The owners of Chestnut Cottage, friends from Richmond, are all active in The
Audubon Society and have been coming to Highland County on birding trips for
years. Blue Grass Valley has been our base of operations when searching for birds
only found in this area of Virginia. These highland mountains had become an
important part of our lives, and when we heard that Chestnut Cottage was for sale,
we knew we'd found a way to own a small piece of a place we love. As owners, our
goals are to preserve the ambiance of Chestnut Cottage and to enhance the property
by putting in native plants that will attract birds and other wildlife.
Caroline Coe and her husband John ventured into Highland County in early 1996
for their first Maple Festival: maple donuts, Rough-legged Hawks and Golden
Eagles. After many, many return visits over the years, the Blue Grass Valley
continues to be a special place for them, of mountains, valleys, pastoral settings,
hard-working and friendly people, clear skies and birds. And so, when the
opportunity arose to purchase Chestnut Cottage, she jumped at the chance to
continue this adventure – with her husband, partners and visitors.
Julie Kacmarcik is a wife and mother of two sons. She is a long-time
Richmond Audubon Society member and a career Trauma nurse. She has been
visiting Highland County for 2 decades. Julie finds peace and relaxation in nature,
and after a visit to Blue Grass Valley, she says she's ready to come back as soon as
she leaves. Julie, a naturalist and bird bander, is involved in many conservation
projects. She has a strong interest in photography and finds many photo ops as she
rambles around the county. With a pair of binoculars and a camera she has all she
needs to enjoy the splendor of the natural world.
Betsy Saunders is a retired teacher who lives in the Bon Air area of Richmond.
She and her husband, Ben, enjoy all things outdoors and spend their leisure time
birding, scuba diving, canoing and hiking (although at a certain age it became simply
walking). Betsy's first visit to Blue Grass Valley ended on Hardscrabble Road with
their pick-up suspended over the side of a very steep mountain. As strange as it
seems, both Betsy and Ben fell in love with Highland County during that trip and have
returned year after year. When they rented Chestnut Cottage for the first time, they
were charmed by its restful atmosphere. They have been staying there several times
a year ever since. Betsy is delighted to be one of the new owners!
Grace Suttle is a tireless world traveler with eclectic interests. She is resident
photographer, expert on plants, amateur astronomer and lover of opera. (Grace has
been known to leave a Blue Grass birding trip in time to attend a Sunday matinée at
the Kennedy Center.) Grace has been a fan of Blue Grass Valley for years, and she
looks forward to spending time at Chestnut Cottage. She plans to take lots of
pictures by day and to spend many nights on the deck stargazing under the dark
skies of Highland County .
|Saw-whet Owl banded by