Saturday, June 13, 2009

May 21 - 22 2009: James River State Park, Va.

My wife and I visited James River, the newest state park in Va. The sights and amenities were quite new and well maintained. Our pull through RV site was at least 80' long and level. There are a number of trails to explore, including Taylor's Pond, Green Hill Pond (accessible), and the River Trail.
Taylor's Pond was about 2 acres in size--reeds, turtles, flowers, and insects--a nice little walk.


At the Green Hill Pond, the state has provided a 1/3 mile walkway around the pond. We observed turtles, fish, dragonflies, heard a bobwhite, observed a prothonotary warbler, and I even watched a bat flutter around the pond and then go to the water's edge to get some water, then fly away. The 'wild' tufted titmice moved about a lot, emitting mating sounds unlike those I hear at home. The smell of the honeysuckle was nice yet strong.



I watched a lone bat fly and flutter over this pond--even checked it out with binoculars--and fly down to get a drink of water then fly away.
This wide path around the lake was over 1/3 mile long.


Turtles sunning themselves


Nice lily pads; too early for flowers.


Wild blackberry in bloom


Hedge Bindweed


Buttercup



Daisy


Mountain Laurel



Yucca

Nice colors--unable to identify


A canoe and livery service operates at this park--put in upstream and take out downstream about 8 miles later. Unfortunately, the current due to recent significant rainfall was running 5 - 6 miles per hour (9' per second), which was faster than I would go out in to. Maybe next time.



Fast running river, as seen at the put-in

video

Black snake by the take out


Canoe and small boat take out



Unusual device near the take out--even has a fire box at lower left



The "Appomatox", a replica of a bateau used to run cargo between Richmond and Lynchburg during the early 1800s. Poles were used to power the bateau up and down the river.
The bateau style of boat was overtaken by larger barges when the James and Kanawha (W Va) Canal opened up parallel to the James River. An old lock may be seen at the James River crossing of the Blue Ridge Parkway a little ways upstream.



Stern view of the bateau


Taylor Pond loop trail


Delightful cat tails


Mountain Laurel in bloom


Unusual sight of grasses in the water, with late afternoon sunlight on the water



This Stream Cruiser kindly chose to hover near me at water's edge


More grasses illuminated by the late afternoon sun



Bluets

Pretty flowers--unable to identify


The ferns were quite lush


A pod and stalk on the water's edge


I like this view of the grasses


A final flower


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