26 images, about 10 seconds apart. Click the image to skip the wait. By the way, we’re not actively trying to fence the critters out — only to keep the dog in. We’ve seen adult deer easily jumping that 5′ fence, but they hardly ever bother, and the squirrels squeeze through those 2″ x 4″ openings. I think the box turtles burrow underneath, but so far this dog hasn’t learned to do that. The vine climbing the fence is the notorious Japanese honeysuckle, branded by the state as a noxious weed. Its flowers are pretty, and they really do smell like honey later in the spring.
Went back to Willowmere Park after my run there this morning, thinking I could try one more time to get an ok photo of eastern redbud in blossom. It’s very noticeable in early spring in woods or hedgerows near us, but it doesn’t last long, and seems difficult to photograph. True, it’s purple not red. But this is:
This cardinal was continually singing loudly about 30 feet above me, despite my approach, but I had to look to find him, and zoom in.
We took Owen to see Ferry Farm, site of George Washington’s boyhood home, which is in Stafford County, across the Rappahannock from the Fredericksburg City Dock. (Recent photo by Elspeth; Owen’s quite interested in George.) After lunch at the historic Ferry Farm McDonalds, Owen spotted an eagle circling high in the sky over Ferry Farm. Probably a hawk or a buzzard, we said . . . except, wait a minute, looks like white on its head, and then, yes, white on its tail. So we said well done, Owen, you’re right! Eagles are seen often here, although we aren’t often so lucky ourselves. Then we drove a few miles to City Dock, which is directly across the river. I explained to Owen that the legend of George Washington throwing a silver dollar across the Delaware was perhaps based on an attempt to skim a pebble across the Rappahannock. As we pulled into a parking space, Sandy said, look — there it is again! It perched on a high branch over the river, on the Ferry Farm side. Sure looks like it, I said. Sandy’s camera has a very good zoom. The river is maybe 285 feet wide at this point, per Google Maps. Steadying the camera on a rail, I zoomed and zoomed till it could fill the frame, but still nowhere near steady enough. It was very difficult to keep the bird in the frame, so clicking the shutter at the right moment was very much a matter of hit or miss. I was able to recognize its body motion in sync with the cries we could hear across the river. In the bright sun, even then I couldn’t really make out much on the viewfinder. Only after Sandy got the best shot onto Facebook a few days later did we get the correct identification: osprey! (Thank you, Dundee!)
Built 1880. Cedar Run Parish founded 40 years earlier, but original church burnt during Civil War. Shared rectors for many years with nearby Grace Episcopal. For several years in the 50s, had Rev. Charles P. Moncure as rector, perhaps a relative of the Aquia Church Moncures.