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Welcome, July 2016!

Unless your child is a summer swimmer, things slow down in RVA as residents flee to the Rivah, ocean or mountains. For those of us left, there are still new things to try, including Walter Bundy’s new restaurant, Shagbark, and two newly opened rooftop bars at Quirk and Kabana. Here are just a few things we are looking forward to this sultry month.

Ashley Farley’s Latest Release

Friday, July 1st

Independence Day

Lady Liberty © The Gracious Posse

Monday, July 4th
If you are anywhere near the Rivah, check out the old-fashioned Hometown Parade in downtown Irvington, Virginia.

10 a.m. – 12 noon

The Richmond Shakespeare Festival

Shakespeare at Agecroft Hall
July 7th-31st
(opening night is July 9th)
Agecroft Hall
7:30 p.m. (grounds open at 6 p.m.)
 tickets here

Wimbledon Finals

Players on Grass Court of Wimbledon © The Gracious Posse

Saturday and Sunday, July 9th & 10th
If you want an on-the-grounds experience, click here for Ellen’s coverage.

Full Moon

Good Morning Moon on the Rappahannock River © The Gracious Posse

Tuesday, July 19th
Have you ever had one of those days – when everything seems to go wrong – and you look out the window and discover a full moon in the sky? Although no scientific evidence backs up the correlation or causation of bizarre events and a full moon, it’s more than just peculiar coincidence. Even the words LUNACY and LUNATIC are derived from the word moon. So next time you get a flat tire, forget an appointment and lock yourself out of your house all in one day, it’s not you, it’s the full LUNA!

Thread the Needle Day

Thread the Needle © The Gracious Posse

Monday, July 25

Who knows the origin of this curious day, but it can be celebrated literally by pulling thread through the eye of a needle, or metaphorically as in politics (navigating a diplomatic path between opposing views) or in sports (moving a ball successfully through the narrowest of courses). Look for a Christmas in July post to celebrate
Thread the Needle Day!

Dogwood Dell Amphitheater


July 29th-31st and August 5th-6th
8:30 p.m. curtain but arrive early

International Day of Friendship

Founded by the United Nations, the International Day of Friendship promotes

friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals to inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities

Cheers at the Pitcher Inn © The Gracious PosseOn Saturday, July 30 raise a glass and toast your posse!


June 30, 2016

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Summer 2016 Reading

Summertime and the reading is easy.

reading at the beach © The Gracious Posse - 1

With summer now in full swing, I am stealing every opportunity to indulge my favorite activity of the season: reading. Give me a book, a shaded seat and water, and I am in my happy place. Pool, Rivah, ocean ~ it doesn’t matter, just a little something to cool me off when the heat and humidity intensify.

Veranda July:Aug 16 cover

(can’t imagine a more perfect spot to read than lounging on a chaise in this breathtaking pool-side Palm Beach gazebo featured on one of the July-August ’16 covers of Veranda magazine)

Unlike so many kids who don’t know what they are missing, I always loved summer reading and still remember my first serious required summer reading as one of my favorites: The Once and Future King by T. H. White. Though I spent quite a chunk of the summer getting through that one, the reward was huge.

When my son received his high school summer required reading books, I would review that pile he refused to touch until August and take some for a test ride first. Like Julia Johnson, I couldn’t resist To Kill a Mockingbird, which had never been on my required reading list, and also discovered the charming The Housekeeper and The Professor. Much to THF‘s dismay, his college issued the freshman required summer reading, and my curiosity couldn’t keep me away from the disturbing yet ultimately satisfying Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.

Always on the lookout for one serious read of the summer, I pepper the rest of it with the lighter fare that I snatch up from some of my favorite chick lit authors as soon as their annual offerings debut. I’ve already devoured these new releases:

All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank


Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand

and thoroughly enjoyed the audio versions of

A Lowcountry Wedding by Mary Alice Monroe

and particularly

Flight Patterns by Karen White.

Julia Johnson, author of the marvelous

Be Frank With Me,

mentioned both in our interview and at her reading that

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

is her favorite book, so naturally I had to hunt that one down. True to Julia’s word, it is a beautifully written novel in a most unusual setting.

The Gracious Posse’s favorite women’s lit author has a new book coming out this Friday, July 1st. Ashley Farley’s sequel to

Her Sister’s Shoes

takes you back to the town of Prospect, South Carolina and my favorite trio of sisters (other than my own), the Sweeneys, and their eponymous seafood shop.

Lowcountry Stranger is full of more intrigue in another fast-paced story that celebrates life in a small town and the importance of family ties. If you haven’t yet had the chance to meet the Sweeney Sisters, Her Sister’s Shoes is now also available in audio format through so you can listen in the car or while you are walking, gardening or otherwise working out.

My last two summer recommendations are considered Young Adult books, though they definitely have broader appeal. Each features a heroine on the cusp of adulthood, but their circumstances couldn’t be any more different. The first, which Julia Johnson mentioned on her Richmond visit and that I had adored a few years ago, is

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (the author of the original 101 Dalmatians).

Set in England in the 1930s and first published in 1948, the story was reissued in 2003 and has been rediscovered in recent years by the likes even of J.K. Rowling. Jane Austen fans in particular will appreciate it (you will also enjoy Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice).

The second book was released by local author Meg Medina earlier this year. She’s a member of my very special posse, and her stories about growing up with Cuban heritage are reaching an audience of young people not used to reading about themselves in books.

Burn Baby Burn portrays the life of Nora Lopez who graduates and turns 18 in Queens in June 1977 as the Son of Sam terrorizes everyone stuck in sweltering New York City. The book provides a thought-provoking platform for teens to consider and discuss fear and violence (domestic and otherwise) and seems especially timely after the recent incomprehensible terror in Orlando. Despite its difficult subject matter, the novel seamlessly engages the reader as it recalls those tumultuous disco days.

With these reads under my belt, I can’t wait to see what escape-through-the-written-word I will take next. I always welcome suggestions, so please leave your ideas in the Reply box below.


June 28, 2016

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An Impromptu Visit to Tangier Island Satisfies Our Curiosity and Checks Another Item Off My Bucket List

Sunday, June 19 was a beautiful day for a boat ride on the Rivah. As we zoomed down the Rappahannock with friends, the water sparkled gently as the humidity-free air hovered at a delightful 80 degrees. Overcome with the perfect conditions, our captain TSK mused, why don’t we go to Tangier Island? The rest of us quickly checked our mental calendars and conceded instantly to Carpe Diem.

Visiting Tangier Island has languished on my bucket list. I’ve always been curious about the tiny remote island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.

map of Tangier Island via Daily Press

We aborted an attempt last fall when the swells on the bay proved too much for us. Knowing the unpredictability of the weather and waters, we knew we had to seize the opportunity and go for it.

Why Visit Tangier Island?

It’s Historic

Evidence suggests the Native American Pocomokes vacationed on Tangier Island for centuries. In 1608 John Smith discovered and named it during his explorations of Virginia, claiming it reminded him of Tangier, Morocco on the continent of Africa. In the 1680’s English people from Cornwall settled permanently on the remote island.

It played a significant role in the War of 1812 when the English came aground and used it as a staging area. They built Fort Albion for the failed attack on Fort McHenry in Maryland. You may recall Francis Scott Key wrote our National Anthem during that famous battle. Islanders are also proud of the fact slaves who escaped during that war were liberated by the English and experienced their first taste of freedom on Tangier.

It’s Isolated – Physically and Culturally

Located in the middle of the lower Chesapeake Bay, the world’s second-largest tributary, Tangier Island is 12 miles from the shores of the mainland Virginia and its Eastern Shore. Noticeably absent are bridges and tunnels, reducing access to the island to either boat or air transportation.

approaching Tangier by air via Swayne Martin

photo by Swayne Martin

The physical isolation of the residents creates an insulated community. Only recently did cable television and internet service arrive. The islanders speak with a curious accent which linguists refer to as Elizabethan or Restoration-era. It’s a peculiar dialect mash-up of Old South twang meets English countryside. But the accent is going by the wayside as the next generation of islanders leave Tangier for jobs and education on the mainland, and television and internet influences and normalizes their speech.

It’s Disappearing

Not only is the accent disappearing, so is the island and its population. Whether the island is sinking or the waters are rising is debatable, but the inhabitable land is receding. Fort Albion is gone, and more recently an area called the Uppards, as well. The highest point above sea level is 4 feet. With a total size of only 740 acres, a mere 83 sit on ground high enough to inhabit. The coastline has been shrinking three feet per year.

Most residents make their living on the water: crabbing in the summer, oystering in the winter, or crewing on fishing vessels or tug boats. Seasonal tourism exists but with scant few jobs at gift shops, restaurants, a few B&B’s, and guided tours by boat or golf cart. The population peaked at 1120 in 1920, sat at 727 in 2010, and today has dwindled to 450.


Tangier remains a working-class island. Gentrification has not arrived, so do not expect to find quaint coffee shops, tempting retail boutiques, high-end waterside eateries or chic art galleries. Luxury does not describe anything about this destination, but it does offer a view into an old, authentic and rapidly disappearing way of life, not to mention the best-tasting crab cakes around. Tangiers are busy working the water and supporting each other.

Getting There

To get to Tangier Island, you must go by ferry, private boat or by air.

The ferry runs year-round from Crisfield, Maryland, and seasonally from Onancock, Virginia and Reedville, Virginia. 

If going by private boat, dock at Tangier Harbor at Parks Marina.

Boats at Parks Marina © The Gracious Posse

From the mouth of the Rappahannock to the island, expect your voyage to take approximately one hour traveling at 26 knots.

Tangier Island has an airport, KTGI, with a 2426′ runway.

Tangier airport runway via Swayne Martin

photo by Swayne Martin

Posse member aMarrived by air last May when her son flew her on a surprise Mother’s Day trip. Click this link to see their experience from the air. 

Our Trip

Approaching the island,

Farewell Tangier © The Gracious Posse

our captain and first mate LDB navigated the Overruled into Tangier Harbor,

ramshackle dock on Tangier © The Gracious Posse

out-of-service crab pots © The Gracious Posse

where we docked for a brief stay at Parks Marina.

Parks Marina © The Gracious Posse

The village of Tangier is compact. Transportation is limited to pedestrian, golf cart or bicycle.

the main road on Tangier Island in the Village of Tangier © The Gracious Posse

Cars are too heavy to traverse the small bridges,

going back to town on Tangier Island © The Gracious Posse

so we splurged on a 15-minute golf cart tour.

ready for the golf cart tour © the Gracious Posse

Our guide, a 2016 graduate of the Tangier Combined School (K-12, graduating class size of 7),

Tangier Island School © The Gracious Posse

spoke with the thick island brogue. We had more questions than he had answers, but what he lacked in facts he made up for in authenticity. When asked what he was going to do now that he had graduated high school, he said he didn’t know. I might try to scrape up some money for college, but I might stay right here. It’s a good life.

Protestant religion figures prominently in the life of the islanders.

Christ is Life sign on Tangier via Swayne Martin

Joshua Thomas, the Parson of the Islands, spread Methodism in the early 1800’s throughout the region.

Joshua Thomas marker © The Gracious Posse

The island supports two congregations, one being a Methodist Church

Swain Memorial United Methodist Church © The Gracious Posse

on the site of the original church. 

Almost as noteworthy, our guide pointed out this charming bungalow,

Southern Living House © The Gracious Posse

reputed to have been featured in Southern Living.

Fittingly, islanders have painted onto the omnipresent water tower a cross on one side

Tangier Island water tower with cross © The Gracious Posse

and a crab on the other.

Water tower crab side © The Gracious Posse

The island does not have full-time medical facilities, but the new

David B. Nichols Health Center © The Gracious Posse

David B. Nichols Health Center holds a weekly clinic served by a doctor and nurse who fly from mainland Virginia to provide medical care.

The islanders are a conservative lot. The island is dry, so don’t even think about ordering a cold one with your crab cake sandwich. When our tour ended in front of Lorraine’s, a favorite of the locals,

Lorraines Seafood Restaurant © The Gracious Posse

we indulged in crab cakes, crab soup, crab cake sandwiches and crab bake. And iced tea.

With full stomachs and a waning day, the time had come to return to the mainland. We boarded the Overruled

The Overruled at Tangier Island © The Gracious Posse

and puttered out of the harbor

Leaving Tangier Island © The Gracious Posse

waving to the local boys fishing 

Boys fishing on Tangier Island © The Gracious Posse

and thankful for high-tech GPS navigation

GPS navigation of Chesapeake Bay © The Gracious Posse

our boat’s location circled in pink

to guide us home.

Much like a visit to Appalachian coal country, the natural beauty of the island will remain strong in our memories, as will the vision of the islanders’ daunting yet picturesque way of life.


June 22, 2016

Rivah Living ~ a Nantucket-Style Home Meets the Chesapeake Bay

Virginia is blessed with miles and miles of navigable waterways that flow toward the Chesapeake Bay. Waterfront properties along the bay, rivers and creeks draw loads of city dwellers and suburbanites from Northern Virginia, Richmond and the Tidewater area looking for serene rural retreats. This general geographic area is fondly referred to as the Rivah, and we are excited to feature a new category of posts simply called Rivah Living.

Over the years we have shared some beautiful examples of Rivah Living. Remember A Gentleman’s Farm located on the banks of a creek off the North River? Who could forget our Mermaid . . . in Residence’s post? For a great way to share Rivah Living with others, why not try a Midsummer’s Night Progressive Dinner ~ Rivah Style? Hospitality goes hand-in-hand with Rivah Living as we showcased in Hospitality House, Rivah-Style.

Today you, gracious readers, are in for a treat. We are delighted to share a lovely family retreat on Stutt’s Creek that exemplifies Rivah Living at its best. Ellen first visited sCc’s Mathews County second home the night before her trip to Dragon Run and returned raving about it. She said when I laid eyes on Sara’s river home, I thought The Gracious Posse would love to have a tour. Blessedly, sCc graciously agreed to a photo shoot and more.

creekside view of Nantucket-style Rivah home with guest cottage © The Gracious Posse


sCs’s family bought the home next door to this property in 2005. When its matriarch passed away, she and her husband BCC jumped on the chance to purchase this land with its almost 360° views. They took their time planning the property’s transformation from a run-down farmhouse to this distinctive beauty that suits their family’s needs and desires.

Nantucket-style Rivah home front faćade © The Gracious Posse

Working with Jay Hugo of 3north Architects and contractor Robert Ottarson of Gloucester, Virginia, the shake-sided main house features gambrel roof, oval windows and a cupola, which immediately bring to mind classic New England vacation homes.

creekside view of Nantucket-style Rivah home with guest cottage © The Gracious Posse

Talk about Americana style at its finest.

rearview of Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

Deep porches provide loads of outdoor living space 3+ seasons a year.

deep covered porches surround Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

There’s a place to relax for everyone,

fireplace porch overlooks pool at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

including Bella and the newest member of the family, Callie.

Bella and Callie via sCc

The clean and crisp exterior walls are painted in Benjamin Moore Historic Colors Edgecombe Grey.

gambrel roof on Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

The wide dark-stained front door offers a gracious and light-filled welcome.

front door to Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse


A close family friend helped sCc with the interior design. The heron painting in the blue-stone decked foyer was commissioned from artist Claiborne Riley.

blustone-clad foyer in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

The lovely cement pots throughout the property (the one below contains a Fiddleleaf Fig) come from Curry and Curry in White Stone, Virginia.

green foyer welcome in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

Turn left after you enter to access the main living areas of the house.

view to sitting room from stairs in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

The sunroom provides the perfect spot for quiet conversation

sitting room at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

or reading year-round.

light-filled corner fo sunroom at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

You can see the rest of the main living area from this cozy spot.

view from sunroom into kitchen and family room in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

The sunny dining nook across from the open kitchen includes a church pew.

dining nook at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

The family room door to the outdoor fireplace and pool is surrounding by niches that feature a portion of sCc’s father’s collection of carved wooden herons and other water birds.

familry room doorway surrounded by carved waterfowl at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

In addition to the wooden carvings, the other focal point of the family room is the painting above the mantel of the F.D. Crockett, one of the iconic Chesapeake Bay buyboats recently featured in Virginia Living.

family room fireplace at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

Shiplap painted in Benjamin Moore’s Elmira White clad walls throughout from the family room,

family room with heron at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

to the hallways,

shiplap walls cover Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

and even the lovely powder room.

shiplap runs into powder room in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

(paint color on wall above shiplap is Benjamin Moore’s Sea Glass)

The downstairs guest suite flows to the right of the front entrance and includes 

guest room in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

this bath filled with a trio of unique finishes: vertical-running tile, wood-like ceramic floor tile and stone shower floor.

contrasting guest bath finishes in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

Head upstairs

stair nook in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

to find the master bedroom with breathtaking views.

view from master bedroom in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

water view from master bedroom deck at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

One of sCc’s favorite finishes in the house is the circular stone tiles covering the front of this upstairs guest bathtub.

upstairs guest bath finishes in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

Guest Cottage

Before the main house was even designed, sCc and her husband built this picturesque guest cottage

view of guest cottage looking towards Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

as their temporary second home. 

guest cottage front with cove water © The Gracious Posse

The open floor plan feels cozy yet spacious and light-filled with 

view from sleeping loft down to great room of guest cottage at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

the double-height ceiling soaring above the main floor and the charming oval window.

kitchen wall of guest cottage at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

shiplap in guest cottage at stair seat © The Gracious Posse

Its twin hangs on the opposite wall in the open sleeping loft.

sleeping loft of guest cottage at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

view from guest cottage to Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse(view from the guest house looks to Stutt’s Creek and beyond to the Bay)

Rulers of the Roost

On the other side of the guest cottage from the main house, you’ll find the permanent residents of this bucolic spot.

full-time residents at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

Princess (a Bantom Cochin on the left with the white bustle) with Raquel, a Red Sex Link, really runs the place.

chicken coop at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

It’s always fun to check on the treasures they and the other six chickens leave,

gift from a feathered resident at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

especially during this prolific time of year.

more gifts from the feathered residents at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

Farm Fresh Eggs sign at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

Rest, Relaxation and Recreation

Life slows down at the Rivah where sCc’s homestead proves the focus is all about family, friends,

creek view from guest cottage at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

the water,

view from Nantucket-style Rivah home over small peninsula to Hole in the Wall entrance to the Chesapeake Bay © The Gracious Posse


view of dock and cove from master bedroom deck at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

cove view with herons from dock at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

and Mother Nature.

Sunset at Stutts Creek © The Gracious Posse

The colorful landscape

pool view at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

view from pool to cove and boat dock at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

view from pool to creek at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

 designed by Janet Baruch of Richmond allows

garden bed leads to sound view at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

sCc to indulge her green thumb and

hydrangeas in the sun at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

fill her homes with the fruits of her flower arrangment at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

You can’t help but become a bird-watcher in these parts.

statuary heron in garden bed at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

Herons are a beloved sight,

heron in tree looking toward Hole in the Wall © The Gracious Posse

especially up in this tall tree.

closeup of heron in tree looking toward Hole in the Wall © The Gracious Posse(see him?)

Don’t forget a walking stick for leisurely excursions,

ready for a walk around Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

where you never know what delights you will find.

barnacle treasure found at Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

And when the weather doesn’t cooperate,

game table in Nantucket-style Rivah home © The Gracious Posse

there are always puzzles and board games.

At the Rivah, the old adage rings true:

the family that plays together stays together.

sCc and her husband have created a comfortable and stylish Rivah retreat that serves as a refuge for their children who have long since flown the nest. They return to this quiet corner of the world as often as possible to be restored and revel in the simple joys of life. That’s exactly what Rivah Living is all about.


 June 16, 2016

Paddling Dragon Run ~ A Hidden and Forbidden Virginia Treasure

When tSt asked if I’d like to experience the Dragon Run, I thought she was inviting me to a new nausea-inducing amusement park ride. Usually game for new and different soft adventures, I agreed to find out what this Dragon Run was mostly because my Biking Belles would be accompanying me. Turns out, the experience could not have been further from any roller coaster action, although it was thrilling in a quiet, pristine sort of way. 

What is Dragon Run?

Dragon Run is a 35-mile long tributary of the Piankatank River on the Middle Peninsula of Virginia. It runs through the Dragon Swamp. Hence the name, sort of. Theories abound for how Dragon Run got its name, but the confirmed origin remains a mystery.

DragonRunAreaMap via FODR

A Hidden and Forbidden Gem

sJw said it best about Dragon Run: it’s hidden and forbidden. It’s hidden in the backwoods of Virginia and forbidden due to efforts of Friends of Dragon Run (see below) to prevent unfettered access to and development of it. Experiencing Dragon Run is akin to traveling back in time to the unspoiled days when John Smith (of Pocahontas fame) noted it on his exploration map. 

John Smith’s map of Virginia waterways via Library of Congress(original map from the Library of Congress)

Friends of Dragon Run

Dragon Run remains unspoiled by humans to this day thanks to a group of concerned citizens, the Friends of Dragon Run. Through their swamp-roots efforts, FODR has donated and raised funds to acquire acreage along the run to preserve its primal nature. FODR’s biggest fundraiser is the guided kayak tours it offers during the six-week period in April and May when the waters are passable. A $40 donation to FODR covers guides and equipment. The river sells itself as anyone who spends time on the Dragon will become a life-long friend of Dragon Run.

The Tour

We put in at one of the access points that FODR maintains.

Putting in at Dragon Run © The Gracious Posse

Our intrepid guide for the day was the Dragon Run paddle-master, Teta Kain.

Teta Kain © The Gracious Posse

Teta Kain on Dragon Run via Dave Harp

She outfitted us with waterproof walkie-talkies

walkie talkie on Dragon Run © The Gracious Posse

that enabled her to enlighten and steer the twelve of us through the Dragon’s twists and turns, pointing out notable flora and fauna along the way.

Narrow channel on the Dragon © The Gracious Posse


A large population of beavers inhabit Dragon Run. We saw a few hutches

Beaver Hutch close-up © The Gracious Posse

along the route, with their requisite beaver dams.

Breaking through a beaver dam © The Gracious Posse

Volunteers had to hack a passageway through this one for us. We learned that beavers build dams in order to maintain the appropriate water level for their hutch, which they access from underwater.

Other Flora and Fauna

Bald Cypress Trees,

Approaching Bald Cypress on Dragon Run © The Gracious Posse

including this 1000-year-old specimen, dot the swamp.

Bald Cypress on Dragon Run © The Gracious Posse

Eagle's Nest on Dragon Run © The Gracious Posse

eagle’s nest

Snake in a tree on Dragon Run © The Gracious Posse


Water Lily on Dragon Run © The Gracious Posse

water lilies

Butterflies on Dragon Run

congregating Tiger Swallowtail butterflies (official state insect of Virginia!)

Prothonotary Warbler via FODR’s newsletter

We had hoped to see one of these, a Prothonotary Warbler. Teta spotted one as it flew into this brush,

Brush on Dragon Run

but alas we missed it. Now we’ve got a new reason to make a second trip!

As our three-hour tour drew to a close, we approached our port

Bridge over Dragon Run

with bittersweet feelings, sad that it was over but joyful for our Pocahontas moment.

New Friends of Dragon Run

Hats off to Teta Kain and other Friends of Dragon Run for preserving this piece of American backcountry. Thanks also to tSt for introducing the Posse to the Dragon. If you want to paddle Dragon Run in the spring of 2017, stay in touch with FODR’s website for publication of the schedule and book early!


June 14, 2016