Walktober in the Marsh

Well, I wanted to post a walk for Robin over at Breezes At Dawn, who runs Walktober for us here in WordPress-land.  I’m a day late for her deadline, but still in October, so thought I just MIGHT get in on her round up if I was fast this morning.  My friend Jane and I wanted to go kayaking, but it had turned kind of brisk, so we decided on a walk instead.

One of the first stops was a little cove where waterbirds feed.

We wanted to go to Dumbarton Oaks, but the gardens are closed through at least December.  I knew Great Falls would be crowded on such a beautiful day, but the night before the walk, I remembered Dyke Marsh.  I wrote about the marsh earlier this year when my friend Carolyn and I took a walk on New Year’s day.  Seems like a million years ago.

The marsh was very much itself and beautiful as ever on the lovely day we had.  It’s next to a park along the Potomac and adjacent to Belle Haven Marina, where I rent a kayak when I want to paddle through the marsh.  One of the things you notice if you walk river paths is that the movement of the water scours out little beaches.  They tend only to last a season and then there are new ones made at the next flood.

Plenty of nice places to sit and hear the water lapping…

It’s not a long walk, and one that Jane and I are used to seeing from the water, but both of us stopped periodically to search out the source of a scent or try to identify a bit of flora.  Often the flora doesn’t belong in the marsh, brought there by flood and tide, but much of the time it’s nice to see jewel weed, cattails, and other bottomland plants. 

We saw a lot of asters and the yellow flowers are a type of biden that grows in the marsh. I can’t remember it’s common name.

When you live in a city or suburb, if you grew up in the country, one of the things you miss is seeing a horizon.  One of the things I like about living here is that it doesn’t take too long to get somewhere where a horizon is in view.  And a long path is always a nice thing to see as well.

Ahh, exhale…

There’s also a boardwalk that gives views of the marsh.

Jane gazes at what we dubbed crow island.

From there, we saw some kayakers and both thought simultaneously, “That could have been us.”

We also saw a type of rose off to the side of the walkway that was growing where it would be subject to the tide.  It had made hips for the fall.  As I was looking at it, I saw this northern water snake resting after a meal.  It had likely eaten a frog…

Look at that bulge…

We went on to have a look at the island across the way from the end of the walkway.  As we stood there, crows seemed to be gathering for the evening.

The rose hips that led to the snake spotting…

Have a good week.  My next post will be on Geoff Le Pard’s book of poetry, including an interview on just how he writes on so much different stuff.

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44 Responses to Walktober in the Marsh

  1. You are one brave woman to go kayaking in any weather. Walking with snakes close by would send me home in the skip of my heart. I’m becoming more of an indoor girl with age but was never (she says with regret) an active outdoor adventurer. I hope you got in under the wire for walktober. How fun that sounds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Thanks, Marlene. I hope so too. We’ll see! Kayaking is a lovely way to be on the water. As for snakes, well, if there are a lot of them, they smell, so you know they’re around…Otherwise they’re sunning and don’t really want to meet you, but it can be startling to come on one on a path.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lavinia Ross says:

    Thank you for taking readers along on this beautiful walk, Lisa! The snake with the meal bulge was an interesting find.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robin says:

    You made it!! 🙂 I am so glad you were able to join us, Lisa. It was a beautiful walk. I always enjoy how looking at one thing leads to finding something else (the snake with a bulge, for instance, which was really interesting… must have been a good sized frog!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Yes, we puzzled for a while that it was bigger than a mouse, but smaller than a rat, but it was perfectly frog sized for the marsh. Of course it could have been a small fish, too…Glad I made the cut off!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. SueW says:

    What an absolutely lovely walk. And what about that snake…Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. cindy knoke says:

    What a wonderful place!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely place! But about that snake…;)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a beautiful walk, Lisa. That snake looks like he just enjoyed quite the feast.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Now that looked like a wonderful walk, Lisa. Sunny and beautiful weather is my favorite recipe. 😉
    I’m surprised to see so much is still green there. Our leaves are pretty much all fallen with only oak and beech left.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. shoreacres says:

    What a delightful walk. How lucky you were to see the snake! In truth, they’re not much interested in meeting us, although there are seasons here when rattlesnakes are common in the dunes, and caution is needed. I understand what you mean about the horizon, too. It took me quite some time, but I finally figured out that’s the link between the two places I love the most: the sea and the prairie. Both offer those glorious horizons — as well as all the other delights that can be found.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Catwoods says:

    Looks like a wonderful place to walk, and the snake was so interesting! Only a little startling . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great job spotting the water snake, Lisa. You have so much beauty at your fingertips. The paths, views, and even the boardwalk make me long for time on your coast. I’m glad you got outdoors to enjoy your local scenery.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. TanGental says:

    Delightful. Love the snake. We have only 3 indigenous snakes here in the whole of the UK. Tells you all you need to know about ambient temperatures. And no water snakes which tells you all you need to know about the insanity of domestic kayakers. Maybe your water is more clement!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Oh yes. They don’t rent kayaks locally unless the water temp is 60 degrees. Of course, that’s different in Maine, where it’s that in the summer only. I don’t mind current and tide, but don’t go in for whitewater. The marsh is full of birds and snakes and giant snapping turtles, so it’s amazing to float and just watch the water…


  13. A splendid walk. Having grown up in London, the horizon is one of the delights we have now.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Glad you found a great place to walk. The pictures are beautiful, even the bulging snake!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Debbie says:

    Love Love Love all this water — but I don’t think I’d ever be comfortable in a kayak, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sarah Davis says:

    It is nice being able to find a view, to feel like you are not in a city for a bit. I also appreciate being able to quickly escape. And that snake! They happen, but I prefer them in photos. This summer I watched one swim much further along a lake shore than I thought they could swim.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Brenda says:

    Water and horizon! Two balms for an agitated or troubled mind. Loved your walk and hope to see a post on kayaking there in the spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. dawnkinster says:

    Lots of fun stuff to see where you guys walked! Thanks for taking us along!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. aFrankAngle says:

    You made it for October – and it’s me who is reading this in November. Thanks for the beautiful walk in your area. Cheers to the beauties in nature, including marshes.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Maria says:

    I like the images. My blog is under construction, just letting you know.

    Liked by 1 person

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