Photographer's Note

Located on the West Bank of the Potomac River some 95 miles from the Chesapeake Bay, Dyke Marsh consists of approximately 380 acres of tidal marsh, floodplain, and swamp forest. Dyke Marsh, which is believed to have formed 5,000 - 7,000 years ago, is unique in that it represents the largest remaining piece of freshwater tidal wetlands in the Washington Metropolitan area.

Managed by the-National Park Service as a part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Dyke Marsh not only provides habitat for a diverse array of plants and animals, it also offers an ideal setting for a variety of recreational activities. The trail, which leads visitors into the marsh, known as the "haul road," is a favorite of area birdwatchers and is also utilized by hikers, photographers, and nature lovers. In addition, the waters in and around the marsh are popular fishing areas for people and animals and those that explore the marsh by canoe are rewarded with up-close encounters with the resident wildlife.

What's in a name?

Dyke Marsh was indeed "diked" at one time. In the early 1800's earthen walls were built around the perimeter of the marsh in order to create more "fast land;" land not inundated by the high tides. These areas would then be used to graze livestock or grow crops.

Animals of the marsh.

Dyke Marsh provides habitat which supports a diverse collection of animals. Evidence of beaver activity is visible along the haul road and muskrat have been known to live in the marsh as well. At dusk, little brown bats and red fox begin their nightly forays. Other mammal species observed in the marsh include: cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, shrews and field mice.

Several species of reptiles and amphibians also inhabit Dyke Marsh. Bullfrogs and leopard frogs must be on the lookout for northern water snakes and snapping turtles. During the summer months painted turtles can be seen on logs absorbing the sun's warmth and a box turtle might be seen roaming the floodplain in search of food.

This is the first test of my new fisheye lens. I did not what to expect of this lens but oh how much fun are they to use. This shot is done at the worst time, around noon, against the bright sun. Still kind of pleased with the first results. More later.

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Additional Photos by Nikos Bournas (nbournas) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 406 W: 18 N: 348] (3229)
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