Pocomoke 2019

Last updated August 3, 2019



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Day One | Day Two | Day Three

I talked Allison, Mark, and Viviana out of visiting Janes Island in July because of all the biting insects. After asking me to suggest a better place, I recommended the Pocomoke River State Park. Then they asked Norma and me to join them. We took them up on their offer.

Day One, Sunday, July 28, 2019
We all got a late start. I think Norma, Daphne, and I left the house around 1300. I didn't know what to expect with the traffic heading towards Ocean City but it wasn't bad. What still amazes me is how many people don't have an E-Z Pass so they can get across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge without having to stop and pay.

We all arrived at our AirBnB house in Pocomoke City in the mid-afternoon. It was tight with five people but some would call it "cozy."

Pocomoke City is supposedly the
...friendliest town on the Eastern Shore.
Not to say it is unfriendly, but I'd have to say that based on my experience, Chestertown has it beat.

I brought Chester (yes, named after Chestertown), our kitten. This was his first outing with us. I kept him on a harness and leash when he was outside. He is not adventurous and would just as soon hide under something rather than explore. But he, Daphne, and April (Allison and Mark's Havanese puppy) got along just fine. Viviana in particular seemed to like Chester.

We drove out to Shad Landing in Pocomoke River State Forest and Park for a cookout.

Day Two, Monday, July 29, 2019

The five humans and two dogs paddled Corker's Creek. Chester remained at the house because he did not have a personal floatation device (PFD). Mark, Allison, Viviana, and April rented an Old Town canoe (first photo, first column) from from the Pocomoke River Canoe Company. The outfitter is set up right at Shad Landing, where we launched from.

We saw several Eastern Painted turtles, second photo, first column.

April got to go swimming for the first time that day, third photo, first column. Viviana was in the water with her much of the time.

We did the two mile route that went around an island between the Pocomoke River and Corker's Creek, fourth photo, first column. In the fifth photo, first column, Allison points out something interesting.

Towards the end of the island circumnavigation, Allison, Mark, Viviana, and April returned back to the launch site while Norma, Daphne, and I continued upstream on Corker's Creek, putting in an additional three miles for a total of five.

Norma, Daphne, and I saw a two foot long northern water snake sunning itself on a log. See sixth and seventh photos, first column.

The upper section of Corker's Creek was shaded and narrow, first photo, second column.

In some places, we were surrounded by hundreds of cypress knees, second photo, second column.

Just south of Worcester Highway (route 113), the vegetation changed. We started to see lots of pickerelweed and wild rice. Amongst the pickerelweed were lots of tiger swallowtail butterflies, third photo, second column.

Here I am kayaking back downstream with the sun to our backs, fourth photo, second column.

In the fifth photo, second column is Norma and Daphne on Corker's Creek, both looking pretty.

There was no shortage of natural, scenic beauty and no abundance of people. We had the whole place to ourselves, mainly because it was a weekday, though I figured there would be a few other holidaymakers out,sixth photo, second column.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.

Norma, Daphne, and I walked on the 0.7 mile Trail of Change in the Shad Landing Area.

A dragonfly landed on Norma's head, proving that she is one with nature. See first and second photos, first column.

Walking in the campground area, we also saw a five-lined skink, first photo, second column.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.

There isn't much in Pocomoke City. If you need something, you'll probably venture to Wal-Mart, which is what Norma did. I waited by the car with Daphne. But the store is near the water so there's no telling what might fly by. In this case, it was a great blue heron, just outside of the parking lot. I took several photos and in each, its mouth was open and its tongue visible. I later learned that they pant like dogs to stay cool because they don't sweat. It was indeed a hot day.

That night we did waterfront dining in Pocomoke City (walking distance from the AirBnB) at Dockside. We brought Daphne, April, and Chester. Chester wasn't very comfortable being outside but he was fine sitting on our lap. The food was tasty but I thought the salmon serving was too small.
Click thumbnail to enlarge.

Day Three, Tuesday, July 30, 2019

That morning, we ate a light breakfast at XO Beanery and Bites and then visited the Delmarva Discovery Museum. It was much nicer than I expected. Viviana, Allison, and I went in while Mark and Norma took the dogs for a walk. Chester stayed at the AirBnB.

In the museum, we got to see a pretty big river otter swimming around. We also got to see a live knobbed whelk, first photo. I've found dozens of empty shells but I've never found a live one. That was a treat for me. Also on live display was a spider crab, a snapping turtle, an American eel, and several horseshoe crabs. We got to see the latter two eat pieces of capelin fish. The eel darts in quickly to grab its food. Don't blink or you'll miss it. The horseshoe crab, on the other hand, is slower. In the second photo (video), Viviana is holding a horseshoe crab while it eats. In the video, a high school student volunteer is telling us about horseshoe crabs.

Norma and I paid a visit to the Pocomoke City community garden. Then we packed up, got Chester, and headed out.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.

The seven of us (not Chester) walked on the one mile Bald Cypress Nature Trail in the Milburn Landing Area of Pocomoke River State Forest and Park. This trail contains
...three forest types on the edge of the Pocomoke River -- a pine grove, mixed hardwood stand, and baldcypress swamp..

I found a velvet ant. It was moving too fast for me to take a good picture.
Although commonly referred to as the red velvet ant (and in some cases cow killer ant), this name is misleading because velvet ants are actually wasps. They get the "velvet" part of their name from the very fuzzy females, which are wingless and often brightly colored.
Female velvet ants have a very potent sting that has earned them the nickname "cow-killer."

We took a break at the pavilion where Viviana and I saw a skink.

Near the trail, I pulled a blue dasher dragonfly out of my car.
Click thumbnail to enlarge.

We drove to the town of Snow Hill and stopped at Furnace Town.
From 1828-1850 the Nassawango Iron Furnace was in its heyday. Many workers - miners, sawyers, colliers, molders, draymen, and bargemen - labored to make iron. They gathered bog ore from Nassawango swamp, brought clam and oyster shells up the canal via the Pocomoke River from the Chesapeake Bay, and made charcoal in the Pocomoke Forest.

These raw materials were loaded into the Iron Furnace [first photo] from the top, heated to 3,000 degrees, and the two resulting liquids were drawn off at the bottom of the furnace. Slag was cooled and tossed into the swamp. Iron was poured into molds and loaded onto barges which were towed down the canal by mule to waiting ships for transport to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.

In the town were various buildings that housed things that would have existed back in the day such as a blacksmith forge and a print shop.

Perhaps the thing I found most impressive was the American Chestnut tree. See second and third photos.
Once abundant in the forest, the wood on this tree was used for products of daily life and provided food for families, livestock, and wildlife. A fungus introduced from eastern Asia nearly wiped out the species in 1904. The species mainly survives as short-lived root sprouts.
- from information sign

According to Wikipedia - American Chestnut:
Very few mature specimens of the tree exist within its historical range.
I felt truly blessed to see this one.

Norma, Daphne, and I then walked on the Nature Conservancy Trail that connects to Furnace Town. This trail is part of the Nature Conservancy's Nassawango Creek Nature Preserve. It is a joint project of the Nature Conservancy and the Furnace Town Foundation. I don't think it was more than a mile long. I was wearing long pants treated with permethrin. My upper body was sprayed with bug spray containing DEET. Norma, on the other hand, was wearing shorts, no bug spray (though I offered), and nothing treated with permethrin. Afterwards, she pulled off probably two dozen ticks. I had none. And yes, the lady at the Furnace Town visitor did warn us that the ticks and chiggers on the trail are really bad.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.

It was a good relaxing two and a half days though it would have been good for Norma, Daphne, and I to have gotten out and paddled Dividing Creek. I think I've only been there once (maybe twice) and never tried to paddle upstream much further than Dividing Creek Road (route 364). Oh well, maybe next time.

It was good for Daphne and April to meet. They got along well. It was also interesting to see how Chester did out of the house. He is not as adventurous as I would like but Norma felt that is just the nature of house cats. If often wonder how much is nature versus nurture. But when it comes to cats, Norma defintely knows more than me.