Gregg has never been here before. I have but only the once as I went on an afternoon school trip when our son was still in elementary school. That was over 20 years ago. I don't really remember much of that visit as I was chaperoning not only our son but several of his school mates. I remember a bumpy and noisy ride on a school bus which ended up in an horrendous headache, top that with about a couple of dozen excited kids, I was so busy trying to corral the little darlings that I did not have the time or the energy to enjoy it very much. I can't even remember what we actually did once we got there, but there were shrimp nets involved and that's about it. I don't like to think that this was the reason but it's probably why I didn't go back for a very long time. In fact I must have selectively rejected it as I only thought about going again over the last couple of months or so, when I did a little surfing on line. I enjoyed helping out at school for years but for some reason that trip stands out.
We always start off at the visitors' center. It had a room with a few displays, one of butterflies and moths. We didn't stay in the building for very long and decided to take the trail that goes along the Potomac River. First of all we stopped off near the bird feeders.
There were several Goldfinches which I'm afraid flew off when they saw us coming. The path took us right by their feeders.
Gregg told me he saw different types of birds, a couple of them were blue. Unfortunately I didn't see them as they had already disappeared. There was a very large tree with a bench right next to it. It was a lovely shady spot and we sat there for a while and watched the birds flit from perch to tree several times as people walked along the path.
After the past week of rain, rain and more rain, it was a beautifully sunny day and we enjoyed looking across the Potomac River. On the other side is Maryland.
You can rent canoes and kayaks but as we passed the parking lot near the landing, we noticed many people with their own on top of their cars, ready to take a ride on the river.
We noticed a bit of a run-down shelter on pylons just off the shore and we were trying to guess what it might be used for. We said maybe for fishermen or for a blind for photographers but we weren't sure. Next time we go to the visitors' center we will have to ask.
After all the bad weather we have had - with Hurricane Irene and last weeks torrential rain - the water looked more of a muddy brown.
and I would have been happy to keep taking it but the trail started to veer away from the water....
with lots of other interesting things to look at.....
Normally it would take under an hour to drive but it took a little longer as we had to detour because of a bridge that had been damaged during the bad weather. I expect it was undergoing safety inspections.