After writing this morning’s post about rain showers bringing spring wild flowers to Mason Neck State Park, I couldn’t resist going to look for early flowers myself. The day was cloudy and (seasonably) chilly. Most of the flowers I found were furled up tight against the chill, or not yet out of bud, like this Cutleaf Toothwort.
I kept looking, and finally found a few stalwart blooms, like this little Spring Beauty poking out of a clump of grass. I think that’s a violet leaf in the background– they should be blooming in a few weeks too.
The flowers weren’t the best part of my hike, though. I strolled through the marsh and up to one of the lookout spots on the Bay View Trail. First I spotted a freshly gnawed tree down near the water’s edge.
I also admired the beaver lodge out in the marsh.
Then I noticed movement in the water nearby– a beaver in broad daylight! What a wonderful surprise. Apparently the gray cloudy light was close enough to twilight for the normally nocturnal animal to feel safe. The beaver paddled around the marsh for about fifteen minutes as I watched. I had the sense it kept a wary eye on me the whole time. When the beaver finally dove to head home, it didn’t slap its tail, just slipped quickly under the water. What a neat experience, to see a beaver in the middle of the day. Here are a few photos for you to enjoy.