Gridlock Around the Pentagon or Hike in a Wildlife Preserve

This morning I started my daily routine to prepare for commuting to the Pentagon, which includes checking TV and Webcam traffic reports. Today, I discovered that all of the roads and highways (including I-95) around the Pentagon were shutdown due to a “suspicious” car parked at Arlington Cemetery. It was clearly a nightmare for thousands of commuters that had left earlier and could not approach the Pentagon–access was only by Metro or foot. Apparently, the police arrested an individual after hours at the cemetery, who was uncooperative and had a backpack containing suspicious items. More can be read at:

I suppose the authorities need to be cautious, but in my opinion, they overreacted and caused a horrendous nightmare for thousands of people trying to get to work at the Pentagon or in and around Arlington and Washington DC. For me, I rejoiced in the situation because I saw an opportunity to skip work and hike in a local wildlife preserve and do what I would rather be doing anyway, photography. So, instead of checking the 15 bluebird nest boxes at the Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area on Saturday as I had planned, I went this morning and hiked the 300 acres for 5 hours to each bluebird nest box, recorded the status of the nests and shot photos of the nests with my iPhone and surrounding landscapes with my Nikon. It turned out to be a great day (for me).

I am one a several volunteers who check the bluebird nest boxes at Merrimac. The results of what we observe and do is recorded in a log and includes documenting nest activity, counting eggs and chicks, removing old nests and ensuring the nest boxes are in good condition. The results of what I found today were:

  • 6 active nests
  • 1 box with a new nest but no eggs or chicks (yet)
  • 2 nests with eggs
  • 3 nests with bluebird chicks that were about two weeks old
I used my iPhone to photograph the nests, eggs and chicks. 
I also shot a lot of photos with my Nikon of flowers and the summer landscape at Merrimac, but have not transferred them from the camera yet. Bottom line, it was a bad morning for many, many people in the northern Virginia and Washington DC area, but for me, it turned out to be outstanding. This evening and this weekend, I will get back to reviewing and processing my images from Italy.

About Stephen L Tabone

Retired Executive Consultant and Nature Photographer
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1 Response to Gridlock Around the Pentagon or Hike in a Wildlife Preserve

  1. Anne says:

    The quality of the photos of the birds using your Iphone is amazing! Go Apple! Now I await Italy …

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