Extremely popular amongst rock climbers, hikers, and kayakers, the Great Falls of the Potomac is a sight to behold.  Only a few decades ago, paradoxically, the river was unsafe due to pollution.  In the 1960's, President Johnson famously referred to it as "an American disgrace" due to the amount of pollution it contained.  The Clean Water Act changed that.  Though in current times threats of roll back of key provisions of the law threaten this, and other rivers, in the United States.  In 2012 the nonprofit organization American Rivers named the Potomac River the #1 river threatened by the weakening of the Clean Water Act.  
 A rather sociable bird, the Cedar Waxwing may be seen year round throughout the watershed feasting on berries.  Large flocks may be seen feasting on mountain ash berries in the higher elevations to overtaking decorative trees and feasting on insects in urban environments.
 Along the Gunpowder River a grove of giant Eastern Hemlock still stands.  These trees are more common in the Western and Northern part of the watershed though they are in peril.  An exotic beetle from Asia, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, is decimating ancient strands of this beautiful tree.  In Shenandoah National Park the majority of its Hemlocks are now gone due to this pest.  In this area of the Piedmont though the trees have yet to become infested.
 A summer storm brought this rainbow over the Potomac River.  Some days are more intense than others........
 ........and sometimes you may find a Double Rainbow.
 I remember my mother explaining to me the powerful PSA she saw a youngster of an American Indian crying on the side of the road after watching someone litter from their car.  Because the watershed houses over 17 million inhabitants, with many of them living in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, it is inevitable that wildlife will suffer even during something seemingly innocuous as fishing.  This cormorant choked to death after feeding on a fishing lure that was not retrieved by its user.  I believe it is time for powerful PSA's to leave an impression on our conscious again. 
 The Soldier's Delight Natural Environment Area protects a rare serpentine barren ecosystem in the Watershed.  Filled with rare grassland species of an Oak Savannah, the area also protects rare insects
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 A young doe poached and left on a park road and became carrion for scavengers.  This a well traveled road that leads to a fishing lake in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area.  Behind the deer the road rises to the top of a business development area where a local food bank sits to support needy people.  Lack of enforcement of hunting regulations has lead to an increase in poaching where I've counted as many as seven poached deer, many yearlings, gutted and left on the side of the road in this particular area.
 A Great Blue Heron is dwarfed by the power of the rapids of the Potomac River.  While the river has come a long way from its heavily polluted days not so long ago it is still fairly polluted and over 5 million people depend on the river for their water supply.
 Along the many rivers and tributaries the lead to the bay one can find signs of wildlife.  Mostly nocturnal, evidence of Beavers can be found throughout the Watershed with fallen trees and beaver dams.  Nearly wiped out because of the fur trade beaver populations began making a comeback in the area in the 1970's.  However their dams can clog up storm-water pipes, which are areas beavers will take up residence in.  This unfortunately can flood roads.  However, all is not lost, as groups are putting cages in front of pipes to prevent beavers from colonizing.
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