[BSW] March 31 field trip + More....

Kathy Bilton kathy at fred.net
Fri Mar 23 20:22:52 GMT 2012

Electricity from trees
Plants have long been known as the lungs of the earth, but a new finding 
has found they may also play a role in electrifying the atmosphere.

Peg Kay added a note about cherry trees:

A note in case you miss the main event.  Typically, the cherry blossoms at
Meadowlark Gardens arrive about 10 days after the blossoms at the tidal
basin.  And they are just as gorgeous.

Don't forget that this year's Washington Academy of Sciences Capital 
Science 2012 conference will be held March 31 - April 1, with the BSW 
presentations being given on the 1st.

The first BSW field trip of the season is scheduled for Saturday, March 
31.  The plan is to do our regular trip to Billy Goat Trail near Old 
Angler's Inn.  We will meet at 9 a.m. in the parking area across from Old 
Angler's. Map to area: http://bit.ly/GWojnl
(See Paul Peterson's findings about the area below. ANd below that for 
suggested things to bring.)


The next trip is scheduled for the same time and place on the following 
Saturday, April 7.  And a trip to Turkey Run on the Virginia side of the 
river will take place the next Saturday, April 14.

As you may know there has been concern about the parking across from Old 
Angler's and you may wish to try to carpool and arrive early to try to be 
sure to get a parking spot.  Here is what Paul Peterson found when he went 
to scout the area on March 10:

[I'm sorry - I was quite certain I had already sent Paul's message out 
shortly after I received it on March 12 but saw no sign of it just now in 
the message archive.]

On 10 March 2012 I went with Kostya Romaschenko and my kids to hike along 
the Billy Goat trail from our usual meeting place across from Old Angler's 
Inn.  There is limited parking in the regular lot and along McCarther 
Blvd. There was no construction activity, probably because it was 
Saturday, and I saw no construction workers.  So parking in the regular 
lot was allowed.  I saw plenty of people using the regular parking lot and 
it was nearly full (parking lot across from Old Angler's) when I arrived 
at 2 pm.  However, I parked along McCarther with another 50 or so 
vehicles.  I did not receive a ticket upon returning at around 6 pm.  We 
walked to the entry to the Billy Goat trail, first crossing the bridge 
over the canal to the west side near the Potomac River.  We then proceeded 
directly to the river an hiked up this for about 100 meters then returned 
to the towpath.  There were many people using the towpath here and yes 
there is construction, and large drainage structure ins nearly finished 
near the first bend in the path just below Widewater near the large Rock 
outcrop.  The path is in excellent shape (smooth and well grated) and wide 
enough to drive two pickups side by side here.  There is an additional 
fence at the lower end of widewater a few hundred meters before you 
connect to the Billy Goat trail but there is a short, well-worn trail that 
cuts on the river side to go around this.  So, yes there is a fence 
immediately below Old Angler's resticting movement, although most walkers 
stepped over this rather than take the detour (trail) we took via the 
river to go around the fence; and then another fence at the lower end of 
Widewater.  I think we should all enjoy our regular scheduled field trips 
as planned!  Saludos...Paul


Suggested items to bring:

Handlens, sunscreen, field guide(s), binoculars, lunch, raingear if 
weather is iffy, hat, printout of plant list and key, camera, good walking 
shoes, jacket (maybe not needed this year!)

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