Given the muggy weather we’ve been having lately, with high humidity and a 40-50% chance of showers always in the forecast, it’s time to start visiting some of the shady trails that follow the many stream beds in Fairfax County. Last weekend turned out to be actually fairly cool, with intermittent rain, so a hike along Holmes Run on Saturday was just what the doctor ordered.
Starting from Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center, I thought we would be able to hike north, since the North Chambliss Street Bridge was completed last October, but now the county has something else torn up along the trail. To compensate we just hiked a little further south, into Ben Brenman Park and around the pond at its center, yielding a hike of around five and a half miles.
Along the way I stopped to photograph a squirrel, who at first was in the classic squirrel pose, gnawing on an acorn, but while I was taking the second shot it suddenly froze and adopted a curious open-mouthed expression, as if it had been caught in the act of doing something it shouldn’t have been doing. Who knows?
On Sunday I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the National Zoo, to enable those who weren’t able to make the last trip on a Saturday to get a chance to go. Coincidentally, that also meant that I got to visit twice, but that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
This time around one of the tigers was out relaxing, surveying the bystanders with an aloof, disinterested expression. Next door the lion cubs were still quite the crowd pleasers. One in particular was hamming it up, staring straight at me until something or someone to my left caught its eye, and it must have been something interesting, because as it looked over there it took on almost a conversational expression, as if it were listening to whoever it was watching.
This coming weekend I have 14 miles of smiles lined up, for myself anyway, as well as anyone who signs up for all three hikes:
- Mozambique, a nice 3-mile evening stroll in Del Ray that is actually just an excuse to have some of the Dairy Godmother’s custard of the same name.
- Sugarloaf Mountain, a >5-mile revisit of the hike we did earlier this month. (This one’s a little strenuous, so it looks like we’ll have less than a dozen hikers.)
- Thaiss Park: 6 miles along Accotink Creek on a shady and (hopefully) cool woodland trail.
I can hardly wait!
Love the big cats!