Wanda and Pete's Letterboxes - Virginia


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584. The "Boyds" that Flew to Boydton A group of birds formerly nesting in Dudley, MA that Thimbelinda and Tall Dave graciously sent off to fly south with us to the VA/NC border near Boydton, VA

These birds were a little late in getting started on their flight south last fall, got trapped in the worst winter ever, and had to wait for spring to finally find their new nesting grounds. However, they're now cozily settled into their new homes on the Robert Munford Trail along the north shore of Kerr Lake just south of Boydton, VA near the NC border, and are eagerly awaiting some visitors.

To find the staring point for this trail, go to the center of Boyton, just south of route 58 on Washington St., head west about a mile on Jefferson St. , then turn left (south) a couple of miles on Taylor Ferry Rd. (route 705), and then bear right for two more miles on Greenwood Rd. (route 823) to trailhead parking on the left. We were going to plant the birds along the whole length of the 7-mile Robert Munford Trail, but then thought that not everyone would care to walk that far or arrange a shuttle, so we just planted them along the first part of the trail to Robert Munford's grave site at 1.4 miles for a 2.8-mile in and out round trip followed by a drive-by to the other trailhead for the last bird. Of course, you're still welcome to hike all the way through as we did if you wish, but just be aware that that will take much longer.

Anyway, from the trailhead parking near the end of Greenwood Rd., follow the trail/old dirt road past the gate and a cabin on the left until you reach field #1. Just as the cart path curves left after that field, look behind the second tree on your left for the "Early Bird" -about 4 feet in front of some triple orange-striped trees.

Next, continue along the cart path until you reach field 2A. Walk along the western edge of the field and shortly re-enter the woods still on a cart path. From where you renter the woods, take about 75 steps along the trail and then scan right for a gracefully upward curving tree about a dozen steps off trail. Under a reddish stone at the base of the curved trunk awaits the "Nuthatch".

Now continue along the cart path for awhile until you reach the old Munford family cemetery on the left with only a few stones visible. Under a white quartz rock on the north side of the smaller of two trees at the northwest corner of the cemetery rests the "Baby Robin".

Now, unless you wish to do some further exploring or are set on doing the whole trail, which bends sharply left around the south side of the cemetery, you will probably want to head back the way you came and return to those two very large multi-trunk trees you undoubtedly noticed near a bend in the trail on your way in. Stop at that second huge multi-sprouting maple now on your left, then take about 25 steps off trail right to a large 2-trunk tree with a baby 3rd trunk. Behind this tree under a white quartz rock waits the "Chickadee".

Now all you have left to do is follow the trail back to about 50 steps before the metal gate at the trailhead where there is a cedar stump on the right edge of the path. At that point, look across to the left for a cedar/pine pair at that edge of the path. Behind the cedar under another piece of white quartz rests the "Cardinal".

Finally, for one last bird that wanted to nest just a bit further south closer to the Carolina border, drive to the other end of the trail near the far end of Taylor Ferry Rd (705), 2.7 miles further south from where you turned off previously onto Greenwood. Park on the right and follow the trail down the hill to a sharp right turn near a cement object. Continue on the trail for a bit until a magnificent old oak with a round green hiker symbol on it comes into view. Look under a flat stone on the south side of this tree, right of a holly bush and left of a big black hole, for the "Carolina Wren". Hope you enjoyed finding these birds!


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