Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Monday, April 29, 2019

Mayapples & Markers

One of the original C&O Canal mileposts, this one at mile 22. Can you tell?

I also took this photo with the surrounding forest of mayapples in mind. Below is the photo of a mayapple just now coming into bloom.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Native Plants

I mentioned yesterday how many people have now taken to planting golden ragwort, a wildflower native to this region, in their gardens. Here is an example where the homeowner appears to have made it the focal point of his or her spring garden.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Golden Ragwort

Golden ragwort grows wild and profusely along the C&O Canal where this photo was taken. But I've also noticed several of my neighbors planting it quite effectively in their yards.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Garlic Mustard

Spotting this plant (above) again this spring reminded me of a photo I took a couple years of ago of a C&O Canal volunteer (below) who was carefully pulling these garlic mustard plants up by their roots, gathering them into bundles, and burning them because they are a notoriously invasive species. I know there are extensive efforts still under way to remove these plants from our area. But try as people might to do so, and as this photo indicates, they keep coming back.

Thursday, April 25, 2019


Oh, boy! I really enjoyed these tulips planted along the C&O Canal's recently renovated lockhouse at Swains Lock.

Monday, April 22, 2019


This has been the year for what's colloquially called Virginia Springbeauty (Claytonia virginica). Oddly, though, these photos were both taken in Maryland. :-)

Friday, April 19, 2019


A few different looks at bluebells. The first is of some being grown in a demonstration garden a week or so ago.

This next is of a plant growing wild along the C&O Canal towpath.

And here they are growing in all their glory next to the Billy Goat B Trail in the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Cherry Blossoms

I missed the Cherry Blossom Festival in the District of Columbia this year, I'm sorry to say. Spring, this year, has taken me in a wholly different direction. Still, there are cherry trees all around the "greater metro area," as we refer to it here. And there are plenty right here in Arlington, including the one pictured above. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Well, as a piece of architecture, I'll have to say that I'm not all that impressed. Looks kind of slap-dash to me. :-)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Big Stick

Makes me wonder if this dog was trained to fetch bats for the Washington Nationals and this is what he does in his off hours. :-)

Monday, April 15, 2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Visitor Center

I reached the Jamestown Visitor Center too late to walk its hallowed grounds. That'll have to wait for another time, which I'm sure will not be too long in coming. But I did have a super conversation with the volunteer working the front desk who gave me all kinds of helpful information about hiking the nearby trails. 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Sandy Bay

Some call it Sandy Bay, others Back River. In any case, this is the body of water only partially cut off from the James River by a land bridge (isthmus) between the Virginia Peninsula and Jamestown. There's a small bridge crossing the inlet that still allows the tide to go in an out. On this particular occasion, as I recall, the tide was coming back in. I imagine it was on such a tide that the colonists once sailed in on aboard the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Tall Pines

I'm not sure what the Jamestown colonists would have found when they first set foot on these shores in May 1607. I'm reading a book now that suggests the natives of this region had already adapted the environment to suit their needs, maybe involving a slash and burn approach to farming of a sort. In that case, they may have burned off some of the trees native to this region. Or maybe they left some of these tall pines still standing, in which case the colonists may have encountered the ancestors of these trees.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Recently had an opportunity to hike across the isthmus that connects the Virginia Peninsula with Historic Jamestown(e) on a blissfully warm and sunny day. It's a short walk, but with wonderful views of the tide washing into Sandy Bay and ospreys fishing in the nearby James River, the same river the colonists used four centuries ago to settle this area.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


My first sighting of the season. Since then, I've seen other mayapples near this one coming on like gangbusters. 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Friday, April 5, 2019

Lesser Celandine

Lesser Celandine is one of the first flowering plants to appear at the end of the winter, producing its yellow flowers in mid to late March. A nice ground cover, but spreads rapidly.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Tuesday, April 2, 2019


I'm always very interested in plants native both to the United States in general and Virginia in particular. Golden Ragwort fits both bills admirably. 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Mansion View

The view these days from Admiral Rixey's backyard. Don't know the admiral? Well, Presley Marion Rixey was Surgeon General of the United States Navy from 1902 to 1910 and the personal physician to Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. The Rixey mansion is now known as Marymount University's Main House.