Mount Washington, June 29

Commuting via light rail affords frequent opportunity to hop off the train somewhere new, or new to you, and go wandering around to see what’s to be seen. Here are some of the things I saw on a recent wander in Mount Washington, more or less around the Whole Foods store.

Well, eventually, at least – as I recall it, I left the Mount Washington platform heading roughly north, cut eastish along a deer trail through the thick brush there and went under the 83 bridge, and found on its far side a narrow little street that took me southeastish into the back lot of the Mount Washington Mill, opposite Falls Road.

Following the Jones Falls, I was surprised to be overflown by a rather sizable turkey vulture – surprised both because it’s relatively rare to see them glide so low over human habitations, and because turkey vultures are themselves relatively rare around here, black vultures being the much more typical buzzard to see in these parts. Mockingbirds, of course, are ubiquitous everywhere, and quite stroppy besides – I recently saw three of them fight a Cooper’s hawk nearly out of the sky altogether.

The Jones Falls goes into a sort of culvert there, whose 45°-sloped concrete walls were a momentary obstacle and noisy enough to descend that the geese got upset – getting back out again was harder, but my old rock climbing skills stood me in good stead, much to the amusement of a fellow crossing the street who I suppose did not expect to see a fat old redneck haul himself up over the side of the bridge.

From there, it was a short and rather pleasant walk back to the train station along the north bank of the Jones Falls, which is paralleled for part of the way by a cement path under another I-83 bridge. Once there, I happened to glance sidewise into the stream again, and spotted some sort of bright orange aquatic creature sharing its space with a few rather less striking specimens. This occasioned a few shots, although I am not nearly so good at spotting fish as I am with birds, so I have no idea quite what that photo actually depicts.

From there, I got back on the southbound train, bound for further – is “adventures” too pretentious a word for a middle-aged divorcé to use? Perhaps it is; further indulgences of a developing mind’s eye, then. But that’s a post for another day…

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