Hickory Farms

January 2024 Hickory Farms Newsletter

- Editor, Jennifer Maloney (Farm House Ln)

Hickory Farms Annual Assessment (Dues) Notice

By Judy Deng, HFCA Treasurer

This year’s assessment is $290.00 and is due no later than January 31, 2024. Pay electronically or pay by mail.

Payment details are as follows:

  • Ensure payment reaches HFCA Treasurer no later than January 31, 2024.
    • You may pay by echeck or credit card at: https://hickoryfarmshfca.cheddarup.com Cheddar Up is a secure digital payment method that is integrated with our MoneyMinder web-based accounting software.
      • No fee for echecks. Echeck is an ACH debit from a payer’s bank account, which involves payers entering their bank account and routing numbers.
      • Credit card payments will include an additional processing fee.
    • Mail your check or money order to:
      Hickory Farms Community Association
      P.O. Box 2239
      Fairfax VA 22031
    • Ensure the property address is written on your check or money order.

Moved? New homeowner? Email owner's name, address, and telephone number to secretary@hickoryfarms.org, who maintains Hickory Farms records.

Help us stay in touch by joining the HFCA email list (listserv) at https://hickoryfarms.org/hickory-farms-listserv This is a private list for HFCA only.

THANK YOU! Your assessment payments help keep our community beautiful and safe.

Questions? Contact Treasurer@Hickoryfarms.org

Hickory Farms Community Association Bylaws Article VII, Section 2(c) governs annual assessments. Assessment payments are the responsibility of the property owner. Payments that are not postmarked or in the physical possession of the Treasurer by February 7, 2024, are late and the homeowner will be charged an additional $50. Payments received after that date that do not include the additional $50 charge (total payment of $340.00) will be returned to the homeowner for non-payment. On March 1, 2024, delinquent accounts will be turned over to the Association's attorney for collection. At that point, the amount owed by the delinquent homeowner will be $340.00 plus all associated attorney fees and could include significant court costs if HFCA files a lawsuit. These procedures are in accord with the Hickory Farms Community Association Bylaws, which have no provision for waiver.

Hickory Farms 2023 Holiday Decoration Competition Results

Most Classic - 4358 Harvester Farm Lane

Holiday Heavyweight - 4285 Country Squire Lane

Most Colorful - 4357 Harvester Farm Lane

Most Holiday Spirit - 4353 Harvester Farm Lane

Photos courtesy of Juliette Giordano

The Birds of Hickory Farms

By Bob Cosgriff

It’s never too late to see a new backyard bird. On 6 December, a small flock of gorgeous Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) graced our backyard, bringing our 2023 species count up to 51. As the name suggests, these birds like to feed on the fruit of cedar trees. Here in Virginia by far the most common cedar species is the Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) sometimes called the Virginia Cedar or Virginia Juniper from its scientific name. Waxwings are here year-round but they don’t stay long in a given area. Rather, they fly about in small flocks to find food sources. We see them in the yard only once or twice a year on average. They are termed “frugivorous” birds meaning they primarily eat fruits and berries, although during breeding season, when berries might not have appeared, they do eat insects and feed them to their nestlings. Other favorite berries come from holly bushes, serviceberries, and winterberries, to name just a few.

I mentioned that they fly in flocks. David Sibley, author of the popular field guides bearing his name, has written that only a small number of song birds actually fly in flocks (other than in migration, when most flights are by night). This fact is a helpful hint when trying to identify birds in a flock. In addition to Cedar Waxwings, the list includes American Robin, American Goldfinch, Red-winged Blackbird, Blue Jay, European Starlings, House (“English”) Sparrow, and Common Grackle. Mourning Doves often flock together but don’t typically fly from place to place in flocks, unlike their relatives, the Rock Pigeon, a familiar bird in urban settings. American Crows also fly in flocks, but their identification is pretty straight-forward. In flight, waxwings are light-colored and tend to be in a loose, fast-moving formation. They have a very high-pitched call both in flight and when feeding. About the size of the Gray Catbird or Northern Cardinal (although a bit sleeker), they are one of our most attractive birds. Like the cardinal, they have a crest. In honor of this sighting, the Cedar Waxwing is the Bird of the Month. To see photos and to learn more about this bird, click on this link: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/cedar_waxwing.

We have had two other uncommon backyard visitors, Brown Creeper and Hermit Thrush. While neither is a new bird for 2023 (we tallied the creeper on 10 February as year bird #29 and the thrush on 18 May as #47), each is a relatively irregular visitor. While we usually see the Hermit Thrush annually a few times (it is a year-round resident here), the creeper is much less likely to show up in our yard. In some years, we never see it. In other bird news, a neighbor reported seeing an adult Bald Eagle flying over Hickory Farms in late November. This is the 11th documented neighborhood sighting of our national bird since Christmas, 2012. So keep your eyes to the skies. You never know what you might see. Please let me know of any unusual sightings.

The February newsletter article will include the results of the first month of our 2024 backyard bird count. The 2023 count was lower than average, probably due to the weather patterns. We are hoping to get back up to around 60 species in 2024.

Happy New Year!!

Rabbit Run Remediation Update

By Bob Cosgriff, Rabbit Run Remediation Coordinator

I recently contacted Ken Trinh, the DPWES project manager for the Rabbit Run remediation effort, to check on the progress of the project. As previously reported, funding is available for design, which includes surveying the property to assist in the engineering of the work. The initial expectation was that surveying (both aerial and onsite) would take place in the November-December timeframe. Ken reports that he is negotiating the design task order with the consultant and this is taking longer than anticipated. Once the contract is authorized and in place, he will coordinate the surveying and keep the community informed of the progress. In previous conversations, Ken indicated that the best time to survey is in the winter when there is no tree canopy or leafy understory. Hopefully, we will see the survey crews here in January or February. Stay tuned.

When It Snows!

As snow falls across our neighborhood this winter, here is some helpful information about snow removal from Fairfax County.

Besides the sidewalk in front of your home, there are other, community-focused places to consider shoveling snow:

  • Fire hydrants – every second counts; clear at least three feet around
  • School bus stops in the neighborhood
  • Walking or bike trails
  • Storm drains

Snow shovel safely. Take breaks while shoveling and do not overexert yourself, especially if you are usually inactive. Shovel small amounts of snow at a time. Push the snow instead of lifting where possible.

About salt: While salt helps get rid of ice, too much can be harmful to our drinking water, aquatic life, trees, vegetation, vehicles, pipes and infrastructure. So, don’t overdo it. Make sure you’re using just enough to get the job done. For example, a 12-ounce mug of salt should be enough to treat a 20-foot driveway or about 10 sidewalk squares. Also, consider how salt can impact neighborhood dogs; if possible, try and use pet-friendly kinds.

Source: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/snow/remove

Join Our Listserv!

Don’t miss any news! There’s no better way to stay in touch than through our Hickory Farms email listserv. Visit Email Listserv and follow the instructions.

HFCA Board Meeting Notice

HFCA Board Meetings are held via Microsoft Teams. 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.

Student Yellow Pages

Lily Bucher lrbucher4@gmail.com Babysitter/Mother's Helper, Pet Sitting
Kiera Stark commonareas@hickoryfarms.org Pet Sitting
Greysen Berg 210-428-5535 Yard Work, Leaf Raking
Cedar Batz 571-398-1467 Dog Walking, Dog Sitting

If you offer services such as those listed above, or others such as tutoring, etc., and wish to be included in future listings, please email the Newsletter Editor at newsletter@hickoryfarms.org.

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

Newsletters are distributed via the HFCA listserv and posted on the HFCA website. All are encouraged to
access the digital newsletter via the listserv or the HFCA website.