How to See the Trees for the Forest

I’ve been walking through the same small stretch of Glover Archbold Park for twenty years, since I first moved to DC. Twenty years! I have always appreciated the little winding path and its companion stream that run through the small wooded ravine between Massachusetts Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue. However, now that we are walking through this patch of land every day at a very slow speed, it is like I am seeing the park for the first time and in great detail. This is the start of my nature journal, to document the biodiversity of this special place. I will be adding illustrations and notes from my paper version in the near future.

(An aside: We get great joy out of randomly opening the bird book and the wildflower book and calling each other names of flowers and birds. “You’re a cutleaf toothwort.” “Oh yeah? Well you’re a yellow-bellied sapsucker.” It’s a great way to blow of steam and get some giggles in.)


  • Spring Beauty
  • May Apples
  • Garlic Mustard
  • Violets
  • Periwinkle
  • Star Chickweed
  • Cutleaf Toothwort
  • Lesser Celandine

Birds (Late February through April 3)

  • Purple Finches
  • Eastern Phoebes
  • Carolina Wrens (my new favorite bird, sing their hearts out)
  • Winter Wrens (first time sighting!)
  • Northern Flickers
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Pileated Woodpecker (look like cartoons)
  • Red Bellied Woodpecker
  • Cooper’s Hawks (adult and juvenile)
  • Eastern Towhee (first time sighting!)
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Golden Crowned Kinglet (first time sighting!)
  • Mallards
  • Nuthatches (sound like they are always laughing at their own jokes)
  • Goldfinch
  • Cardinals
  • Crows
  • Sparrows
  • Blue Jays
  • Robins
  • Starlings
  • Mockingbirds
  • Barred Owl (heard)

Other Critters Recently Seen

  • Deer
  • Chipmunks
  • Grey and black squirrels
  • (Coyote seen by neighbors. I keep hoping.)