In contrast to the cold overcast that joined me at Wetlands and Pony Pasture, a recent visit to Pocahontas State Park was nothing but sunny with strong hints of spring. Pocahontas State Park is mature forest, with bits of logged forest, a pinch of marsh, and even a drop or two of lake. There are several trails accessed from the heart of the park (all three miles or less - PDF map here). Or, if you are looking for a longer visit, a network of fire roads crisscross the park.
Here are a few of the noteworthy observations from my February visit to Pocahontas. For starters, this White-throated Sparrow flushed up into a nearby tree, and then sat, warily watching me from its perch.
As Tammy and I walked one of the trails, I was delighted to find a Winter Wren in a pile of brush next to the trail. We stood on a short bit of boardwalk (which was very low to the ground) while the wren worked up its confidence to the point of taking cover under the very boardwalk on which we stood.
This White-breasted Nuthatch was cruising the trees next to one of the lakes, showing off its talent for walking down trees beak first.
At one point, Tammy and I stood watching several distant Red-headed Woodpeckers. While watching, however, I heard rustling in the leaves right at our feet. Without moving, I did a bit of searching and discovered this critter (I think it is a Meadow Vole) hanging out in the leaf cover.
This Hermit Thrush flushed into the relative safety of some variety of Holly, and then sat...very...still...while I snapped a few photos.
While the land was not managed as a state park until 1946 (donated to the state of Virginia by the National Park Service), it was originally developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. My last photo is of an old grave site located within the confines of the park, a testament to one of the families that lived on this land before it was converted into the park it is today. In this case, it is the Gill family, with the front marker dated 1872.