The Views You Get Living in Braemar

This week, one of my Braemar listings will make it to settlement.  No matter how many homes I sell, it never gets old to take a listing to settlement. 

I hope the new home owner enjoys the same views I do as a resident of Braemar.  I got these shots yesterday.  There were a doe and her fawns headed right toward my front lawn…and most likely, my hostas.

I could be angry that the deer are having a buffet in my front mulch bed, but how you can be angry at such beautiful creatures.  Maybe I’ll just relocate my hostas to the common area woodline and plant something more deer resistent in the garden.



Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in Virginia, Long & Foster REALTORS®



Concern Over Braemar’s Wildlife

The reason that a lot of the residents in Braemar chose this particular community was the preservation of green spaces and tree save areas.  While these areas do bring an aesthetically pleasing quality to our neighborhood, it is also home to wildlife, some of which you may not expect.

We’ve all seen deer, bunnies, raccoons, turtles and the occasional opossum.  What you may not have noticed are snakes, fox and coyotes.  There have been sightings of all of these, particularly in the vicinity of Tartan Hills Parkway.

 Calls to animal control have been made by various residents and the results are the same.  The County and State officials will not come to trap wildlife unless it is thought to be injured or rabid.  And to date, the descriptions of the animals’ activities have not been considered dangerous by our County officials.

Signs of a rabid animal would include excessive drooling, wandering aimlessly or off balance, and eating items like wood that they wouldn’t normally eat.  With the exception of raccoons that can carry rabies and not be infected, rabid animals will generally die of the illness in a matter of days once they become symptomatic.  Rabid animals should be reported to the Animal Warden, who can be reached at Prince William County’s non-emergency dispatch at 703-792-6500. 

Parents of infants and owners of small dogs and cats should be aware of the presence of the coyote in our neighborhood.  It may not live here, as coyotes do travel great distances to hunt, but if it’s making its way through, a baby or small animal could be in danger. 

The fox seems to have taken up residence in the woods west of Tartan Hills Parkway.  And some residents have stumbled on it while out for recreational walks or runs.  It is unlikely to be a threat to anyone, but may startle you.  Just remember, this fox is likely more afraid of you than you are of it.

Snakes are another creature attracted to these wooded areas.  There have been copperhead snake sightings in our neighborhood before, and those can be deadly.  Poisonous snakes have pointed heads, while those that are not have more rounded heads.  Regardless of whether the snake is thought to be poisonous or not, leave them alone.

No matter the wildlife you encounter, it is important to remember to stay calm and to not approach them.  Chances are, no matter what it is you’ve stumbled on, from a snake to a coyote, it is more afraid of you than you are of it.  If you are attacked or bitten, depending on the severity, it is advised to call 9-1-1 or seek medical help as quickly as possible.     

 This article will appear in the July/August edition of the Bagpiper.

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in Virginia, Long & Foster REALTORS®


Take Time to Smell the Honeysuckle

Take Time to Smell the Honeysuckle

This is my very favorite time of year in Braemar.  Flowers are in bloom, the grass has greened up, and the honeysuckle are giving off their sweet scent.   And the smell was especially refreshing after yesterday evening’s thudnerstorm rolled through. 

This Memorial Day weekend, take time to roll down your windows as you drive home and let the smell of honeysuckle relax you.  Sit on your front porch or back yard deck and breath it in.  I don’t think there’s a more calming scent in nature.

Braemar’s Wildlife Still Includes Fox

In a neighborhood of over twenty-eight hundred homes, it is still surprising to me how much wildlife there is in Braemar.   Earlier this week I had a jolt when I saw a coyote shortcut through my backyard and into the wooded area directly beside it.  Today, with morning coffee in hand, I watched a fox bounce happily up and down as he trotted alongside the wood line with a rodent of some sort in it’s mouth. 

When my husband and I first moved to Braemar in December 2004, we saw a fox on our front lawn and I was mesmerized.  I’d never seen a fox in person, let alone on my front yard.  Within six months, there were no more fox to be seen.  Perhaps the new construction in Merrimont Trace has them scrambling back to the woods of Braemar.

Yesterday’s morning coffee was a different wildlife show.  A group of deer were hopping out of the cul-de-sac and onto my front yard.  I see the deer a lot because they live in the woods beside my home, but seeing them never gets old.

Maybe soon, I’ll sneak a peek at the owl that hoots outside my family room at night.