Cherry Blossoms and Bald Eagle Nests

Today was a pretty amazing bike commute. I had recently started to ride a less direct route from my house to the Mount Vernon Trail. Previously I would ride a diagonal route and pick up the trail at Tulane Drive, about two miles south of the beltway. This route is the shortest and has a fun downhill on Park Terrace. My new route picks up the trail about a mile or so further south at the stone bridge (Alexandria Avenue). I pass up the fun downhill but get to check out the Morningside bDSCN3697_830ald eagle nest.

This morning there wasn’t any action at the Morningside nest. Another three quarters of a mile further north, I passed a cyclist who was riding slowly and craning his neck to look up into the trees next to the trail. I looked up and spotted a big eagle nest. This one is the biggest of the four I know about and may be bigger than the hard to spot nest in Fort Hunt Park. The cyclists said the nest was definintely occupied with eaglets so I can’t wait to check it out some more.

The rest of the ride in was splendid. The weather is really sublime these last few days. As I do every year, I rode into the city and walked around the Tidal Basin where the biggest crowds gather to check out the cherry trees in bloom. Today was the very last day of peak blossoms. The walk as always did not disappoint. It’s hard to take a bad picture of the cherry blossoms. I thought I had done well, but my friend Emila came down later in the day and took pictures that blew mine out of the water. Unfortunately she doesn’t have a public account that I can link to so you’ll have to take my word for it.

After 8 plus hours of work or something resembling it, I headed back to the city for a ride in East Potomac Park. The road to Hains Point is lined with blooming trees and it is also a favorite place for after work cycling. The traffic on Buckeye Drive at the western end of the Hains Point loop was gawdawful. Once I cleared the backup I rode to Hains Point alone. Along the way I could clearly see that driver after driver was on his or her cell phone, sometimes talkng, sometimes taking pictures, sometimes texting. It’s a wonder nobody got hit. At the point I failed to notice that Ryan was yelling “ROOTCHOPPER” at me. He was there having a picnic with his wife.

DSCN3674_808 DSCN3685_818

As I I reached the turn to head for the point a second time, I spotted Chris and Dave hanging out. Soon Rudy joined us and we headed back to the point. Despite their conversational pace they nearly dropped me. They slowed a bit to allow me to catch up.

After the second lap I headed for home knowing that I had a strong headwind to deal with for 12 miles. YesDSCN3700_832terday’s 48 hilly miles were zonking my legs. I stopped to take the above picture of the bald eagle nest. A passing runner said there were eagles at yet another nest on an island in the river. This is NUTS!!! Four nests in three miles. I am not entirely sure that these were eagles and that the nest was an eagles nest but I’ll see if any of my readers can figure it out from this picture.

The only downside to todays’ riding was the fact that I learned that Mary, Aaron, Brian, Ricky, Megan, and Katie were all down in the same area at about the same times I was. How I missed so many #bikedc peeps I’ll never know.

In two days I’ve ridden 89 1/2 miles. I am a tad tired. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain. To save my legs, I’ll bike commute from the car dealer in North Arlington in the rain.

Here are more pictures from today’s ride.

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One thought on “Cherry Blossoms and Bald Eagle Nests

  1. There were some young eagles hopping on the branches at the Belle View course nest. It’s amazing how few people riding/running/etc by don’t even notice the birds.

    I was thinking the other day why are there so many in this stretch of the river until it dawned on me. I’ve boated the river a few times from Georgetown down past Pohick Bay and the section from the golf course down to Ft Hunt is extremely shallow. Like so shallow that I may have gotten stuck once because of the tide dropping (at Mt. Vernon, it can show 6′ and three hours later literally be 2′).

    So it’s probably much easier for them to see and score prey given the prey can’t really dive deep enough to escape them. Shoot the area by the golf course is virtually mud flats in low tide.

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