I spent most of Sunday at Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area assisting the Prince William Conservation Alliance (PWCA) with their annual Bluebell Festival. I helped by being a “Tour Guide,” which meant that I either assisted or led a group of people walk a one mile trail (round trip) to see the bluebells along Cedar Run. My last tour was a solo, leading about 30 Cub Scouts and their families. They and I were worn out by the time we returned. Actually, I guess I was much more worn out than all of the scouts and their brothers and sisters who accompanied us. Some of the trail was very muddy from the rain on Friday, but that did not deter the scouts. Rather than follow my instructions to walk around the mud and standing water, they walked and jumped in it! I believe they enjoyed the mud as much, if not more, than the bluebells.
As a side note, I enjoyed meeting the other people who volunteered their time to assist the PWCA with this event, which helped to raise funds (donations) to support the operation and mission of the Conservation Alliance. I intend to get more involved and help in other ways to assist the PWCA in accomplishing its very worthwhile mission to conserve, preserve and restore local waterways and natural areas.
After getting home late in the afternoon, I noticed an osprey flying around the lake. I mustered up enough energy and grabbed my camera, ran down to the dock and was able to get a couple decent shots of the osprey perching in a tree above the lake, as well as when it flew down toward the water. Two photos of the osprey follow.
Later as the sun was lowering in the sky, I was able to photograph a Downy Woodpecker in a tree near the lake, as well as an American Goldfinch. The setting sun highlighted the woodpecker as it peered around the tree. The goldfinches have been interesting to watch this spring, as with previous springs, as they gradually change from their winter plumage to the bright yellow that they wear until late fall. You can see in the photo below that the Goldfinch’s feathers are not completely yellow yet.