Patuxent Research Refuge

easy goingI had a little time before my scheduled meeting at Patuxent Research Refuge/National Wildlife Visitor Center, up the B-W Parkway in the general vicinity of Laurel, and I needed some more field notebook work, so I took a quick loop along the Fire Road and Laurel Trails. The trails here are picture book walks in the woods, very friendly for school trips (of which I am sure there are many in season): duff and pine needles and pea gravel, a little wet in the low spots. And apparently more or less deer-free.

in transitionThe plants here on the Coastal Plain reflect an acidic soil: some lingering Kalmia latifolia blooms, but mainly fruit; blueberries dominating the herbaceous and understory layers in many places.

stillnessThe Goose Pond is a tranquil spot, at least looking in the opposite direction from the water control structure.