Our golden retriever doesn’t like to swim, but she loves water, so on summer days cool enough to walk outside without melting or scalding our feet through our shoes, we like to do nice things for her like take her to the beach.
I wander around and see what treasures await me. One time I found an interesting skeleton. Today it was exposed periwinkle snails clinging to clumps of grasses normally covered in water and a surprising number of crabs who were no longer living.
The beach at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum is our favorite “dog beach” because it’s small, almost always empty, and the waters on the Patuxent side are calmer and shallower than the Chesapeake so she can walk in the water without being splashed by waves.
When it’s empty we let her run free. Her purple shoes protect her feet from shells and spiky burs that hide in the beach grasses.
She can’t take a swim without rolling in the sand to “dry off.” Never mind that my “new car smell” has been replaced with “wet dog smell.”
And while she won’t ever fetch at home, for some reason here, she’ll actually fetch AND bring back the sticks that we throw… unless she’s distracted by a boat too far to chase.
As we were leaving, this osprey pair flew by with their latest catch, probably to be shared by young. Most osprey nests still have their babies inside, not quite old enough to fly away.
The girls walked the dog up the hill to dry off while I snapped a couple dragon flies before climbing in my car. There’s a swamp area on the river’s edge, so it’s full of dragonflies and hidding things that chirp and croak.
Beside the MAC lab parking lot and near a bramble of blackberry bushes, is an osprey nest. I didn’t know it was there, but as I drove up to get the girls, I saw a mother osprey watching us. One young inside looked over as I parked and walked to a tree nearby. When I stood under the tree, the mom screeched at me continually, but stayed perched at the edge of her nest. As soon as I took a step forward, she spread her wings and began flying in circles, returning to her next momentarily, looking directly at me, then doing another circle wings spread wide and squawking the entire time.
This is why I never go anywhere without my camera and an extra lens. It was just a quick trip to the beach – I thought I’d snap a few photos of the dog and may be I’d see a butterfly. I almost didn’t bring my zoom lens, but am so glad I did. She’s amazing, isn’t she?