Wednesday, March 23, 2022

OCCOQUAN BAY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, VIRGINIA 3-2-22 - PART 2

Continuing our walk at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, we are on the way to Painted Turtle Pond.  We see another Hermit Thrush hopping on the ground.  Gregg took its photo.  

Cropped from above.

At this link it will give you information on how Occoquan (the town) received its name, and much more.  The following information I found at Wikipedia here.  

"Occoquan (/ˈɒkəkwɒn/is derived from an Algonquian Doeg Indian word, meaning "at the end of the water."
We continued walking along this trail, and it wasn't long before we reached the pond.  
As the sign says, it is an ecological study area.  I couldn't find much more information, but I will keep looking.
I don't think I have ever seen a group of turtles as big as this one.  A group of turtles is called a bale, so…
we left our bale of turtles without further investigation.  
This walk is always quite a long one and our energy level had been depleted.  Knowing that we had to get back, we decided it prudent to leave it for another day.  Good news is that on following this loop around, the distance back to the car was about half as long.  We now know a short cut to the pond and will be returning in a couple of week.  
We came across a large patch of Sumac and there is an interesting article at this link.  It says that it is related to the cashew and there's talk of toxicity if you are interested.  I am not sure what type of Sumac this is. 
There are about 35 species of the flowering plants in the genus Rhus, (also spelled sumach).  Sumacs grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, including East Asia, Africa and North America.  Sumac is used as a spice, as a dye and in medicine.  Its scientific name is "Rhus". This info came from here...
and at this website, The Spruce, has more.
Another gift on our walk was the sighting of our second Eastern Bluebird.  
It stayed around long enough for me to take a few photos.
It was wonderful seeing the blossoms and there were signs of Spring everywhere.
This was identified as a Callery Pear, botanical name Pyrus calleryana, also known as Bradford pear.  Unlike other blossom trees, it is said to have an unpleasant odor when it blooms.  It does, however, look quite spectacular.  It was named after a French man, Jospeph Marie Callery (1810-1862), who originally brought the plant from China to Europe.  He traveled extensively in Asia (Java, Philippines and China).
We made our way past the gate, turned right and a short walk took us back to where we had parked our car.  It was a wonderful walk and we are looking forward to going back in a couple of weeks.  







20 comments:

  1. The birds and surrounds are very nice, the blossom a delight to see.

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    1. Thank you Margaret :) we enjoy this area very much.

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  2. What a fantastic place for a walk. You had so much to see there.

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  3. I so enjoy walking with you thru the great nature reserves!! Beautiful.

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    1. Muito obrigado, fico feliz que tenha gostado. Um abraço e continuação de boa semana :)

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  5. yay for the short cut, that bale of turtles is HUGE! I think the most i have seen with my own eyes is 5. its a beautiful place to walk.

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  6. Your walk reminded me of those we previously took in nearby Mine Falls Park and we hope to return within a couple of weeks. Currently, there is still some snow and even more muddy spots along the walking path. You and Gregg captured nice shots of the hermit thrush and bluebird, Denise.

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    1. Thank you Dorothy, and I hope it isn't long before you can go to the park. I look forward to your photos :)

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  7. Always nice to see your environment. You sure do get a lot of exercise.

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    1. Thank you Gigi, we try to get more exercise as the weather improves.

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  8. Beautiful walk and hooray for shortcuts! That is one definitely big bale! (And I love learning that collective noun, new to me.) I have only learned of poison sumac (the trio of poison oak, sumac, and ivy). Didn't even know there was any other sumac. I always learn a lot from your posts! Thank you.

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    1. Thank you Sallie :) that's sweet of you to say. I'm very happy you find my posts interesting. I love learning these things too when I put these posts together. I was always described when young as a 'curious child'. I guess I still am, LOL!

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  9. I don't think turtles here are out yet.

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    1. Yes, it was warm on the day we were at the pond :)

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  10. I would love to be there to see all the turtles....I just love seeing them.

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    1. Thanks Rose, I will be seeing them again soon :)

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