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Part Two of Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s ‘Walk on the Wildside’ wildlife residents tour slated for this weekend, May 1-2

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BOYCE, VA – With our car sitting in the parking lot occupied by a dog named Goose, how appropriate it was to be greeted by a high-flying bird named Goose, the first of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s “ambassadors” on display at the center’s Grand Opening of its “Wildlife Walk” over the past weekend.

The “Walk”, planned, or perhaps only dreamed of six years ago, provides an outdoor viewing area of a dozen or more small animals and large birds, the first being Goose, a Peregrine Falcon, described as being arguably the fastest animal on earth – clocked at over 200 mph in dives while hunting smaller and less speedy prey. Goose, the bird, not the dog, broke his “fingers”, possibly in one such flight six years ago, and was turned in to the BRWC hospital where he found a permanent and safe home following his injuries.

Goose the Peregrine Falcon is taking it a little slower than 200 mph these days. Below, graphic showing profiles of Peregrine Falcons in full dive mode – oh wait, the bottom one is a stealth bomber. Talk about reverse engineering alien technology. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini

“Home” is where Dr. Jennifer Riley, DVM, treats up to 2,000 animals, reptiles and birds per year, most of which are eventually released to their previous habitat, all fixed up and ready to go again. Just a few, by comparison, wind up as permanent residents at the million-dollar facility on Island Farm Road in Boyce, and these are what more than 200 visitors saw and were greeted by last weekend.


A second version of the grand opening of the “The Wildlife Walk” is scheduled this coming weekend, May 1 and 2. Admission is free.

A longtime resident of the Center is a handsome, elderly “ambassador” named Jefferson, a Bald Eagle, introduced this day by Kelly Bailey of Stephens City, one of 12 docents at the Boyce facility.  America’s national bird, Bailey said, survived three surgeries for injuries received when he hit a utility pole. The medical attention was successful, but Jefferson still couldn’t fly so, 10 years ago, had found himself a home.

A perspective on the new BRWC Wildlife Walk from the main building. Below, Jefferson the American Bald Eagle, a resident at the center for a decade.

It appeared that the new outdoor refuge had been a gleam in the eye of the Center’s manager for education and research, Jennifer Burghoffer. She was one of two senior staffers on hand to greet attendees, the other being Executive Director Annie Bradfield, new to the job with, like veteran staff member Burghoffer, a fondness for birds and education of the public. Bradfield began her new duties about six months ago.

While BRWC tends all animals native to Virginia, the Center has one spectacular “outsider” a long way from home. She is Snow, an Arctic Fox, a popular Number 8 on the list of 12 “ambassadors,” currently a white ball of fluff sound asleep when we reached her home. She, too, is a longtime resident – nine years – and among the most popular. A year or so ago I was fortunate to see her being taken for a doggy-style walk outside her lofty and comfortable cage.

Upon arrival, our intrepid reporter Malcolm Barr Sr. is greeted at The Wildlife Center front office where paraphernalia and apparel are available for purchase by wildlife fans. Below, as we neared the end of our informative Wildlife Walk, one of the guide docents explains the history of the center’s Artic Fox named ‘Snow’, curled up asleep like a snowball.

Number 2 among the animals on display was Vega who gives local residents a closer look at what many see mostly from afar, the ubiquitous Turkey Vulture. Docent Heather Shank-Givens said Vega was admitted to the hospital in 2019 suffering from gunshot wounds. Turkey Vultures, as well as all native birds, are federally protected and shooting them is illegal. Among other injuries, Vega lost an eye and suffers from lead poisoning. While non-releasable, Vega makes a good case against hunters of any animals and birds using lead ammunition which Dr. Riley lustily and regularly preaches against in the Northern Valley area.

Vega the Turkey Vulture was a 2019 victim of illegal hunting, who while surviving, like the other animals on the BRWC’s new Wildlife Walk, cannot be re-released due to lingering after affects of its injuries.

Future visitors will view close-up the animals they mostly see dead on our highways and byways, the Virginia Opossums. My accompanying colleague and mission photographer Roger Bianchini recently argued over the name during my January visit to turn in an injured dove.

“Why was I taught to call them Possums if there’s an ‘O’ in the name – it wouldn’t be a silent ‘O’ first letter, would it?” argued Bianchini. We took the opportunity to settle the issue while being greeted by Bradfield, Burghoffer and others on duty in the front office. The result was a tie – we were both correct. There are Opossums native to this area; the Possums my colleague described were cousins of the local guys, living in far-away Australia.

Well, we did see Opossums on our trip to Boyce’s Blue Ridge Wildlife Center – at least a trio of toy replicas, along with two foxes, for sale with other souvenirs as our reporter chats with Executive Director Annie Bradfield. Further down the counter the center’s Manager for Education and Research Jennifer Burghoffer takes care of other visitors.

Closer to home, visitors were fascinated by a solitary Virginia Box Turtle enjoying an afternoon swim in the enclosure’s pond; and attempts were made to out stare an inquisitive Screech Owl named Dopey, and so ended one of the area’s most enjoyable shows, courtesy “The Ambassadors.”

Advance reservations, due to the pandemic, are required. To sign up, visit the BRWC website: blueridgewildlifectr.org

Above, the turtle enclosure at distance with the Arctic Fox enclosure beyond it. The following sequence shows the adventure of one of the box turtles as it heads from grassy land into the water for a lengthy adventure around the enclosure’s pool.

Attempts to outstare this very focused Screech Owl named Dopey by the Royal Examiner team were predictably unsuccessful.

With the help of a rope labeled ‘Bald Eagle’ from one of the Wildlife Walk’s display tables, two docents illustrate the wingspan of a Bald Eagle – seven feet!

The BRWC main office and greeting point for visitors with the center’s Mission and Vision statements posted inside.

An impressive wood carving of birds and a squirrel near the entrance to the Wildlife Walk

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Benefit for Mason Ryder: Local Front Royal boy in need of liver transplant

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Let’s help Mason, a local 8-year-old boy who lives here in Front Royal!

Please watch this video to meet Mason and his family. Learn a little about his journey with Dyskeratosis Congenita and get excited about the upcoming fundraiser. Mason has been recommended for liver transplant pre screening, and we all need to support the best we can:


To learn more, visit: Mason Ryder’s Journey with Dyskeratosis Congenita


Event: June 19, 2021
Time: 3 pm to 8 pm
Location: 1481 Hazard Mill Rd, Bentonville VA 22610
More Info: Facebook Event Page

  • Raffle Items, Live Music, Lego Auction (made by Mason)
  • Hot Dogs or Hamburgers | 2 Sides – BYOB – tickets $10.00
  • Raffle Tickets – $1.00 each | Drawings will be announced starting at 7pm
  • Cornhole Tournament – $10.00 entry fee
  • Call Pam Coyle for details: 540-233-2597

If you can not attend and still want to donate, click this link: Mason’s GoFundMe

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Family Fun Day is this Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Gazebo

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Yes, there will be a 2021 Family Fun Day – and it will be this Saturday, May 8, 2021, at the Gazebo in downtown Front Royal. The activities will start at 10:00 am till 6:00 pm.

Family Fun Day is a family-friendly, alcohol-free event, hosted in Front Royal, Virginia, by C & C Frozen Treats. Family Fun Day is an official 501c3 nonprofit and will be happy to accept your tax-deductible donation to help fund this year’s event.

If you love and support the community of Front Royal and the surrounding areas, we encourage you to come out and bring your family and friends to enjoy this community-building event with an antique car show, kid’s events, and of course ICE CREAM! Let’s not forget that Nina will be boiling crawfish! Don’t miss the fun!


 

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This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of May 7th

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Are you looking for the full movie-going experience without having to wait in the long lines that often accompany that experience? Then look no further because Royal Cinemas movie theatre is the answer. Get the whole gang together and enjoy a movie! We are continuing to practice “6 Foot Social Distancing” with 30% capacity reserved seating in all auditoriums.

Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Friday, May 7:

• Friday: 6:00 & 8:40
• Sat & Sun: 12:50, 3:25, 6:00 & 8:40
• Mon – Thurs: 7:05
Rated R  |  Run Time: 1 hour 58 min

• Friday: 6:05 & 8:45
• Sat & Sun: 1:05, 3:35, 6:05 & 8:45
• Mon – Thurs: 7:00
Rated R  |  Run Time: 1 hour 50 min



• Friday: 6:10 & 8:50
• Sat & Sun: 1:00, 3:30, 6:10 & 8:50
• Mon – Thurs: 7:10
Rated PG-13  |  Run Time: 1 hour 53 min


Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Adult: $10
  • Child (under 12): $7
  • Military: $8
  • Student (college): $8
  • Senior: $8
  • Matinees, All Seating: $7

COMING SOON:

  • “Finding You”
  • “A Quiet Place: Part II”
  • “Spirit Untamed”
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Martin’s crew doing their part to Keep Virginia Beautiful

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In celebration of Arbor Day and as part of The GIANT Company’s commitment to making a difference in its local communities, several MARTIN’S team members and their families spent Friday morning volunteering with Keep Virginia Beautiful on restoration and tree planting efforts at Shenandoah River State Park.


 

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Empty Bowl Supper 2021 “TO GO” was a great success

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Empty Bowl Supper 2021 “TO GO” event crossed the finish line bringing in an approximate net of 13K to the House of Hope! Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this year amazing. Main Street/Downtown merchants made this year extra special by displaying bowls ahead of time. Thank you to the following downtown participants:

  • C & C Frozen Treats
  • Turnmeyer Galleries
  • White Picket Fence
  • Manor Line Market
  • House of Fabrics
  • Royal Oaks Computers
  • I Want Candy
  • DL Campus Coffee
  • Inklings
  • Mountain Trails
  • Down Home Comfort Bakery
  • Royal Blends Nutrition
  • Vinova
  • Gourmet Delights
  • Main Street Travel
  • Downtown Market

Scott and Pam Turnmeyer shared, “We enjoyed setting up outside and being part of the Empty Bowl Supper event. It was great to see so many of our friends and customers and reach new ones.” House of Fabrics commented, “We only have about 5 bowls left. New people came in and now know where we are!”

The music at the gazebo was fantastic. First band was Passage Creek Rising. Passage Creek Rising has played for several years for the supper and is truly loved. This year a second band played for the second half of the day,

JWX: The Jarreau Williams Experience. There was dancing in the streets!


A huge thank you to Explore Art & Clay, Arline Link who organized the completion of approximately 250 bowls this year. The people from the community who volunteered to paint, ROCKED IT! Please note, we do have some leftovers. They will be for sale for $25.00 at Explore Art & Clay. The bowls are an excellent gift idea – unique custom bowls that help to support a solution to homelessness in our community!

Thank you to all of the soup donors; The soups were delicious! People have explained how nice it was to enjoy the soups at home with enough for a husband and wife to dine on for two meals! There were a few cancellations due to a Covid-19 outbreak, so the soup list shrunk a little. However, there was plenty of soup still for all to enjoy! Thank you to the following soup donors:

  • Blue Wing Frog – Vegan Butternut Squash
  • Soul Mountain Restaurant – Tomato Basil
  • The Mill Restaurant – Cream of Broccoli, Beef Vegetable, Chili, Loaded Potato, and White Bean Chicken The Apple House – Loaded Baked Potato
  • Mountain Home – Chestnut Apple Soup
  • Manor Line Market – Smoked Pulled Beef Chili
  • Paladin Bar & Grill – Brunswick Stew
  • The Blue Door Kitchen & Inn – Ribolitta (sausage, beans, vegetables)
  • Downtown Catering – Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato | Cream of Cauliflower
  • Daily Grind – White Bean Chili
  • Royal Spice – Chicken Storg (chicken, beans, noodles)
  • El Maguey – Aztec (rice, Chicken, vegetables)
  • Try Thai – Coconut and Tofu

A monumental thank you to our sponsors. We want to take a moment to say thank you to our sponsors from 2020. It was so unfortunate that the event was cancelled due to the pandemic, but your sponsorship dollars helped us keep the doors open at the House of Hope through such a difficult time. Your support is sincerely appreciated.

This year’s 2021 sponsorship lineup:

Super Sponsor:

  • Explore Art & Clay – Arline Link

Gold Sponsors:

  • MayAnne and Joe Biggs
  • Sigrid Hepp-Dax
  • Rotary Club of Warren County

Silver Sponsors:

  • No Doubt Accounting
  • Ticket Sponsor Ellen Aders – State Farm
  • Rotary Club of Front Royal

Bronze Sponsors:

  • Jo Ellen McNeal
  • Dave and Carol Hardy
  • Jennifer Avery, Realtor
  • Blue Ink Original
  • Marlow Motors Co.
  • Front Royal Women’s Resource Center

IN KIND Sponsors:

  • Scott Turnmeyer Photography
  • Downtown Market
  • Ladies of Bethel United Methodist Church
  • Kira Tomlin and her amazing cookie kids

Thank you again to our wonderful community of Warren County. We thank you for your support through the Empty Bowl Supper and pledge to keep updates coming on the growth of the House of Hope program. Be sure to follow us on Facebook as we look to celebrate our success with all! Occasionally needs are posted. You just might have that extra microwave we might need for a graduate! Let’s stay connected:

facebook.com/HOPEinFrontRoyal

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Linden Volunteer Fire Department presents Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf Tournament

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Please join us for the Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Linden Volunteer Fire Department. The event will be held Saturday, May 15, 2021, at Bowling Green Country Club South (768 Bowling View Road, Front Royal, VA 22630).

The cost is $340 per foursome. The entry fee covers the green and cart fee, along with a gourmet boxed lunch. Cash or checks only — please no credit cards.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Check-in: 7:30 a.m.
  • Shotgun start: 8:30 a.m.

Contests include:


  • Putting
  • Longest Drive
  • Closest to the Pin
  • Additional Goofy Ball Contest: $20 per team
  • Magic Putts: $20 per team
  • 50/50 Raffle: $1.00 per ticket

Proceeds are to benefit the Linden Volunteer Fire Department. Advanced reservations are appreciated by May 12th.

Register by phone by calling Jody at 703-409-4439, or send your player/contact information in our Online Contact Form. For each member of your team, send us your 1) Name 2) Phone and 3) Email in the “comment” section.

Thanks for your support of the Linden Volunteer Fire Department!

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Upcoming Events

May
8
Sat
2:00 pm Mother’s Day Weekend Paint Party... @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Mother’s Day Weekend Paint Party... @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
May 8 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Mother's Day Weekend Paint Party - Hydrangeas @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Bring Mom to The Studio for our Mother’s Day Weekend Special. Buy two tickets and save! This will be a lovely piece to add to your collections… and so much fun to paint. Join us[...]
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 8 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area – behind Mount Bleak. Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion Lab[...]
May
9
Sun
2:00 pm Mother’s Day Weekend Paint Party... @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Mother’s Day Weekend Paint Party... @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
May 9 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Mother's Day Weekend Paint Party - Daisies @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Bring Mom to The Studio for our Mother’s Day Weekend Special. Buy two tickets and save! This will be a lovely piece to add to your collections… and so much fun to paint. Join us[...]
May
13
Thu
6:30 pm Law Enforcement Officers Memoria... @ Front Royal Gazebo
Law Enforcement Officers Memoria... @ Front Royal Gazebo
May 13 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service @ Front Royal Gazebo
Please join Warren County/Front Royal Back the Blue, in partnership with the Fraternal Order of Police and Front Royal/Warren County Lodge #33, during National Police Week as we honor our local Law Enforcement Officers who[...]
May
14
Fri
12:00 pm Millionaire Maker Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Millionaire Maker Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
May 14 @ 12:00 pm
Millionaire Maker Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Join us for the 2021 Millionaire Maker held at award-winning Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club. The Millionaire Maker is a combined golfing and networking experience! Serious, amateur, and novice golfers are welcome. *Four golfers who[...]
May
15
Sat
7:30 am Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf ... @ Bowling Green Country Club South
Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf ... @ Bowling Green Country Club South
May 15 @ 7:30 am – 3:00 pm
Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf Tournament @ Bowling Green Country Club South
Please join us for the Captain’s Choice/Best Ball Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Linden Volunteer Fire Department. The event will be held Saturday, May 15, 2021, at Bowling Green Country Club South (768 Bowling[...]
10:00 am Fort Loudoun Day: Living History @ Historic Fort Loudoun Site
Fort Loudoun Day: Living History @ Historic Fort Loudoun Site
May 15 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Fort Loudoun Day: Living History @ Historic Fort Loudoun Site
Bring the family and enjoy a fun day learning about the history of the French & Indian War era at the site of Colonel George Washington’s headquarters for the Virginia Regiment. Meet living history interpreters[...]
11:00 am National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 15 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Children’s Discovery Area: This National Kids to Parks Day, join us for fun-filled activities and music at our interactive discovery stations. Kids, pick up a scavenger hunt brochure and hike on the Track Trail. Just[...]
May
16
Sun
9:00 am Virginia Psychic Fair @ Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge
Virginia Psychic Fair @ Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge
May 16 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Virginia Psychic Fair @ Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge
Psychic Fair for both those who are serious and for those who are just curious. Event can be a life changing experience or just a fun time! Many of the best psychics, mediums, healers, and[...]
1:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 16 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah (BONS) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program series examines all aspects of beekeeping from hive construction to[...]