Hickory Farms

December 2022 Hickory Farms Newsletter

- Editor, Jennifer Maloney (Farm House Ln)

President's Column

By Jim Bever

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and is looking forward to the Holidays!

Please, do take care of yourselves this season. There are a lot of nasty viruses circulating here in our area, including the common cold, strep throat, the flu and of course, COVID. I know colleagues, friends, and family of all ages here who’ve caught one or more of these just in the past few weeks. Both the flu and COVID remain potentially injurious or even lethal, especially for our older residents and for anyone with reduced immune systems. So please do be careful and protect yourself!

A reminder please to rake up the leaves from your street curb and keep the curb clear of debris. Not only is this important for the appearance of our homes and community, but it is also important to allow your street’s nearby storm sewer drain to work well when it rains or snows. Otherwise, dangerous ice dams form that can pose risk to you and neighbors and kids on your sidewalk or folks driving the street.

Similarly, please, no dumping of leaves and branches into any of our Commons Areas. This is a violation of our rules/covenants and can lead to unexpected extra costs charged against our budget by the company which maintains our Commons Areas woods and lawns. Please either mow the yard to mulch the leaves directly onto the soil or rake the leaves into large brown paper bags (available in most grocery and hardware stores) and place the bags on your curb. Students who live in Hickory Farms are available at a modest cost to help (see their contact info in this Newsletter).

Some neighbors this Fall have raised concerns with our Board about the reliability of the American Disposal Services Company, with which about 70 homeowners seem to have contracts. In the September Braddock District Council meeting Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw, addressed the concerns many had expressed regarding American’s service. He in turn met with the head of the Company. A heavy fine and a new memorandum of agreement for improved services resulted. Reliability seems to have improved. Some neighbors have successfully pursued modestly reduced monthly charges by American, by providing them with specific details of missed or excessively delayed pickups. If there are continuing concerns, please write directly (with specific details) to Supervisor Walkinshaw’s assistant Sally Kidalov at sally.kidalov@fairfaxcounty.gov.

To keep you informed, we are following through with due process, notices and actions as may become appropriate vis a vis some homeowners who have not yet responded in a timely manner to repeated written notices from us to return their properties’ exceptionally out-of-conformance external appearances back into compliance with our rules/covenants by certain dates.

Finally, by December 19th sunset, please join in the fun and decorate your homes for the upcoming Holiday Decorating Contest! Please let us know if you can help us with our Social Committee to keep such fun events continuing in the new year!

On behalf of all of us on your Board, we wish you all safe and Happy Holidays!

HFCA Board Meeting Notice

HFCA Board Meetings continue to be held via Zoom. Unless otherwise notified or due to an unforeseen change, HFCA Board Meetings will be held the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7 pm. To join a Board meeting, contact any HFCA Board Member or send a request to join to hfca@hickoryfarms.org. You will be provided with the Zoom meeting URL, meeting number and passcode.

The Social Committee Needs YOU!

Attention Hickory Farms Residents! Do you like building community? Do you like parties and holiday-themed activities? Do you have around 1-3 hours a month to give? Then the Social Committee needs you!

After many years at the reigns, Meredith and Sarah are ready to pass the torch on to other neighbors who will bring fresh perspectives and ideas to our community!

This role requires a small amount of time per month and is all about fostering FUN in the community.

If you are interested, email Meredith and Sarah at social@hickoryfarms.org to learn more about the role you can play in all the Hickory Farms Fun in 2023!

Holiday Decoration Competition

Hickory Farms Annual Assessment Due January 31, 2023

By Ken Sorg, Treasurer

The amount of the Annual Assessment (dues) is set each year by the Board of Directors and affirmed by the homeowners. At the October 18, 2022 Annual Meeting the community voted to set the Annual Assessment to $281. Annual assessments are used to cover the costs of operations and contribute to the reserve fund which is used for repairs and upgrades of HFCA assets.

Your $281.00 Hickory Farms Annual Assessment is due by January 31st.

Detailed payment information will be included in the January newsletter and can always be found at:

Student Yellow Pages

Shannon Turner (17) Angmturn@hotmail.com Babysitting, Pet sitting
Nathan Turner (12) Angmturn@hotmail.com Dog walking, yard work and watering, leaf removal
Lilly Bucher (12) lrbucher4@gmail.com Babysitting/mother's helper, Pet sitting
Kiera Stark (13) commonareas@hickoryfarms.org Pet sitting
Greysen Berg (15) 210-428-5535 Yard work, leaf raking
Cedar Baltz (17) 571-398-1467 Dog walking, Dog sitting

If you offer services such as raking leaves, lawn mowing, babysitting, pet sitting, dog walking, tutoring, etc., and wish to be included in future listings, please email the Newsletter Editor at newsletter@hickoryfarms.org.

Join the Listserv to Access Newsletters, Notices About Events, and More!

All are encouraged to connect with Hickory Farms by joining the Hickory Farms Listserv! Hickory Farms utilizes Google Groups to manager our listserv. We chose this platform because it's simple, easy to use and free.

While any email address works with Google Groups, we highly recommend having a Gmail account because it is most neatly integrated with Google. If you don't have a Gmail account, you can sign up for one at http://www.gmail.com.

Once you have an account, visit https://groups.google.com/my-groups to sign into Google Groups. From there, you can go straight to http://groups.google.com/g/hickory-farms-hoa/ and click the "Ask to Join." In the Reason for Joining, please include your address, phone number, and own/rent status to include in the neighborhood directory.

Once your membership is approved, you'll receive emails when they are sent to the listserv. You can adjust your membership settings - like changing single emails to a weekly digest - in your Google Groups Settings.

Please don't forget to review the guidelines on the Hickory Farms website here: https://hickoryfarms.org/hickory-farms-listserv. There's also information on how to post to the listserv, manage your account and more.

Finally, if you need basic Google Groups help, visit: https://support.google.com/groups/answer/1067205?hl=en. You can always contact the admins of the listserv for help or questions by emailing hickory-farms-hoa+managers@googlegroups.com.

The Birds of Hickory Farms

By Bob Cosgriff

Two species that migrate to Virginia in the winter have arrived, namely, the Slate-colored Junco and White-throated Sparrow. We saw our first junco on 6 November (coincidentally the same date as in 2021). Juncos are often called “Snowbirds” because it is a very common bird in the winter in states from New England and south. In fact, the scientific species name, hyemalis, derives from the Latin word meaning “pertaining to winter.” The birds we see here are most likely members of the carolinensis subspecies that nests in the Appalachian Mountains They move down to the Piedmont and coastal areas in the winter in what is termed “vertical” migration since they are moving from a higher altitude to a lower altitude at the same latitude as opposed to performing long-distance migration from north to south. In any case, these attractive grey birds are very common in the winter in Virginia and come readily to feeders to eat seeds. Here is a link to information about this bird: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Dark-eyed_Junco/

The White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) is a true long-distance migrant. They typically arrive here from their far northern breeding territory in Canada about 1 November. They are among the most beautiful of sparrows with their white throats, white stripes on the head, and yellow lores (the area between the beak and the eyes). Some birds are in what is called the “tan race”; their head stripes and throats are not as bright as the other form which gives the species its name. Their clear, whistled song, described as “Oh, sweet Canada, Canada, Canada,” is heard throughout the winter and always brightens up the gray, cold days.

The best seed to attract these two birds is white millet scattered on the ground. They will also eat safflower seeds. Both being in the sparrow family, they love to scratch around in the leaves for their food. While they do occasionally go to platform feeders, they prefer to stay low where they can scurry into cover if necessary.

A highlight for us was the appearance on 16 November of a Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa). Our records show that the last one we saw in our yard was in 2007 and the last one seen in Hickory Farms was 2008. They tend to be less common than their cousin, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula). The genus name, Regulus, means “little king.” Both species are often seen in the company of chickadees and titmice. Kinglets are tiny birds and very active, flitting about from branch to branch and flicking their wings. They tend to prefer conifers, although we first saw this particular bird moving about the bare branches of a Japanese Maple before it ducked into a Virginia Cedar and some holly bushes. This is species #65 for our backyard count this year.

The ‘crown’ of the Golden-crowned Kinglet is yellow bordered by black stripes above a white eye stripe. It is always visible, whereas the crown of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet is visible only when the bird is agitated. In any case, it is always a treat to see either one of these tiny birds, often described as “feather balls” for their somewhat rounded shapes. In honor of this backyard sighting, the Golden-crowned Kinglet is our Bird of the Month. Here is more information about it and its cousin: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Golden-crowned_Kinglet/photo-gallery/161342541 and https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ruby-crowned_Kinglet/photo-gallery/161342541

Newsletter Item Deadline and Distribution Notice

Newsletter items are due the 25th of the month, for the next month’s issue. Please send submissions to newsletter@hickoryfarms.org.

Newsletters are distributed via the HFCA listserv and posted on the HFCA website. Unless as required by bylaws, paper versions of the newsletters are no longer delivered to households. All are encouraged to access the digital newsletter via the listserv or the HFCA website. See below for information on how to join the listserv. A limited number of hard copy newsletters will be available each month in the Little Free Libraries.