Hiking yesterday I encountered two things of interest; a beaver lodge at Meadowbrook Park in
Howard County and a stubbornly green maple among the naked trees along the Patapsco River
Valley in the Daniels sections of Howard County.
Two years ago I took the above photo of the penstock at the old Western Maryland Railroad station in Cumberland, Maryland. This past weekend I was in Cumberland again and took the photo below which shows the penstock in use supplying water to the tender of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad steam engine 734.
Hiked a short section of the AT today with my brother Chris. We ran into a section hiker named Don. He makes us look like pikers. He is 70 and so far has hiked 1,600 miles of the 2,200 mile trail whenever he can get away from work. Yeah, he is still working after retiring from teaching. This morning, hiking alone, he started at Dahlgren Backpack Camp and was headed north for a shelter just above of Rt 40. He does about 10 miles a day. We met Don at an elevation of 1,350 feet at GPS coordinates 39 30 28 N and 77 37 16 W. Go Don!
We were headed south to the Washington Monument built by citizens of Boonsboro, Maryland in 1827 and restored by the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s during the Depression.
View from the base of the Washington Monument.
Access to the inside and top of the monument is currently blocked because it was struck by lightning in August 2015 and the structure is being evaluated for safety.
Large paper wasp nest we encountered just to the side of the trail.
This swamp in Southern Maryland is the northernmost cypress swamp in the United States. It is not a large area: only 40 acres, but is is a significant piece of ecological preservation in our region. The park has a very good nature center, considering its small size. The cypresses in this swamp are Bald Cypresses, named that because they shed their needles for the winter like deciduous broad leaf trees. The knobs protruding from the swamp are called "knees" and are part of the root system of the cypress. They are believed to be stabalizers for the cyprss trees.