Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Schoolhouse Pond

It is not quite Minnesota with it's thousand lakes, but I don't know of any other place in Maryland where you can find three ponds in such close proximity. On May 30th, I wrote "A Diamond in the Rough," a blog describing the Depot Pond. In it, there was a picture of  St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. Schoolhouse Pond can be found directly behind the church at the bottom of the hill. It is a more developed pond and the Park Service has oversight of it's care.

I have wanted to revisit the idea of abstract reflections produced by focusing on the boardwalk ever since February. I am fascinated by water and the ever-changing reflections they produce.

This reflection image with a sleeping Mallard was taken at this pond back in February. All the other images in this post were taken over the past weekend on an early, very steamy morning.

I think swallows and swifts are pretty cool birds. Barn Swallows can be found throughout the country. Notice how long the feather is on it's forked tail. These are apparently pretty use to people walking around the pond.

I am a sucker for Canada Geese — although "Canada" may be a misnomer. The combination of geese and the lovely water reflections was more than I could resist. I was looking for more abstract groupings of geese. While there was a general dearth of birds to film, the geese at least were accommodating.

For those who don't live in the area, Prince Georges County is one of the largest and most populous counties in Maryland. The town of Upper Marlboro is the government seat despite the fact that the population of the town itself is relatively small. This administration building faces Schoolhouse Pond. I took this photo from the back side of the pond with the telephoto. It is all the building I could squeeze into the frame, but you get the idea. The pond is not in the middle of nowhere.

There is a path all the way around the perimeter of the pond. The start at either end is an inviting boardwalk, which becomes an asphalt path on the back side of the pond where it wanders through a wooded section. This photo shows the entrance to one end of the boardwalk.

There is not nearly the variety of birds there now that there were over the winter, but it is still a good place to see unusual birds. Fishing is also allowed, but I am not too confident it is very good. I did see what appeared to be a carp near the surface on this visit. I don't know if it was feeding or just gasping for air.

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