Hickory Farms

November 2022 Hickory Farms Newsletter

- Editor, Jennifer Maloney (Farm House Ln)

President's Column

By Jim Bever

Autumn is here! Our trees are so gorgeous this time of year. And it’s especially fun to watch the children in our community as they romp in the leaves--and as they help rake them up, too!

Successful Annual Meeting Oct 18th Our Annual Meeting (via Zoom) involved 48 homes whose owners were represented virtually on the screen and via their advance proxies. Congratulations to the candidates nominated for the Board for 2023, all of whom were elected by vote/proxy: Telah Jackson, Ken Sorg, Ben Noviello, Pam Barrett, Melissa Stark, and Tad Weed! As is HFCA’s practice, they will select from among themselves as to who shall hold the various positions of the Board for the coming year. Also during the Annual Meeting, both the Board-approved 2023 Budget and the Board-approved 2023 Annual Assessment ($281 due by January 31) were affirmed by vote/proxy. Reports were given by Treasurer Ken Sorg on our HFCA finances, by Common Areas Committee Chair Melissa Stark on our award-winning common areas, by ACC Chair Pam Barrett on the Architectural Control Committee’s work, by Social Committee Meredith Perkins and Sarah Tropiano on our well-attended fun events this year, and by Vice President Telah Jackson on progress of our Hickory Farms Strategic Plan. Special thanks go to Member-at-Large Carlie Mensen for organizing the successful proxy ballot process and to Secretary Ben Noviello for taking the official minutes, as well as to Assistant Treasurer Tad Weed for trying to join us from his work trip in Kansas City, MO! We also acknowledged the initiative of one of our homeowners on the need for better trash collection service from one of the companies covering Hickory Farms; this concern is being pursued with the Braddock District Supervisor’s Office and may soon lead to an HFCA survey of homeowners. Finally, we reminded all to join our GoogleGroup ListServ! Newsletters including this month and in the future will mostly go digitally, with a few printed ones via Little Libraries.

Social Events Congratulations to all who participated in the recent Halloween Spooktacular event and decorating contest and to the winners! Our big thanks go to Meredith Perkins and Sarah Tropiano for organizing it and to the 51 homes that opened their doors for trick or treating! Don’t miss the notice in this newsletter about the upcoming neighborhood Holiday Decoration Competition!

Executive Session of the Board The Board plans to hold an Executive Session of the Board soon to discuss the topic of homeowners who have been informed that their home’s exterior property appearance still does not meet the standards expected per our applicable covenants and rules. The result of that Executive Session will be reported out in brief summary as appropriate for the record to the Board and such will be noted in the Board Minutes posted upon our HFCA website hickoryfarms.org as appropriate. Action will be taken as deemed appropriate and per our bylaws and rules.

Thanksgiving is coming! So we on the Board give thanks for our safe, caring, and enjoyable community of Hickory Farms and we give very special thanks for all of our HFCA Volunteers who help make it so!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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. Note: the November meeting will be held Wednesday, November 9. 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.

Hickory Farms Spooktakular!

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!

The Birds of Hickory Farms

By Bob Cosgriff

There is not much bird news for this month’s article. Our last hummingbird sighting was 12 October, which marks the latest date recorded in the four years we’ve kept this data. The last few days it was here were very cold overnight. Nonetheless, some flowers were still in bloom and our feeders were filled with a slightly more sugary solution to help fuel the bird for its long flight to southern Florida, the Caribbean, or even Central America. One backyard highlight was a vivid Magnolia Warbler, which made species #62 for this year. Other visitors included Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, and Eastern Bluebird, all birds that will be here over the upcoming winter.

Migration poses many threats to birds. Cold, wet, windy weather can sap the strength of migrants. This is especially true if they run into a hurricane! Lack of food on the journey due to drought, habitat destruction, and even being a few days late for the peak of food availability is another hazard. Collisions with buildings is a major cause of bird mortality. Many jurisdictions encourage or even legislate a “Dark Skies” policy whereby commercial and residential buildings are darkened at night during migration times. Much is written about birds and wind turbines. While it is true that birds are killed by turbines, careful placement away from migratory areas and newer designs are helping to mitigate this problem somewhat.

In reality, free-roaming cats (whether feral or domestic) are the #1 killer of wild birds. This is a problem where there is a simple solution: keeping housecats indoors and not abandoning unwanted kittens or setting out food to attract feral cats. There are numerous studies documenting the dangers of free-roaming cats on wildlife in general, which includes spreading disease within wild animal populations. Since this is a documented problem across the country, it stands to reason that it is also a problem in Fairfax County, but I do not have any data to share at this point. Here is another consideration: housecats that go outdoors can be attacked and bitten by a rabid animal (fox, raccoon, skunk) or worse, be killed. Even if the cat merely gets in a fight with another cat, there is every likelihood of an infected wound and an expensive veterinary bill. There are many resources on the Internet for anyone who would like to learn more about the free-roaming cat issue and all the other threats to wild birds and what individuals, governments, and organizations can do (and are doing) to help ensure that the birds we all enjoy are here year after year and far into the future.

Holiday Decoration Competition

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.

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.