Related: Celebration, Environment

Easter on the Chesapeake


Easter 2012 found me contemplating the sunrise over the magnificent Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, one of the great places of this earth.  This season, in which Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Christ and our Jewish neighbors observe the hopeful traditions of Passover, also coincides with the annual rebirth of earth, itself, as spring returns green to the landscape and the latest generation of chicks begins to emerge from their carefully-incubated shells.  Out along the banks of the rivers and bays of the Chesapeake, the wisdom and beauty of God’s plan for creation is clear.

Wood ducks (above) are among the most skittish of all of the beautiful waterfowl in this region.  Hard to observe and even harder to get them to sit for portraits.  So, imagine my delight when I spied this regal duck just calmly sitting in some reeds on a small pond!  One of the main reasons why I photograph wildlife is to make me carefully attentive to my surroundings — the best shots are those that come along by surprise.

I was surprised to see this osprey in a nest close to the road through Blackwater…

….but she was none to happy to see me, as you can tell by that evil glare as she went about the business of building her nest.  I worried that she might try to do it right on my head!

…but she went on about her business…

And so the nest grows.

Eagles, like osprey, build gigantic nests high up in trees, and they, too, come in watchful parenting pairs.

Turtles were out in force this weekend, dozens of them sunning themselves along the creek banks and on logs everywhere I went.

Red-winged blackbirds are the most abundant of all of the feathered creatures in the marsh…

But even the little tufted titmouse was looking delighted at the beautiful spring day.

Great blue herons are always showing off, acting like they don’t care if you’re looking at them, but of course, they love it…

All of that showboating sure makes a big bird hungry.  Pity the fish, down in one gulp!

After a day spent chasing the big birds, a quiet evening in Oxford, Maryland is just perfect — this is the sunset view from the bulkhead wall at the Sandaway B&B where I stayed.  The daytime view is just as divine….

Duty calls, I had to come back, we have a very full schedule ahead for the final weeks of the semester at Trinity!  But the memory of this beautiful Easter weekend will make me smile during many meetings in the days to come…

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: