Monday, May 08, 2006

Fort Totten

Weekends, I get kicked out of bed at 6am to take care of the Monkey. This way, the Monkey Mama can sleep in until 9am or so, to make up for night nursings and early risings during the week. I do not begrudge the Monkey Mama these early morning hours. But 6am is no joke.

These days, dawn is right around 6am, and the birds were chirping. There are clouds of migratory birds passing through the region. So I made a pot of coffee, saddled up the Monkey, and drove him (and the dog) to Fort Totten Park.

The park itself isn't much: a 1/4 mile horseshoe road that goes by two green fields, 3 picnic tables, and a trash can. But at the apex of the horseshoe, the road dips into a surprisingly dense forest. Mature oaks set the upper limit of the canopy 100 feet in the air, and the understory is dense and unkempt. In fact, it is one of the wildest looking places I know of in DC. (Even the forested sections of Rock Creek Park seem manicured by comparison.)

That forest was alive with birds. We couldn't see them, but they were loud. And the dawn light was very pretty through the spring green forest.

It felt good to move the body at such an unaccustomed hour.

The fort was part of a network of "Circle Forts" that ringed the perimeter of Washington, DC during the Civil War. (Some of them even saw fighting!) Off the short road in the park, the earthworks of the old fort are visible. Either that, or someone took pains to build a gnarly BMX course.

We came back, I fed the Monkey, and we played for a while. Then I strapped him on my back again and he rode along while I pushed our reel mower over the front and back lawns. When the Monkey Mama woke up, I vacuumed the house.

Since we've had the Boy, I get more done before 9am than most people do all day...

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