Tifft Nature Preserve: Summer 2014

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Another season, another ramble through Tifft Nature Preserve!  (If you missed my previous posts, we’ve explored this urban wildlife sanctuary in the winter and spring, on our way toward walking there in every season.)  This was a very late summer hike – after Labor Day, in fact; it’s been a busy summer – but I’m still counting it as our summer outing because we haven’t yet hit the fall equinox, and don’t rush me, people!  (Please don’t mind the fact that I fueled for this hike with pumpkin yogurt and pumpkin spice tea, or that I stopped and bought apple cider on the way home.)

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Three hikers ready to get our summer strolling on!

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The first thing I noticed on our summer hike was this absolute glory of white flowers.  They were everywhere.  As far as the eye could see!  I love clusters of tiny blooms, and I love seeing an abundance of one type of flower, so I was in heaven.  (Seriously.  I think this is probably what Heaven looks like.)

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I got up close and personal with one of the bunches.

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We headed down to the end of Rabbit Run as the first part of our hike, and there we found a couple of beautiful weeping willow trees.  Peanut is familiar with willows from Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet, in which Nancy is cast as a willow tree, and she enjoyed gazing up at the swaying branches and touching the leaves hanging down.

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On our way back from Rabbit Run, we spent some time checking out the new tree plantings.  Many of the baby trees seem to be growing well – nice to see.

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Next we headed to the boardwalk – my favorite part of the nature preserve!  I love wetlands – so beautiful, and they remind me of DC – and I always look forward to coming here and gazing out over the water, looking for animals with Peanut.  And this was a particularly fruitful expedition, because we saw…

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A green heron!  See him in the branches there?  Right where the two branches intersect, there he perches.  We would never have spotted him, but for a kindly birdwatching gentleman who pointed him out.  Green herons are typically shy, so this was a pretty unusual sight – in fact, I’ve never seen a green heron.  I’ve seen plenty of great blue herons (my favorite bird, or at least tied with the cardinal, which is the state bird of Virginia, after all!) but according to our new birdwatching friend, great blues “just don’t care” about people looking at them (perhaps they’re related to the honey badger?), but the green heron is much more timid.  So seeing one was a major highlight.

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We also saw geese, ducks, and this family of…

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Turtles!  They were all hanging out on a log together.  Adorbs.

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After a good long visit in the wetlands, we meandered back toward the car and had one last treat – a look at the beautiful red and yellow berries on this bush.  They were almost sparkling in the sun.

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See you soon, Tifft Nature Preserve!  We’ll be back when you’re all decked out in your autumn finery.  Until then…

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10 thoughts on “Tifft Nature Preserve: Summer 2014

  1. Pingback: The Summer List: Final Update | Covered In Flour

  2. I saw my first green heron this year too, they’re so weird & dinosaur-looking. Every time I actually spot a turtle, hardly ever, they dive in and start swimming away, I wish I would come across sunning themselves. Great pictures!

  3. Pingback: Tifft Nature Preserve: Fall 2014 | Covered In Flour

  4. Pingback: A Look Back at 2014 | Covered In Flour

  5. Pingback: Reinstein Woods: Winter 2015 (and 12 Months Hiking Project for January) | Covered In Flour

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