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Huntley Meadows and my Mother

Yesterday my friend Jeanne and I travelled up to Fairfax county to Huntley Meadows park. this park is largest park maintained by the Fairfax County Park Authority (1,452 acres). When I was growing up my mother worked weekends and parts of the summer for the Fairfax County Park authority. Yesterday would have been her 94th birthday so it seemed fitting to go on that day.

When she worked in the park she led tours, did presentations, and painting the displays. My brother and I would often go with her to the park and went on the walking tours. We were the first to see the new exhibits, play with the new animals and watched as the kids would come in to the nature center.

I remember vaguely going to a park in the county where my mother spent two days drawing and then painting a depiction of the water cycle on a wall. This had to be over 40 years ago and I can't remember the park. I do remember being bored the whole time.

It is only in hindsight that I fondly remember these times. I remember wondering how my mother got the job (she was a biology teacher) and how she knew so much about the plant's names and animals that were in the park. She taught me how to step onto a fallen log instead of over it so as to make the most distance between myself and what might have been under it. She also came up with multimedia presentations (before they were cool) to take the park out into the neighborhoods. I still think of these shows when I hear the Moody blues Album "Nights in White Satin" since she used it over and over in her presentations one summer.

I do not remember going to Huntley Meadows Park. The nature center was closed yesterday so I couldn't go inside but visiting and seeing the people enjoy such a great park seems like the best tribute to my mother.

I am going to try to show the depth of the park. We went to photograph birds but apparently they were for the most part elsewhere during the time we were there. There were a number of kids coming to the park as we were leaving. Good way to get out of the house while they are off from school.


The walkways through the park.




Almost walked right past this Male Mallard


I love red winged Blackbirds


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