Monday, March 26, 2007

Sunday Walks

The great blue herons nesting on the island across from the Pipeline Overlook (it's part of the Canal Walk, I guess) are worth seeing -- and act quick before those trees finish leafing out! Though you can see the birds from the parking lot, we walked the pipeline, and found the River to be quite high. The only place we could scramble off the pipeline was at the beachy point at the beginning: the rocks we've enjoyed sitting on in the summer were under rushing water. The Teen spotted a lot of fish pointed upstream, though not making that much headway. Feeding? Spawning? I know almost nothing about fish.

After leaving Teen in suburbia (and a quick bite at Liberty Valance), we explored the trails of the James River Park at the 42nd Street entrance. Chickadees, titmice, wrens, and grackles were in fine voice, chasing and flirting. We heard more woodpeckers than we spotted. We hopped the rocks to 42nd Island and found many of low-to-the ground wildflowers: purple violets, a ton white things I didn't remember well enough to ID at home, the cool yellow trout lily, and daisy fleabane (or something like it). There's a ton of greenbriar on the island, making me think that it's not nice over there in the summer -- or they've got a great volunteer team or staff to hack it back.

The James River Park system really is awesome. Trails and those stair sets on the south side are well maintained, and most people mountain bike or dog walk or jog with respect for other people's quieter activities. Belle Isle is the only part that seems trash-filled. Some of the picnic areas and little sitting arenas are a little forlorn, as is that swell little education building on Belle Isle. I see that the City advertises various programs, so it may be that they get used occasionally.

Pipeline bird list:
mourning dove
mocking bird
starling
grackle
northern cardnial
great blue herons (nesting)
mallard
canada goose
double crested cormorant
osprey
turkey vulture
ring-billed gulls
great black backed gull
robin
tree swallow
crow
red-winged blackbird

42nd St. bird list:
chickadee
tufted titmouse
brown creeper
northern cardnial
mallard
canada goose
bufflehead
misc. gulls
goldfinch
double crested cormorant
mourning dove
yellow-bellied sapsucker (male and female on birch tree)
red-winged blackbird
grackle
carolina wren
robin
yellow-rumped warbler
white-throated sparrow
song sparrow

2 comments:

vj said...

Gah! My heart strings tug at your mention of my old stomping grounds. I didn't realize how much "the river" was a part of my being, until I moved to a river-barren area. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your outing!

Oh, and if you haven't seen the movie "Liberty Valance", with Jimmy Stewart, you absolutely have to!!! Even if you don't like J. Stewart, or cowboy movies, this is one intriguing movie. I don't think I'll ever feel the same about the restaurant again! ;) (That's one more thing I miss about Richmond--LV was a block from our house. :(

Hey--please email me when you can? I have done my annual "losing of your email address" again...

Marky Mark said...

I think the fish heading upstream might have been shad or herring. It is that time of the year for the fisheses.
it has been a while since I have been fishing but that is one of our man y spost we used to frequent depending on the season.