***Scroll down to see my offer for Red Cross donations.***
|Geocaching clue box|
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I never did justice to a walk at Catoctin Creek Nature Center. This Frederick County park is where I thought I saw a bear cub, back in the early spring. I was there on a day that the nature center was closed, and there was no one else at the park. I left there in a hurry and walked on the road that leads to the park. Well, today I decided to return to the park, knowing that on a pretty summer day, the park would likely have lots of visitors.
I was right. Summer camp for kids was letting out as I arrived, and lots of parents were picking up their kids. Children were on the playground, and others were walking the paths. I took off along the paved paths, walking past nicely mowed open areas, with benches and birdhouses along the way.
At the end of the paved path, which led to the creek, the path turned into a grassy mowed path, which I followed. When I got to a sign labeled “Mink Hollow,” I followed the path through the trees to the creek. At this spot, the banks of the creek were lined with large, craggy rocks, jutting out of the hillside across from the creek. The water was clear enough to easily see the bottom of the knee deep water.
I continued along the grassy path, pausing to take a photo of a box that was labeled as a geo box. It is part of a geocaching project for the summer activities offered at the nature center. I arrived next at “Pebble Beach,” where the geography of the creek was different than at Mink Hollow. Here, the banks of the river were lower, primarily vegetation. Missing were the big, oversized rocks at the other location. I could tell that lots of people had been here recently, from the number of footprints left in the mud. More than likely, the kids were involved in an activity here earlier today.
|Butterfly at rest|
|Turtle in the Nature Center|
The path led on a winding trail back up into the woods, where it was noticeably cooler. I emerged by the playground, and then I walked over to the nature center. Inside, there was a water feature with a turtle, and aquariums with various kinds of snakes indigenous to Maryland.
Outside of the nature center were gardens planted with sunflowers and wildflowers to attract birds. There were goldfinches and doves flitting in and out of the plantings, feeding on the sunflower seeds.
|Basket of snakeskins!|
I’m glad I went back. No bears today. This is a nice property for families of Frederick County to enjoy. And photowalkers, too!
Save the date! Monday, September 2, will be the
last day of my year long photo walk project, and I’m planning a big
celebration walk with anyone who wants to join me! September 2 is also
Labor Day, so many of you will have the day off. The walk will be in
downtown Frederick, around 9 a.m., followed by a brunch. More details
will be posted on my blog as they get confirmed. But mark your
calendars, grab your cameras, put on your walking shoes, and join me for
my final Daily Photo Walk. Let’s jam the streets of Frederick with
disaster relief, and I will send you a 5×7 print of your choice from
any of my daily photo walks or from my website. Offer good until
September 2, 2013.