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.


For the past few weeks, there’s been no doubt that summer is here!!  High temperatures in and around the PBE neighborhood have been in the mid- to upper-90’s with humidity to match.  We’ve had very little rain, except for an occasional thunderstorm around sunset.

As of today — July 24 — temperatures are forecast to moderate slightly with daily highs for the coming week forecast to be in the mid-80’s with humidity ranging from 65% to over 70%; still no rain in the forecast except for the occasional late-evening thunderstorm.

For those who enjoy statistics, for the period July 1 through July 23, 2017:

  • Nine days had high temperatures above 90 degrees
  • Ten days had high temperatures above 85 degrees
  • 18 of 24 days in the period had high humidity above 90%!!!

One of our neighbors has a personal weather station that you can view at this page on our website.

June 22: Neighborhood road resurfacing in progress

Around 8:00 AM this morning — June 22 — a convoy of vehicles and equipment from VDOT and a VDOT contractor showed up on Potomac Drive.  They are resurfacing Potomac Drive and Presley Drive; we don’t know if they will go up Newman’s Neck Road.

The resurfacing is not asphalt paving.  It’s a layer of sand, then a layer of tar, then a layer of gravel.  After the sand-tar-gravel layer is applied, a heavy roller rolls the material flat, then, the process is repeated.

Work should be completed by the end of the day.  We don’t recall when the last resurfacing was done, though it was several years ago.

2016 Water Quality Report

The Potomac Bay Estates water system annual water quality report for 2016 has been distributed and is available online as a PDF document:     2016 Water Quality Report

This is the 2016 water quality report because it consists of measurements taken in 2016.  We take water samples monthly and send them to a state laboratory for testing.  If any problems are found, we take corrective measures immediately.

Thanks to everyone who attended the annual meeting; Surveys; Bylaws revision

Annual meeting

Many thanks to everyone who attended the annual meeting last Saturday, June 3.  It was good to see everyone, especially our neighbors who don’t live here full-time.

We will post documents from the meeting as soon as the Board approves the minutes.

Association surveys

In other news:  The Association has set up an account with SurveyMonkey, an application that allows us to send surveys to members.  The survey also can be used for voting on matters before the Association.

Please watch your email for announcements of surveys.  When we announce a survey, we will send an email message to all members that includes a link to the survey.

Bylaws revision

Please go to this link for information on revising the Association bylaws.


Revised PBE POA Bylaws

In the course of research in preparation for starting the common area beach project, the Board determined that the PBE POA Bylaws now in effect were not in compliance with the Virginia Code, Chapter 26, the Property Owners’ Association Act, VA Code 55-508ff.

The areas of non-compliance were minor and were the result of changes in the statute since the PBE POA was formed in 1989.  The Board formed a committee that consulted with an attorney who worked with property owners’ associations.  The committee then revised the bylaws.

These revised bylaws are not in effect until they are:

  1. Approved by 2/3 of the members who are eligible to vote (that is, dues and assessments are paid, not delinquent), and,
  2. The revised bylaws after approval by the membership are recorded at the Clerk’s office, Northumberland County Circuit Court.

Here is a link to the revised bylaws.  The revised sections are highlighted in yellow bold italic print.


In a few days, we will send a survey to all PBE POA members asking for you to review and vote on the revised bylaws.  If you wish to vote now, after reviewing the bylaws, please send your vote by email to the POA email address:

PBE POA Meeting Agendas

Three meetings of the Potomac Bay Estates Property Owners Association are scheduled for June 2 and June 3, 2017.

PBE POA Board of Directors Meeting

  • Friday, June 2
  • 10:00 AM
  • Williams home, 4142 Newman’s Neck Road
  • POA members are welcome to attend Board meetings.
  • Agenda for this meeting is available at this link:  Agenda PBE BOARD Meeting_June 2_2017_v.01

PBE POA Annual Meeting

  • Saturday, June 3
  • 1:00 PM
  • Hulse home, 324 Potomac Drive
  • Agenda for the annual meeting is available at this link:  Agenda PBE POA-Annual 0603_2017_v.02_0526_
  • Pot-luck lunch at 12:00 noon.  Association furnishes hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, condiments.  Please bring a side dish or dessert, or both.  For beer or wine, BYOB
  • PLEASE RSVP to via email to

PBE POA Board of Directors Meeting

  • The Board will meet immediately following the annual meeting.
  • Members are welcome to attend the Board meeting.
  • Agenda will depend upon decisions made at the annual meeting.


PBE POA President’s letter to members

 President’s Letter PBE – POA Annual Meeting June 3, 2017

As we look forward to the June 3rd Annual Meeting – Here are a few lines to update you on recent successes and to request your ideas for the coming year, 2017-18.

Thanks to Martha Hulse and Joe Schlatter for their technical expertise updating the improved PBE website,

As most have read the winter construction phase of the Beach project ended March 10th. Construction is now 90% complete, and we are in the “wait and see” mode while “Mother Nature” grows the freshly planted grasses and brings more sand for the beach area. By September, we will make decisions on what else is needed based on how well the plantings have grown and how much sand has accumulated. Our Project Lead, Ray Michelini, will provide a detailed update in June.

As we all know, the normal wind and tides have become more variable these last few years. Hopefully, the summer weather patterns will continue to enhance our new stone protection breakwater, spurs, wooden stairs, and observation pier.

The Board wishes to express its sincere appreciation to the POA members who volunteered time and made generous financial contributions to the project, over and above their assessments. My personal gratitude goes to the Board for their many hours of detailed planning and meetings. Special appreciation to the Rowe’s for their initial and subsequent financial gifts. Thanks to Kathy & Don Peebles for the beach sign restorations and to Marie & Buddy Catterton for the total renovated PBE welcome sign. Special thanks also go to the one-third of POA Members whose extra-assessment gifts totaling over $5,000 were used to purchase construction materials for the observation pier, which can be enjoyed by all POA Members and guests. This self-help project provides a grand over-the-water view of the Potomac as well as providing a great fishing spot.

The PBE beach project has been a very successful enhancement for the greater POA community. Our members can now enjoy our recreational spaces, safe in the knowledge that the waterfront bulkhead and access road are well protected.

Please write down an idea or two of what you would like to see accomplished, added, or changed this next year. Make a note of how you might contribute to our PBE next success and bring it in writing on June 3rd. In addition to an update on the beach project, the agenda includes updates on safety signage, the water system, and necessary By-Laws changes.

Thanks for your continuing diligent work and support to the Officers and  Directors

Dave Williams, President PBE – Property Owners Association

A reminder of our annual meeting

The Potomac Bay Estates Property Owners Association 2017 Annual Meeting will be held:

Saturday, June 3, 2017

1:00 PM

Hulse home, 324 Potomac Drive

Potluck lunch at 12:00 noon.

The POA will provide hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, condiments, soda, water.  Please bring a side dish or dessert to share.  If you want wine or beer, please BYOB.

If you are not able to attend, please submit a proxy form designating another POA member as your proxy for voting.   Proxy form 2017

POA members will elect four Board members at this annual meeting. Board members are elected for a three-year term, except in the case of a member’s resignation when someone will be elected to fill the unexpired portion of that member’s term.

Currently, two Board members’ terms are expiring, both have indicated they will run for re-election for full terms, June 2017 – June 2020.

Two other Board positions are vacant as a result of resignations and need to be filled: One for a term expiring June 2018 and one for a full term, June 2017 – June 2020.

If you are interested in serving the neighborhood as a Board member, please respond by email to Sallie Mullen, Chair, Nominating Committee