Friday, July 12, 2013

Birds, Butterflies, Bushes and Trees at Leesylvania State Park

Taking two small children for a walk in the woods is not a responsibility I take lightly. Even for a short walk, I carry a small first aid kit, snacks, water, and Herbal Armor, a Deet-free insect repellant in my backpack.

Confident that I had packed what I needed to make the walk a success, we left our car near the park store and started on the Bushey Point Trail that winds along the Potomac River.

The girls didn't have to wait long to pull out their binoculars to look at what might be an Osprey nest at the end of the pier.

Shortly thereafter we used our Pocket Naturalist Guide to identify three butterflies, a Red Spotted Purple brushfoot, a Northern Cloudywing skipper, and an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail perched atop a Buttonbush.

We saw, but did not photograph, a Paw Paw tree, a Sycamore, an Ailanthus tree, and an orange Butterfly Weed flower near the railroad bridge.

In two hours on the Bushey Point trail, I never once felt that I could identify the majority of trees or plants. Just when walking on trail started to feel a bit familiar, adding the task of identifying plants and trees upped the challenge of the walk immensely.

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