Friday, July 18, 2014

Walking Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

A rare perfect July day to me says get out of the house and go soak up some nature, right now! Yesterday, I picked up my friend Meron for a day at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to see the Lotus, waterlilies and native plants and creatures who inhabit the park which sits at the edge of the tidal Anacostia river. It's a huge marsh land with a farm for cultivating those delightful water flowers.

Meron enjoying the garden tour
We enjoyed all the wonders of nature in the ponds and around the edges. Frogs we croaking, Turtles were sunning and dragonfly and butterfly were all around us.

Turtles like those we used to get as children for an aquarium pet were much larger than any I ever raised but this is their natural habitat complete with muddy shells. Meron spotted some sort of snake from our safe perch up on the high boardwalk over the reeds, thank goodness.

Kenilworth also is a birder's paradise and I was challenged several times to identify some new ones we saw. The only one I got a good portrait of was what I now think was a familiy of northern rough-winged swallows.

Honestly it was hard to sort out this bird identity even with these photographs but without the bird guide book and the internet's great resources I wouldn't have known anything but that it was likely some kind of sparrow.
One I did know very well was the red winged blackbird and I  didn't get a great shot of any of them but this one and there were about 75 of them in the marsh but they got down in the reeds where we couldn't see them and the grasses were swaying back and forth making it quite difficult from our location. Might be worth a return trip with tripod and time to sit and wait to get a series of this beautiful black bird.

Canada geese were swimming in the marsh channels searching for grasses they like to eat and what I thought was a duck flying by turned out to be a favorite of mine the green heron who gave it's self away by landing on a log at the edge of the channel rather than on the water like a proper duck would do.

can you find two geese in this shot?

In the end the flowers drew me out on this beautiful day but the call of nature has a powerful draw all it's own. So here are the native and tropical waterlilies that are blooming now...

black berries for the birds

Our picture perfect visit lasted from 11 till 4 PM next time I will take along a picnic lunch and iced water. This weekend is the big festival of waterflowers at Kenilworth and I have to say it is a very special place. You can read about it in this week's Washington Post article here: Kenilworth water lilies thrive.


Jessie said...

How beautiful. Thanks did posting so many photos, I feel like I was there with you but without the couple hours of driving!

Frederick Nunley said...

That was what I hoped all those pictures would do Jessie bring everyone along for a look who can't get here to see it in person. Mission accomplished.