We had a great day being out and about. It was nice to have Cathy’s brother, Jim here and we went to Rocklands Farm for a while. We enjoyed seeing the animals, including three-day-old piglets and lots of chickens. I got a great picture of Dorothy holding an iridescent, black chicken, probably a Black Australorp. We also relaxed a while in the barn and sampled a few wines and enjoyed some cheese. From the farm we went to Riley’s Lock on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, where Seneca Creek empties into the Potomac River. As we were heading back to the car we saw this dragonfly eating lunch. I don’t know what it is, for sure, but it is similar (at least to this untrained eye) to a cobra clubtail (Gomphus vastus).
From there we drove down to between Great Falls and Carderock and walked to the river near Hermit Island. This is along the Billy Goat Trail, Section B, but we didn’t actually go around the loop, just walking out to the river and back. On the way out we saw this eastern ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) curled up beside a tree. I was able to get pretty close without spooking it and got what I think is a pretty nice portrait. After I got up the snake slithered into an opening in the tree and disappeared from sight. Not everyone’s favorite critter, I understand, but kind of elegant in its own way, I believe.