Life in the Capital, People, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors, WTF?!

This Week in Rodents: Squirrels 1 – Hawks 0

Photo courtesy of
‘Salient #10’
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

A local squirrel is recovering after a narrowly escaping a hawk, this week.  This normally wouldn’t be news except that the incident was captured on film by local photographer Mark Hansen. Check out the photos here and note the priceless WTF look on the hawks face, post miss. Sweet shots, Mark!

The Great Outdoors, We Green DC

5 Top Tips for Container Gardening

Photo courtesy of

‘365.105: The cook’s herb garden’
courtesy of ‘WordRidden’

There are lots of things I think would be cool to do, so I just dive in without proper training. One is growing herbs on the deck. Understandably, my results have been mixed. The potted mint is going great guns, but last year the basil plant that had been visibly shooting up daily as if it inspired Jack and the Beanstalk suddenly turned black, dropped its leaves, and keeled over. No more fresh basil for me.

So when Arlington Adult Education offered a class called Growing Herbs in Containers, I signed up—mostly out of sympathy for the plants. And then I came late to class. When I walked in, instructor Dottie Jacobsen stopped her talk, greeted me, then asked, “What’s your growing situation?” Under the bright lights and many watching eyes, I came clean: “I kill plants.”

And presto! Within two short hours, I had a long list of things I’d done wrong and could easily correct. Since some of my plants did actually survive, this knowledge was inspiring. “Many of my students have gone on to be excessive container gardeners,” Jacobsen reassured us. “They say, ‘it’s a jungle out there.’” What are her tips?

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Adventures, Fun & Games, People, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors, The Mall

Volunteer at DC Triathlon

Photo courtesy of
‘Triathlon Bike Transition Area’
courtesy of ‘Dru Bloomfield – At Home in Scottsdale’

The 2010 Washington DC Triathlon is looking for a few good men and women to sign up for a variety of volunteer positions, Thursday, June 17 through Race Day, Sunday, June 20th.

This is a great way to get first hand experience with Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and feel the pulse and spirit that these events bring with them. Did I mention that volunteers get a free t-shirt? Woot!

Essential DC, Life in the Capital, People, The Daily Feed, The District, The Great Outdoors

Help Send A DC Kid To Summer Camp

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

The  Ernest W. Brown Summer Camp, located in Scotland, MD and operated by MPD officers and staff of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, is in need of donations from the DC community.

The camp makes it possible for children to escape the stress of inner-city living for one week during the summer to experience camp in the country.  For some of these children, it is their first experience outside of the city.

Although The Boys and Girls Club pays for all the costs of the camp, it cannot cover the $100 individual registration fee and due to the economy and layoffs this year, there are more children than ever who cannot afford the registration fee.

You can assist in this effort by making a donation to either sponsor a child ($100), or several children or whatever contribution you are capable of. You can make checks out to the Joseph K. Smith Memorial Summer Camp Fund (a 501C3 tax deductible organization) and mail them to Samantha Nolan, 2940 Northampton Street, NW Washington, DC 20015. All contributions will be acknowledged with a letter for your taxes and will be gratefully received.

Adventures, Entertainment, Fun & Games, History, Technology, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors, The Hill, The Mall

DC Podcast Tours Led By Middle Schoolers

Photo courtesy of
‘Ksenya 06’
courtesy of ‘yospyn’

WOW!  Alexandria’s Sandburg Middle School has developed ten awesome DC podcast tours that offer fabulous insights into our city’s neighborhoods, monuments, museums and local shops/restaurants.  Each podcast is accompanied by a informational guide that includes the closest metro stop, address, entrance fees and relevant website. How useful! The tours and voice overs are all performed by Sandburg students, and can be easily downloaded to your ipod or mp3 player. What a stellar find and what a stellar way for students and DCers to learn about our nation’s capital.

Adventures, Essential DC, History, Life in the Capital, The District, The Great Outdoors, Tourism

Tourism: Dumbarton Oaks

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Amberture’

If you’re looking to escape from the Cherry Blossom hoards and find your own little piece of Washington DC for a few hours, the Dumbarton Oaks house, gardens and museum have your name on it.

In 1920, U.S. Foreign Service diplomat Robert Woods Bliss and his wife Mildred Barnes Bliss purchased a large portion of land and a 1801 Federal style house in the northern most section of Georgetown. The Blisses made significant architectural renovations and additions, such as the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (DORCL) structure, which includes the 1963 Phillip Johnson designed Pre-Columbian Pavillion.  And more recently DORCL has welcomed a new library in 2005 and an extensive renovation of the house and museum was completed in 2008.

The museum houses, amongst other things, the significant art collection amassed by the the Blisses during their State Department life overseas.  This includes two fascinating collections of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art and artifacts, as well as displays of tapestries, sculptures, paintings, and furniture dating from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, which can be seen in the Music Room.  Continue reading

Dupont Circle, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The District, The Great Outdoors, We Green DC

Clean-up Rock Creek Park

Photo courtesy of
‘Artistic Trash – Unheeded Words – 03-27-10’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Looking for a trashy way to spend your weekend? We’ve got a suggestion.

WeLoveDC is partnering with Trail Voice in two weeks (April 10th) to host a cleanup site in conjunction with the annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup event hosted by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Our cleanup site is at the P Street bridge over Rock Creek – about 4 blocks west of Dupont Circle. 

Register on Trail Voice’s site to volunteer your time.  We encourage you to participate in this event to help spruce up a well-used portion of our inner-city landscape.

The trash clean-up should last from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, but we’re teaming up with a few local vendors who have offered everything from morning yoga stretching to baked goods to help make this environmental sweep a little more fun.

Clean-up site is just west of Dupont Circle in Rock Creek Park from 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon on Saturday, April 10. There is no cost for you to participate. It is recommended that you bring your own work gloves, although some will be available on-site.

The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors

Theodore Roosevelt Island in Snow


Speaking of unhikable, unbikable paths, commenter Phil noted that Theodore Roosevelt Island trails are still a mess of snow and fallen trees and branches. I got to see that firsthand over the weekend; most of the island is still shin-deep in snow, and the boardwalk remains uncleared of branches and ankle-to-shin deep accumulation, with an unevenly packed path in the middle thanks to occasional daring joggers. Hard to walk, but pretty to look at.

More photos after the jump: Continue reading

Fun & Games, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors, The Hill

The Hills

Photo courtesy of
‘sledding fun’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99’

We worked damn hard during the last snowpocalypse to make sure that you were well informed as to the snow related goings on in the DC area.  In fact, I’d say we covered the bases pretty well.  You know what that means for this time around? Recycled content!!

One of our readers, Shaun from Arlington, asked us about sledding hills in the DC area.  Fortunately, Cathy came up with a pretty sweet list in December.  For your information, here it is again:

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News, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors, WTF?!


Photo courtesy of
‘Goodbye, snowman’
courtesy of ‘erin m’

Despite the hype and my most fervent prayers, the District came out on the winning end of its bout with snow. This was due largely to getting considerably less precipitation than was predicted.  Most of the DC area reported less than 3 inches of accumulation, but this was enough to close Montgomery and Fairfax county schools and to put the Fed into unscheduled leave.  Still, the roads were little more than wet, this morning, and my commute wasn’t harried in the least.  It was kind of a let down, to be honest. We’ll see if mother nature throws something more challenging our way, this weekend.  Considering that there won’t be any work to miss, I’m guessing that she will.

Fun & Games, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors

Don’t get struck by lightning while sledding, but…

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

It’s going to be WILD out there tomorrow. With all the snow coming down tomorrow morning during the thunder storm, we’re thinking there’s a pretty good chance for some decent sledding, if not SKIING.

So, where should you head to, and what’s your weapon of choice?

I did a little internet surfing and WeLoveDC author surveying, and here’s what we came up with (but disclaimer, do not trespass! Please check any signs and be cautious of your boundaries, and ESPECIALLY of oncoming traffic, duh).

Sledding Hills by Location

In the city:

  • Meridian Hill Park (NW, U Street) *Recommended by WLDC Author Tom
  • Fort Reno (NW by American U.)
  • 3545 Williamsburg Lane, NW (NW, Cleveland Park)
  • Georgetown University’s old school of dentistry (NW, Burleith)

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The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors

Artificial Reef Breaks, Litters 2000 Tires on Assateague

Owly Images
Courtesy of @AssateagueNPS

According to the twitter account of the Assateague National Park Service (@AssateagueNPS), an offshore artificial reef broke apart in last week’s tropical storm depositing 2000 tires on the beach at Assateague Island.

WaPo’s Tuesday coverage of the storm surge that uplifted the tires from the ocean floor quotes Louis Hinds, manager of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. He informs us not to worry about the famous Chincoteague ponies who retreated to high ground, but that  “strapping folks” are needed to volunteer for cleanup.

Crews of Assateague National Park staff and volunteers are out picking up tires on the beach today.

Check out another photo after the fold.

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The Features, The Great Outdoors

Fall in DC: Foliage Proves It’s More Than An Urban Legend


I’m more productive on the weekends than I should be. My weekly personal promise of “taking the weekend to be lazy and sleep in past my alarm” never happens. This is a direct cause of the DC fall — or lack thereof.

Fall in DC is a myth. An urban legend. One that this once Chicago-resident finds hard to believe exists. Why, you might ask? Because it’s not cold yet. And when I say cold, I mean it hasn’t reached below 40 more than a handful of times yet this season — maybe even less than that handful. But DC does have one thing that Chicago fall doesn’t — fantastic fall foliage that lasts longer than a few days — proving that fall in DC is, in fact, a reality.

This stuff is gorgeous and covers the entire palate of possible colors. Some trees are still green and continue to maintain their springtime youthfulness. But it’s the mature yet stoic beauty of the leaf that appears to be on fire who strikes my fancy. Just one dying leaf has the ability to shout, “Look at me! Look at me!” We’ve got Mother Nature to thank for this one. Well — her and the DC National Park Trail Service. Continue reading

Essential DC, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors

Happy Birthday USMC, Ooh Rah!

Photo courtesy of
‘Iwo Jima at night’
courtesy of ‘brianmka’

Today commemorates the 234th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corp.  On November 10, 1775, a Committee of the Continental Congress met at the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia and authorized two battalions of Marines to fight against the British in the war for independence.

A very happy birthday and a special thank you to all who have and continue to serve in the USMC.  Ooh Rah!

Life in the Capital, News, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors

The Return of the Sun

Photo courtesy of
‘Looking Up’
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’

On your way into work this morning, you might have noticed a giant blue expanse and a shining orb in the place of the gray ceiling that you had grown accustomed to.  This is called “clear sky” and it should be the norm for the rest of the week.  Warm temperatures and dry air are finally returning to the DC area and it is good to see them back.  Unfortunately, we do have some more rain in our forecast, just in time for next weekend.  Let’s hope the weatherman is lying.

Adventures, Entertainment, Fun & Games, History, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors

Life & Death On The C&O

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

This Saturday from 6:30-9pm, the National Park service will host the 13th Annual Life & Death on the C&O Canal at the Great Falls Tavern Visitors Center in Great Falls, MD.

Volunteers and park rangers will take visitors on a one-hour journey back in time, and recreate the trials and tribulations experienced by the men and women who built, lived and staffed the canal during its 96 year long history. Every interpretation is based on documented facts or legends, and interpreters will present various 15 minutes programs throughout the evening.

Reservations are recommended and the program is not for young children.  Ticket prices are $6 for adults, and $4 for seniors and children (4-14).  Call 301-767-3714 for information and reservations.

Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors

Saloon Flea Market

Photo courtesy of
‘The Saloon, U Street’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

Commy, owner of the Saloon, is hosting a flea market this Sunday at his famed, U St. pub.  He promises to offer “many unique items” for sale, the proceeds from which will benefit his international school building efforts.  On top of the interesting goods and the worthy cause, the Saloon will be offering $2 off its selection of excellent beers.  The market will run from 1pm-5pm and, contrary to normal Saloon rules, there will be a strict, no-sitting policy for the afternoon.  So, go out, enjoy a nice beer on what promises to be a lovely fall afternoon and support school construction in developing nations.

Adventures, Life in the Capital, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The District, The Great Outdoors, The Hill, The Mall, We Green DC

National Public Lands Day 09/26

Photo courtesy of
‘Cleaning Up the Potomac’
courtesy of ‘mtngirl9999’

Looking for something to do Saturday? How about volunteering at a local National Public Lands Day site.

Tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of this event to preserve and protect America’s natural heritage.  Last year brought out more than 120,000 volunteers at over 1,800 locations to assist public land managers with hands-on projects.

You can find 6 events taking place in DC at various locations, like: Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens, Rock Creek Park, Kingman and Heritage Memorial Park, the Lincoln Memorial, President’s Park and National Mall & Memorial Parks.

Entertainment, History, Special Events, The Features, The Great Outdoors, The Mall, We Green DC

Host a National Park Premiere Party

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

This Sunday evening, September 27 at 8pm, the long awaited Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea premieres on PBS. The documentary stories the inspiring individuals who dedicated themselves to establishing our National Park System and to protecting America’s cultural, natural and historic heritage.  The series will air a new episode every night next week with the concluding episode on Friday, October 2.

To spread the word about this awesome documentary and get park lovers to share their parks stories with friends and family, the DC-based non-profit, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is organizing nation-wide viewing parties for the Sunday premiere, and they’ve made it super easy to host your own get-together with customized evites, your own personalized party page, helpful party tips and innovative ways to share this documentary with people around the country.  “Our goal is to inspire all Americans to dedicate themselves to protecting and preserving our national parks,” says Tom Kiernan, NPCA President, “so that the parks can be enjoyed, explored, and cherished by our children, our grandchildren, and by all future generations.”

Register to host a (private or public) party, and you’ll be entered in a raffle to win 1 of 5 signed copies of award-winning, conservation photographer Ian Shive‘s The National Parks: Our American Landscape.  This new, visually stunning photo journey highlights the beauty and majesty of our national parks from Alaska’s Denali to Florida’s Everglades.  RSVP’ed guests will also be entered in the drawing, and you, as the host, will get a bonus entry for every guest.  Woot! Continue reading