Bay Journal

Chesapeake Notebook

News, notes and observations from the Bay Journal staff.

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Dominion seeks to build VA gas pipeline across preserved lands

A natural gas pipeline proposed to cross Virginia could cut through 10 different conservation easements set aside in the state.

Dominion, the Richmond-based energy company, is leading a group of four firms in seeking federal approval to build a 600-mile pipeline to supply gas to utilities in Virginia and North Carolina.  It is seeking permission to lay the Atlantic Coast Pipeline across multiple conservation easements, where landowners have given up their development rights to preserve the sites’ natural features.

The Virginia Outdoor Foundation, a state entity that manages more than 750,000 preserved acres statewide, is scheduled to consider Dominion’s request at a September meeting of its board of trustees.

Jeff Day
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Dolphins making a splash in rivers near Annapolis

Dolphins are a frequent sight for summer beachgoers along the Mid-Atlantic coast, but they’ve been spotted recently far up the Chesapeake Bay – farther, in fact than many can recall seeing them in quite some time.

As I reported in the July issue of the Bay Journal, the marine mammals have become regular summer visitors to the lower Potomac River. Georgetown University professor Janet Mann and several students tallied 200 different animals there in a two-week span last year.

But migratory Atlantic dolphins have been making a splash recently in other parts of the Bay, offshore of Anne Arundel County, MD. Boaters and residents have seen them as far north as the Magothy River and in a few other rivers near Annapolis.

Whitney Pipkin

As wavyleaf basketgrass spreads, scientist urges prevention, rapid attacks on new toeholds

Hikers and hunters who visit forests in the late summer and fall beware: If you encounter wavyleaf basketgrass, the extremely sticky seeds of the invasive forest floor plant can hitch a ride on your socks, denim and fleece, and be redeposited in the next forest you visit.

Jeff Day

Picture This

Tips from veteran Chesapeake Bay photographer Dave Harp about how to capture the perfect images from your outdoor travels.

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Pond paddle provides lovely setting for photos

I always try to get out and make some photos on the solstices and equinoxes,  and an assignment to illustrate a story about Trap Pond allowed me to chase the morning light there a few hours after this year’s Autumnal equinox.   It’s an amazingly beautiful patch of wild Delaware near Laurel and will be featured in the November issue of the Bay Journal.   The pond, created in the 18th century to power a saw mill to convert the trees into board feet of lumber,  is the epicenter of the northern most stand of bald cypress trees in the United States.   The relatively young trees in the middle of the pond were planted in the 1930’s when the water level  was drawn down to allow the trees to grow.    Once they’re heads are above the water they seem to do fine in an aquatic environment.  Be sure to look for a more complete story about Trap Pond State Park by Tom Horton in the November issue of the Bay Journal.

David Harp
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Want to take some really cool photos?

Bundle up and take advantage of the opportunities for great photos provided the the crisp air, and low angle of sunlight, during winter months.

David Harp
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Photographers’ reliable “standby”

While cameras have changed much over the past century, one ingredient of good photos has remained largely the same — the tripod.

David Harp

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