A Day Out

Yesterday, the day sunny and bright, we carved out time to search for the park that eluded us last week, and found it.  As I approached the information center, noticed David fallen behind me on the path was speaking with a strange woman with a dog, the volunteer who had answered a few questions the previous week met me as she passed through the door.

“I’ve lost my husband to another woman,” I told her.

When she noticed I was pushing a rollator, she asked if I was the person she had spoken with the week before. Recognizing her voice as she had mine, I said yes. I told her about our losing our way the previous week, and that I had decided to try again as the weather cleared and it was Monday, the day she volunteered.

I was hoping to meet you I said.

I’m only here a half day, she replied as she walked away, I hope you enjoy our park.

Say hello to my husband will you, he’s up the path wearing the Carolina blue jacket.

                                       —000—

In the welcome center, I ran into another bird watcher  (twitcher) who had returned from a morning jaunt. Speaking with the voluteer at the front desk, he shared the names of the birds he had spotted and filmed on his morning quest, including ducks and teals, Egrets and Herons, and a Hooded Merganser pair. He was quite excited and flushed and friendly.

You will have to visit ealier in the day to enjoy the guided walk and talk, said the volunteer at the front desk.

                                      —000—

Full of enthusiasm David and I were soon on our way to the marsh. However, David walking with his cane, soon tired and collapsed on a bench.  I’ll wait here he suggested.

I pushed on and soon reached the edge of the marsh and the boardwalk.  Little children were everywhere running, yelling, and scaring ducklings.  Bizarre, I thought, having learned at an early age how to stalk wild creatures.

I spoke to several of the children as I pushed my rollator around the boardwalk.  “You’ll never see anything if you make a lot of noise,” I told two of the children, after I pointed out an old turtle who had not fled the scene and we leaned over the boardwalk to look at brave tadpoles.

About then, my phone began to ring, and although it was muffled, and buried in my bag, I could hear it, but decided not to answer it.

                                          —000—

 Soon the wind came up and in a great gust and sent my hat sailing into the water. I watched as it slowly sank in the murky water, feeling badly as it had been a favorite and now it littered the pond.  I walked on circling the pond on the boardwalk loop.

Despite the chaos, I managed to snap a few photos. However, my distance lens did not do what I wanted.  Thus I mostly got the horizon with ducks in the distance far from the rollicking children.

 Later one of the children to whom I had spoken earlier came running up with my hat in her hand.

You will have to wash it, she said.

How did you get it, I asked visualizing her jumping into the pond.

My Mom fished it out with a stick.

After this, I began to walk the path I had traveled earlier to the bench where I left David.  As I walked, I encountered people me who asked if I was Dianne. I told them yes, and they said your husband is worried about you.

After walking about fifteen minutes, I saw David ahead of me on the path, his bright blue jacket quite visable through the trees.  As he walked slowly, I caught up to him, my leg aching from my long walk. I was worried and called you he said.  I was on the boardwalk, I told him.

As we reached our car, a woman descended from another car bearing a handicap placard.  Slowly, she lowered herself into a manual wheelchair and rolled up the path, phone in hand. Surely she is a voluteer at the information center, I suggested.

 

27 thoughts on “A Day Out

  1. I love walking, not so much jogging, I walked in London between two auditions and when the people at the second event found out I’d walked, because I asked if I could change my clothes somewhere, they were amazed! It was only 40 minutes. I love Spring too.

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  2. I feel so much better after walking around that convention for three days. I don’t have a rollator instead I have a giant walker with a seat. That proved so useful there. I be you can go further and see much more with your rollator. Sorry David get’s pooped so easily. I know you told him not to work, that you would be back…but did he believe you.

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  3. It’s so good to get out and enjoy nature … And I love Boardwalks .. They make it possible for us to do so more often. Bill too can sometimes be found on one of those benches while I go on s little further. Noisy kids don’t bother me as much as the grown ups who chatter loudly as they walk .. I wonder why they bother to come to these places when all they want to do is talk about trivial stuff.

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  4. That looks like a really interesting natural area around water for observing various birds so I can appreciate the attraction. Glad you can get out and enjoy it. Makes me realize I really should walk some areas here more.

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    • Bounded by the Potomac on two sides, Fairfax County has a wonderful assortment of parks and recreational areas including a couple of wetland areas for Marsh ducks. Thus we see river ducks, pond ducks and marsh ducks. Go a few miles to the East and you see seabirds.

      Given falls and joint replacements over the past few years, we have mostly confined ourselves to indoor places.

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  5. Loved the new Header and the photos, especially the one of the light through the tall, Straight trees. Keep walking – it is good for us all! Freda

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  6. Wow! You have a lot of stamina, Dianne. It’s terrific that you met such lovely, friendly people on your walk. I wish David could have walked it with you. You did a terrific job capturing that beautiful area.

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    • Would you believe Huntly Meadows is less than five minutes from my old apartment off Franconia? We drove from Telegraph up the Parkway to get there. David once sold Real Estate in that area, and even he was surprised at how well hidden the Park is.

      You inspired me Denise. I saw your wood duck, BTW.

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  7. Sounds like a wonderful, but tiring, day. You’ll have to get some walkie-talkies like the granddaughter and I use. That way, if she accidentally (on purpose) get to far from me I can send her a page. She loves it. Nana, I’m by the headbands on Isle 3.

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  8. This looks to be very remote. No wonder you had trouble finding it the first time around. Terry would be like your David, concerned if he couldn’t see me. I always tell him when I’m going off around a corner or somewhere he can’t see me as I know he will worry. Funny, I’ve survived all those years working in an inner city high school and then walking the streets of San Francisco, by myself, and now he’s worried!

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    • It looks remote, but it’s 15 minutes from downtown DC. This area was used for military maneuvers and sold to Fairfax County for $1 under the Base Realignment and Closing Act which included the land to parks program. I wouldn’t stray off the path for fear of stepping on live ammunition.

      Yes, David likes to know where I am 24/7. I too walked the streets while on travel to major cities (NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, even Saint Louis etc.) sometimes at night, sometimes with a male colleague. I’ve walked all over DC. Don’t know f I would do so today. 😏

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      • Good account of an interesting outing. Unknown to many, the Base Realignment program provided many good things in many places. The prime land it provided the western city where we lived helped with an economic comeback. And at the same time, it allowed for a major expansion of a nature appreciation area somewhat like the place you just visited.

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