Jun. 5. 2015 – Large swaths of the pond are now covered in spatterdock (yellow pond lily).
A variety of other plants live on and under the surface of the pond.
The Beaver Pond Trail passes through a grove of paw paw trees beside the upper pond. Their large leaves screen the pond from view except for an occasional opening where hikers can get a good glimpse of the pond.
Flowers currently in bloom include blue flag, which favors moist soil and sunshine at the southern tip of the pond.
Marsh marigolds also favor moist areas near the beaver pond and are especially numerous in the bed of the abandoned C&O Canal.
Japanese honeysuckle uses shrubs and trees for support as it seeks the sun. It’s white and yellow blossoms are filled with sweet nectar.
In sunny, dry locations, fleabane, daisies and penstemon are in bloom. On close look, penstemon displays many tiny hairs on the surface of its petals.
Where rose petals once bloomed, rose hips now grow.
Insects have exploded in numbers, and include dragonflies, butterflies, daddy longlegs and bees.
Other animals making their appearance today: a box turtle and a very tiny pond snail.
After a hike around the pond, it’s nice to have a picnic lunch. The park’s picnic area is located east of the fort, at the end of a road that winds among low hills. The site includes picnic tables, grills, restrooms and a children’s playground.
A small stream that trickles through the area features some awesome fern displays that would make a nice background for a family photo.