Monday, June 27, 2011

Calendar: Hunting Deer, Hunting Herons

backyard deer
Photo credit: Art Poskanzer
There was a flurry of activity on our local listserve this week because someone apparently shot a deer in a neighbor's backyard, uninvited. While this raises some seriously alarming safety issues in the neighborhood, the fact that three deer were looking for food in the backyard in the first place points out a more widespread problem: deer are crazily overpopulated in the DC metro area. They're browsing local forests so badly that it's hard for the trees to reproduce and for the understory plants to survive at all...which affects not just the plants but the animals that depend upon them.

On that note, this Tuesday, the Maryland Native Plant Society's monthly meeting will include a presentation by Eugene Meyer, science advisor for a deer management project at Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary. Gene will discuss solutions to over-browsing and efforts to track the recovery of local areas. Free, at the White Oak Library at 7:30.

The Arlington parks system is sponsoring a different type of "hunting" this Saturday...tromping around near the Chain Bridge looking for all three local species of heron, in their "Hunting Herons" trip at 4:00.

There's more on our isn't back up to its former glory since I got overwhelmed by a big project at my day job, but it is repopulated with events from several local nature centers and other organizations -- including some really good looking Sierra Club hikes. Check it out.