Assateague by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)’s
Thousands of years ago, there were no entrance fees to get into national parks. In fact there were no entrances or national parks for that matter, just nature, and you were in it. You had your spear, a rock and a stick to start a fire, and possibly a loincloth. That may sound scary (and smelly), but you also didn’t have the hassle of updating Facebook, the risk of getting a tumor from your cellphone, or Taco Bell. Wait, that sounds scary too.
Well the National Park Service is getting all nostalgic on us this weekend (August 14-15) and waving entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees for all national parks across the country. In our area, this includes Assateague Island, Great Falls, and Shenandoah to name a few. Use this handy park finder to locate more free nature to explore this weekend, but please, don’t soil your loincloth when you lose reception on your iPhone. Take a deep breath and eat a granola bar.
Meh. I was expecting a lot more fiery red and orange but so far Theodore Roosevelt Island is still mostly green; just some yellow around the edges, with just a few trees here and there going bright red. The marsh area has a lot more color to it, but I think it’ll be another weekend or two before you get the kind of Fall color that makes local news.
You can get to Theodore Roosevelt Island with Metro and a brief walk. Just get off at Rosslyn, walk over to Key Bridge, turn right on the trail just before the bridge, and walk till you see a parking lot and footbridge. It’s nice. Try it if you haven’t yet. The earlier you can go in the morning, the greater the chance of seeing some wildlife. As it is, we did see a snake.
If you’re like me, you probably wake up every weekend morning thinking, “I’m tired of seeing only pigeons, sparrows, seagulls, starlings, and other parasitic and invasive avian species in this urban environment! But I don’t have a car! If only there were Metro-accessible places to see more diverse species of indigenous birds in the DC area!” Well, despair no more! John Beetham of the DC Audubon Society has posted Birding By Metro, your guide to bird-spotting locations easily accessible by DC public transportation.
Birding By Metro. Go do it. Seriously. Bring back pictures.