Board of Directors’ Meeting Announcement

The Potomac Bay Estates Property Owners’ Association Board of Directors will meet:
  • Tuesday, February 21
  • 11:00 AM
  • In-person:  Hulse residence, 324 Potomac Drive
  • ZOOM:  ZOOM link to be posted and sent to all by email later

Per our Bylaws, Board meetings are open to all property owners.

AGENDA

Treasurer’s Report – Martha Hulse, Treasurer

  • Budget performance to date
  • Financial position
  • Investment discussion
  • Other finance matters:  dues, etc.

Shoreline Protection Project – Frank Goyette, VP

  • Status

Current and Planned Construction – Frank Goyette, VP

Board organization

  • Elect a President, or,
  • Continue with an Exec Cmte

Set date for annual meeting – Frank Goyette, VP

  • Typically in late April
  • Need Nominating Committee and Audit Committee

Other business

Neighborhood Concerns

  • Board meeting is open to all property owners who can bring concerns before the Board

 

Rocket launch from Wallops Island, Jan 24

From time to time rockets are launched from the NASA installation at Wallops Island.  Launches are clearly visible from our Potomac Bay waterfront.  To see a launch from Wallops Island:

  1. Check the Wallops Island website for launch schedule.  (See notes below.)
  2. A few minutes before launch time, go to our picnic area and go to the end of the deck that is over the Potomac.  Face East — as you face the Potomac, turn right — Wallops is on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay.  You cannot see the Eastern Shore but when the rocket lifts off you can’t miss it.

Here is a video made by one of our neighbors of the launch on January 24.


And here is a still shot moments after lift-off.


Notes on viewing launches from Wallops Island.

Most major launches from Wallops Flight Facility are streamed live on NASA TV at (https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv) .   Use your cell phone, or, if you have an iPad Air that connects to the local cell phone network, take it with you so you can watch and listen to the NASA live broadcast.  You will hear status updates; notices of delays; and the countdown.

Take your video camera and make a video of the launch.

Nighttime launches are spectacular — the whole Eastern sky lights up, you can hear the roar of the rocket engines, and follow the path of the rocket until it disappears from view, miles above the Earth.

From time to time a launch is scrubbed and rescheduled.  Don’t be disappointed if the launch is scrubbed — it will happen, watch the Wallops Island site for the new date and time.

NASA Wallops Island is not the only source of launch info.  Do an Internet search for “Wallops Island launches” where you will find other sites with launch info.

The Wallops Island installation is on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, near Chincoteague.  It’s a 4- to 5-hour drive from our neighborhood.  There are two routes:  (1) From our neighborhood, cross the Nice Bridge over the Potomac into Maryland; go to Annapolis; Hwy 50 onto the Eastern Shore; to Chincoteague; Wallops Island is before you get to Chincotgeague; or, (2) South to Newport News, pick up I-64 East to Hwy 13 North, across the Bay Bridge, continue on Hwy 13 to Wallops.

New phone dialing requirements for our area

A few days ago, one of our neighbors made phone calls to local numbers only to be greeted with a “fast busy” – that is, a busy signal that “beeps”  much faster than a normal busy signal.  A fast busy usually indicates a problem with the call – line outage or other problem. Officially known as a “reorder tone,” this is what the fast busy sounds like:

Concerned because he knew the calls should go through, our neighbor redialed the numbers using 10-digit dialing – that is 1-804-XXX-XXXX – and the calls went through without a problem.

It appears that telephone calls made from landline phones in our neighborhood (and likely all of Area Code 804)– and possibly your cell phone — now require you to dial all 10 digits of the number you are calling — that is, if you are calling 580-XXXX, you now must dial 1-804-580-XXXX.  This may be the case throughout the 804 area code.

 There are two reasons for this change:

  1. The coming nationwide introduction (in July) of 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL), and,
  2. The shrinking availability of phone numbers in area codes nationwide.  While our 804 area code is in better shape than many area codes, some of the telephone carriers that serve our area decided to go with 10-digit dialing now rather than wait until they run out of numbers.

It may be that your carrier – or the exchange you are calling – does not yet require 10-digit dialing.  In any case, if you call a number in our area and get a fast busy, try the call again using all 10 digits – that is  1 + Area Code + Exchange and number.

All about dolphins

From time to time folks in our neighborhood see dolphins in the Potomac River.  If you spend any time on your boat in the Bay or the River, you likely have encountered dolphins.

Dolphin Facts | Dolphin Project
Bottlenose dolphin. Scientific name: Tursiops

The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project is a regional organization of volunteers who monitor dolphins in the Potomac and the Bay, and who educate people about dolphins.  Visit their website  pcdolphinproject.org

If you are able to photograph dolphins, try to get a close-up shot of the dorsal fin — the Project uses the shape and markings of the dorsal fin to identify individual dolphins.  To date, they have identified around 1,000 individual dolphins.  Email photos and the location of the photo to them at pcdolphinproject@gmail.com.

Here’s a photo taken September 1, 2021 in the Potomac near where it joins the Bay.

Dolphins winter in the ocean and associated waters in and south of North Carolina.  In spring, summer, and early fall dolphins enter the Bay and the Potomac that are important breeding grounds for them.

Here are some safety guidelines for operating a boat around dolphins:

  • Stay at least 50 yards away from dolphins.
  • Don’t approach dolphins in a boat — propeller strikes can kill or injure dolphins.
  • If you want to observe the dolphins, put your boat in neutral unless you need to move.
  • Don’t chase or encircle dolphins.
  • Reel in your fishing line when dolphins are nearby, or, move to another area.
  • Do not feed the dolphins; don’t throw leftover food or bait into the water if dolphins are nearby.
  • Dolphins like to “bowride” — that is, come alongside a boat and ride along in the bow wake.  If dolphins bowride your boat, either shift into neutral, or, maintain slow speed, straight ahead until they peel off.

2015 dolphin sightings.

2015 and 2016 dolphin sightings.

2015 and 2016 Citizen Obs V1 (1).png

Also, if you photograph dolphins, email the photos with date and location to us at potomacbaypoa@hotmail.com — we will post your photos on this website.

Another organization — Chesapeake Dolphin Watch also collects data on dolphins in the Bay and tributary waters.  Their website requires visitors to establish an account (free).

Thank you for protecting our local wildlife!!

Please help our wildlife by limiting activity in the large common area . . . thanks!!

A few weeks ago we sent to everyone an email describing the results of a year-long trial of the mowing schedule for the large, 7-acre common area behind the homes along the southern (non-water) side of Potomac Drive.

This large field is not simply an empty field. In fact, most of the area is septic drain fields that serve 30 of our 52 lots. Waste water is piped from these lots into the drain fields in the large field. For this reason, the grass and brush on the area must be cut regularly to prevent large root intrusion into the septic drain fields.

The area of concern is on two plats of our neighborhood that are posted on the PBE POA website:

Previously the area was cut four times a year. In late fall of 2019, a group of homeowners asked that the cutting be reduced to allow and encourage use of the area by ground-dwelling and ground-nesting birds. In 2020, we cut the area before April 15 and after August 15, which is the nesting season for several species native to our neighborhood. The result was gratifying as a few nesting pairs with fledglings were observed that had not been seen for several years.

The area is being cut today, October 8, as the third and final cut for this year.

We now are in the process of certifying the 7-acre area as a Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary. To that effect, we have suspended mowing in that area from approximately April 15 to August 15 to enable the grass and wildflowers to flourish. We have already had sightings of Eastern Meadowlarks and are hopeful of attracting more bobwhites, indigo buntings, bluebirds, flickers, migratory songbirds, and other bird species along with many varieties of butterflies.

We ask that everyone tread carefully and limit human activity in this area and let us know what varieties you observe. It would be fun to keep a list of sightings and dates for our website.

Thanks to everyone for making our neighborhood a friendly place for everyone as well as for our feathered and furry neighbors.

Watch for baby deer . . . it’s best to leave them alone.

Look closely at this photo — see the tiny fawn in the center of the photo?

fawn may 8 2019 cropped

This photo was taken on Wednesday, May 8, around 11:00 AM along Newman’s Neck Road about 1/4 mile before the entrance to our neighborhood.  The fawn was observed the day before in the same spot, grazing and later lying in this spot.  Late Wednesday afternoon, a few hours after this photo was made, the fawn was gone and has not been seen since.

White-tailed deer fawns are born April through July, with the majority of fawns born in June. Most does will have one fawn the first year they give birth, then, twins or triplets are typically seen thereafter. Until they are strong enough to keep up with their mothers, deer fawns are left alone while their mothers go off to feed.

This fawn likely was left there by his/her mother while the mother doe went off to feed or find water.

We are posting this information here to remind everyone to please do not touch any fawn you may find in the neighborhood or anywhere else.

Until they are strong enough to keep up with their mothers, deer fawns are left alone while their mothers go off to feed. Mother deer will stay away from the fawns to avoid leading predators to their young. Does return at dawn and dusk to feed and/or move their young.

Fawns are typically left in an area with tall grass or bushes, but sometimes they are left in more open areas, including backyards. Older deer fawn may wander short distances.

Well-meaning humans often assume that because a fawn is alone it must be an orphan, leading to numerous fawn “kidnappings” each year.

A fawn has the BEST chance of survival when cared for by its mother. Typically, the best option is to leave the fawn alone!  Also, remember to keep your dog or children away from any fawn you may find — or any other baby animal for that matter.

Here is a website with more information about what to do if you encounter a fawn.  Notice that if the fawn is injured, you should contact a wildlife rescue agency.  In our county, call the Northumberland County Sheriff — 804-580-5221 — and ask for animal control.

There are no licensed wildlife rescue agencies in our county; the nearest are in Gloucester, about 45 to 60 minutes away.

Stephanie Booker Gloucester (804) 815-2042 Fawns, Small Mammals
Carolyn Vavala Saluda (804) 694-6722 Fawns, High Risk Rabies, Opossum

You also can contact Wild Bunch Wildlife Rehablitation in Warsaw — 804-313-2240.  They deal mainly with birds and small animals; sometimes they are able to help with injured fawns.