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Where do you live?
Fluvanna County, born and raised.
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The Master Gardeners have been coming to the market every year. Their member volunteers staff a table with a tremendous amount of information and enthusiasm. Come see them each week between 2 and 5 p.m. The following article was submitted by Marie Hussey. Tuesday, when a cicada was found, while holding it in her hand we decided that she should share the information which she discovered about it with the community.
– Phyllis Montelese

What do Fluvanna Master Gardeners and cicadas have in common? They were both at Fluvanna’s Farmers Market at Pleasant Grove Tuesday. A red-eyed, clear-winged adult periodical cicada was discovered inside the Master Gardeners’ tent where they were set up to answer gardening questions. A small crowd gathered to see the docile stingerless cicada being gently handled by a Master Gardener. It was the first live adult cicada most had seen this year although some spoke of seeing several cicada “shells” (exoskeletons) around. Central Virginia is expecting an onslaught of these 13- and 17-year periodical cicadas this month with their numbers peaking in early June and gone by July.
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Where do you live?
Lake Monticello
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
Fourteen years ago, my husband transferred from North Carolina. We made the move in order to be closer to family in Pennsylvania.
Tell me about your work.
I work in Fluvanna county government as clerk to the board of supervisors/administrative assistant. As such, I am responsible for any needs the supervisors may have.  In addition to finding and delivering whatever information they ask for, I put together the detailed packets they consult at their meetings.  I am present at all board of supervisors meetings, recording everything done and said in the form of meeting minutes. I also maintain the county web site, send out press releases, and serve as a notary of public.
Tell me about your family.
In June, my husband and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  Our daughter attends Ferrum College and our son is in the Virginia Air National Guard as an F22 crew chief.  We have a daughter-in-law and two wonderful grandchildren, a 4-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl.
Tell me about a hobby you have.
I love kayaking the Rivanna: it’s nice, peaceful, and slow. Another love is spending time with my grandchildren, so my favorite pleasures combine when my little grandson comes along on the river.  I can’t wait till the 1-year-old can join in.
Describe one of the highlights of your life.
Becoming a grandmother was definitely a huge highlight of my life.  It’s the best thing ever. If I had known it was this great, I would have had the grandkids before the kids!
Describe one of the biggest surprises of your life.
Life itself is a big surprise.
Describe one of the tragedies/struggles of your life.
I am in the Virginia Air National Guard and have 21 years of service. Before I transferred I was in North Carolina stationed at the 145th airlift wing.  Last July, the Modular Airborne Firefighting System (MAFFS) unit had a plane crash in South Dakota while they were fighting fires. Four soldiers were killed.  I knew the flight engineer and also the loadmaster, who was injured. It was a terrible tragedy. They were a part of my military family and will be extremely missed by many.
Describe a dream you have for your future.
Someday I hope to go see Australia. On a more personal level, I am working towards living life day by day.
Describe a fear you have for your future.
Losing my children. It’s an unwritten rule: You go before your children.  Upsets to this natural order are among the most shattering of personal experiences.
Here’s your chance to sound off. If you could give one public service announcement/word of advice to the public at large, what would it be?
I’m pulling from a favorite Alabama song and a book by Richard Carlson: Life is short. Don’t sweat the small stuff – and it’s all small stuff.

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Iris are not deer’s choice for dinner. Photo by Lynn Stayton-EurellDeer and voles are the bane of gardeners everywhere. Fighting them has not worked for me so I do my best to discourage them. Dogs help keep deer out of the garden and so do fences, but planting things that are not their favorites is a good place to start. They will eat anything when they have to, so know that nothing is truly deer proof. At Lake Monticello, a true test for deer resistance, barberry and its relative the mahonia are not tasty. The amaryllis family includes belladonna lily, known as ‘naked ladies’ or ‘resurrection lily’, which are not eaten by deer or voles. If you use mulch, make a pocket of sand and chicken grit where you plant to discourage voles. Many plants are listed as resistant but have they passed the Lake Monticello test?
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The sunflower is the backbone of the heliotropes. Photo: ©istockphoto.com/ SalawinOur wonderful sun, Helios to the Greeks, is so beautiful he turns heads. Especially in the world of flowers. Heliotropic plants turn their faces during the day to follow the sun. Alfalfa, soy beans and cotton are heliotropic but they are not ornamenting our gardens. The backbone of the heliotropes is the sunflower. Planted at the back of a garden facing south, their huge heads turn from right to left as we look at them seeming to be reading the garden before them like a book. Okra also follows the sun and is so ornamental in the vegetable garden.

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