Wednesday Vignettes

July 27, 2015 Parkway 029


Pickerelweed, Phragmites, cattails, wildflowers and grasses populate this briny marsh along one of the many creeks in our area. 

The scene changes continuously as tides rise and fall and the seasons melt one into another.  For months of the year, we see mostly mud here.  It is a cause to celebrate each spring when the marshes green with their first growth.  Now, despite abundant rain this summer, some of the plants have already begun to yellow and fade.

Soon, summer’s greens will melt into shades of yellow and brown with autumn’s approach.


July 27, 2015 Parkway 021


This sun-baked marsh contains a rich ecosystem of birds and all manner of flying insects, small crabs, fish, shellfish, frogs and muskrats.  It is always dinner time here, and it remains alive with activity from before sunrise until after the light fades from the sky each evening.


July 27, 2015 Parkway 013~

Some folks may look at this land and consider it wasted acreage.  There are always developers looking to build something new to turn a profit, especially in James City County these days.  There is the constant conversation between those seeking permits for ecological destruction and “economic  development,” and those working hard to preserve our natural resources; including the marshlands.

The truth is, that all of these marshes drain into the Chesapeake Bay.  Every creek, pond, bay and marsh in our area drain into one of our three major rivers, which feed fresh water into the Chesapeake Bay.  And so there are laws at every level of government now to regulate land use, in the interest of preserving water quality in the Bay. 

If you are interested, please enjoy the interesting and informative presentation our county has assembled here.  This is a .pdf file presentation with all sorts of useful and interesting information.  James City County was actually the first locality in Virginia to adopt a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance, in 1990.


July 27, 2015 Parkway 023


Today’s vignettes celebrate the natural landscapes of the marshes in our area.  These photos were all taken within the Colonial National Historical Park, along the Colonial Parkway.  I love to study nature’s hand at planting, even knowing I could never recreate beauty on this scale in my own garden.

Thank you to Anna at Flutter and Hum for hosting the Wednesday Vignette each week.  I hope you will visit her today to enjoy her lovely “Green on Green” planting.  How can we not celebrate all of the lovely greens living in our landscapes now?


July 27, 2015 Parkway 027


Woodland Gnome 2015


July 27, 2015 Parkway 026

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

6 responses to “Wednesday Vignettes

  1. Let’s hope the pressure from an ever-increasing population never forces out places like this.

  2. Isn’t it crazy that some people think the marsh is a wasteland? Or the desert for that matter? These places are teeming with life that serve us more than a development ever could. Love your photos, esp. the water reflections, soothing landscapes. 🙂

    • Thank you, Eliza. Our wild lands here diminish more each year. It is heartbreaking to see land change hands from stewards to developers. We must leave space for Nature to dance her dance of life. So many species and processes all make their own contribution to the well-being of the planet. I’m glad you find the landscapes soothing 😉 Hugs, WG

  3. Beautiful post Woodland Gnome! What lovely views you have there! It amazes me that some can look on such an inspiring natural setting and see only “wasted land”. Wild land is the most valuable! The services our marshy areas provide in purifying and maintaining our water cycle are often overlooked but we can’t do without them. Thank you for shedding light on a beautiful and precious ecosystem. Blessings, Sarah

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