Reward for Rain Hiking


I was stalking irises with a friend over Memorial Day weekend when the weather turned gray, and a light rain fell, stranding most towpath users under trees for awhile. My friend unfurled his umbrella while I pulled out a poncho, and on we trekked. I hate being rained on, and was trying not to be grumpy about it, when my friend pointed to a log in the canal.

wait, what?

This is a black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), a bird that isn’t usually seen in the middle of the day, but they sometimes come out when it’s overcast and rainy. This one hung out on the log for awhile, eventually working its way down to the water. I think it was fishing.

what’s that you say?



Read more about them at the excellent All About Birds site.







I’ve never seen one before. Of course I don’t have a good (long) lens for birding, but I took what pictures I could, hurriedly, before the camera got wet.

where’s the fish?!


Speaking of long lenses, last January a friend loaned me one, and with it I was barely able to capture a belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) perching in a tree, then cruising along the canal.

I hate photographers


Oh and here’s a double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) drying its wings in the middle of the Potomac.


I will not get into birding. Will not. will not. will not…

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