Wednesday, July 6, 2022

MASON NECK STATE PARK - PART 2

Heads up for those who are a bit squeamish about such things, I photographed a snake and also the skeletal remains of a fish that I have never seen before but wanted to make a record of.  I have left those photos way down, so that you can enjoy the birds and then move on from my blog if you prefer.  They are below the kayak photos.From the visitor center we turned left and followed the path until we came across a few birds.  I am not sure of this one's ID but I looked up what birds had been seen recently at Mason Neck, and they mentioned the Eastern Wood-Pewee, which you can see here.  What do you think?  It is a lifer for me as I have never seen it before.  I am always thrilled when I can add to my list.

I saw him on a red pylon.
From the pylon he flew to the fence...
only staying for a few seconds...
before he flew away.
There was also a bird house nearby and a flurry of activity.  I enjoyed spending time with a pair of Tree Swallows...
and there were babies in the nest.  You can make out a head, at least the white part of its throat, in the circular entrance.
The parents were very diligent, always leaving one standing guard.
Looks like someone is getting told off in this one.
We watched as they flew back and forth, thoroughly enjoying them.
According to the park's website, the following birds were seen recently at Mason Neck.
Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher
At the bottom of these steps were two information boards.
You can enlarge them if you want to see more clearly.
This is part of what is on the other side.  I neglected to take a photo of the whole sign, but I was more interested in the map in the bottom corner...
Here it is again closer-up.
There was a pond on the right.  It had a lot of green algae growing.  There is a good article if you click on this link with interesting information. 
There were a lot of dragonflies but I had a hard time taking photos.
These were the best I could do.  My hands were not very steady that day.
There were a couple of butterflies.
A black swallowtail and a zebra swallowtail.  
We had been walking along a path right next to the Potomac River.
I liked seeing the old stumps not too far out, still showing signs of life in those new leaves, perhaps ivy growing up the side.
There were kayaks for hire. 
This is where I show you photos of the snake Gregg saw.
And here is the fish skeleton I found.  I had been looking for smaller live fish in the shallows.  I wondered if this was the remains of some type of gar fish.
I took photos of new leaves.
Above are Muscadine and below is Summer Grape.
We found the path that would take us back to our car.
Halfway I saw one last dragonfly resting on an old log...
and that was it for nature shots from the park.  On the way home, I couldn't resist taking one last photo of the clouds. Below the wavy line looks like mountains but they were darker clouds causing this optical illusion.   I have never quite seen that shape before.

That's the end of our Mason Neck State Park trip, at least until we go there again, which I hope isn't too long from now.

Thanks for looking and enjoy your day.






36 comments:

  1. The grape leaves are stunning, and look metallic. And the dragonfly is an emerald jewel! But I think my favorite is the next to last of the Swallow pics, it is so funny. the fish reminds me of a Marlin, but I guess they are only in the ocean. It is so weird!

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    1. Thank you Ginny :) I liked your description of the green dragonfly, the swallow made me smile too, and the fish was very different to what I have ever seen in this condition.

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  2. Another delightful day. We have a bird often known as a pee wee here too, but it is very different.

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    1. Thanks Sue, I will have to look up your bird :)

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  3. Wonderful to see these lovely photos - not into snakes.

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    1. Thank you Margaret and not many people are. They do fascinate me but I wouldn't like to get up close and personal. I know you have a lot of venomous snakes in your part of the world. We have some and I don't know enough about them, so would never get too close to any snake. Fortunately, we have a camera with a zoom lens.

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  4. What a wonderful place. Love the photos of the tree swallows. I bet that was fun watching them.
    That fish skeleton is rather interesting. I wonder what kind of fish that was.

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    1. I would like to know what that fish is Ann. Happy you enjoyed the swallows. It's always fun to watch birds and these were particularly entertaining :)

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    1. Fico feliz que tenha gostado das minhas fotos. Obrigado, um abraço e continuação de boa semana :)

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  6. The swallow photos are wonderful, Denise! I also love seeing the berries in the first photo of the red cedar. Thank you for sharing even the snake photo. I used to be terrified of them, but have grown to appreciate their place on our planet. Being startled by one is still not pleasant, though.

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    1. Thank you for identifying that berry bush Martha Ellen :) I was going to look it up but forgot. You are very welcome, so glad you enjoyed the photos. I can understand your feeling on the snakes but like you I realize they can do a lot of good. I read all the time on our local neighborhood app when someone will share a photo of them, asking for identification. There are those who revile them and those who give us a good education on their benefits, keeping rodent populations down and many other positives. No, I wouldn't want to be startled by one either :)

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  7. Hello Denise,
    The Mason Neck park looks wonderful. Beautiful captures of the birds, butterflies and the dragonflies and snake. Take care, enjoy your day! Take care, enjoy your day!

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    1. Thank you Eileen, it was all very enjoyable to me. You take care and enjoy your day also :)

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  8. The shape of the fish snout does look to be gar?!! I agree. I hate snakes, but I was brave. lol

    Beautiful nature photos Denise. Live your bird shots (of course).

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    1. That's what I thought Anni, thank you for confirming that. Glad you were brave, lol! And thank you for letting me know you enjoyed my photos :)

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  9. Wonderful pictures. I love dragon flies. Haven't seen as many this year so far. Snakes! Yikes! I have bad knee but somehow when I see one, I can take off with no pain. Great nature shots.

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    1. You made me laugh but I think you and I would forget the pain and just get on out of there very fast, lol! Amazing what we can do when we have to. Thanks Betsy :)

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  10. How nice! I liked those shots of the birds taking care of their young. I truly envy your ability to walk and stand for long periods of time. David and I both use walkers due to arthritis. Gigi Hawaii

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    1. I'm sorry to hear you and David suffer from arthritis. I realize now that I can't walk as far as I used to and do make use of benches provided. Thank you Gigi, happy you enjoyed my photos :)

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  11. Enjoyed the previous post on Mason Neck State Park and this one as well, Denise, and all from the comfort and coolness of my home. Visitors Centers are always so full of information, but the walk around outdoors is always more interesting and the series of bird photos were great.

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    1. Hi Dorothy, so glad you enjoyed. There's another reason I enjoy visitor centers, they have air conditioning, and here's a big smile for that :) Being outside is wonderful though isn't it? Always enjoy the education but the education is also looking at things on a great walk in fresh air and nothing can beat that.

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  12. Wonderful photos! I wish summer wouldn't fly by.

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  13. Hi Denise,
    Spectacular selection of photos.
    I would be scared if I found this snake.
    Nature is fantastic and always enchants our eyes.
    Greetings and all the best

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    1. Greetings Maria and thank you so much. I can understand your feelings about the snake. I wouldn't get too close myself and am always thankful for the zoom lens on my camera. All the best to you also.

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    1. I found it very interesting. Thank you Anne :)

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    1. It is isn't it? :) Always amazes me how wide some of these rivers are.

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  16. I’m not familiar with pee wees but I would like to photograph one.

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    1. I had never heard of them before either. It was great being able to photo this brand new bird (to me) anyhow :)

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  17. Fantastic photos.
    Your posts always make me want to visit the places you go to. One of these days I just might do so. I don't think they're too far away from my neck of the woods.

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    1. Thank you Great-Granny G. I hope you get to see them, such a peaceful walkaround :)

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  18. I'm having a great time catching up and I wasn't really going to comment on every one of your great posts, but just had to let you know I couldn't wait to see the snake and the skeleton (can't imagine anyone being *that* squeamish! All part of Nature! This visit was certainly a wonderful nature walking place!! .... also wanted you to know (because you asked) that your comments and email are showing up very well on my little blog. I appreciate them very much.

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    1. You have put a smile on my face Sallie :) I was once told off about putting something on here (not by one of my regular blogging friends I hasten to add and it was unusual) but it sowed a seed and when I remember, I try to give people a chance to move on before they scroll down too far. All part of nature as you say.

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