Owl portraits and the truth about biomass


As the trees turn red, the calendar turns green. If you hanker for deep learning on alt-energy or yearn for handy cover-cropping tips, October’s your month. Friends, note these upcoming events:

At the Paramount on Friday, October 9—that’s a mere two days away—you can hear local star photographer Nick Nichols talk about his adventures capturing images of owls mid-flight, redwood trees mid-stretch, and other amazing natural phenomena. (Giant photo hung on Downtown Mall parking garage: That’s Mr. Nichols’. Also see National Geographic, a little mag you may have heard of.) The talk is a benefit for the Ivy Creek Foundation, which does important work preserving the no less spectacular features of our local ecosystem. It starts at 8pm and you can buy the $10-25 tickets at 979-1333, theparamount.net, or Blue Ridge Mountain Sports.

More on that local ecosystem: Get over to the CCDC on October 13 to hear author Marlene Condon talk about the kinds of things her book The Nature-Friendly Garden covers: yards and gardens that attract beneficial wildlife and don’t use poisons. Marlene knows her stuff and, in a way, her message is very provocative. Her slide talk starts at 7pm and it’s free, but you have to register at 970-3182 or barmore@charlottesville.org.

Want to grow vetch? Wondering what on earth "vetch" is? Find out at a permaculture presentation called "Planning the Sustainable Vegetable Garden, Including Cover Cropping" on October 15, 6pm, Ivy Creek Natural Area. Bring a dish to share at the potluck that follows, and $5 for the suggested donation. Presenter Cindy Conner will likely explain that vetch is a "green manure" that you grow to give your soil a rest from the hard work of producing stuff like tomatoes and peppers. Huzzah!

October 17, which is a Saturday, you have a hard choice. You can either go out to Crozet from 2 to 4pm and take a $25 backyard poultry class at Quarters Farm. (Sign up on the website.) Or you can devote the entire day (9:30am-3pm) to a conference at the UVA Physics building called A New Energy Future: Conservation, Efficiency and Renewables. Topics include everything from nuclear reactors at Lake Anna to biomass to wind power, and I get the feeling it’ll be a meaty, assumption-skewering discussion. It costs $10 ("no one turned away for lack of funds") and you can find out more from John Cruickshank at 973-0373 or jcruickshank4@gmail.com. 

Either way, you can still make it to Metallica at the JPJ that evening. (Note: not a particularly green event.)