Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring is in the air

Yesterday I headed to the Dutch Gap conservation area which runs along the James River for a nature walk. It was a gorgeous early spring (yeah I know it is still technically winter) day. 60 warm degrees with the sun shining. I have been coming to the Dutch Gap for years and usually I only see a handful of people when I am there but because this was one of the first nice days we have had in weeks, there were lots of people out and about. It was great to see walkers, joggers, bike riders and nature enthusiasts enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery. I do prefer it to be a little less crowded so I can feel like it is just me out there but it's really wonderful to see this beautiful place get the attention it deserves. Attention means funding and that means more nature trails, bird blinds, boxes and education so I guess I can share one of my favorite spots every now and again.

I enjoyed hearing the calls of a Belted Kingfisher and I did get to watch him fish a bit as well. He was clear on the other side of the tributary but the binoculars brought me right in. The Great Blue Herons were flitting from fishing spot to fishing spot and of course the ever present Canada Geese were honking away as they too enjoyed the warm sun on their feathers. The best sight of the day were the turtles. They had hauled themselves out of the muck and up onto logs and rocks to soak up the sun. A true sign that Spring is within reach.

I spent a good deal of time just sitting and taking it in. Giving thanks for all the good in our life and being grateful that I can come to a place like this and recharge and refuel. Nature has that affect. Brings you closer to God so you can feel the peace and escape from constant state of go - go - go that we all live in. If you haven't done this lately, you should give it a try.

Here are some photos from my walk.

Loved these three geese catching some Zzzzs. The turtles are lounging away at the base of the log. You can click to see a larger more detailed version

Mockingbird and berries
This handsome Mockingbird was my muse for about 10 minutes. He was so enjoying having his photo taken.

Winter Scene
Soon the drab winter landscape will come alive with newness

Carolina Wren
Carolina Wren foraging through the leaves.