Unusual midday encounter

Spring is fading, summer solstice is but a few days away. Vegetation growth is rampant along the canal, even in the canal bed, thanks to the wet spring we have had. It was a cloudy day, with afternoon thunderstorms threatening, but I decided to take a walk anyhow.

I started at Lock 10, one of the “seven locks” near the intersection of the canal and the capital beltway. Almost immediately I saw a doe with two fawns browsing in the bushes across the canal, here’s one of the fawns:

Deer Fawn

But a very unusual encounter happened a little later, just before Mile 12. I saw an owl in a sycamore tree:

Owl

This is a barred owl — certainly not an uncommon species, but to see this nocturnal bird at midday is very unusual. However, what’s even more surprising is that there is another one! Both appear to be juveniles.

Owls

I did not see their parents. I only hope that perhaps they were fledging and the parents just let them out to test their wings.

This section of the canal is one of my favorites because it is partially watered, and at “Wide Water” there is even a greater expanse, and sightings of waterfowls are almost a certainty. Indeed, on the way back, near Carderock, I saw a wood duck mother with four duckings.

Wood Duck

I guess you can say that I finally lined my ducks in a row on this late spring day 🙂

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