Local events and activities you may enjoy

Here are suggestions from some of our neighbors of places and events you may enjoy.

KC’s Crabs and Cues Shag night on Thursdays in Kilmarnock

Greg Howell – the Shaggin’ DJ spins Shag and Line Dance tunes beginning at 6:30 and continuing until 9:00 each Thursday.

Free dance lessons are available as follows:

Shag Beginners – 6:00 – see Earl Barton or Ray Paul to request a lesson.

Shag Beyond Beginners – 7:00

Line Dancing – 8:00 – Joy Hendershot will be teaching

KC’s Crabs and Cues is located at 10468 Jesse DuPont Memorial Hwy — that’s Hwy 200 — from our area, go to Burgess, turn right at the light onto Hwy 200/Jesse DuPont Memorial Hwy; continue 10.4 miles to KC’s on the right.


Friday Night – Bob Wilson is playing at Good Luck Cellars  from 5:30 – 7:30.  Byrds Seafood truck has begun to sell food every Friday night also.

Good Luck Cellars is located at 1024 Goodluck Road, Kilmarnock.  from our area, go to Burgess, turn right at the light onto Hwy 200/Jesse DuPont Memorial Hwy; continue 10 miles to Goodluck Road on the right; turn onto Goodluck Road, go 1.5 miles to Good Luck Cellars vineyard on the left.

We enjoy the people, food and drink as often as we can and hope folks that live and visit the PBE will attend when they can.  It’s a good time!

CAUTION: Osprey nesting . . . please do not disturb!!!

Along the Potomac River shore west of our picnic area a pair of osprey are raising two chicks.  If you are in the water near this area, PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE OSPREY — when people approach too closely, the adults fly away, leaving the chicks unattended.  Here are some photos to show everyone the osprey family.

Looking west from our picnic area along the Potomac River shore you see the boat lift for Lot 52.  On the other side of the boat lift is a huge osprey nest on the rocks that protect the Lot 52 shoreline.

This is a photo of the osprey nest taken from the driveway of Lot 52.  The picnic area, Lot 52 boat lift and the gate across the driveway are to your right.  When this photo was made, one adult osprey was on the nest with the two chicks.

Here’s a close-up shot of the adult osprey and the chicks — the chicks are the brown objects to the right of the adult.


Another close-up of the adult and chicks.


On the Fourth, the folks on Lot 52 observed people on jet skis zooming close in to the nest, causing the adults to fly away, thereby leaving the chicks unattended.  THIS CAN BE FATAL TO THE CHICKS.  If the adults are driven away from the nest, the chicks will be exposed to the sun, and, the adults may not return as needed to feed the chicks.

PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE OSPREY NEST.  If you are jet-skiing in this area, please stay at least 100 yards out in the Potomac River.  If you are kayaking, please stay 75-100 yards out in the Potomac.

We need to give these birds a lot of space for the rest of the summer.  They will be gone in late September when they migrate.


At the same time the photos of the osprey were made, a Great Blue Heron was quietly hunting in Presley Creek.

We in Potomac Bay Estates are fortunate to have so much wildlife to observe.  In addition to the osprey and Bald Eagles, we have a lot of waterfowl, both year-round residents and migratory, as well as a huge assortment of songbirds.  Our neighborhood mammals include whitetail deer, fox, coyote, opossum, racoon, groundhogs, and — reportedly — at least one black bear.  Reptiles include the occasional black snake, lots of Eastern box turtles, and an occasional snapping turtle.  Please respect the wildlife !  Thanks !

Volunteer opportunity: Thursday, July 5, 1:00 PM

We will be working in the water at the picnic area on Thursday afternoon, July 5, starting around 1:00 PM, probably a bit earlier — low tide is at 2:00 PM, so we will get started as the tide is going out.

We will take on two projects:

Secure the lid on the gabion basket that we installed a few weeks ago.  See the post below this one for details of what we did then.

Pick up rocks from the area between the breakwaters and the bulkhead.  To do this, we will wade through the area and pick up the underwater rocks we encounter.  We will pick up these rocks from the river bottom and move them to the space between the gabion basket and the western spur.

This work will require wading and working in water that varies from ankle-deep to almost chest-deep.  Wear clothing that can get wet.  Also, wear shoes suitable for wading, and, work gloves.

Meet at the picnic area if you want to work, or, if you just want to watch.  Temperatures and humidity are expected to be high, though not as brutal as the last few days.

Improving the breakwater: Gabion basket installation

After our beach project was completed, we observed that water flow in the Potomac was washing sand into and out of the beach area.  After studying the matter, we decided to close up the gap on the west end of the beach area by installing a “gabion basket” filled with rocks in the gap between the western spur and the old breakwater.

A gabion basket is a basket made of steel wire — here’s a photo of a wall made of gabion baskets.

We had a gabion basket approximately 16 feet long X 4 feet wide X 5 feet deep.  On June a5 and 18 we installed the basket into the gap and filled it with boulders.

First, we had to pick up the boulders, supplied by Vance Headley in Heathsville.

Frank Goyette and his truck ( the little blue one) loading rocks. Joe Schlatter used his truck and took the photo. Frank and Joe hauled one truckload each on June 15;  on June 18, Frank made one load and Joe made 2 loads for a total of five truckloads of stones between the two days.
Load of boulders ready to be moved out to the gabion basket.

We used two methods to get the stones from the trucks out to the basket, a distance of about 150 feet into the river. All work was manual labor using hand tools, no power equipment was used.

One method of transporting the stones from the shore out to the gabion basket was to slide the stones down planks into a garden cart, submerged in the river.  When the cart was filled with stones, pull the cart out to the basket and move the stones into the basket.

Frank (brown shirt) and Dave Williams (white shirt) in the river with the cart. Joe was on the bulkhead, lifting rocks from the trucks and sliding them down the planks into the cart.
After the cart was filled with stones, Frank and Dave would roll the cart out to the gabion basket. This photo was made near high tide when the basket was completely submerged.

The other method was to use a pulley system.  We embedded a post into the river bank beside the gabion basket.  From that post we ran a steel cable to the bank where we tied it onto Frank’s truck.  We then suspended a 5-gallon bucket from a pulley on the steel cable.  We used ropes tied to the bucket to pull it back and forth.  Joe would lift rocks into the bucket, Frank would pull the bucket out to the basket and dump the rocks, then Joe would pull the empty bucket back to the shore and repeat.

Here’s the pulley system. Frank and Dave are working on the gabion basket while Joe made this photo. Joe would place rocks into the bucket, Frank would pull the bucket out to the basket, empty it, Joe would pull the empty bucket back, fill it with rocks, and repeat.

Here’s the finished product.  The gabion basket, filled with stones, can be seen just protruding above the surface of the water at the left of the old breakwater.

Another photo of the finished work. At the left of the photo is the western spur that extends from the shore into the river. At the right center is the old breakwater. The gabion basket filled with stones is slightly above the water on the left end of the old breakwater. We probably will install a second gabion basket in the gap between this basket and the western spur.

Annual meeting; MOSQUITOES

Thanks to everyone who attended the annual meeting last Saturday, June 2.  Twenty-nine of us were present; twenty-two lots were represented in person (19) or by proxy (3).  We are preparing the final minutes and will post the minutes and supporting documents soon.

Meanwhile:  It’s mosquito season!!

The heavy rain last week left our soil waterlogged with standing water in a few places until things dry out.

Some property owners have discovered puddles on their property filled with mosquito larvae.  The larvae look like tiny ants swarming around in the puddles.  In most cases, there will be so many larvae the water will seem to be moving.

One of our neighbors sprayed a heavy coat of roach and ant spray on his puddles and after 2-3 minutes all the larvae were dead, floating on the surface.

You may want to check your property for standing water.  Mosquitoes don’t need a lake on which to breed —  they will breed in very small collections of standing water; they’ll even breed in the water in a bucket.

Farmer’s Service in Burgess has insecticide made specifically for mosquito larvae called “Mosquito Dunks;”  these are small disks that float on top of the water and dispense insecticide.   Ace Hardware in Lottsburg probably has the same or similar product.  Most any insecticide sprayed into the water should kill the larvae if you can’t find an insecticide made especially for mosquitoes.

Here’s a photo of mosquito larvae in a bucket.

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