Saturday, April 21, 2007

Earth Day 2007

The W&OD called out all of our senses this morning. Shivering westbound through the Difficult Run valley just after dawn we heard scores of birds: Carolina Wrens, Mockingbirds, Cardinals, Downy Woodpeckers ("Kwerrrrr"), White-throated Sparrows and the ubiquitous Towhees ("drink your TEA!"). A pair of Canada Geese were acting like they were nesting in the wetlands south of the trail (right, photo courtesy FCPS). A Crow chased a Red Shouldered Hawk through the woods east of Reston.

The trees were in bloom too. And the young leaves, especially of the Tulip Poplar, were the brightest, gentlest green imaginable. A Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, whose caterpillars feed on Tulip Poplar, floated on the gentle breeze. The caterpillar and butterfly images (left) are also courtesy FCPS.

As the morning grew warmer, the trail filled with riders and walkers and skaters and many many canines. There was an Earth Day festival in Herndon, and the band was tuning up as we rode by. Delectable smells came from several directions.
The sights, sounds and smells of the Earth brought some peace to my badly bruised VT alumnus heart.