Many people delight in the ospreys’ spring return from their southern wintering grounds in Florida, the Caribbean and Central and South America to spots near water in Northern Virginia.
In June 2022, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (ACE) proposed a “tentatively selected plan” to build a floodwall and levee in the Belle Haven, New Alexandria, Belle View and River Towers areas of Fairfax County near the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve.
On the January 16, 2023, Martin Luther King Day of Service, 131 enthusiastic volunteers clipped English ivy (Hedera helix) off trees in Dyke Marsh and collected 70 bags of trash weighing 446 pounds.
Winter brings several species of migratory waterfowl to the Potomac River and Dyke Marsh and many birds stand out as they perch on leafless tree limbs, search for prey and forage on the ground. Still some, like barred owls (Strix varia) are expert at camouflaging.
For at least 15 years, the Friends of Dyke Marsh have worked to control many species of invasive plants in the preserve. Invasive plants displace native plants and replace wildlife food sources with which native wildlife co-evolved.
On October 26, 2022, bat educator Deborah Hammer gave an online presentation on bats, dispensing bat facts and dispelling bat folklore. Deborah is a board member of both FODM and Bat Conservation and Rescue of Virginia.
Though the October 24, 2022, sky was overcast, fall’s colors cheered 22 enthusiasts on a walk led by Margaret Chatham and Alan Ford with the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.
Twenty FODMers delighted in studying the plants of the preserve on a walk led by Dr. Elizabeth Wells on September 17, 2022. Many plants were dropping or ready to drop their seeds to start the next generation.
On July 20, 2022, 20 butterfly enthusiasts spotted 15 species of butterflies, on a walk in Dyke Marsh, led by Larry Meade.
Congratulations to two FODMers whose photographs were selected for the 2022 Virginia Wildlife magazine’s annual photography showcase.
Fairfax County has an imagery viewer that can help people understand the extent of the wetland in the past and provide context for marsh restoration.
On June 25, 2022, ecologist Charles Smith led a walk for 20 members of the Friends of Dyke Marsh along the Dyke Marsh Haul Road trail. He explained that Dyke Marsh is in the coastal plain, a geologic region with gravel deposits, unlike the Piedmont which has many rock formations. Dyke Marsh, a freshwater tidal wetland, has two three-foot tides a day, on average.