Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dec 31 2010: Walk around Hidden Pond Nature Center Park

Every year right around New Year I visit a local park to check out the birds, plants, water and ice, and whatever else is evident.

This year I chose Hidden Pond Nature Center, a park less than two miles away--part of the Fairfax County (Va.) park system.

Today, the temperature was in the low 50's--quite balmy for the end of December. I started at the Nature Center and then wandered around the various trails, finishing at the caretaker's home.

This white breasted nuthatch was moving quickly along a tree along the perimeter of the pond--I was fortunate to catch this view of it!

Two items of note:  I experimented with a Canon Power Shot SD 4000 IS Digital Elyph camera for the first time--Steve Ingraham recommends it for use with Zeiss spotting scopes; I thought I'd give it a try in a conventional manner. Second, I wore a pair of NEOS overshoes through the muddy trails--these were a Christmas present from my wife. These are awesome! Excellent tread; they fit over my regular shoes--and are waterproof, as high as below my knee. There'll be a picture below.

This white breasted nuthatch was moving quickly along a tree along the perimeter of the pond--I was fortunate to catch this view of it!

This tufted titmouse was the next bird I saw.

The pond was slightly frozen and snow covered.

I found several patterns that caught my attention:

When I walked the trails and stream below the pond, I came across ice:


A nice ice block:

Finally, a faux ice floe:

A spillway below the pond provided me with some nice images:

I particularly like the pattern just upstream of the drop:

There were interesting dead wood and reflections in the pond:

The next one makes me think about a small petrified dinosaur:

I found some dried leaves that caught my attention:

It was so warm that even a small bee came out to some grasses that were in the sunlight:

 My Powershot SD 4000 camera has an interesting feature:  built-in means to create fish-eye lens effect.

I first tried it on the pond:

Then I tried it on a large picnic table--before:

and after:

The neat NEOS Overshoes, acquired through Arthus Morris' on-line store--great for getting around in marshes, muddy trails, and fording small streams--a great Christmas present from my wife! Note the velcro flap enclosures running the length of the overshoe!

  I visited the caretaker's cottage--and I saw that someone had a sense of humor:  I saw a half dozen pair of boot and sneakers thrown over tree limbs in the back yard--this is one of six!

Finally, here is what the sky looked like when I started into the park--a glorious day!


FrancescPhoto said...

Excellent shots!! Salut!!

Francesc, Barcelona

John's Outdoor World said...

Thank you--I'll check your blog out! John

Kerri said...

WOW John .... I really liked "virtually" travelling with you around this park! LOVE those patterns in the ice and you found two of my fave birds :)

Those overshoes are awesome too!

John's Outdoor World said...

Kerri, thanks for your kind comments! The overshoes were quite useful when I tromped around Occoquan Bay NWR