This weekend Tammy and I traveled to DC just to be tourists. We split the trip into two pieces, one for birdwatching and one for the National Mall. I watched the weather forecast closely, perhaps too closely, and was convinced that we would be rained on the entire weekend. Despite the potential soaking we went anyway (i.e. Tammy convinced me to ignore the forecast).
She was right. It did not rain on us at all. It turned out to be very nice weather wise.
For the bird watching, I decided to visit a couple of parks that I had not been to before. They are situated on land that juts into the Potomac River, so the chances were good to see lots of diving and dabbling ducks. We started with Mason Neck State Park, then visited the Great Marsh Trail within Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, and ended with a brief visit to Pohick Bay Regional Park. The birding was typical for the winter. In the spring and summer, there are places and days where I cannot keep up with the birds. In the winter, most of the birds are more stationary and the pace is just generally slower.
These two pictures are from the boardwalk in Mason Neck State Park. The water is Belmont Bay, part of the Potomac River. In the first picture you can see debris and lots of trash on the shore. And this is just the trash that actually ended up washed up on shore. Reminder to everyone: If you do not pick up your trash and handle it properly, this is where it can end up. Do not litter, on purpose or by accident.
The second picture is from the same location, but I am facing the opposite direction. I wanted to show that big tree that fell due to shoreline erosion. What you cannot see is that pollution is also the cause of that tree falling. There was some information in the park that explained this. Essentially pollution is killing the underwater vegetation, and that underwater vegetation acts as a break against wave action. One of the side effects of the vegetation dying off is that the wave action on the shoreline is increased and erosion is accelerated.