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.
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.
The Little Falls Trail bridge closest to the Dalecarlia tunnel has been closed for some planned improvements. I posted about this construction back in September, and it has now started. This bridge (P17-01) is being replaced, the trail in the area will be repaved, and there will be drainage improvements and stream channel stabilization. More information is available on the county website.
After the WMAL radio towers were demolished Wednesday morning, they almost immediately started cutting them up and removing them. The three near Greentree Rd were removed on Thursday and Friday, then on Monday they returned to remove the tower near Renita Ln. By Monday evening there was just a small amount of cut-up steel lying on the ground.
If you missed it, you can read my post about the demolition and the field of fallen giants
Here is the tower closest to Renita Lane, this former colossus looks like it is relaxing on the ground, having gotten tired of standing.
This tower bent over as it fell. It also took out part of the roof of the small building that was at it's base. Three of the four towers bent like this.
Unlike the others, this one pulled away from its mounting pad as it fell, like a tree ripped up by the roots.
Promptly at 9am this morning the WMAL radio broadcast towers were brought down with carefully timed explosive charges. There were a reasonably sized group of people at the Renita Lane entrance to the towers where I was. Earlier in the morning I spoke to one of the people who was detonating the charges and he said that the plan was to do a quick perimeter sweep right at 9am and set them off as soon after that as possible. He was planning to be safely behind his truck, out of sight of the towers. Everyone was kept well behind the fence, right at the edge of the property so the chance of any debris coming that far was very small.
In addition to the normal neighborhood people, there were several who grew up in the area but no longer lived there, including one person I talked to who had climbed all four towers as a teenager, and been arrested as he came down from one.
The towers were removed so that the Amalyn Bethesda project consisting of 309 single family houses and townhouses can be built in this area.
After a long delay, the WMAL radio antenna towers on Greentree Rd in Bethesda, MD are scheduled for demolition later this week. The towers will be brought down in a controlled explosion no earlier than Wednesday November 4th. The original plan was to demolish them earlier this year, but they hadn't done all the needed conservation work on the site.
They have the notices posted at several entrances to the field so no one misses them.
The towers are being removed so that the Amalyn Bethesda project consisting of 309 single family houses and townhouses can be built in this area. In order to get planning board approval they also donated a portion of this field as a potential school site.
This project has been in progress for a number of years. I first posted about it more than 5 years ago, in July of 2015.
This is a very important place to have them since (in normal years when children actually go to school buildings) many kids cross this busy street on their way to and from school. They also make it easier to walk from the neighborhood to the Giant Food store and other shops at Georgetown Square. These signals are a big improvement over the old flashing yellow crosswalk signals since those were always active even when no one was around. These only activate when a person pushes the button for the walk signal.
|Green Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis|
In yesterday's post I talked about how many Monarch Butterfly caterpillars I had this summer and how they kept disappearing. Not all of them did, however. One day I came out to find a caterpillar hanging upside down from a leaf, looking mostly dead. After a day of that, it turned into this beautiful green chrysalis. I looked around on the web and found out that they stay in this stage for a little over two weeks. I'd check on it every few days, but after about two and a half weeks I was getting concerned.
|Transparent Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis|
Then, a couple of days ago, I found that the chrysalis was semi-transparent and you could see the butterfly's wings through it. This was encouraging, but as I kept checking it, it seemed to darken and no butterfly was emerging. The next day I was away from the house, but when I came home...
|Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis, post emergence|
The chrysalis was just an empty shell. The Monarch Butterfly had emerged! I started looking all around to see if I could find it.
|A newly emerged Monarch Butterfly|
|A Monarch Butterfly egg|
|A very, very small Monarch Butterfly caterpillar|
As the caterpillars started growing, I noticed that many of them simply disappeared without a trace. I saw a yellow jacket eating one but I don't know if the yellow jacket killed it or happened across it after it died.
Some of them got quite large, but they also disappeared. There seems to be something that eats them. It wasn't uncommon for me to have half a dozen on a single plant and about one a day disappear until they were all gone. It is possible some of them crawled off to make a chrysalis, but I suspect most of them became dinner for something. This photos are not of the same caterpillar, they are of many different ones.
Sometimes I'd have two or three Monarch caterpillars eating the same leaf.
Despite the heavy casualties, there were some successes, I'll talk about them tomorrow.
Another trail in the area is the Copperhead Run trail. There are 3 "chute" trails that connect it to the Northwest Branch.
The Northwest Branch itself is a good-size stream. In many places it is rocky, but other areas are smooth and placid.
One of the interesting, but noisy, sights is where Interstate 495 crosses the stream. The bridge is high above the trees, and although you can hear the traffic, when you are walking south it is hard to see the bridge until you are right under it.
The building is just beginning to take shape, with some of the steel beams and concrete block walls being put up. In the foreground there will eventually be a parking lot.
If you'd like more information about what is going on, here is an article on Bethesda Beat about the expansion, and you can look at this PDF of the different options they considered.
Two pedestrian bridges that connect the trail to the Capital Crescent Trail near Westmoreland hills and near the Dalecarlia tunnel will be replaced. (For those of you who have memorized every bridge in the area and the designations the Montgomery County Department of Parks has given them, they are bridges P17-01 and P17-02, there will be a quiz later.) In addition to replacing the bridges, the trail in the area will be repaved, there will be drainage improvements and stream channel stabilization.
|Footbridge P17-01 on the left.|
|Markers along the trail in preparation for the construction|
|P17-02 and Little Falls stream|
More information is available on the county website.
And now for the promised quiz, there is just one question:
Who gives bridges names like P17-01 and P17-02?
|Veterans Plaza, where Woodmont and Norfolk Avenues meet.|