Great Blue Heron, C&O Canal NHP.

I photographed this young great blue heron the other morning in one of the locks at the C&O Canal National Historical Park in Potomac, Maryland.

Preening helps keep feathers in tip-top condition; realigning feathers for better aerodynamics, removing parasites and spreading secreted oils to each feather for waterproofing.

Great Blue Heron at the C&O Canal NHP in Potomac, Maryland.

Great Blue Heron at the C&O Canal NHP.

Civil War at the C&O Canal

This past weekend I met a group of Civil War re-enactors at the Canal. After talking to the men honoring the 7th Pennsylvania Reserves from 1861 I learned a good deal about what drives some to go into Living History representations. Very thoughtful fellows. Hope you enjoy:

Taking on the Billy Goat Trail

Although hiking the Billy Goat Trail was more of an effort at 52 than I remember it being at 22, I did make it to the end! I’d forgotten what a spectacular hike it is. Definitely going back again soon.

Hope you enjoy this video.

Antietam Battlefield, Dunker Church

Civil War Re-enactor just awakened, in his night cap.

Behind him is the Dunker Church. Antietam Battlefield. Site of the bloodiest day in American history. Some 23,000 men were killed wounded or missing after just twelve hours of fighting. General McClellan’s troops outlasted General Lee’s. As they rested for what could have been the final crushing blow, Lee took his army back over the Potomac in retreat. And so the Great Civil War lasted another two and a half years. McClellan was soon relieved of his command by Lincoln.

This kindly fellow is a secessionist re-enactor. Eager to chat, he regaled me with facts and figures of the battle, peppered with much praise for anything and anyone of the South and much derision of anything and anyone of the North. Funny, that.

Civil War Re-enactor.

Early morning sun. Re-enactor, Dunker Church behind him.


Fortuitous Photo Ops

great blue heron, great falls maryland


I was on the Virginia shore of the Potomac River shooting kayakers in the falls when my peripheral vision spied this heron as it glided down. With a 6 foot wing span and gangly legs it landed awkwardly on the rocks of the Maryland side. The bird then began to jump from boulder to boulder looking for a decent place to fish. I waited.

As you might notice the grey coloring of a great blue heron’s plumage camouflages it well against these rocks. Not an ideal background. Yet, this one hopped again and landed for just a moment in the spot you see here. I couldn’t have asked for more. I shot.

It’s not often your subjects in the wild place themselves in such choice spots. Be ready when they do.