Apr. 20, 2015 – From the treetops to the forest floor, the landscape at Fort Frederick State Park is painted a vivid green. Wildflowers add artistic splashes of yellow, purple and blue. Spring Beauties add pale pink to the palette.
Virginia Bluebells toll silently in the breeze along the Beaver Pond trail and along the banks of the Potomac River. Today, they enjoy the company of yellow and purple violets blooming above heart-shaped leaves.
Here and there, a cloud of white reveals a serviceberry tree in bloom or a dogwood tree.
The leaves of spatterdock (yellow pond lily) have finally emerged from the pond mud. Some already have yellow buds beside them.
At the north end of the pond, dozens of turtles, lured out of hibernation by the warm temperatures, are sunbathing. Still more turtles are cruising the pond, look for a vacant parking spot.
At the south end of the pond, a green heron zips by and spends the next hour hunting along the muddy shoreline for dinner. It makes a surprise appearance for the photographer who discovers it fishing within ten feet of the Beaver Pond Trail.
No beavers have been sighted, but a tooth-marked tree with a large “bite” out of it confirms that beavers are nearby. Perhaps next time, the pond’s benefactor will appear.