Monday, July 16, 2012

Virginia Boater Safety Course

The Virginia General Assembly established boating safety requirements in 2007. These requirements are being phased in and all boaters and personal watercraft users will be required to complete a Virginia boaters safety course by 2016.  All boaters will have to pass a NASBLA approved safety course either in a classroom or online. The only exceptions are for Registered Commercial Fishermen, those who have held or currently hold a license to operate a vessel (Master, Captain or Mate) issued by the US Coast Guard or those who currently hold and posses a NASBLA approved card or certificate. These cards do not expire. It is a once in your lifetime thing that you need to do.

On July, 1 2012 ALL PWC (Personal Watercraft Users) regardless of age must posses a boating safety course card. No person under the age of 14 may operate a PWC.  All Boat operators ages 30 and younger must have completed a course.  In 2013 all boaters 40 and younger must have completed the exam. 2014 includes those 45 and younger and in 2015; everyone operating a boat who is 50 or younger must have passed the exam. Finally, in 2016 ALL boaters must have completed a NASBLA approved boating course.

For additional information: Virginia Boating Regulations
Approved Online Exam:

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Glad You're Back

I stopped at my favorite summertime spot on Backbone Mountain, today. The milkweeds are in full bloom and vanilla fills the air. It was even hot up there today. Just a touch of breeze and Monarchs ! I was able to see five individuals at the same time. I believe that may be more than I saw up there all of last year; which was not a good Monarch year. One pair was in the process of mating and I am sure that there will be many eggs laid soon. I don't think I even found one caterpillar last year, up there. I do remember one crystalis which didn't hatch. Hopefully, 2012 will be a good year for the Monarch. They need a good year and deserve a break. I sure do love the smell of a big patch of milkweed in the hot Summer breeze. It just makes a miserably hot day just a little easier to tolerate. 

Posted by High Virginia Outdoors  Photo by High Virginia Images (c) 2012 All Rights Reserved

At Least I Have Some Garlic

I pulled my garlic on Tuesday; yes pulled. Never in my life have I ever been able to pull up my garlic; without damage. The ground is just dry powder. A few years ago, we had some rain and then it got hot and dry at harvest time. I had to beat a crowbar into the ground and pry up each bulb. This year, I didn't even have to pull very hard for it to come up. It is probably the nicest crop that I've had here; though. Glad to have it!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fire On The Hill

The skies darkened on June 29, 2012; the wind came. Lots of wind, red oaks and hickories bent almost in half. Some lost the fight. The hill turned an eerie green, a few pops and then bright orange. The fire spread quickly from north to south, popping and crackling. The rain came and extinguished the flames. Seventy-two and a half hours later, electric was restored in Norton. A storm to remember; to be sure.