For an urban area, DC has a lot of great hiking and natural areas. There are lots of parks within walking distance, some running throughout a large portion of the city with really beautiful vistas. We took Stella for a weekend walk around Roosevelt Island, an island park in the middle of the Potomac River. The hiking is largely flat, and the trails and paths are generally clear and well-maintained. Whenever we let Stella lead the way, however, her mountain dog instincts take over and we always end up bushwhacking.
It seems like much of Roosevelt Island is a marsh, and there is a raised path to keep everyone dry. The marsh life was really beautiful- lots of cattails and wild flowers. We even saw some lizards!! I had no idea that lizards lived this far north.
We stopped to hydrate ourselves near this awesome log growing a forest of mushrooms. It was like a cartoon. The mushrooms were huge and pronounced, growing directly in a ray of sunshine. Does anyone know what kind of mushrooms these are or if they are edible? (Don’t worry mom, I will not eat them!)
Our island exploration also revealed a variety of graffiti. These pieces were painted under the bridge in the first picture, and I really liked the bright colors in an otherwise dark area.
A couple of trees were covered in love-note graffiti too. The park near where I grew up had a tree just like this one, and I always loved photographing it, especially in black and white. That tree was cleared away a few years ago, but this one is a pretty decent replacement. I wonder how the tree feels about its carvings. Is it proud of its unique and personalized exterior, or does it feel marred and scarred?
After our day of exploring new sights and trekking through several types of terrain, Stella was totally pooped. She napped the rest of the day, but I think she’s looking forward to her next hike so she can exercise her true mountain dog skills once again.