Posts Tagged ‘Kingman Island’

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1 – A Metro train inbound from Alexandria to D.C. as it passes over the Potomac River

Back in May of this year I wrote a post about meeting my original goal for this blog, and what my future goals would be.  Along with that post I also published a couple of dozen miscellaneous photos that I had taken during my lunchtime bike rides, but had not previously used for other posts on this blog.  As this year is rapidly coming to an end, I decided to post some more miscellaneous photos.  So below I have included a couple of dozen more photos that I took at different times over the past year, but have not used for this blog.  Be sure to click on each of the photos to view the full-size versions.

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23 2016eoy18  24 2016eoy37  25 2016eoy39
[Click on the photos above to view the full size versions]

1 – A Metro train inbound from Alexandria to D.C. as it passes over the Potomac River.
2 – A hauntingly beautiful abandoned mansion located on Cooper Circle in LeDroit Park.
3 – A demonstration by Native Americans on the steps of The Lincoln Memorial.
4 – A musician taking a mid-afternoon nap in the park at DuPont Circle.
5 – A young girl admiring a mounted Park Police officer’s horse on the National Mall.
6 – An old farmer and his family selling watermelons out of the back of a truck on Rhode Island Avenue.
7 – A bike repurposed as a planter on the front porch of a home in LeDroit Park.
8 – A book sale at Second Story Books at the corner of 20th and P Streets in DuPont Circle.
9 – A mural interplaying with the shade of the leaves of a nearby tree on Capitol Hill.
10 – The First Street protected bikeway connecting Union Station to the Metropolitan Branch Trail.
11 – A merging of protests in front of The White House and  Lafayette Square Park.
12 – A view of the Anacostia River through the thick growth of vegetation on Kingman Island.
13 – Chocolate City Bar mural in a alley near 14th and S Streets, NW
14 – Demolished buildings on 14th Street making way for new Downtown construction.
15 – A ping pong game in the Farragut Square Park sponsored by the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District.
16 – Statues outside Bar Rogue in the Kimpton Rouge Hotel on 16th Street.
17 – The former Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration headquarters building on First Street in northeast D.C.
18 – Boats docked on the Southeast Waterfront just west of the Maine Avenue Fish Market.
19 – A homeless woman who spends her days on a bench in DuPont Circle Park.
20 – A news reporter broadcasting live from in front of FBI Headquarters.
21 – Chinese zodiac signs adorn the crosswalk at 7th and H Streets near The Friendship Archway in Chinatown.
22 – A bee pollinating a flower in The Smithsonian’s Butterfly Habitat Garden.
23 – An Organic Transit ELF vehicle parked at a bike rack on the National Mall.
24 – A street musician playing for tips outside the Farragut North Metro Station during the morning rush hour.
25 – A bench with a view on the southern side of the Tidal Basin.

NOTE:  Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of my year-end collection of various photos.

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“The First Lady” Keeping Her Eggs Warn at the National Arboretum

For the first time in almost 70 years, a bald eagle pair is nesting inside the grounds of the United States National Arboretum. And on today’s lunchtime bike ride I went there to see them in person.  It was just last month that Arboretum staff noticed the eagles making trips back and forth to the site as they built a nest atop a Tulip Poplar tree on the south side of Mount Hamilton, in the middle of the Arboretum’s famous azalea collection. Then the eagles’ behavior changed towards the end of January, when one started sitting on the nest at all times, while the other searched for food to feed its mate. Then the real excitement began last week, when the mated pair of eagles laid an egg on February 10th, and then another one on Valentine’s Day. They are currently incubating the two eggs.

If you are in the D.C. area or coming here in the near future, I highly recommend making a trip to the Arboretum to see this spectacle for yourself. But take heart, because if you can’t be here in person, you can still watch them on two live “Bald Eagle Nest Cams” which have been set up by the Arboretum, in collaboration the American Eagle Foundation and Alfred State, SUNY College of Technology, with resources and support from the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The webcams are available 24/7 to view live streaming video of the iconically-named ‘Mr. President’ and ‘The First Lady’, and can be accessed by visiting the American Eagle Foundation website.

This is the eagle couple’s second go at parenthood, after successfully raising an eaglet in 2015. According to the American Eagle Foundation, “The story begins in the spring of 2014, when a lone male was spotted surveying the Anacostia River area by day, and returning to Kingman Island every night. Then in the fall of that year, when more bald eagles began to migrate through the area, it wasn’t long until the male was paired with a mate.

“In October 2014, the pair was observed flying together and conducting pair bonding flights. According to Arboretum staff, these flights went on for a few weeks during September and October. It is also noted that the new pair was defending their future nesting area against migrating eagles.” The couple then built their first nest in January of the following year, and laid their first eggs in February. Their first eaglet was born in March 2015, who fledged the nest a few months later.

Bald eagles were on the Federal government’s Endangered Species List as recently as a decade ago. But after a dramatic comeback in their population, the bald eagle was removed from the list in 2007. It is estimated that there may now be as many as 11,000 breeding pairs in the United States. The nesting pair at the Arboretum is expecting the eggs to hatch approximately 35 days after they were laid, making the expected due date March 16th for the first egg.  And for the egg that was laid on Valentine’s Day, it is due on the first day of spring, March 21st. This will be just in time for the new eagle family to enjoy the blooming of the Arboretum’s famed Glenn Dale Azalea Collection.

Although the bald eagle is no longer an endangered species, it is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Both laws prohibit killing, selling, or otherwise disturbing eagles, their nests, or their eggs. In order to comply with these Acts, the Arboretum is utilizing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines, which call for a buffer zone roughly 660 feet in diameter surrounding the nest site. Signs at the Arboretum are posted on the roads and nearby trails to alert visitors to this restricted area, which limits the ability to see the eagles except from a distance. So while a trip to the Arboretum is certainly worth the time, nothing beats the live nest cams for a close up view.

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[Click on the thumbnails above to view the full size photos]
Photos published with permission.  © 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG.

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UPDATE (03/20/2016):  There are two new eaglets in the world.  The eggs at the National Arboretum nest have hatched.  The first eaglet, referred to as “DC2” hatched at 8:27 a.m. March 18, 2016 Eastern Daylight Time.  The 2nd eaglet, known as “DC3”, hatched at 7:00 a.m. March 20, 2016, EDT.  “DC1” was the first offspring of Mr. President and The First Lady, who successfully fledged last season.

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“The President” and “The First Lady” Feeding the New Eaglets

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“The President” and “The First Lady” Feeding the New Eaglets

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UPDATE (04/26/216):  The eaglets, originally referred to as DC2 and DC3, have been renamed.  Following a “Name the Nestlings” social media campaign comprised of more than 36,000 votes, the eaglets are now known as “Freedom” and “Liberty”.

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Kingman and Heritage Islands Park

Kingman and Heritage Islands Park

On this bike ride I set off with no particular destination in mind. I initially rode to Southeast D.C., and then started following the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. As I was riding past the Redskins’ old home at R.F.K. Stadium, there was a turn off on the trail that went through a gate and disappeared into the woods. So naturally I turned to follow it. As I followed the path I discovered it was the entrance to Kingman and Heritage Islands Park. I later discovered that there is also an entrance on the other side of the park, on Benning Road in D.C.’s Anacostia neighborhood.

Heritage Island and Kingman Island are located Southeast and Northeast D.C., in the Anacostia River. Kingman Island is bordered on the east by the Anacostia River, a tributary of the Potomac River, and on the west by Kingman Lake, while Heritage Island is surrounded by Kingman Lake (MAP). This makes both accessible to be explored by boat. The islands were developed from sediment dredged from the bottom of the Anacostia River. Additionally, the wetlands found around the edges of Kingman Lake were developed and constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers and several other partner organizations. The islands were federally owned property managed by the National Park Service from the time they were constructed in 1916, until they were turned over to the District of Columbia government in 1995.

The park is comprised of over 50 acres of natural area to be explored on these two island habitats.  Riparian wooded areas, river views, and wetlands comprise much of the sights to be experienced, where a variety of flora and fauna native to the area can be viewed.  And the area is an ideal spot for birdwatching as well.  Over 100 species of birds have been identified at the park including Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, and osprey.  The islands are home to many different types of animals as well, including beavers who can be observed build dams and foxes excavate holes.  And the Kingman Island Trail provides over a mile and a half of paths for walking, hiking, and bike riding.

Interestingly, once each year the serene character of these islands is interrupted for the annual Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival, which draws up to 10,000 people to the oft-forgotten green oasis. Attendees bring lawn chairs and sunscreen, and sprawl in the sun for an afternoon of live music that is the biggest fund-raiser for the Living Classrooms Foundation of the National Capital Region, which currently maintains the islands along with the D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

Despite numerous efforts to develop the area over the last 100 years, the southern half of Kingman Island and all of Heritage Island remained largely undeveloped. A variety of proposals have been made in recent years, most focusing on retaining the islands’ character as one of the few remaining wild places within the city’s limits. As such, it continues to remain largely unknown, which makes it an ideal location for riding completely undisturbed, as I did on this ride.

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[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]

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The Lummi Nation Totem Poles

An American Indian named Jewell Praying Wolf James took it upon himself to carve a series of totem poles after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.  They were created as a healing gift on behalf of all Native American tribes.  The totems were subsequently dedicated by the Lummi tribe of Washington state as a tribute to those who died in the attacks, and installed in New York and Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, the scenes of the crash sites on that fateful day.

The totem at the Pentagon was dedicated during the opening week of the National Museum of the American Indian in September 2004.  The Piscataway tribe also participated in the totem’s dedication, as they originally owned the land where the totem now stands.  It was later moved to the Historic Congressional Cemetery, which is located on Capitol Hill in southeast D.C. at 1801 E Street (MAP).

Carved from a single tree from Alaska, the structure lies near a grove of trees in the cemetery that were planted in memory of the victims in the 9/11 attacks.  Standing 14 feet tall and six feet around, the two vertical poles are named Liberty and Freedom.  The Liberty pole depicts a female bear with a “grandmother moon” in her abdomen. The Freedom pole depicts a male bear with “grandfather sun.”  The 36-foot Sovereignty crossbar joining the two poles has eagles carved on each end, with two sets of seven feathers representing American Airlines Flight 77, the flight that crashed into the Pentagon. The female eagle symbolizes peace, and the male symbolizes war.

The totem at Congressional Cemetery is eventually going to be moved to the September 11 Memorial Grove that is planned for Kingman Island in the Anacostia River in D.C.  But for now, the pole remains at the cemetery, where it may remain for years to come.

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[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]