As summer comes to a close, a rare bird visits the pond.




Dragonflies fly amongst the green blades of sedges and marsh grass, occasionally pausing to cling to one.




The browning leaves of yellow pond lilies are another favorite dragonfly perch.




Other times, dragonflies cling to tree trunks and stumps.




In woods near the pond, woodpeckers can be heard tapping their bills on tree trunks in search of insects.




As the sun sinks in the sky, the pond rattles with call of a kingfisher, and a green heron glides across the water into the trees.




It’s almost dusk when a ghostly bird flies out of the tall trees.




Approaching a dead tree at the southern edge of the pond, the bird spreads its wings before landing.




It might be mistaken for an egret, but the stranger is a juvenile Little Blue Heron. Eventually, it will have blue feathers, but young birds have white feathers along with a grayish bill and yellow legs. In Maryland, Little Blue Herons are usually seen in wetlands near the Chesapeake Bay. This far inland, it is a rarity, and its presence is probably temporary.




The heron studies the pond for a few minutes. Then, as if realizing that it had strayed from its flight plan, the bird flies off in the direction of the Potomac River, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay.