Sunday, July 5, 2009

Natural Happenings: July 6-12

This week's highlight: Opening at the National Museum of American History, Earl Shaffer and the Appalachian Trail. "Earl Shaffer was the first person to walk the entire Appalachian Trail in one continuous hike. Shaffer had no expert advice, no previous footsteps to follow, or even guidebooks to help him. At the time, experts on the Appalachian Trail believed that a hike of the entire Trail was impossible. Shaffer started his walk in April 1948 at Mount Oglethorpe, Georgia, and completed the Trail four months later at Maine’s Mount Katahdin. Shaffer kept a diary, along with photographs taken along the way, to prove to skeptics that he had really accomplished what he claimed. This exhibition features photographs taken along the trail, Shaffer’s diary from the 1948 hike, and maps he used. The exhibition also covers the conception and development of the Appalachian Trail and its larger cultural and environmental impact."

Also...look for berries with Sierra Club or the Wanderbirds; for chanterelles with the Mycological Association; for bats with the Audubon Naturalist Society; or for geese with the Anacostia Watershed Society, or many other activities:

Sierra Club
Sat: River Bend Park (3 mi)
Glen Echo and towpath (5-6 mi)
Sat: Matthew's Arm (fast-paced 9.7 mi + swimming hole)
Sun: Signal Knob (11 mi + blueberries and swimming hole; leaves from Vienna Metro)
Sun: beginner backpacking class

Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
Many cabin and trail crew work trips.
Tue: Appalachian Trail in PA (17 mi); Family Hike at Great Falls (3.5 mi)

Center Hiking Club
Sat: White Oak Canyon (from Vienna Metro)
Sun: Dumbarton and Taft bridges via Rock Creek Park (3.5 mi, from Dupont Metro)

Capital Hiking Club
Sat: Stony Man/White Oak Canyon/swim (7.3-9.4 mi; bus)

Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat: Day Hike at Gettysburg Battlefield

Northern Virginia Hiking Club
Sat: C&O Canal: Monocacy River to Calico Rocks (10.8 mi); Overall Run/Heiskell Hollow in Shenandoah NP (10 mi)

Sun: Berry hike and ice cream social (13-15 mi; bus)

Washington Women Outdoors
Sun: Mason Neck (3.5 mi)
Wed: registration deadline for Three Ridges Backpacking trip (July 17-19)

Audubon Naturalist Society
Sat-Mon: Natural heritage weekend in West Virginia
Sun: Blockhouse Point Conservation Park

Mycological Association of Washington
Tue eve: Monthly meeting; presentation on toothed fungi
Sat: possible foray at Lake Bernard Frank (check website)

Rock Creek Park
Sun: Milkhouse Ford hike (1.5 mi; ages 8+)
Sun: Ranger-led horseback tour (ages 12+)

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
Sat: Gardens open at 6:30 AM; bird walk at 7:30 AM
Sun: Garden tours

Anacostia Watershed Society
Tue-Fri: Count Canada geese for the National Park Service


Audubon Naturalist Society
Sat: learn how Native Americans used their environment (ages 4-6)
Sat eve: Bats and bugs night hike (ages 7+)

Rock Creek Park
Wed: Art in the Park exploring wildlife (ages 5+)
Thurs: Nature journal (ages 5+)
Fri: Creature Feature (all ages)
Sun: Milkhouse Ford hike (1.5 mi; ages 8+)
Sun: Ranger-led horseback tour (ages 12+)

Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
Tue: Family Hike at Great Falls (3.5 mi)

Museum of Natural History
Tue: Dig It! The Secrets of Soil activities
Wed: Ask an Expert in the Ocean Hall