Sat, May 6 2006 - Jug Bay Surf & Turf (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Chuck Hildenbrand, Cynthia Hildenbrand, John Fogle, charles lewis, Anne-Claire Tejtel, Jessica Bolz, Ian Preuss, Ian Wright, Beverly Hoeftman, Alison Stevens, Tom Reichelderfer, Kimberly Engle, Patrick Haas|
Many of us in the MOC frequently walk through the woods or
through water with little knowledge of the life surrounding us. It's
like going to a party without actually meeting anyone by name.
a good time, but would've gotten much more from the experience
getting more closely acquainted. With that in mind, our group
Patuxent River Park for a naturalist-interpreted boat ride and
The wildlife sightings started early. We had only just begun our
introductions when a five-lined skink joined us outside the Park
guide for the day - Mary Kilbourne, who had become a park
after years of teaching biology - informed us that his bright
indicated his readiness for the breeding season. He obligingly
for photographs before departing to resume his duties.
Introductions and lizard-watching completed, we boarded one of
Park's pontoon boats for the first half of our trip. Shortly after we
off from the pier, a Great Blue Heron was spotted perched on a
that had fallen from the shore. Along both banks of the river, we
quite a few male Red-winged Blackbirds perching on tall reeds,
defending their territories. A red-tailed hawk circled over our
for a short time, possibly considering MOC members as prey.
it was more likely choosing the tastiest of the blackbirds.
We also had many chances to check out one of the park's
- a network of nesting platforms for osprey. Their population had
depleted dramatically after the introduction of DDT, and for a
were in danger of extinction. The chemical, absorbed through
caused their eggshells to be too thin for incubation. Today,
loss is one of their biggest hurdles, and all of the park's platforms
consistently occupied. The osprey in Jug Bay are currently
their eggs, which are expected to hatch in late May or early
Several relics of human activity were also around. Two historic
mansions are visible from the river: Mount Calvert and the
Museum. Mount Calvert is the last remaining structure from
which served as the Prince Georges county seat until 1721. Built
1740, Billingsley is one of the County's oldest historic homes.
that both are available for tours, many of us made plans to came
the future. With any luck, we can catch some of Mount Calvert's
hands-on archaeological research in progress.
Elsewhere in the river, the remainders of wooden pilings and a
abutment are the last traces of the Chesapeake Beach Railway.
first half of the 20th Century, the Railway carried vacationers and
day-trippers to the town of Chesapeake Beach, which featured
shoreline, an amusement park, and a saltwater swimming pool.
Eventually, it was time to move on the land-based portion of the
After disembarking from the boat, we got a close up view of the
marshland that surround Jug Bay. Before we even set foot on the
we were greeting by the calls of green tree frogs. We even
spot quite a few - no small feat, since they're small and
colored to blend into their surroundings.
Much of the hike used the park's system of boardwalks and
platforms. Many of the areas we particularly enjoyed would have
inaccessible without them. As we walked, Mary taught us how to
a few trees by the shape and placement of the leaves, and the
texture of the bark. We also learned to identify jewel-weed.
stem is snapped, this very handy plant yields a liquid known to
neutralize exposure to poison ivy. It also reportedly relieves pain
from bee or
Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Amy Lipsius at email@example.com
. Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event.