a walk at scott’s run nature preserve

Saturday, August 24: Today, I go with Mike, Alex & Bailey on a short 3 mile walk through Scott’s Run Nature Preserve along the Potomac River.  This park wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for citizen protesters in the late 1960s and early 1970s who fought against development of the area.

We walk through mature hardwood forests of large oak and beech trees, among ancient hemlock and wild cherry trees.  We toss sticks into the Potomac River for Bailey; we clamber up cliffs and across creeks.  We lose Alex for a while and when Mike makes a strange bird call, Alex answers back from the  depths of the forest. We add stones to a large cairn in the middle of the creek and find leaves rippling under flowing water.  Alex does hand stands and leg lifts.  I find fungi on fallen tree trunks and photograph the strange colors and shapes from every angle.  We discover initials carved into a large tree that tell of those who have gone before us.

It’s hot today, but I can feel fall is around the corner.  I can’t wait.

Alex prepares for the walk with a gymnastics move
Alex prepares for the walk with a gymnastics move
Mike and Bailey at Scott's Run
Mike and Bailey at Scott’s Run
Fungi on trees at Scott's Run
Fungi on trees at Scott’s Run
Fungi on trees at Scott's Run
Fungi on trees at Scott’s Run
Fungi on trees at Scott's Run
Fungi on trees at Scott’s Run
Alex
Alex
initials carved into trees
initials carved into trees
Alex does another gymnastics move
Alex does another gymnastics move
Fungi on trees at Scott's Run
Fungi on trees at Scott’s Run
Fungi on trees at Scott's Run
Fungi on trees at Scott’s Run
Fungi on trees at Scott's Run
Fungi on trees at Scott’s Run
Fungi on trees at Scott's Run
Fungi on trees at Scott’s Run
Fungi on trees at Scott's Run
Fungi on trees at Scott’s Run

Scott’s Run is the main creek that runs through the park.  It winds to its journey’s end where it spills over a small yet lovely waterfall before entering the Potomac River

waterfall at Scott's Run
waterfall at Scott’s Run
the Potomac River
the Potomac River
waterfall at Scott's Run
waterfall at Scott’s Run
The Potomac River
The Potomac River
The Potomac River
The Potomac River
Alex
Alex
cairn at Scott's Run
cairn at Scott’s Run
in the creek
in the creek
a lone leaf
a lone leaf
Alex does a handstand
Alex does a handstand

Scott’s Run was once a battlefield between developers and environmentalists.  Mike remembers going with high school friends in 1970 to a Fairfax County Board Meeting where opposing sides presented arguments for and against the formation of a park. It turned into a major battle. According to the website for Fairfax County, Virginia: Scott’s Run Nature Preserve:

In the 1960s, there were 336 wooded acres along the Georgetown Pike known as the Burling Tract. The land had belonged to an attorney named Edward Burling, Sr., who had a secluded cabin at the site. A developer bought the land after Burling’s death in 1966 and proposed 309 cluster homes for the area that would have left about half of the site as preserved, open land.

Neighbors saw small rezoning signs in the woods, and the clash of philosophies was under way. A citizen movement to stop the development arose, and the conflict of ideas that followed over the next year eventually enveloped county residents, the governor of Virginia and local elected officials, four U. S. senators, conservation and park agencies, the federal government, the New York Times, a national conservation organization, developers, protesting high school students and door-to-door petitioners.

Eventually a local public referenda passed as voters decided to tax themselves one and a-half million dollars to buy the land, although negotiations over the price continued. Eventually the U.S. Department of the Interior provided $3.6 million dollars to buy the land, which today belongs to the Fairfax County Park Authority.

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13 thoughts on “a walk at scott’s run nature preserve

  1. Thank God it is a beautiful location. Just think of all the beautiful woodlands which were not so lucky to be rescued. As for the fungi, some of it looks like rather delicious (and non-poisonous) oyster mushrooms, but I would not want to take the chance to test them out to see if that is what they are! The autumn ahead… I envy you!!!! Did all your stuff arrive from Oman that you shipped?

    1. Yes, it was really lovely there and just good to get outdoors. I was pleased to find all that fungi! And yes, I did get everything I shipped! Soon I’ll Be able to wear some cool weather clothes. 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy my present tense writing, mrs. carmichael. I try to do it as much as possible, but sometimes I forget I started in present tense, and change to past partway through. My mind simply isn’t what it used to be, although I’m not sure it was ever all that much!

  2. What an amazing number of fungi, Cathy! You live in a beautiful place.
    Washington was all over the local news for some shootings tonight! I didn’t catch all the details, but was so glad you weren’t there. You’re not safe anywhere in this world today, Cathy. Take good care 🙂

    1. I’m glad you like my little wanderings through the northern Virginia and Washington area, Jo. It is beautiful, but I know it often seems old hat to me. Those fungi were pretty cool though!

      Yes, those shootings today were terrible. It’s weird, these things happen so often now, that it becomes less shocking each time. That in itself is quite pathetic, isn’t it? No one does seem to be safe anywhere. You take good care too, friend. 🙂

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