Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reconnaissance Mission 101

Today I went on a little reconnoissance mission with my family to check out the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge.  I took my camera, but was not expecting to get anything of value because of the time of day it was.  The dreaded middle of the day is typically the worst time to shoot, especially when the sun is directly overhead and washes everything out.

Out first stop was to the visitor's center for a trail map.  I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted warmly upon entering the center.  There was a very friendly and informative ranger who spent time with us talking about the preserve and all the different types of animals that live there.  She showed the boys some photos in books and also let the boys feed their fish.  They had some items that were out for touching and exploring and it was overall very kid oriented and friendly.  The center had a very "lodge" like feel with huge picture windows overlooking Belmont Bay.

Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge is also known for its American Bald Eagle population.  There are many nests here in this preserve and the eagles should be returning soon for the winter.  I kept an eye out, but didn't see any today.

The scenery was beautiful and the mood was peaceful and serene.  There were all sorts of wildlife around, from turtles to butterflies, and everything in between.  I am looking forward to returning again without my 2 little bears who were the noisiest "quiet" I've ever heard!  They enjoyed exploring for a little while and then were happiest when dad took them to the playground while I walked around a little more.

Dad and the Two Little Bears <3
© Corrie M Avila

Great Blue Heron (I think??)
© Corrie M Avila

© Corrie M Avila

© Corrie M Avila

It was a beautiful day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  There are so many trails here and places to explore I am already planning when I can return.  I think the added vibrancy of Autumn will make the scenery all the more beautiful.

Happy Shooting!



  1. I love the easy, natural flow of the picture of Dad with his two sons . . .

    1. thank you ~ the boys carry their dad's peaceful nature when they are together, I'm happy that it shows in this photograph