Frogs and feathers

June 2, 2010

When navigating Huntley Meadows Park these days, be ready for a lot of vegetation.

Despite storms in the afternoon, Tuesday evening was nice in the park. The humidity was high, but the mosquito count was low. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday in Holmes Run Park I dedicated a lot of my time to making plaster casts of raccoon tracks on the bank, but I was also able to see some other neat signs of animals.

Back in the woods on a steep hill I found a well-worn path that was only a few inches wide. Based on the width and the low-lying trees in that area, it isn’t a path for people. Read the rest of this entry »

Between the seasons and the life cycles, one of the only things that’s certain in nature is change. Monday in Huntley Meadows I was startled to see the mother Merganser all alone standing on a log. Her young, five at last count, were nowhere to be found. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday as I was driving near McLean, I decided to pick a random park out of my GPS to explore. The nearest on the list was Jefferson District Park. As it turns out, the full title is Jefferson District Park and Golf Course, and it wasn’t quite the experience I’d hoped for.

When I first arrived, I did a quick scout by car to find the most wooded area, but all I saw were families on playgrounds and people with golf gear. For a minute I thought it would be a total loss, but then I found a tucked away trail at the back of the park.

This short trail connected the park to the surrounding suburbia. Although a continuous walk could get you from beginning to end in less than 5 minutes, I slowly scanned the trees and the underbrush along the way. Read the rest of this entry »

Birding in Holmes Run

May 21, 2010

Thursday I mixed things up a bit and returned to Holmes Run Park in Alexandria. Aside from some young birds, very little was out. Read the rest of this entry »

I had never seen a Canada Goose molt, but I was able to on my last outing.

On Tuesday, I checked out Huntley Meadows Park and found an abundance of geese. According to the Humane Society, Canada Geese molt each summer and can’t fly for about a month while they replace their flight feathers. That might explain why some birds on Tuesday seemed to have such trouble taking off. One goose that I observed struggled so much that it aborted its takeoff and swam back to where it started. Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday’s trip to Huntley Meadows Park was dominated primarily by snapping turtles.

When I initially arrived at the park, I was concerned when I saw a full parking lot, including a school bus. I hate heavy weekend traffic. Luckily on the trails I found a fairly loose distribution of visitors that allowed for some relatively effective shooting. Read the rest of this entry »