March 2022 Hickory Farms Newsletter
- Editor, Jennifer Maloney (Farm House Ln)
By: Sean Coleman
Spring is coming. Our daffodil bulbs are poking their heads up and have been for several weeks. The crocuses, tulips, and forsythia are not far behind. That also means that the Spring neighborhood yard sale cannot be too far behind. In fact, it is scheduled for Saturday, May 21st from 8am-Noon. As always, Pete Scala has generously agreed to oversee this year’s event again.
Other events open to all in the community include a Common Areas clean-up on March 26th and April 23rd and a children’s bird watch hike on April 30th and an adults’ bird watch hike on May 7th, led by the incomparable Bob Cosgriff, through the various common spaces within the neighborhood. Look for more information on all of these in the next newsletter. Just to remind you, mowing and grass fertilization in the Common Areas will begin in March. Melissa will ensure that all notices regarding fertilization and lawn treatment will be posted in a timely manner.
Late on the evening of February 17, a resident’s car was burglarized here in Hickory Farms. The car was unlocked. It is important to remember to lock your cars, even those left in a carport can be subject to ransacking. This is another reason why restarting the neighborhood watch can help defer these types of snatch and grab crimes. Lock your cars.
This is a good time to recommend the neighborhood GoogleGroup listserv. Notices come out on the listserv more frequently than the monthly newsletter does, so it is a good way to remain current on what is happening in the neighborhood. See David’s note on how to join if you are not already on it.
There had been a rumor circulating that the boundaries of Woodson High School were going to be redrawn and that Hickory Farms would be re-aligned into the Fairfax High School pyramid. Jim Bever had a chance to specifically address that issue with our school board member, Megan McLaughlin, in February, and Megan categorically denied that there was any consideration of changing Woodson’s boundaries.
The Board and I want to thank Bill Berg for his service to the neighborhood as Newsletter Editor for the past several years. His editing of the newsletter has been a great service to the whole community. Our new Editor is Jennifer Maloney. Jennifer has agreed to take on this responsibility again, having previously edited the newsletter in the 2001-2002 timeframe. Thank you, Jennifer. Also, I want to introduce two new Board members that were voted onto the Board this month. Ben Noviello has been a resident of the neighborhood for almost 30 years and will begin to serve this Spring as Board Secretary, as Carlie Mensen shifts over to Member-At-Large while assisting Ben during the transition. Tad Weed, also joined. Tad is fairly new to the neighborhood and will serve as our Assistant Treasurer.
The ad hoc committee that is looking into repairing the path in the Lower Common Area is continuing its work and hopes to have some proposals for the Board to consider in the next 60-days. If you have thoughts, please feel free to share them with our VP, Jim Bever, who is heading up that ad hoc committee via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Homeowner Comments Requested on Possible New Hickory Farms Signage
Currently, the HFCA uses a handful of different lettering/artwork for our neighborhood entrance signs, Common Areas signs, stationery, and website. The HFCA Board has for some months been developing optional designs to consolidate our signage and update the brand of our community, which may be seen below. The first of these (Option A) is the current lettering/artwork found on our hickoryfarms.org website which incorporates a Hickory Leaf motif. The next (Options B1 & B2) includes new lettering and a stylized tree motif. The third (Options C1 & C2) is a modification of the lettering used in Option B, with and without the Hickory Leaf motif from Option A.
Please email us your comments on these designs by March 21st to: email@example.com! We expect to review your comments prior to making any possible design modifications to the options, after which we will select the final design at the April Board Meeting for our branding going forward.
Community Yard Sale
We plan to conduct a Community Yard Sale again this year. Pete Scala will run it, and we plan to hold it on May 21st, with a rain date of May 22nd. We run it on a Saturday (or Sunday if we get rained out on Saturday) from 8 am to noon.
As in past years, HFCA does the advertising, posts signs, and distributes maps showing yard sale locations (but not names). Because we usually have many families participating, we always get a much better customer turnout than single family or 2 or 3 family yard sales.
The way it works is; that Saturday morning you put out your items for sale in your front yard, and shoppers use the map we provide to go to participating houses.
In order to cover costs, a nominal charge is required for people participating. Call or email Pete Scala [(703) 764-0730 or firstname.lastname@example.org] to sign up.
While COVID remains a valid concern, the country appears to be managing it. As sellers we can deal with COVID and COVID concerns by wearing masks, minimizing close contact with shoppers, and having a bottle of disinfectant or disinfectant wipes handy for people who are concerned about passing COVID by contact (note the CDC says there is less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of that happening). You may also want to wear disposable gloves.
Preparing for a yard sale
- Select worthwhile items to sell. You may have some true junk to sell; but your chances of selling it, or anything else, go up if you get people to look at your stuff by having good things out there.
- Prepare your merchandise ahead of time. Wash and press clothes, dust and polish furniture, paint and oil old bikes, make sure electronics work and have demo CDs, tapes, etc.
- Buy some change from the bank ahead of time. You'll need bills and coins; how much depends on how many things you have for sale, and what prices you pick (if your stuff is all 5.99, 11.59, etc., you better have a lot of pennies).
- Put prices on your sale items the night before; use large tags. People will try to bargain you down, so take that into account when you pick your asking price.
- Put out your sale items in an attractive display. Run extension cords to power electrical appliances, so you can demonstrate they work.
- Be ready early on Saturday (Sunday) morning. Aggressive yard sale shoppers start as early as 6:30 a.m., going from yard sale to yard sale. If you're out there, you can get their business.
- Have a chair to sit on and a partner to work with. The day will get long. You might have to take a break. You might want to make up some lemonade the day before, as well.
- Sign up with neighbors... the more adjacent houses that are selling things, the more likely buyers are to stop by. The yard sale maps will highlight which sales are close to other sales, and you will get more shoppers.
The Birds of Hickory Farms
By: Bob Cosgriff
As the name of these articles suggests, the focus is on birds that can be seen in our neighborhood. I report on sightings in our yard as a microcosm of Hickory Farms as a whole. From time to time, I offer suggestions for birding in nearby parks where it is possible to see species that are not resident in Hickory Farms, such as water fowl, waders, and shorebirds. Most of these spots are in Fairfax or adjacent counties, but I have written in the past about the wonderful Delaware beaches and hot-spots in Tidewater and out near the Blue Ridge. The great thing about an interest in birding is that it is an activity that you can do it anywhere, for the simple reason that birds are everywhere! We just took a trip to Florida to visit relatives, but we planned stops both going and coming and while in Florida to go birding. We were rewarded by seeing 71 species, including many that can be seen only down south (e.g., Wood Stork, Anhinga, Brownheaded Nuthatch), as well as some birds that we won’t see here until the migration reaches us (e.g., Pine and Palm warblers, Gray Catbird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-headed Vireo). In reality, we got an early start on the 2022 spring migration!
Because of our trip, observation days in February for our daily backyard census were reduced. However, we have maintained our daily average of 20 species and added three new first-of-year birds to our list as this article went to the editor: Canada Goose (overflight), Brown-headed Cowbird, and Fox Sparrow. The latter bird arrived on 22 February. A review of our records indicated that in 2017 and 2018 our first Fox Sparrow was also seen on this exact date! (In other years, the bird was first seen in mid-March.) With the Fox Sparrow, we have seen 36 species so far this year, which is about average for the first two months. This is slightly more than half of all species that we will see for the entire year. We did notice an increase in bird song upon our return. The lengthening daylight stimulates hormonal activity in the birds and they become more active as the nesting season approaches. Tufted Titmice, Northern Cardinals, Song Sparrows, House Finches in particular are sounding off. Hawks and owls will be nesting now, and songbirds will start in late March/early April. Our bluebird trail is ready for another year of duty!
As mentioned last month, we will host two bird walks in 2022. The first one will be for kids on Saturday, April 30, from 10-12, starting in the lower commons and ending in the upper commons.
The adult walk will be on Saturday, 7 May, from 9-11 (earlier is better) with the same starting and ending points. Both walks will include birdwatching basics and a chance to learn about the Hickory Farms bluebird trail. Bring binoculars, a bird book, and curiosity! Hopefully, the weather and the birds will cooperate to provide everyone with a memorable experience seeing and learning about the birds of Hickory Farms.
Join Our Listserv
Want an easy way to stay in touch with the community, learn about going-on's, sell your goods, and more? 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: /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 email@example.com.
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