Saturday, April 10, 2021

Coming soon! the 17 year cicadas


My favorite anachronistic insect is on its way.  The 17 year periodical cicadas should be out in force very soon.  Even as we speak, they are lurking just below the surface, biding their time.  For 17 years they have dwelt deep in the ground, feasting on sap from the roots of trees. Now, they are burrowing up to the surface, waiting for the time to be right.

The rain yesterday evening flooded these poor creatures out. I took these photos just after it ended and I expect they will crawl back down into their burrows when it dries out.

I'm amazed these creatures can survive in a dynamic suburban environment like Bethesda.  The last time they were here was in 2004, think about how much has changed since then.  How many new or enlarged houses, how many widened roads, how many trees cut down and new trees planted.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Construction scheduled to start on the WMAL field (Toll Brothers Amalyn project)


Toll Brothers is getting ready to start construction on their Amalyn project which will be over 300 single family houses and townhouses on the former WMAL radio tower field at 7115 Greentree Road in Bethesda, Maryland. This week they stakes sporting flags have been sprouting on the field as they prepare for the work.

They recently sent a letter to residents about the construction outlining the initial work. In it they state they will first be installing tree protection and sediment control features.

The current end of Greyswood Road

Workers will be accessing the property from the Greyswood Road entrance and the first thing they do will be to connect Greyswood and Greentree roads.  Greyswood Road currently dead-ends at a stand of trees, so those trees will have to be horrifically mangled and tragically destroyed cut down and removed. All work vehicles and equipment will be parked on the property and not on any of the streets surrounding it.  Construction should be limited to the hours of 7am to 5pm.

The current end of Greentree Road
As part of the project, some improvements will be made to existing streets, primarily Greyswood Rd.  Greyswood will get some traffic claming devices and some more street trees. New sidewalks will be added along Greentree Road and Derbishire Lane along the proporties frontage. This work is expected to be completed by Fall of this year.

proposed site plan from Toll Brothers

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The cherry blossoms are blooming

 The cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Bethesda now.  If you get a chance look for some.  A great place to see them is along the Capital Crescent Trail near Dorset Avenue.

Monday, March 29, 2021

The demolition of Woodward High School / Tilden Middle School

Montgomery County Public Schools is replacing the former Tilden Middle School (At Charles W. Woodward) with a new high school.  Before it was Tilden, it was Woodward High School.  The building is being razed and a new building will be raised. It will re-open as Woodward High School in a few years.


Demolition is well under way at the site. There are piles of rebar, metal beam, and other bits of the building. Here you can see some what good venilation they have for these classrooms.

The far wall of this exposed hallway has red and yellow lockers lining it. There are piles of rubble in the foreground on both sides.


A section of the wall has been torn out to allow work crews to access the building more easily.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A foggy morning in Bethesda

This morning was a bit dreary and rainy.  During one of the breaks in the rain I went out to look around.  The clouds were low enough to the ground that you couldn't see the tops of some of the taller buildings.


Friday, March 26, 2021

Little Falls Trail construction (update number 2)


Work continues on the bridges over Little Falls branch.  As you recall from last update the bridge closest to the Dalecarlia tunnel has been replaced and is open.

The bridge closer to Massachusetts Avenue  has been replaced, but there is still work to do before it can be opened.

The approach to the bridge on the opposite side of the creek from the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) still needs to have the path created up to the bridge so there isn't a step.

The side closest to the Capital Crescent Trail has been graded so it smoothly transitions to the bridge.  However, there is still a bright orange fence blocking the trail so you can't access it from the CCT yet.

The Little Falls Trail still is being worked on.  Between the two bridges the trail is somewhat blocked (with a marked detour around it) and covered with a thick layer of mulch to protect the ground when heavy equipment is being used.
Near the bridge is a small drainage creek that is being widened and rebuilt.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Security fences around the U.S. Capitol


After the January 6th insurrection, security fences were put up around the U.S. Capitol building.  Last Saturday, I took advantage of a break in the rain to walk around the perimeter and take some photos.  In this first photo, fences and trucks block Pennsylvania Avenue.

There are several different types of fences in different areas.  This is one of the less common ones.  It is on the National Mall, directly in front of the Capitol.

Here's another view of the Mall and the Capitol.  People have adjusted to the fences and still come down to walk around and play on the Mall.

National Guard troops are monitoring the fences, there are a lot of them standing around and keeping an eye on things.

I find this juxtaposition of a high end restaurant and fences with barbed wire so close to each other.

I went down expecting the fences to be just around the United States Capitol building, but they were much more extensive. The closed off several parks, all the buildings related to the the legislature and a few more places. The fences go to Union Station, behind the Supreme Court, and even block off the Botanic Garden.  It took me an hour and a half to walk the perimeter.

Here's a reflection of the top of the Capitol dome in the windows of the Teamster's uniton.  The first floor of the building was still boarded up.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Little Falls Trail construction update



 The construction on Little Falls trail that started in September continues and significant progress has been made. One of the bridges has been fully replaced and re-opened for people to cross. This is bridge P17-01 near the Dalecarlia tunnel that connects a neighborhood to the Capital Crescent Trail.

The trail between the two bridges is closed, however there is a marked detour so you can still traverse the area, just not on a paved trail.

The other bridge has been fully removed and has not yet been replaced. You can not cross the stream here.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Was "The Hulk" here?

 I was walking by the old Ourisman dealership on Motor City Drive up by the Home Depot and Montgomery Mall and saw this. It sure looks like the Incredible Hulk busted through this door to escape.



Monday, November 30, 2020

Another accident at the big curve


Another rainy day, another accident on the outer loop of Interstate 495 at the "Big Curve" in Bethesda, MD. Traffic is backed up past Old Georgetown Road and the backup continues to grow, even though some lanes do get by. According to WTOP, this happened about 10 minutes until 1pm and the two left lanes are blocked.