Monday, October 27, 2014

Newport News Park (10/26/2014)

Some fall we are having; blue skies and delightful temperatures.  Who needs more reasons for a nice walk in Newport News Park around our drinking water reservoir.  The reservoir is an interesting place.  It is a dammed off section of the Warwick River, and it actually has a lot of significance.  Picture more than 100 years ago this area was the site of a civil war battle between the Union and Confederate Forces.  They were dug in on both sides of the river and gunning for each other.  I understand there were much fewer trees around and it must have been an interesting sight; not something I would want to experience.  But now it is all water under the bridge, or should I say into the reservoir.

The reservoir is fed by a few stream, but mostly by a pipe line that brings water from 40 or so miles away.  From here it goes into the water treatment plant and comes out of our faucets.  While these pictures show the lake and it's surroundings in full glory, it is actually the areas far away from the dam that are the most fun.  We can reach these areas from our home as well as from the regular parking area, and we have spent a lot of time in those swamps looking at red-headed woodpeckers, herons, gannets, wood ducks, Canada gees, bald eagles and even at various plants like lizard's tails.  We have been standing in the swamp in February doing the great back yard bird count ankle deep in mud and chilled, but thrilled at all the birds.  That bird count is always on president's day weekend and it is so appropriate to count in a park where George Washington hung out at one time to make the life of the Britts miserable.

At one point the swamp/lake is fed by a spring that is located in the Yorktown Battle Field National Historic Park, a place I have written a lot about.  This spring is actually located need the encampment that George Washington used during the revolutionary war.  I am sure he drank from the spring.  This is another subject I wrote about in a post called George Washington's shovel.  The area is full of remnants of these two major wars that were fought on the Peninsula.  It is really a neat place to live and experience.

It is actually amazing knowing that drops of water that we drink and molecules of air that we breath have all passed through the body and lungs of people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Hitler and people alike.  We are such a closed system, that we better take care of it.

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