Anacostia picture diary

Let's all welcome Maura to the blogosphere - she posted her first entry below, about the very trip that I'm documenting here in photos. Hers will reveal the social ties among Ecohouse members, the breakfast cuisine, and (spoiler alert) dimples - but I mustn't give away too much. Whereas mine is - well, here:

Look! Proof of social ties among Ecohouse members! Also, proof of Saturday morning.

Trash can't ruin a thing like this.

Or can it? Mind you, these are only the things that float.

This is the archaic sewage system responsible for the poopy water condition. I'm sorry - the "coliform bacteria" water condition. When it rains a certain amount in a certain time frame, the system can't hold everything and just lets it flow. Too much information? Well, I'd rather know than go out in a canoe and capsize in it.

Cap'n Lee stands fast at the helm, singin' tales o' the sea to me n' me hearties. Arr! He sails with the crew o' the Anacostia Watershed Society.

Lee explained that the yellow things go all the way to the bottom and catch sediment. The grassy knoll used to be an unregulated landfill that has since been lined.

These orange ties deter geese from eating the essential wetland grasses...

... and these fences prevent them from landing among the grasses, because they need a long runway for taking off and won't land in cramped spaces. Honk!

Another problem in the Anacostia river...

...is monocultures of invasive species.

This wall from the Stone Age - that is to say, the Dark Ages before environmental science grew into an authoritative field - that is to say, the 1950s - was built to straighten the river's naturally curving path in order to flush out pollution. However, the river knows what's good for itself because the process of constantly changing its path and flooding and receding from the wetlands with their purifying flora naturally "flushes out" pollution. It's the bee's knees! Now we feel awful silly because golly, the wall prevents the river from doing just that. Oh, Billy!

Also, did I mention that a train load of coal fell into the river at this bridge about a year ago? No? Well it did. We're not sure why the crane is there - maybe to pull the remaining parts of the train out? - but those orange things in the water are for catching floating trash.

In spite of all these issues...

... many types of wildlife are returning to the river to make it their home.

And see, they're not sickly. They flew away as our pontoon approached. The turtles opted for diving under when we got close, so the water is good enough for them and (hopefully) getting better.

The so-called Meast and his attentive crew. (I tried to catch his dimples in action, but he moved as fast as the turtles.)

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