A Newcomer Family’s Delights in Willowsford, A 3-Part Series
Part 2: Fall
By Mardeene Mitchell, New Resident, Author, Photojournalist, Mother, Live-in Grandmother
Ushering in a new season—Fall–the smooth rumble of the Loudoun County school bus down Grassland Grove Drive in The Greens on the first day of school.
The weather was still gloriously warm, perfect for exploring the trails after school with my 7-year-old grandson, our 2nd-grader who lives to be out in nature.
We began our trek at Lotus Pond.
We were so excited to see the snake! Rowan thought (hoped) it was a venomous copperhead. According to the Conservancy it’s a Black Snake—helpful and beneficial—a Willowsford resident, too! We’re hoping the Conservancy one day can get together a live exhibit of the snakes in our habitat so we can learn to identify them.
Coming soon from November through January, signs will be posted on trails warning residents of archery and muzzleloader hunting in progress. But, they’re only during certain hours on particular days. It’s all part of a regulated program with the Smithsonian to keep the deer population down for healthier herds (since there are no wolves or cougars). We are planning to sign up for the recreational archery club coming this spring. Very exciting!
Speaking of recreation, when my daughter and her husband saw the sand volleyball court, that cinched their decision to move into Willowsford. In addition to everything else they loved, it was a sign for the avid volleyball players they were meant to be here. They were so happy!
My oldest grandson doesn’t play volleyball yet. However, the 7-year-old saw two lovely damsels in distress and without fanfare took action to rescue them. Their volleyball had flown into the pond beside the lake and they had given up on trying to reach the elusive ball. When he, too, didn’t succeed, he ran home and came back with his fishing net on a long pole. Success! The middle schoolers hugged and thanked the proud lad.
AutumnFest at The Lodge! A vibrant coming together of neighbors and friends to enjoy what Willowsford does so well—bringing folks together for good times, food, beer and wine, and music. The boys and I were particularly interested in the Conservancy’s wildlife tent. We saw a skunk and a squirrel, but by far the most exciting animal was the red-tailed hawk. Eager to fly away by the looks of it.
We came home from AutumnFest to discover an animal friend had taken up residence in our own front yard. He hopped onto mama’s trouser leg! The boys called him a “frog” but when we looked him up on the internet, we figured he was something else and he became known as “Mr. Toad.”
The Net articles said that toads don’t give you warts, but that it’s still not a good idea to pick them up or get your face too close to them. As a defense mechanism, they secrete or sometimes eject a poisonous substance, which can be harmful to the eyes and, if absorbed by mucous membranes, they can get into your bloodstream. The boys discovered where he had made his home. He had dug a burrow in the grass at the edge of the sidewalk.
…Time flies when you’re having fun and before we knew it, it was HALLOWEEN!
Trick or Treating in The Grove demonstrated once again how Willowsford neighbors seem to be especially friendly and go all out to be so welcoming. One family even had a fire pit burning in their driveway, and invited folks to stay and chat and snack.
Time for all little goblins to be home safe and sound and say good-night.
Willowsford Ramblings is a blog by Willowsford, a community of new single-family homes in Loudoun County, Northern Virginia.55 and older communities, active adult communities, adult communities, agri-hood, agrihood, ashburn va new homes, Chantilly va new homes, Community Supported Agriculture, CSA, eat local, Farm to table, home communities, homes aldie va, homes for seniors, Loudoun County, main-level living, new build homes for sale, new home builders, new home communities, new home developments, northern virginia, over 55 communities, retirement communities, retirement living, senior independent living, senior living, Willowsford, willowsford blog, willowsford conservancy, Willowsford Farm, Willowsford Ramblings, willowsford va, Willowsford Virginia