There is a dirt path off of a paved trail that leads to a sort of overlook of the Monocacy River. There, one can simply stand and watch the murky river wend its way toward the Monocacy Boulevard Bridge, or one can skid down a steep and often muddy trail toward a makeshift footbridge that provides access to the water. Usually this is a popular spot for fishermen, but this morning I encountered two painted turtles instead. As I generally only see them sunning themselves on logs from a distance, I was surprised to find them in the shade on a rocky path. I assume that they forgot to move with the sun, which, like the water, was only a few feet away. When I moved off with my two unimpressed dogs, the smaller one peeked out of its shell and gradually scrabbled toward the water. The larger one, which remained calm throughout the ordeal, apparently wanted another chance at the snooze button.
The good news for these river-dwellers is that I’ve been encountering far less trash. The visible sort, at least. The cleanliness of the water, subjected for miles to agricultural runoff and the vagaries of development, is another matter entirely. For those who are interested, I have been gathering links to information about the river’s history and conservation on my page The Monocacy River.