Sunday, May 26, 2024

Tri Pointe Northpark townhome construction

Tri Pointe Northpark is a long strip of townhouses going in on Josiah Henson Parkway in North Bethesda. This is diagonally across from Pike and Rose. The first set of townhouses are going in. Tri pointe advertises that these will have four levels.

The first set of townhouses are going in. These townhouses are some of the few that abut Montrose Road.  There used to be a Sunoco gas station on this spot.

 These are the fronts of those same townhouses. They will face an interior street.

There is a lot of bare dirt and cleared ground, there will clearly be a lot more townhouses here when they are done.




Saturday, May 25, 2024

Calm Cabin John Creek

 I took this picture yesterday afternoon while walking Along Cabin John Creek in Cabin John Park. It was a beautiful day and today looks like it will be great as well.





Tuesday, May 21, 2024

New right turn arrow at Fernwood and Democracy


A month or two ago they put a "No Turn on Red" sign for the right turn from Democracy Blvd east onto Fernwood Rd south.  This caused significant backups in the morning and evening rush as people had to wait to turn even when there was no one around.  Today they fixed it by adding a right turn arrow at the intersection.

This arrow is green when the northbound Fernwood Rd traffic has a green light.  This lets a lot more cars turn onto Fernwood Rd and this evening there was no line of people waiting.


Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Sugarloaf Mountain at night


Sugarloaf mountain and stars
Last Friday and Saturday nights there was lots of solar activity and the Aurora Borealis was visible very far south. In the DC area it was cloudy both nights so I don't know if it would have been viewable.  Sunday night there was supposed to be a chance of strong solar activity so I decided to try and view them.  Since where I live is fairly bright, I went up close to Sugarloaf Mountain. I hoped to get a shot with the Northern Lights behind Sugarloaf.

I didn't see the lights, but I did get a couple of interesting nighttime shots.  This morning I checked Spaceweather and found that the Aurora wasn't visible anywhere near here.

In this picture, Sugarloaf mountain is backlit by the lights of Frederick reflecting  off some thin clouds. Above the hill the stars shine brightly.

clump of trees and gravel road

Lights from the parking lot I was in partially illuminate the ground and trees. Power lines run along the right side.

Sugarloaf Streak
On the left, the grass and gravel road is illuminated by lights in a parking lot. In the distance at the center is Sugarloaf Mountain, and on the right is a streak of an airplane.









Monday, May 13, 2024

The Great Southern Brood of cicadas

Around Montgomery County, Maryland, Brood X, the 17 year cicadas that last emerged in 2021 get all the attention.  But we  get some 13 year cicadas around here too. Brood XIX, the Great Southern Brood makes a limited appearance this year.  Today I saw the first of these periodical cicadas. It's a bit early for them, the ones in 2021 came out in late May to early June.


I know not everyone eagerly awaits the invasion, but it is amazing that these slow, dumb, long-lived insects survive at all.  



Sunday, May 12, 2024

ELP Bethesda construction


The first building is going in. Here is the side of it seen from Fernwood Rd at the bridge over I-270.

ELP Bethesda Phase 1-A will be a continuing care retirement community with 512 independed living units, and associated amenities in the Rock Spring area of Bethesda. This the first of two buildings for Phase 1-A, on the east side of the property. It will be 150 feet tall and 13 stories.  It will have about 247 residental units.  The second building in 1-A will be directly adjecent and will have about 265 units.

Here is the building as seen from the entrance to Democracy Plaza.

Later phases of construction will add more buildings. The total proposed project will have 1,300 independent living units, 160-210 assisted living units, and 30-50 skilled nursing units.

This is all that remains of the old Marriot headquarters, part of the basement. The new construction is in the background.

If you stand at just the right spot on Old Georgetown Road, you can see the new building going in through the trees.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Monday, April 1, 2024

Fernwood Rd at Democracy Blvd intersection improvements completed

Those of you who regularly drive Fernwood Rd might be thinking "that intersection was finished months ago, why are you just posting it now?" Well, it isn't really done until the lane markings are there and there have only been temporary ones until recently. Now it is "done done" and we can celebrate.

Looking north on Fernwood, this is where the bulk of the changers are, instead of one right and one left turn lane there are two left turn lanes and one right turn lane.  For better or for worse, you still can't go straight through the intersection.

Nice bold turn arrows, and wide crosswalk stripes.

Finally there is a crosswalk to cross Democracy Blvd on the East side of Fernwood.  You used to have to cross Fernwood, then cross Democracy, then cross Fernwood again in order to walk north on Fernwood after Democracy.

The north side of the intersection, this is the crosswalk crossing Fernwood Road. Democracy Boulevard is on the left.


Sunday, March 31, 2024

The Mercury at Wildwood construction

 This is the front (side?) directly behind the Exxon gas station.  Wildwood Medical Building is on the left.

 he Mercury is an over-55 apartment building under construction next to Wildwood Medical Building and adjacent to Wildwood Shopping Center in Bethesda, MD.

 The development will have 100 units, underground parking, and, I believe, a small amount of retail. The property will be managed by ALVIN L. AUBINOE, INC, which bills itself "as a beacon of excellence in residential and commercial property management".

This is the side of The Mercury that faces Balducci's. Currently just the first floor is above ground.  The access road on the left is closed to traffic.

The frankly over-the-top website has breathless descriptions about how the Art Deco inspired building "will reflect a resilient elegance withstanding ebb and flow of design trends" and how it boasts "a selection of opulent one, two, and three-bedroom living spaces".  When talking about "the esteemed Wildwood Shopping Center" they mention that "the premier establishments dotting this prestigious locale are...CVS Pharmacy...and three prominent banks.  They are highly boastful, using the words "boast", "boasts", and "Boasting" on the website.

Still the side facing Balducci's, but this is the rear portion of it.

For some context, here is the Wildwood Medical Building. The new construction is in what was a parking lot for this building.





Saturday, March 30, 2024

Walking with flowers

 It was nice this morning, warmish with a little sun, but clouding up quickly so I took advantage of the weather and went for a walk on Cabin John Trail today. The trees don't have leaves yet, but there were a bunch of different flowers growing low to the ground.

Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna). I pretty yellow flower, wide leaves, only a few inches tall. It is not indigenous.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). White flowers about an inch and a half across. Not many leaves yet. This is native to the area.

Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum). Mottled green leaves that are about 4-5 inches long. The flowers haven't opened yet.  Another native plant.

Virginia Springbeauty (Claytonia virginica). Long thin stems with narrow leaves. 4-8 inches tall. The flower is about half an inch across.

I didn't identify this plant, but I do like it.