

Join this six-week discussion course to explore the connections between the health of our communities and our planet. Learn about of the current medical model and where personal health intersects with the environment. Discover actions that promote good health as well as a healthier environment. Participants receive a book of readings that form the basis of each discussion. You will be contacted when the materials arrive, and asked to pay your fee when you pick them up. Co-sponsored by Sustainable Reston. Reservations required by March 28. MAKING THE CONNECTION: ANIMAL YOGA Tuesday, April 12 ∙ 10–11 a.m. Or 1:30–2:30 p.m. $7/child RA members ∙ $9/child Non-members Ages 3 to 5

Build and strengthen animal connections with your child. Enjoy a morning specially designed for the two of you to reap the benefits of yoga while learning about wildlife. By embodying our animal friends, we can stretch our bodies and have fun building connections between ourselves and our animal neighbors. Reservations required by April 7. INTRO TO CANNING FOOD Tuesday, April 12 ∙ 5–6:30 p.m. $5/person RA or RCC members ∙ $7/person Non-members Adults

Canning is a great way to preserve food from your garden or CSA. Learn about the science behind canning, safety precautions, kitchen set up, and equipment prep as well as food and recipe selection. Guest Presenter: Katie Strong, Virginia Cooperative Extension. Co-sponsored by Reston Community Center. Reservations required by April 7.


of Events BIRD WALK: BRIGHT POND Sunday, April 17 ∙ 7:30 –10:30 a.m. Free Bright Pond - Bright Pond Lane, park at the end of the cul-de-sac. Adults • Leader: Matt Bender SENIOR CONTAINER GARDENING Wednesday, April 27 ∙ 1:30–3 p.m. $13/person RA members ∙ $18/person Non-members Adults, 55 years and older

Learn what flowers and herbs grow best in containers and how to arrange them creatively. Listen to a presentation then plant a small container to take home. Contact Ashleigh@reston.org or 703-435-6577 for reservations. Reservations required by April 23. HOME AND GARDEN EXPO April 30, 2016 • 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Reston Association Headquarters 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive Reston, VA 20191

May

WILD EDIBLES Sunday, May 1 ∙ 1:30–4 p.m. $7/person RA members ∙ $9/person Non-members Adults

Many naturally occurring plants can make a nutritious and tasty addition to your diet. Sample some “wild” dishes and take home recipes to try on your own. After an indoor presentation that includes the ethics of collecting and how good foraging starts at home, we’ll hike the trails in search of edible plants, and harvest some to take home. Guest Presenter: Lori Thomas Reservations required by April 28. UNDER YOUR FEET Monday, May 9 ∙ 10–11 a.m. Or Tuesday, May 10 ∙ 10–11 a.m. $7/child RA members ∙ $9/child Non-members Ages 18 months to 35 months

Look under logs to see what you can find, a salamander a Rolly Polly or a Bessie Beetle.

Dig in the ground to see what squirms. Maybe you will even find some worms. Investigate life underground and see who has a hidden home. Reservations required by May 5. CAMPFIRE: POPCORN BAR Friday, May 13 ∙ 7–8:30 p.m. $7/person RA members ∙ $9/person Non-members WNC Campfire Ring - On Soapstone Drive, between Glade Drive and Lawyers Road. All ages

Enjoy a fun twist on the traditional campfire with a popcorn bar around the campfire. This is the perfect event to kick off a summer full of fun. Experiment with different flavors and popping techniques. All supplies provided. Reservations required by May 9. RAIN BARREL WORKSHOP Saturday, May 14 ∙ 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. $55 per barrel (Limit 2 per household.) Adults

Make your own 52 gallon rain barrel from a recycled pickle barrel. Rain barrels are a great way to capture stormwater from roofs, prevent erosion and conserve water. To register, visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ nvswcd/rainbarrels.htm. Reservations required by May 1. BIRD WALK: STRATTON WOODS PARK Sunday, May 15 ∙ 7:30–10:30 a.m. Free Stratton Woods Park - 2481 Fox Hill Road Adults Leader: TBD WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A FOX CUB Tuesday, May 17 ∙ 10–11 a.m. OR 1:30–2:30 p.m. $6/child RA members ∙ $8/child Non-members Ages 3 to 5

Mother Fox has new pups and they are out exploring the woods. Find out where she and her pups live, what they eat and how they play. Sing a fox song and make a fox craft. Reservations required by May 14.

ENVIRONMENTAL FILM: THE MESSENGER Friday, May 20 ∙ 7–9 p.m. Free. $5 suggested donation Adults

This film investigates the causes of songbird depletion and the efforts to save them. It is a visually thrilling ode to the beauty and importance of songbirds, and what their loss would mean on a global and human level. Birds help predict the change of seasons, the coming of storms and the rise of toxins in the food chain. Once again they have something to tell us. Post film discussion with Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. Reservations required by May 19. WINE TASTING Thursday, May 26 ∙ 4:30–6 p.m. $12/person RA members ∙ $16/person Non-members Adults 55+

Sample wines with a variety of meats, cheeses and crackers inside Nature House. Tour the gardens and a short trail with a naturalist, looking for wildflowers and birds. Co-sponsored by Tall Oaks Assisted Living. Contact Ashleigh@reston.org or call 703-435-6577 Reservations required by May 23. MASON JAR TERRARIUMS Friday, May 27 ∙ 7 –8 p.m. $7/child RA members ∙ $9/child Non-members Ages 5 to 12

Mason jar terrariums are little jars of happiness that illustrate how an ecosystem works to children. Children can observe many interesting natural processes, including photosynthesis, respiration and the water cycle. Your child will love the opportunity to bring a bit of the great outdoors inside and learn how to care for it. Reservations required by May 24. BIRD WALK: GLADE STREAM VALLEY/SAPSUCKER WOODS Sunday, May 29 ∙ 7:30–10:30 a.m. Free Park at Glade pool-11550 Glade Drive Adults • Leaders: Carol and Jay Hadlock

All programs will be held at the Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive, unless otherwise noted.

Call 703-476-9689 and press 5 or email naturecenter@reston.org for reservations and information. Advanced reservations are required for all fee-based programs. Programs may be canceled in the event of severe weather, severe weather warnings or low enrollment. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Make Your Own Ladybug Materials Egg carton Scissors Markers, crayons or paint Black pom pom (or a regular cotton ball) Glue Googly eyes (optional)

1. Cut out one section from a clean egg carton. (You may need an adult to help you.) 2. Turn the piece of egg carton so that the bottom side is facing up. This will be its body. Color that side red. 3. Add black dots to the ladybug’s body. 4. Glue a black pom pom (or cotton ball) to one end of the ladybug’s body. This will be its head. 5. Glue two googly eyes to the pom pom or draw eyes on the cotton ball. 6. Make as many ladybugs as you want. Try using different colors or numbers of spots for each new one.

Stay Active By Earl the Squirrel with help from Abby Stocking Winter sure is quiet in my neck of the woods. That’s why I really look forward to spring and the buzz, hum and chirp it brings. Spring is the time of year when insects start to wake up from their winter naps. They bring nature’s music back to our ears, and they add to the color and fun of spring. Be on the lookout for some of my favorites.

Photo Match

Match the name of the insect with the correct photo.

A

• Ladybugs – In the winter, they crawl into cracks in trees or even into people’s homes where they sleep, sometimes in large groups. In spring, adult ladybugs crawl out to look for aphids and other small insects to eat.

B

• Mourning Cloak Butterfly – One of the first butterflies to wake up in spring, these lovely creatures really brighten my day. Many butterflies spend the winter inside an egg or in a chrysalis covering. But Mourning Cloaks survive as adult butterflies. After drinking some tree sap in early spring, they will lay eggs to create more of these beautiful creatures. • Bumblebees – Only the young queen bees survive winter. They hibernate under the soil. In early spring, the queen wakes up to find nectar to eat and a place for a new nest. She lays eggs in the nest and takes care of the baby bees that grow up to be worker bees. The queen continues to lay eggs that the worker bees will then help take care of.

C

1. Ladybug 2. Mourning Cloak Butterfly 3. Bumble Bee

Answers: 1. C 2. B

3. A

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Kids’ Corner


Reston Winter Bird Count

Native Spotlight:

The Reston Winter Bird Count was held on January 2.Thanks to the 25 volunteers and 3 RA staff who participated in this year’s count. The Winter Bird Count is one of two annual counts that helps Reston Association monitor the success of our community in supporting a variety of wildlife. On this year’s count, there were 51 species of birds observed and over 2,000 individual birds recorded. That is about average for a winter count. The species seen in the greatest abundance were the Canada Goose, American Robin, Northern Cardinal, and Cedar Waxwing.

(Arisaema triphyllum) By Sharon Gurtz

By Abby Stocking

A new species for a Winter Bird Count were a pair of Redheads observed at Bright Pond. Redheads are ducks that are found in northern Virginia in the winter, but are not frequently observed in Reston. A Common Raven was also observed, which is a bird that is becoming increasingly more common in Reston. Volunteers gathered for lunch after the count at Nature House where they were able to share their findings as well as their favorite sightings of the day.

Native Plant Sale Place orders by Friday, April 1, 5 p.m. Pick up on Saturday, April 16, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Species to include a variety of sun and shade loving wildflowers and ferns. See the plant list on the order form available online at www.reston.org and at Nature House. Contact naturecenter@reston.org or 703-476-9689 for more information.

JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT

One of the more distinctive plants you may find while hiking in the spring woods is Jack-in-the-pulpit. Its structure and lifestyle are almost as unique as its name. Jacks can grow 6 inches to 3 feet tall. They have one or two large, glossy leaves, each on its own stem, divided into three leaflets—not to be confused with poison ivy.

Photo by: The Dow Gardens Archive Organization: Dow Gardens Country: United States http://www.forestryimages.org

If you pay attention to the flower structure you can recognize it every time. Look for a long, tube-shaped stalk that has a "hood" draped over it. The hood can be white, green, brown or purple. It can be a solid color or have a striped appearance. In the fall, bright red fruit, eaten by Wild Turkey and Wood Thrush, may be found on the center stalk after the leaf stems and hood have fallen off. Why the name Jack-in-the-pulpit? The name comes from the distinctive shape of the flower-bearing stalk. The long, central club, called the spadix, is the “Jack”, and the leaf-like hood, also called a spathe, is the “pulpit”. The spadix extends above the bottom edge of the spathe suggesting the appearance of a country parson perched on an elevated stand over his congregation. The upper part of the spathe curves forward and downward acting as an umbrella to protect the preacher, also preventing water from flooding the 30-60 tiny flowers hidden at the base of the spadix. Other common names for this plant are Arum, Indian Turnip, Wild Turnip and Dragon Arum. Jack-in-the-pulpit - or is it Jill? Can plants be male one year, and female the next? In the case of Jack-in-the-pulpit, the plant can control the number of female and male parts it produces. It appears to be male one year, and female another. In some years there are no flowers at all. Why would a plant change its gender from year to year? Apparently age and environmental conditions are key factors. A young plant may not form flowers for 4-6 years. When the plant is large enough, the first flowers will be pollen-producing males. As years pass and the plant increases in size, the larger spadix will begin to produce female flowers. Female flowers can produce fruit and seeds. The sex of the current year’s plant will be determined by the size of the previous year’s root storage structure called the corm. When a plant uses its energy to produce berries, the next year its corm will be smaller and often will have male flowers. Environmental conditions that are less than ideal can also cause corm size to be smaller, with a change in sexual expression from female to male. There may be no flowers at all following a stressful year for the plant. This can be caused in part by drought, competition or even browsing by the local deer herd that decided it would make a tasty snack. If you come across this plant in our woods, there is a fairly reliable way to distinguish female plants from males. In most cases, females will have 2 leaves (6 leaflets) and males only one (3 leaflets). If you look deep inside the spathe, and see a group of round green berries, you are looking at a female plant. Native Americans are reported to have dried the corms and cooked them as food and also used the plant medicinally, but the corm is loaded with oxalic acid and the plant is considered to be poisonous. Raw root and stems can burn the mouth, swell the tongue and cause stomach distress. So, while Jack-in-the-pulpit may not make the best addition to your diet, it is still a beautiful plant that adds intriguing variety to woodland gardens. Find a moist-to-wet site in shade or part shade with plenty of organic material. Then, be patient. It can take several years to get flowers, but it is a very long-lived perennial that spreads easily by seed. Next time you come across this native, or its relative skunk cabbage, in our woods or along the stream banks, remember how lucky we are to have natural woodland areas where we can view such unique plants. Better yet, observe it over the years to see if the plant gets bigger, is male, female or switching it up.

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PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID RESTON, VA PERMIT NO. 21

www.reston.org Walker Nature Center 11450 Glade Drive Reston, Virginia 20191

NATURE HOUSE 5K

Photo by: Colena Turner

FREE EVENT ALL AGES WELCOME

Saturday, April 2, 8 a.m. Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive Adult Fee: $25 (prior to March 19), $30 regular Children’s Fee: $15 (prior to March 19), $20 regular

Saturday, May 7 • 1-5 p.m. Walker Nature Center 11450 Glade Drive (rain or shine)

Register at www.active.com or in person starting 7 a.m. on race day. Get into nature on one of the most scenic courses in the area. There will be lots of prizes and refreshments following the race. LEED Gold certified by the US Green Building Council, Nature House is the home environmental education in Reston. Funds raised will support new green building enhancements, and educational displays and exhibits. Funds go to Friends of Reston, 501(c)(3) organization, which led the capital campaign to create Nature House. Donations above and beyond the race entry fees are tax deductible. Volunteers needed. Contact habrock@reston.org or call 703-435-7986.

Entertainment Live Animals Fishing Activities Craft Making for Kids Displays and Information from Environmental Groups Canoe and Kayak Rentals on Lake Audubon ($3) Native Plant Sale with Nature by Design Entertainment sponsor: Reston Community Center Volunteers needed Contact habrock@reston.org or call 703-435-7986. See www.reston.org for more event updates. Photos by: Amanda Lowe

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Spring 16 Volume Eighteen

Profile for Reston Association

Branching out spring 2016  

WNC newsletter

Branching out spring 2016  

WNC newsletter