It is a beautiful day and a dozen Residents head to the Bladensburg Waterfront Park to join a naturalist aboard a pontoon boat for an environmental and historical tour of the Anacostia River. At the park, nestled among the Port Towns of Bladensburg, Colmar Manor and Cottage City, our Residents help one another don life vests, Joyce motions “all aboard” and the Captain steps portside to assist with embarkation.
Once everyone takes a seat, the Captain begins his talk as the boat heads out along one of the most historic waterways in America. He speaks about the wildlife that lives along and in the river including geese and ducks, birds, deer, turtles and even a variety of fish. He shares some interesting historic facts, for example, adjacent to the river “is site of one of the largest stone structures from the 1800s,” a mammoth dry-dock facility to store naval vessels and an 800-foot wharf built by the federal government during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency. In addition, an extensive line of forts was constructed in order to prevent Confederate artillery from bombarding the Washington Navy Yard during the American Civil War.
“Everyone really enjoyed themselves,” says Francine Whitely, our Director of Activities, “the fresh air, the lovely cruise down the Anacostia River, the flock of Canadian geese coming in and landing on the water and the history of the buildings, like the arboretum, seen along the way.”
Fun Facts about Geese:
- Eat more than 1 to 5 pounds of grass per day
- Weigh 20 to 25 pounds
- Will attack humans while protecting their young
- Are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
- When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with their fallen buddy until it dies or is able to fly again. Together they take-off to catch up with their own gaggle or join another formation.
- When the lead goose tires, it quickly rotates back into the formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds flying in front and another goose flies to the point position. Geese take turns doing the hard work, interdependent on each other’s skills and strengths.