Losing the Battle of the Beetles

Blue Ridge By Julie Reardon Losing the Battle of the Beetles Ash trees are losing the “battle of the beetles” and dying out in Virginia. We said good bye to some old friends this spring as we took down a dozen dead and dying trees lining our drive and shading our house and barns. Although […]

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers SMILE: It’s an all American Breed

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers SMILE: It’s an all American Breed by Julie Reardon If you’ve read my column often or only occasionally over the past 30 years, you’ve no doubt seen or read about my Chesapeake Bay Retrievers that appear frequently in photos and stories. I currently share my farm with six of them, and have […]

BUY YOUR DOG A SERVICE DOG VEST ONLINE AND TAKE HIM ANYWHERE…

By Julie Reardon BUY YOUR DOG A SERVICE DOG VEST ONLINE AND TAKE HIM ANYWHERE… …Actually, please don’t. We Americans love our pets and spending time with them, whether at home during enforced social distancing or taking them places with us. A happy outcome of this is the increased number of places we can bring […]

GUNS AND THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

GUNS AND THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES Off the record: Why are rural Virginians so against common sense gun laws? By Julie Reardon No issue in recent memory has stirred up passion and emotion here in the hunt country of suburban and rural Virginia like gun control.  Most news reports tried to portray the massive […]

ANIMAL RIGHTS IS NOT ABOUT ENDING ANIMAL CRUELTY…

By Julie Reardon ANIMAL RIGHTS IS NOT ABOUT ENDING ANIMAL CRUELTY… …it’s about restricting your rights to own pets, livestock, farms, ranches and more. While I normally avoid politics in my Blue Ridge reports, this is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue. It’s one that affects nearly all of us—if we own and love animals. […]

Give Thanks

Give Thanks  by Julie Reardon      It’s not winter yet, but the chilly nights and early sunsets remind us it’s just around the corner. Fortunately even this close to winter there are plenty of mild days, fall colors and time to enjoy yourself before the rush of the holiday season and the shortest day […]

ICK. TOXIC ALGAE BLOOMS: TOXIC TO DOGS, SICKENING TO PEOPLE

ICK. TOXIC ALGAE BLOOMS: TOXIC TO DOGS, SICKENING TO PEOPLE About the time dire warnings about dog deaths from blue-green algae hit social media, we had an unusually thick mat of algae in the pond closest to our house. We knew the pond was not draining correctly because of a collapsed drainage culvert that needed […]

Fireworks and outdoor fun in the Blue Ridge

Fireworks and outdoor fun in the Blue Ridge By Julie Reardon Enjoying the lazy, hazy midsummer days close to home might require a little research, but needn’t cost a king’s ransom.  There are plenty of parks, activities, vineyards and even a few music festivals throughout the state that are affordable or in some instances free. […]

Horsing Around

By Julie Reardon Horsing Around   The drum of hoof beats kick off the unofficial start of summer in the Blue Ridge as racing over fences winds down and horse shows and polo get into full swing in horse country.  This month, fact the oldest horse show in the country is the Upperville Colt & […]

MIDDLEBURG TRAINING CENTER

By Meg Mullery MIDDLEBURG TRAINING CENTER “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” Hollywood Actor John Wayne (1907-1979) Early each morning, a parade of horse-athletes leave their respective barns, exercise riders mounted, destined for the adjacent racetrack. The track is just one component of the 149-acre Middleburg Training Center, a crown jewel […]