Bicycling around the outskirts of the refuge I frequently found myself grinning ear-to-ear at the wonder around me. I passed miles of wetlands, water glittering under the rising sun, and stopped to marvel at an eagle’s nest in the crook of a loblolly pine.
Originally founded as a safe place for eagles, Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Lorton, Virginia has become home to many year-round and migratory birds and animals. More than 200 different kinds of birds, scores of reptiles and amphibians, and dozens of other animals find solace in the refuge.
Once considered one of the most polluted rivers in the United States, Washington D.C.’s “forgotten river” is making an amazing comeback. As I paddled through these scenic wetlands filled with a multitude of wildlife, it was obvious that efforts to protect and restore the watershed are heading in the right direction.
The Highspire to Goldsboro section of the middle Susquehanna combines both natural and manmade sights to provide a scenic afternoon tour for paddlers of any level.
This wonderful “Chesapeake Bay in miniature,” is protected by the Parkers Creek Watershed Nature Preserve as one of the last remaining pristine watersheds on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.
The August evening float was relaxing and delightful. The water was clear with a few riffles. We saw numerous birds, floated under four bridges, and enjoyed the beautiful lighting of early evening on a clean, clear waterway.
We saw numerous birds including four bald eagles (majestic!), several hawks (accipiter, I believe), numerous waterfowl including mallard, black, teal, and wood ducks, along with great blue heron, green heron, killdeer, plovers, a couple of bitterns and several kingfishers.
…the Algonquin name for Mattawoman has been variously translated as “where one goes pleasantly” and “a place to go quietly.” I would like to think that the peace and tranquility associated with the original name is as valid now as it was back then.
Departing and returning from her home port of historic Chestertown, a trip on the 1768 schooner SULTANA is a great way to experience the Chester River onboard a traditional schooner.
. . . I kept my eyes open to the egrets and their oval wingspans. Red-winged blackbirds surprised us by popping out of the marsh in a flash of red and black feathers, and butterflies flew around us, with yellow swallowtails on purple hibiscus flowers and monarchs on milkweeds.
Take a short jaunt down busy Eastern Boulevard in Baltimore County and you’ll discover a hidden natural gem: the gorgeous woodlands and wetlands of Marshy Point Park & Nature Center.
It’s pretty amazing that just 20 miles away from Washington, D.C. lies Jug Bay, a natural, serene paradise and one of the largest freshwater tidal systems on the East Coast.
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