The Big Catch

May 29, 2013

I could hear Tony tearing up the trail from Squirrel Creek toward our campsite in the middle of a blueberry patch in remote Avery County, North Carolina. All the forest creatures could hear him, too.

Tony was anything but subtle when he’d caught a fish and he wanted every thrush, every gray squirrel, every white-tail deer, every groundhog and—most of all—me to know he’d hooked a penny-bright, native, feisty rainbow trout.

Cubs on Camera

May 29, 2013
Wildlife Center of Virginia

It’s spring, and that means business for the Wildlife Center of Virginia, where hundreds of animals – many of them babies -- are brought for treatment of injuries or illness. This year veterinarians are caring for a record number of bear cubs, the public is invited to watch.

On a sunny afternoon in May, a small, light brown bear climbs around her cage – trying to find a way out.  She was confiscated from someone who tried to keep her as a pet, and Amanda Nicholson, director of outreach for the center, says this baby is not native to these parts.

Cicadas on the Menu

May 24, 2013

As the 17-year cicadas emerge from the ground, millions of birds will be feasting – and a few people plan to join the party.  They're  harvesting, cooking and eating these insects which experts say are high in protein, and low in fat and cholesterol.  Clever cooks have even incorporated cicadas into tacos and pizza, sushi, chili and chocolate chip cookies.

Experts say that due to the prolific use of pesticides it is not recommended to eat any bug without knowing its origins are safe.

Building Bridges

May 23, 2013

If you listen to our programs on a regular basis, you know Gerry Krueger – the Albemarle County resident who has spent much of her life watching and writing about the geese on a pond near her home, including one disabled bird named Charlie. 

She also taught school and tutored children with special needs, like Sean, who lived with his deaf mother and struggled to speak, read and write. 

Today, she’s retired from teaching but has not stopped writing about the birds and about Sean.


Happier Honey Bees

May 7, 2013
Dan Addison via UVA

With the coming of spring, bee hives across the state are buzzing, but beekeepers say the insects face another challenging season - gathering pollen from plants sprayed with pesticides, fighting off parasites and disease. 

Rowan Sprague is an engineering student whose career took a surprising turn at the University of Virginia.  That’s where she started hearing all kinds of interesting stuff about bees.