A Park Discovery

A couple weeks ago, on a visit to one of the end of year art and craft exhibits, I discovered a new place for walks.  I had been to Fort CF Smith before, as it is a favorite place for art exhibits.  However, I had always been with a friend and thus distracted from the landscape, usually by someone who wanted to leave immediately after seeing the exhibit.

This time, when I exited the house, I looked down a swathe of lawn and realized I needed to check the place out.  It’s only a five-minute drive from my home.  

I learned that there was a short trail, and I went back the next day to check it out.  The land itself is high ground above the Potomac and the Fort was one of a number that formed a defense of the Capitol during the Civil War.

The walk is a lovely, wooded loop above the George Washington Memorial Parkway.  What a nice array of trees it has:  tulip poplar, beech, white and pin oaks, hickory, and –bonus of bonuses—there is a paw paw patch!  Heh, heh, one more place to discover good eating in the fall…

There is also a landscaped area that is more park-like and I enjoyed that as well, with its Japanese maple leaves mixing with golden Gingko.  

I also saw this, a Camellia of some sort (sinensis?), and I had to stop and enjoy it for a few minutes.

I’ll be back here when I need a short wooded get-away to clear my head.  Having such a breath of fresh air so close is a great gift.

This entry was posted in Community and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to A Park Discovery

  1. What a wonderful discovery, Lisa. It looks like a peaceful landscape to walk in. Nice photos, too! I especially like the maple/ginkgo confetti. Lovely colors! I hope you are doing well.

    Like

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    ‘Acres of Diamonds’ right in your backyard! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d heard the term “paw paw patch” but had no idea what it was. So I looked it up. Love when I learn something new. I miss art and craft fairs. We need them desperately. Also lovely places to walk are getting further and further apart. Good to see you have find a prized.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisa, may retirement continue to reveal many more wonderful discoveries!

    Like

  5. I’m pleased you got to discover it properly

    Like

  6. Good for you, Lisa, for going back to discover and explore this gem. You live in such an amazing area. I love all the history, the gorgeous trees, your waterways…all of it. How fun to realize you can still discover new things so close to home.

    Like

  7. Wowsah! Great that this lovely place is so close to where you live. Hope you take lots of walks there.

    Like

  8. Joanne Hutton says:

    The camellia would be a sasanqua, or hybrid of a sasanqua since it’s blooming now. We have one full of white blooms.

    It’s a great park. I helped restore a rock garden in there in 1995, that barely exists now between the house and the woods, and still help monitor bluebird boxes.

    Blessings and happy Christmas,

    Joanne

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      Thanks, Joanne! I always know that someone will identify a plant when I post it here. Last week I looked over the earthworks of the old fort. So much around here is so interesting. Merry Christmas to you!

      Like

  9. Sylvie Ge says:

    I enjoy it when I think I know the ins and outs of a place and discover something new. I hope you can enjoy it a lot!

    Like

  10. Brenda says:

    A paw paw patch! I don’t think I have ever seen one. Or, if I did, I didn’t realize it. I have two small paw paws that I’m trying to grow–cultivating my little patch here at home. Happy retirement!!!! Isn’t it wonderful?

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      The nice thing is that since they are understory trees, you can plant them in a protected area of woods. I wish you success with them, because every year I go looking when it’s about time for the papas to be ripe. There isn’t another taste like them. And yes, retirement is fabulous. Good luck with the paw paws!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. SueW says:

    What a lovely discovery, Lisa.

    Like

  12. shoreacres says:

    These days especially, a close-to-home spot is to be treasured. When it’s as beautiful as this one, it’s even better. The reference to the pawpaws made me smile. I had no idea what a North American pawpaw was until I started blogging. When I lived in Liberia, ‘pawpaw’ is what people called papaya; they grew in every color and every size, and they were delicious. I had a cat then, and named her Pawpaw, although less for the fruit than for her love of laying on me and ‘kneading’ with her paws.

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      They are delicious and indescribable. If the fruit smells a little citrusy, it’s usually ripe. If it doesn’t smell, it needs longer. I first learned of them when I was 12 or 13 and my father came in from a walk in the woods and said “There’s a paw paw in the woods,” with a pleased look. Then he set two on the kitchen counter. I have a neighbor who kayaks in wild places and she brings me some in season. But I do note them every time I see them and check them out in the fall. I think the name here is derived from Spanish papaya, but the scientific name comes from what the Powhatan called the fruit. Another wild fruit tree I love to see is persimmon. Smaller fruit, but really tasty.

      Like

  13. Lavinia Ross says:

    That looks like a beautiful place to walk, Lisa. And I remember the taste of paw-paws. I would love to have one here.

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      Thanks, Lavinia. I don’t know whether paw paws would grow where you are. But I’d be happy to mail some seeds if you’re interested. They’re in my fridge for their cold period. I could send them closer to spring.

      Like

  14. Hello lovely ! First, thank you for the virtual card. I couldn’t see how to enter or respond. So thoughtful of you. I haven’t had too much extra time to surf WP these past few months unfortunately.
    There’s so many interesting historical destinations in your area. It all looks gorgeous and soooo different from winter here. Nothing green my way what’s so ever, let alone blooming plants 😀 We live a block from a river that runs through our city. While there’s lots of pretty trails, I only walk them if I’m with Jim. Otherwise, it’s best to stick to the paved paths. Such a shame, because it sure is nice and peaceful to be in nature. Merry Christmas Lisa! xK

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      Marry Christmas, Kelly! I’m glad you got the card. Usually there’s something in the email asking if you want to respond, but this little note from you is perfect. I don’t think I could live so far north! Of course with climate change, north may not feel so cold anymore. I hope you have nice warm holidays and that the new year is bright!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. It looks like a lovely place to walk. History always makes me imagine bygone times, and nature makes me stop and look, so it really would be more like a meander than a walk!
    I hope you had a lovely Christmas, Lisa. Wishing you a healthy new year.

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      Thanks, Cynthia. I was there yesterday and have to say I meandered! I saw some Golden Crowned Kinglets, some flowers still blooming, and some playful squirrels, not to mention lots of dog walkers. It’s lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s