Tuesday, September 19, 2006

American Chestnuts and Groundhogs

We took a tour last week of an American Chestnut Restoration Project in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I'll take any excuse to go to the mountains! We are blessed to be only 45 minutes away. It was an interesting discussion about the blight that virtually eliminated the American Chestnut's importance in our country earlier in the 20th century and how they are working to produce authentic trees without the blight. There is more information about this tree at the American Chestnut Foundation's website and you can learn some things from the photo album of our American Chestnut Tour.

On the way back we stopped in Charlottesville at the Produce Market and not far from the central downtown area we saw a groundhog feeding beside the road. I had my camera with me so I finally got a photo of one of these guys.

We didn't have groundhogs when we lived down south for so many years, so it's been a treat to see them here in Virginia. We see them a lot along the sides of the road but as soon as you slow down they go flying down the hills. This one was obviously used to slower moving traffic since we were in a 25 mph zone. I think he's a real cutie. I had to study a bit on groundhogs after "meeting" this one. For more information, read the post on groundhogs.

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