Archives: December 2012

The Scene is Set for Mini Drama Camp in January 2013 at Lake of the Woods VA

The “scene” for the Mini Drama Camp in January will be the Community Center! Partnering with the Lake Youth Foundation, the LOW Players will be providing a full day (9am-3pm) mini drama camp on Monday, January 21st (an Orange County Public Schools holiday). Character development techniques, solo musical performance, stage direction, costuming, some technical exposure, hairstyling and makeup, diction and vocal projection will be experienced by campers ages 8-17. Only 20 students will have this opportunity, so register early!
The morning of camp, a parent/guardian of the students will need to complete a permission slip, which will be provided at that time. Parents/guardians/guests will be welcomed back to the Community Center at 2:45pm for the camp performance, which is sure to be great!
All application and registration forms are available at Please complete all forms, including the medical form, and mail to Marion Pronk at 411 Wakefield Drive, Locust Grove, along with the $25 registration fee. For additional information, please also call Marion Pronk at 540/972-0808. The deadline for applications is January 14th.
It’s another beautiful day at the lake!
Pat Licata, REALTOR
Licata on the Lake

LOWA's Environmental Resources Manager to Address Civic Club

On January 15th, Jessie Graves, Lake of the Woods (VA) Environmental Resources Manger, will be the featured speaker for the Civic Club meeting held at the Woods Center  at 7:30pm.  Ms. Graves will present the lakes restoration and maintenance plan produced by LOWA administration based on an extensive study performed by the Williamsburg Environment Group (WEG). WEG conducted an extensive study recently on both of our lakes and provided suggestions. Ms. Graves’ presenation will emphasize the upcoming projects that will be implemented over the next two years. This topic is of concern to all residents of our great community, so please take this opportunity to participate and become informed.
It’s another beautiful day at the lake!
Pat Licata, REALTOR
Licata on the Lake 

My Majestic Moment

When I received the call from Sheila Bolin, President/CEO of the Regal Swan Foundation, I couldn’t believe it! I was being invited to join her and others from the Regal Swan in Lakeland, FL, in early September! Her Majesty the Queen of England’s Swan Marker, David Barber, would be in Lakeland as one of only two stops on the North American Diamond Jubilee Celebration tour that marks the Queen’s 60th year in power. When I told my husband this exciting news, and being a good husband, John was excited for me. When I invited him to join me on my swantastic journey, he suddenly informed me that he had a root canal scheduled.

So off to Lakeland I went! Located in central Florida between Orlando and Tampa, Lakeland is…a land of lakes and swans. But the swans in Lakeland aren’t just any old swans; they are descendants of the original pair of mating swans sent to Lakeland by the Queen in 1957! Swans began adorning Lakeland’s lakes in the 1920s but were eradicated by dogs and alligators by the early ‘50s. After the current Queen came into power in 1952, a Lakeland resident wrote to Buckingham Palace requesting that the Queen donate a pair of mating swans to the city of Lakeland. The Queen granted the request, and now approximately 160 descendants of that original pair are found in Lakeland.

In addition to many other species of waterfowl, swans are certainly one of the most visible features on Lakeland’s lakes. During my visit to Lake Morton, I saw a black Black-Necked swan (in person for the first time), which is the most delicate of all swan species and is well suited to the subtropical climate Lakeland offers. What was most amazing was that so many mutes (the species found in Lake of the Woods) were cohabitating together peacefully. On our lake, three in close proximity is a crowd, and invariably the lone swan is chased away by the pair.

While plenty of “live” swans were seen, Lakeland also boasts an incredible variety of painted swan statues adorning the city to celebrate its mascot. What creativity and attention to detail! I must admit that, after driving around trying to find as many statues as I possibly could, I succumbed to purchasing a beautiful book where a photographer had already done the work. I simply didn’t want to waste a minute of my time searching for something I couldn’t do as good of a job capturing in my camera lens anyway!

 Friday night, Lakeland hosted a “Dog Days of Summer” street festival, with a variety of dog rescue groups parading their hopeful adoptees, food stands, music, and more. But the highlight was dinner with so many fascinating swan experts, including David Barber, Swan Marker, and his wife Judy.  Also in attendance were now-retired veterinarian Dr. Wade Gardner, who developed a vaccine for swans against botulism, and his son, Dr. Geoff Gardner. Geoff, Dr. Christopher Brown, and the rest of the Regal Swan research team pioneered the use of the West Nile Virus vaccine for swans.

I spent the weekend with these fascinating people: Sheila Bolin, the woman who invited me and who was responsible for finding a home for Bella, the permanently injured swan from LOW that I shipped to Chicago last December. I met Sheila’s identical twin Shirley, a photographer and co-founder of the Regal Swan, along with Dr. Fanchon “Fancy” Funk, another co-founder. Here I was surrounded by all of these giants in the swan world, yet they were marveling at MY commitment to swan conservation and coming all the way to Florida for this gathering! It was such an honor!

The main event was Saturday evening, and what a “regal” event it was! An orchestra played for the approximately 150 attendees, while wine and horderves were served. Then it was time for the star of the show, David Barber, to give a presentation about the Royal Ceremony of Swan Upping! Every year, all of the swans on the River Thames are “captured” briefly so that a count can be made, a health-check performed, and bands showing ownership placed on the legs of the cygnets (babies) born since the last upping. If any swans are in need of medical care that can be performed on-site, it is done. For those that may need more extensive care, they are carted off to a veterinary clinic. Records have been kept since the 1600s! It is interesting to note that the number of swans adorning the Thames is remarkably similar today to what it was in the 1800s.

This year (2012) was the first year that the Upping Ceremony did not occur because of flooding on the River Thames. Next year, I am working on going to England for the 2013 Upping Ceremony so that I may learn to be a better swan keeper of the magnificent swans guarding our Lake of the Woods lakes.

When, or should I say “if,” I ask my husband to accompany me, I wonder what medical affliction he will have acquired then…

If you are interested in learning more about our Lake of the Woods swans, please feel free to email me at

Until next time…”It’s another beautiful day at the lake!”

Pat Licata, REALTOR

Licata on the Lake

Lake of the Woods VA Equestrian Center to Offer Holiday Pony Camp

The Lake of the Woods Equestrian Center is offering a 4-day holiday pony camp on December 27th-29th and 31st, 2012, from 12:30-2:30pm. Space is limited to a small group of campers. Participants will receive riding instruction, as well instruction in grooming, horse care, and other barn-related activities. The cost of the camp is $100, and reservations may be made by calling 540/972-2238.
Until next time…It’s another beautiful day at the lake!
Pat Licata, Lake of the Woods REALTOR

2nd Annual LOW Christkindlmarkt This Saturday!

The Lake of the Woods Community Center will  be the site of the second annual Christkindlmarkt on Saturday, December 8th, from 9am-3pm! Local crafters and artisans will be displaying and selling their works. Items such as this stained glass swan will be available for purchase…what an excellent Christmas or holiday gift!
This event is one of the many reasons I love Lake of the Woods! Our community has such an abundance of varied activities…to suit young children through retirees!
I can’t wait to shorten my gift list and buy a few things for myself, of course, on Saturday! And…I’ll be picking up the pointsettias I pre-ordered from the pre-school. If you haven’t ordered yours, what are you waiting for?
Until next time…It’s another beautiful day at the lake!
Licata on the Lake