The night before at Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, it was colder than usual, way below freezing. The tide was the lowest it goes, and the marsh was frozen over except for a few pools that somehow escaped the temperature.
The dark exposed areas of mud had many pieces of ice in the shape of little bird feet. By walking on the bottom the day before, the fowl turned the marsh floor into an ice tray with bird foot shaped molds.
Wildlife Must Eat
The Herons have no rest, the pantry door was closing, but they still need to eat. In cold weather, like that day, not only do they have to work harder to find food, they also need more to stay warm. At least the fish move slower in the cold, that might help some.
Bring the Family
The humans have it much easier at the refuge. A narrow one-way road runs right through the middle of the frozen wetland. It has a perfect up-close view of the wildlife and the wetland all from the warmth of a rolling cage.
That makes Blackwater a great place to spend a day in nature with the family, even when it is cold and miserable outside. Winter might just be the best time to visit, you have less competition from other humans, and what better way to have some family time when the weather is painful.
You can visit the refuge website for directions and hours. You can also check there for closure alerts, which are especially important if you plan to go during the winter.