Words and Images from Ed Felker

Sweet Sixteen

My wife Sandy and I don’t go away together very often. We tend to take trips separately so one of us can stay home to tend to the zoo. So she goes to Rolex, and I go fishing. But for our sixteenth anniversary this past weekend, I arranged a short getaway to Solomons Island, MD, a great place I’ve gotten to know from a couple recent trips. Just a bit over two hours from home, it’s a perfect spot for an overnight trip. I’ll get to the rest of the photo tour in a bit, but first I want to say a little bit about this first photograph.

I love this portrait of my wife. Yes it just shows her hand, but it shows so much about her. We hiked along the trail at Calvert Cliffs State Park. The path was riddled with inchworms hanging down from branches high above the trail. From a distance we must have looked comical, dodging invisible obstacles as we walked. Some of the little guys, though, inevitably ended up as passengers. Sandy found this one on her shirt and observed him for a while. Then she felt bad that she had broken his silk line to the tree above, and wanted to replace him somewhere out of harm’s way. I almost missed the moment, but got the camera up just in time to capture this act of tenderness. This is the essence of the woman I love, I thought as she waited for the inchworm to move to that leaf like it was his idea. I hope you enjoy the rest of my favorite photos from our special weekend.

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We didn’t see any beavers, but they certainly live here!

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We both think this is a Northern Water Snake.

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Skink, I think.

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Okay there is a lot going on here. First and foremost, that sewer cap with goo dripping off it is an enormous snapping turtle. Follow that same log to the left and you’ll see another turtle, maybe a painted turtle? And then there’s the one in the foreground, can you see his back legs? He is actually moving so fast his legs are flying out behind him!

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I didn’t have a long enough lens to capture many of the great birds we saw, but this trail is a birdwatcher’s paradise! We must have seen dozens of species, including a few we had never seen before.

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I love these red headed woodpeckers! This isn’t the first time I’ve seen them, but we definitely do not get these at home. Very cool sighting, and I loved capturing two together on this log, despite the technical problems with this photo.

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Calvert Cliffs. We walked this beach looking for sharks teeth. No luck, although we did find some cool little fossils. But even though fossil hunting is the focal point of the park, we were both anxious to hit the trail back up and find more live critters!

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These two fly catching birds were having a pretty serious discussion.

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Trail closed. Shutter open. Oddly I only took one photo of this scene, but I like it.

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An example of the well maintained trails at Calvert Cliffs State Park.

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This is the view from my favorite hotel room in the east. The Holiday Inn Solomons Conference Center and Marina is a great property, conveniently located near anything you want to see at Solomons.

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And being a marina, you can have a boat pick you up right at your hotel and take you fishing! This is Captain Robbie, who showed us a great time on the water.

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Early on we spotted this very unusual nesting spot for a Canada Goose. Robbie said in 50 years on that water he had never seen a goose nest up high like that.

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Lots of beautiful Osprey around. This one seems to only have one foot.

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Salt Life.

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I absolutely love being on a boat. The fishing was slow but we didn’t care. I find it extremely relaxing to just watch the water go by.

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Speaking of relaxing, Sandy got comfortable while she was waiting for a fish to hit one of the trolling lines Robbie put out.

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It was pretty exciting to hear that reel screaming after a few hours of settling into the hypnotic drone of the motor. And if you’re only going to catch one fish on your sixteenth anniversary, let it be this one. This striper (they all call ’em rockfish down there) weighed in at sixteen pounds. Pretty cool.

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After a day on the water we were in the mood for a big seafood dinner and a few cold adult beverages. Kingfishers delivered exactly what we came for. I love this restaurant. Really great food, fun and friendly staff. I will eat here every time I visit.

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All our friends who love Solomons told us, “You have to go to the Tiki Bar!” And they were all right. This place is amazing. It’s more of a compound than a bar, just a great place to hang out on a beautiful night.

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We fit a lot into the 36 hours or so we were away. And while we found a great getaway destination, we are always glad to get back home. Special thanks to our friends Chris and Anna, who allowed us not only to get away but to do so without worrying about our animals. And a huge thanks to Joyce Baki, Tourism Specialist for Calvert County, who helped with all our arrangements. Captain Robbie, Lilly the funny waitress at Kingfishers, the guy who bought us anniversary shots at the Tiki Bar, the friendly hotel staff, everyone was great. I do also want to mention if you visit the Calvert Cliffs State Park, say hello to Charlie or Pat of the Friends of Calvert Cliffs. They might be the two nicest people you’ll ever meet.

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5 Responses

  1. Sue CLARK

    What a fantastic break – thanks for posting the photos, lovely!

    May 13, 2014 at 3:17 am

  2. Looks like a great little getaway, now I really want to go lol. Love that second paragraph, too sweet and true too. Glad you all could get away.
    A

    May 13, 2014 at 6:56 am

  3. put out some suet cakes and you’ll see those redheaded woodpeckers at home.

    May 13, 2014 at 7:08 am

  4. peg

    an great anniversary get-a-way! now how are you going to top that one?

    May 13, 2014 at 10:01 am

    • Dispatches from the Potomac

      We’ll just have to catch a 17 pound fish next year! :)

      May 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

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