Tuesday, October 13, 2020

 PLEASE CONTACT THE PUBLISHER TO ASK FOR AN UPDATED GUIDEBOOK.  There is no reason why they aren't allowing an update, except perhaps to keep the author from writing a competing book.  


Wilderness Press 
c/o Keen Communications 
2204 First Avenue South, Suite 102, Birmingham AL 35233 
phone: (800) 443-7227 or (888) 60-HIKES 
fax: (205) 326-1012 

Online contact form: 


Sunday, April 26, 2020


LIFE’S TOO EASY RIGHT NOW! Right? Of course not. But to take our minds off the pandemic, here’s a nature photography CHALLENGE! From May 1 to May 31, try to photograph as many of the following as you can while social distancing, abiding by all CDC & locale jurisdiction rules, and following ethical photography guidelines. Most of these critters, birds, plants, & landscapes can be found in your own neighborhood or nearby.

Please join the Meetup BEFORE MAY 18 ( https://www.meetup.com/Nature-Photography-DC-MD-VA/events/270282039/  ) and then upload your photos (1 per category) to our Meetup album by May 31. Each find counts ONE point. The “extra credit” categories count FIVE points each. The photographer with the most points who uploads her/his photos by 5/31 at 11:59 p.m. wins. FIRST-PLACE WINNER GETS BRAGGING RIGHTS & FIVE PHOTO OUTINGS.  See Meetup for details.

We’re using the HONOR SYSTEM — but photos shot before May 1, 2020 do NOT count. Be prepared to send us your RAW photo if there’s a tie or a question. If there are up to three ties, all will win. If there are more, we will do the equivalent of a "coin toss."

Trouble finding these local treasures? Check iNaturalist, eBird & other online resources. I will also post a selected bibliography with some invaluable local guidebooks. Questions? Please post them here or message me. HAVE FUN!

******* 1. BIRDS *************************************************
Female Northern Cardinal
Occupied osprey nest
Juvenile Bald Eagle
Prothonotary Warbler
EXTRA CREDIT: Scarlet Tanger

******* 2. CRITTERS *************************************************
Gray Squirrel
Lizard or skink
Green treefrog
Any butterfly besides a swallowtail or monarch
Horse OR the cutest cat or dog you can find. Costumes permitted.

******* 3. PLANTS *************************************************
Tulip tree bloom
Mountain Laurel
Morel mushroom
EXTRA CREDIT: Wild orchid

******* 4. LANDSCAPES *************************************************
Flower garden
Hill or mountain
EXTRA CREDIT: Combo of 2 of the above

Thursday, January 30, 2020


January, 2020

FOR UPDATES, please visit 




Monday, April 1, 2019

WILD BABIES & BLOSSOMS: Photographing Summer's Nature Spectacles

Please join nature photographer, Virginia Master Naturalist, and author Barbara Saffir for a free talk on where to photograph happy hummingbirds, orange orioles, flower fields, native lotuses, flying "fairy diddles," and much more.  (Chantilly Regional Library, June 26, 7 p.m.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

BOOK UPDATE!  A new edition was supposed to come out in 2020 but now it's temporarily on hold.  Please stay tuned.  You can still buy the 2018 edition & I will update changes on this website to keep you current!  

Friday, February 8, 2019


    Would you like to arrange a free book talk for your group?

    Do you want to contribute an idea for the next edition of  "WALKING WASHINGTON, DC" or do you have an UPDATE you want to mention?  

    Please email me at BarbaraWalkingDCbook@gmail.com 


If you missed my recent Winter Wildlife Photography Hotspots talk, here is some praise it drew: 

      "Your talk was so uplifting and inspiring.  I think everyone left looking forward to trying their hand at wildlife shooting. Your images are incredible."

      "Great talk. Lots of good tips. Your joy at photography really shows."

       "Your talk was indeed worth the drive.  [Over an hour in DC's dreaded rush-hour!-bjs]  It was well-organized, had great photos, and was very informative."

       "You do a really good job at making a presentation interesting, aside from having terrific content." 

      "You did such a great job with so much enthusiasm...  All your photos were beautiful and inspiring and will surely get people 


      "I thoroughly enjoyed your talk this evening....Evening well spent."



Wednesday, January 30, 2019

If you'd like to see more of my nature photos, 

please click here: 


Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Please register to attend one of our nature photography excursions.  Our next outing is to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to photograph bald eagles, snow geese, swans, wintering ducks, and Delmarva fox squirrels.  Details here: https://www.meetup.com/Nature-Photography-DC-MD-VA/events/256931559/  


Please join me at the Arundel Camera Club near Annapolis on 2/6/19 for a free photo talk. Details here: http://arundelcameraclub.org/


If you would like to purchase a 92-page nature photography book or blank photo cards, please contact me for info.  Thanks!  Please use the subject line: PHOTO BOOK and email Barb22030 AT yahoo DOT com.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

New Book Talks and Walks (and unrelated hikes)

1. "Rich and Powerful: Eight Homes of Presidents and the World's Richest Man"
for nonprofit Cultural Tourism DC's annual "WalkingTown DC." 9/23/18.  To register
for this walk, visit: https://www.culturaltourismdc.org/portal/tour-schedule

2. New "Nature Photography DC/MD/VA" Meetup with hikes and talks. 2018/2019

3. Winter Nature Photography Hotspots talk, Jan. 15, 2019, Chantilly Regional Public Library, Chantilly, VA.  Free talk.  Books and cards (and "Walking Washington, DC") sold and signed after the talk.

Saturday, May 26, 2018


Here are some updates to Walking Washington, DC.  Please check back from time to time for future updates.  I will also soon be updating Walk #21 "Southwest Waterfront," since many new businesses have opened at "The Wharf." 

p. 11:  As of March, 2018, Warren Buffett is third richest person in the world, following Jeff Bezos (1) and Bill Gates (2).

p. 17: Bao Bao returned to China in 2017. 

p. 18: The kingfisher died in 2017.

p. 36: Map: The Tombs is on 36 St., not 35th, just above the Exorcist Steps. 

pp. 37, 40: Restaurant changed from "Five Guys"  to"&pizza."

p. 45: After 30 years, the Sea Catch restaurant closed.

p. 48: On map, add "President Obama " at 2446 Belmont Road.  

p. 77: Sweetgreen skyrocketed & headquarters moved to California.

p. 99: After two decades, "InfoShop" closed.

pp. 114, 118: The Goethe-Institut moved.

p. 118: Library closed is closed for renovation March 2017 until 2020.

p. 123-124: Trump International Hotel opened.

p. 145: Wharf development is open for business!  Full updates coming soon.

p. 171: REI opened.

pp. 174, 175: Trolley opened.

p. 191: The ship is now gone. 

p. 192: Murder rate is changing. Updates to come.

pp. 196, 200: New leg of trail opened.

Monday, March 12, 2018

2018 Book Talks, Hikes, and Some Other Events

July 17, 2018, 7 p.m. 

  Free nature photography talk at Fairfax County's Chantilly Public Library: "Capturing Nature's Magical Moments."  Signing/sales afterward of 92-page photo book and "Walking Washington, DC."    
     Chantilly Regional Library, 4000 Stringfellow Rd., Chantilly, VA, 703-502-3883,      


April, 2018 

   Harvard Club of Washington, DC.   Members-only 
   trek to the most colorful wildflower display in the DMV

April 29, 2018, 7:30 a.m.

   "Hold a Wild Bird" hike and bird banding, Sierra Club
    Registration required: https://www.meetup.com/sierrapotomac/events/248376438/

May 26, 2018, 3-4:30 p.m.

   Public book talk and book signing
    Chantilly Regional Library, 4000 Stringfellow Rd., Chantilly, VA, 20151-2628

Monday, June 5, 2017


What better way to celebrate the American Hiking Society's "National Trails Day"  in the United States than to take a hike to Sweden.   Sweden?  Yep.  As the author of "Walking Washington, DC" and a Sierra Club hike leader, I led a hike from the capital's oldest neighborhood across the pulchritudinous Potomac River into Virginia and then back into DC for our finale at the Swedish Embassy.

As we stood literally gasping at the views atop the riverside embassy's rooftop, our enthusiastic host Myriam Puryicky introduced us to Sweden's famous hiking trails and the concept of Allemansr├Ątten. Their constitutionally protected "Right of Public Access" encourages hikers to saunter unfettered anywhere in the countryside if they leave it undisturbed.

Perched on the rooftop, we relished the birds-eye view of our entire 8-mile loop hike. We began at Francis Scott Key Memorial Park, a gem of a pint-sized urban park commemorating the famous writer of "The Star Spangled Banner."  It's at the edge of Georgetown, the District's oldest, toniest, and most walkable neighborhood, with brick rowhouses adorning European-skinny streets.  Then we crossed over the artistically arched Francis Scott Key Bridge.  That deposited us in Virginia, where we hung a left onto the 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac River.  First, we popped off the paved trail to explore lush, green Theodore Roosevelt Island.  Afterward we couldn't help but stop a few times for selfies along the river for its Instagram-perfect views of the Capitol, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial.  Then we crossed back into DC over the classically designed Memorial Bridge.  Along the way on the riverside trail, we passed the Lincoln Memorial, the Kennedy Center, the Watergate, and other waterfront jewels.  At our second to last stop, we nibbled plump purple mulberries next to the seldom-seen Mile Marker Zero of the 184.5-mile long C&O Canal.   Then we wound up back at Georgetown's bustling waterfront, with its restaurants, bars, parks, boats -- and Sweden's stylish and welcoming embassy.

If you also want to enjoy the hike without leaving your couch, just read "Walking Washington,  DC," my unique new guidebook for natives, newbies, and tourists.  This hike was adapted from "Walk #13, Potomac River Panorama and Watergates."
But you'll have to actually travel to Washington, DC if you want to visit Sweden.

Walking Washington, DC:

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Autographed Books

Yes, "Walking Washington, DC" is still for sale in stores and online (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the publisher, local book stores, etc.), but if you would like to buy a PERSONALIZED SIGNED copy, please contact me.  I am selling a limited number of autographed copies for $25, including shipping and handling along with whatever kind of inscription you would like.  It's a great way to start your New Year -- and great motivation to start walking to fulfill your New Year's resolutions!  Please email Barb22030 AT yahoo DOT com for details. 

   (Continental US sales only.)
(Please note that this is the ORIGINAL user-friendly and official "Walking Washington, DC" guidebook, whose title was apparently "stolen" after this book was published)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sierra Club Hikes and Other Adventures

My book-related TALKS and WALKS are still listed under Book Talks below, but I will post some other adventures here, including some hikes in or around DC that I'm leading for the Sierra Club and other groups.

FLYING SQUIRRELS AND SPIES? for the Sierra Club, Feb. 23, 2018 
and Feb. 16 for the Vienna Photographic Society  Details to come.

PHOTOGRAPH BALD EAGLES AT CONOWINGO DAM & HIKE AT SUSQUEHANNA STATE PARK, for the Vienna Photographic Society, Dec. 3, 2017.  Details to come.

GREAT FALLS, MD FALL FOLIAGE HIKE for the Harvard Club of Washington, DC

ARE YOU TOUGH ENOUGH TO BEAT THE TIDE?  for the Sierra Club, 14-mile late summer hike/run on the most pristine part of Maryland's Assateague Island National Seashore. Details:  https://www.meetup.com/sierrapotomac/events/243031295/

See Peaking Pink Lotuses, Lively Waterfront Parks, an Island Oasis, an Important Civil War site, and Forever-Silent "Celebs" on this 19-ish mile ride and 3-ish mile hike along the paved Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Details:  https://www.meetup.com/sierrapotomac/events/240790230/

* ROAN MOUNTAIN for the Sierra Club
If Thomas Jefferson had hiked amidst the orange flame azaleas and fiery purple rhododendron near Roan Mountain on the TN/NC border, he would have declared that area -- and not Harpers Ferry -- "Jefferson Rock, a view worth crossing the Atlantic Ocean." Okay, maybe that's a bit of hyperbole -- but no more than flower-loving Jefferson himself might have uttered. So come along with us to trek the Appalachian Trail's famous balds and gawk at a huge natural Rhododendron garden nearby that could melt a photographer's heart. Details:  https://www.meetup.com/sierrapotomac/events/237331540/

What do flying squirrels and spies have in common?  Both hung out at Arlington's Long Branch Nature Center. The spies -- convicted FBI traitor Robert Hanssen and his Russian pals who reportedly used the park as a dead drop -- are long gone, but the little southern flying squirrels who watched their clandestine maneuvers still hang out.  Come watch these cute critters as they soar down from the treetops to lap up peanut butter and pose for your camera. Before we head outside, a park naturalist will teach us about the wide-eyed cuties and we even get to gently touch one!  This might be your only chance for a close-up encounter with one of these super-common but seldom-seen furry night gliders. Details/registration:   https://www.meetup.com/sierrapotomac/events/237668747/

*  LONG RUNS IN NATURE: Sundays, winter/spring, C&O Canal.  Details/registration:  


*  DESIGNER DONUTS, OYSTERS, & POTATOES hike for the Sierra Club: 

*  LORTON PRISON BREAK hike for the Sierra Club      

*  7 PRESIDENTS AND A PARK hike for the Sierra Club 

*  COVERT CUPCAKES BOOK WALK for The North Face, Georgetown

*  SUFFRAGETTE CITY: Workhouse Arts to Occoquan Park & Town of Occoquan hike for the Sierra Club 

*  SPIES, PARKS & GARDENS: Robert Hanssen, the W&OD Trail, & Meadowlark Gardens hike for the Sierra Club


Monday, April 4, 2016

Book News and Notes (besides Book Talks)

BOOK NEWS & NOTES (besides Book Talk Schedules)

TOUTED BY TOUR GUIDE: During a talk at Arlington's main library in January, 2017, I was lucky to meet Vicky Schwartz. It is an honor to hear any reader say that they like my book and my book talks, but it was especially wonderful coming from a licensed tour expert.  Schwartz said:  "I am a DC tour guide with 30 years of experience.  I have never encountered anyone with more familiarity with the hidden gems of Washington's neighborhoods.  Barbara's research is very impressive.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to explore the real Washington."   

NEVER STOP EXPLORING: Who can resist the queens of cupcakes?  No one apparently -- or at least not the nearly 30-something folks who strolled with us through Georgetown Nov. 12 on a walk sponsored by The North Face.  Thanks to TNF, the TV star sisters who founded Georgetown Cupcake  (TNF's neighbor & a stop on WWDC's book walk #6) supplied their yummy vanilla and chocolate goodies with "The North Face" and "Walking Washington, DC" logos on the top.   Everyone liked it so much, TNF might even stage another "microadventure." Stay tuned.  Meanwhile, as TNF says: NEVER STOP EXPLORING!  https://www.facebook.com/TheNorthFaceGeorgetown/

HARVARD and BARNES & NOBLE: Thanks to all the savvy shoppers who showed up on Sunday June, 26 for my "Meet and Greet" and book signing at the B&N in Tysons Corner mall.  It appears to be one of B&N's busiest stores in the DMV -- and the mall is (reportedly) the 10th largest in the nation. Before rushing over to the book store, I led 30 fellow members of the Harvard Club of Washington, DC on a book talk and walk in Georgetown in the morning. (Walk #5, "Georgetown North: Silver Spoons and Spies.)

PRAISES: "The writing is engaging and beautifully organized," says author, editor, and former Wash Post National Staff graphics editor Jeannette Belliveau in her Amazon review. She praises its "mastery of detail," and says the "beautiful cover of Walking Washington, D.C. -- with photos taken by the gifted author -- is a perfect entree into this valuable book. "
Amazon: Amazon.com Review "Walking Washington, DC"

KUDOS: John Schwartz of the New York Times, who tweeted about my Washington Post travel story on Gatorland's bird rookery in April, 2015, said he "loved" my book.
Schwartz: John Schwartz on Twitter
Gatorland story: Birds are the Other Stars of Orlando's Gatorland

DID PRESIDENT OBAMA LIKE MY BOOK? Since the prez and his family are sticking around DC after the election -- Washingtonian magazine says he will rent former Clinton White House spokesman Joe Lockhart's 8,200 sq. ft. castle-like mansion with a round turret in Kalorama -- I mailed him a copy since he'll finally have time to explore the District.  Anyway, Barack and Michelle were so impressed that they sent me a formal thank-you card on White House stationery, saying, "This is just a quick note to thank you for your gift."  I hope they actually got to see my book.  Well, at least the White House staffer who recorded the gift saw it.

CALLING ALL READERS: Mark Stencel, Co-director of the Duke University Reporters' Lab, (and a former Wash Post colleague) helped announce the book's debut in the fall.
Stencel: Mark Stencel on Twitter

WALK THIS WAY: "One of the best things about being a writer is meeting other writers," said Author Lynne Strang in her posting about my book talk at her "Get Fit Clifton," Virginia walk on April 2, 2016.  Lynne wrote:
Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40

CIA READERS: David Baldacci didn't turn out tonight (May 3, 2016) -- but I did a book talk at the public library in the prolific author's adopted hometown of Oakton, VA.  He is a big supporter of the library.  However, there were other DC-type "celebs" in the audience.  At least one patron admitted he worked for the CIA.  Shhh.  Don't tell anyone!