Friday, July 18, 2014
Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve and Belle Haven Marina
After lunch we drove down the GW Parkway and noticed a sign for Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. We have passed it many times before, but since it was so nice out today we decided to park the car and have a look around. Of course, neither one of us had on the proper shoes for the expedition, so we just roamed about a bit to get an idea what this place was all about. It started with a view of National Harbor across the Potomac River in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge connects this place with that, and we could see the new Ferris Wheel that offers great views of the city, but it didn't look like much from this angle. Then came the ducks swimming and quacking along the shore. A variety of waterfowl or otherwise foul nests could be seen by the Belle Haven Marina - a very busy place on a lovely Friday afternoon. Several vehicles were unloading their water craft on the landing. A man in a canoe was just coming ashore. When we reached the stretch of trail in the Marsh, we saw a few birds, including my favorite Cardinals. We really do need to come back to this place when our neighbors come to visit in October. It sounds like the animal activity could be more vibrant at that time...eagles, red fox - but I could do without the water snakes. Dyke Marsh is the last large tidal freshwater wetlands in the DC area. We saw a lot of these types of places in Wisconsin...Horicon Marsh to name one. But there is something interesting about having a marsh like this so close to DC. You wouldn't think one would be there, and it's only a few minutes away.