Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Celebrating My Surroundings






I am incredibly lucky.
I live in a stone house, on a half acre, on a cul-de-sac, one stop light to Georgetown, and less than a quarter of a mile from the Potomac River Palisades. It takes me 15 minutes to get to work, three minutes to get to a grocery store, two minutes to find peace in the woods, and even less time to find an open space to work the dogs.

My house is surrounded by small parks and pocket woods that lead down to the river, which is a 200-mile woods stretching all the way to West Virginia. Key Bridge is just down river from my house, and the bridge I cross every morning to get to work.

Just above my house is the first "Little Falls" on the Potomac, and a few miles above that is Great Falls, the most spectacular urban white water rapids in the world.

Across the river from my house is the C & O Canal and its flat bike path stretching past dozens of old locks, and rolling up to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Along the canal are excellent public hunting lands, some of which I use to occasionally work the dogs.

Rock Creek Park rolls into the C&O Canal at the very eastern end of Georgetown, and provides a wildlife corridor north through the city.  There are fox, raccoon, deer, and even coyotes in Rock Creek Park, which is one of the most-studied bird habitats in the world.

The Potomac River is rolling in shad and white perch this time of year, and has a steady supply of bass and cat fish at all times. A Bald Eagle used to nest in a massive tree just below the house, until her nesting tree fell over from rot. Cormorants and herons attest that the river is full of life, and stand-up paddle boarders, kayakers, and rowing shells vie for space on warm days.

Gratitude.  It's a good thing to have, and most days I have it.

4 comments:

jeffrey thurston said...

Beautiful, beautiful- except that you're still Back East with the hideous winters and specifically near that Armpit of Evil Washington :). I spent ages 13-26 in Ithaca, NY. Beautiful beautiful- but coming to California made me realize it's how sad it is to live where there's a winter. In California everything is more varied and more spectacular and to me much more interesting. Oakland is also like a slightly warmer and slightly less criminal Bogota Colombia (where I grew up). The worst day here is heaven Back East...

jeffrey thurston said...

I just re-read my comment and feel I should apologize for being a tad snobbish. Really there are aspects of living Back East which can't be replicated here- one of them being the feeling of age and stability and a continuum from England and Europe which is absent in California. The patchwork of fields and grassy meadows or planted fields and the hunkered down look of man made structures have a reassuring effect- an atavistic feel which you don't get much around here...

Karen Carroll said...

I grew up in Rockville. Lived there until 1979. Then moved up to Thurmont. I was part of the 70% of Frederick county that commuted to Montgomary county to work. I did that for 10 years. Loved the country at home there. But my generation started to move up there and a tolerant 1 hour (one way) commute turned into 1-½ hours, then at times 2 hours each way due to the increasing traffic and mis-management of traffic flow on I270. I got out of there in 1992 and moved to Florida and do NOT miss the horrible traffic. I am now happily living where the only traffic jam is a combine moving to the next field. I will never to back, due to the high cost of living and the maddening crowds and commutes anywhere in the area. I re-enforced my decision when I visited family this past year. No regrets at all. DC is lovely and the parks are beautiful. Just too damn many people. And DC commute is now rated the worst in the United States.

Amy Nexus said...

I've been to rock creek area when I visited DC. It is a lovely place to hike. It's great that you don't have to trade being close to so many of the world's finest museums and cultural attractions for being close to natural beauty. Not to mention that nice short commute...if only we could all be so lucky. Good for you for making the most of it...by keeping and working dogs outdoors, of course!