This year’s conference included two field sessions to explore the natural and historical attractions of Williamsburg and the surrounding area.
Wednesday, September 30
At mid-morning we headed south for a harbor tour aboard Miss Hampton II, departing from the Historic Downtown Hampton waterfront. Most participants came prepared for rain, but we got very little, and the bay was smooth sailing. We got a drive-by view of the Norfolk Navy base and a walking tour of Historic Fort Wool, built on a man-made island in Chesapeake Bay.
After debarking, we took a natural history tour of Jamestown Island, Colonial National Historical Park. This site sits along the mighty James River, and our tour showcased its complex marsh ecosystem and hardwood forests. Sights included a bald eagle’s nest in a tall pine and wild persimmons just fallen from a tree.
Thursday, October 1
Weather forecasts showed Hurricane Joaquin heading for our coast, but a few of us braved the impending weather to tour the Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area in nearby Charles City County. This state WMA is set along the beautiful Chickahominy River, a tributary to the James River, and Morris Creek. This site was used as the setting for parts of the 2005 film The New World.