Picking a picture for today was made more difficult by the fact that I took over 350. Still, this captures the feel for the day pretty well. After taking pictures for the fourth grade at school, Cathy and I decided to go to Great Falls. I actually ran out of “film” (I have an 8 GB card and it will hold about 335 images).
Tagged With: Great Falls
It was cool today (some said cold, but my scale is a little different to some). It was beautiful out, in any case. The sky was a deep blue and it was a perfect day to go to Great Falls and the C&O Canal. We walked out to the overlook, stopping along the way to enjoy some wildflowers in bloom. We saw lots of yellow adder’s tongue (Erythronium americanum, also known as yellow trout lily), although we only saw one or two flowers and they were not completely open yet. We saw some cutleaf toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) which I recognized but couldn’t name without looking up. We saw lots of spring beauties (Claytonia virginica), varying in color from pure white to fairly deep pink. After returning to the tow path, we found a few areas with lots and lots of Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica). That was a particular treat and really made it feel more spring-like.
It was raining quite hard when we left for church this morning. So hard, in fact, that we used umbrellas to get to the car. Generally we don’t bother for such a short walk but it was hard enough that we’d have been quite wet if we hadn’t used them. After church it was still raining but we decided we wanted to be outdoors. We parked across from Old Angler’s Inn and walked up the tow path to Widewater. It was raining lightly as we went and we stopped fairly often to look at wildflowers and other plants as well as rocks and the river. This was taken on a rock beside the path high above the Potomac River just a little way up the tow path from the Angler’s Footbridge.
I took a pair of photos like this and then switched to the wide angle lens. Those pictures show the river as well as lots of trees and rocks but aren’t as good of Cathy. I like this picture quite a bit better.
After church and also after running a few errands today we drove to McLean, Virginia and took a nice walk at Riverbend Park. We went northwest on the Potomac Heritage Trail about a mile and a quarter. The view of the river isn’t all that good for most of the way, but there were a few good spots for seeing out of the trees. There is a nice bit of trail where it climbs about 50 feet over a knoll into a beech and oak wood before coming back down to the river.
From there we drove to Great Falls Park and walked to overlooks 2 and 3 (where this photo was taken). Because I now have a lifetime senior pass, short trips to parks that we would normally not do to avoid the $20 entrance fee are basically free. As you can see in this photo, the river is quite low right now. We’ve seen it when most of the rocks in this photo are totally covered.
We met our good friend Jean today and went to the Virginia side of Great Falls (which are in Maryland, because the state boundary is the Virginia shore line). It was a chilly day but beautifully clear. Most photos were taken with my long lens, including one of a heron across the river and an immature bald eagle flying overhead. I almost got a good photo of a turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) fairly close overhead but it’s only about 60% in the frame. Tracking and focusing such a large, heavy lens on a moving subject is still more than I can do reliably. I switched to my 100mm, which I carried in a pouch on my belt, for two sets of images that I stitched into panoramas. This is one of those two, which I’ve also cropped down and will use as my site’s banner image for a while. The previous banner, of Portland Head Light in Maine has been the banner since late 2015 so I thought it was time for a change.
Cathy and I went to Great Falls this afternoon and had a lovely walk. We went out to the Olmsted Island overlook and I got a few nice pictures of the river, which was quite low. Across the river at the Virginia Great Falls overlook we could see a couple have wedding pictures taken, with the woman wearing her wedding dress and the two of them on the rocks overlooking the falls.
We walked down the towpath as far as widewater, that section of the canal that’s in a more natural channel with rock sides. It’s a beautiful stretch of the canal and was especially so with the fall color coming on. The water there was low, as well.
We went to the C&O Canal today at Great Falls. It was in the mid-30s but we dressed appropriately and had a really nice walk. The river was relatively high and I got some nice pictures of the raging torrent. We didn’t see many small birds but saw three great blue herons (Ardea herodias), lots of mallards (Ardea herodias), and one sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus). Between the wind and the noise of the water we couldn’t really hear birds, even if they were there. Two of the herons we saw (which may have been the same bird two hours apart) were on the side of the river. This one, however, was in the canal, behind some cattails.