Monday, February 13, 2012

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is one of my favorite places to go and walk. The views are amazing, the paths are well maintained, and the people in the shop are very knowledgeable about the wildlife that is seen there. The paths are wide enough for strollers or wheelchairs, there are boardwalks, and gravel paths.

Olympic Mountains Looking Southwest
Each time I go there and walk something changes, the animals that I see, the view. Just the plant life as the seasons circle about. 

American Bittern
The last time I went there I had a bald eagle scare me. He flew right at me, I could see the color of his eyes. At the last minute, he shot in the air I could have reached up and grabbed a fist full of tail feathers. I did not get a picture of this, I thought I was going to have to eat dirt. 

Tide coming in looking east
The refuge is only open during daylight hours. So, depending on what time you are there the tide is in or out. When I got there it was out, when I left it was coming in. Take water to drink. 

Great Blue Heron looking for fish
Lots of people go out there to walk and just enjoy the sun. I have learned to look for the photographers they are looking for interesting things to photograph. With the Bittern I did not know what kind of bird it was, so I showed the picture to a few bird watchers. They told me. At one place on the Estuary path there is a hide to view the water.Shhhh.

Mt. Rainer from Estuary Boardwalk Trail
 The day I went it was almost 50F and sunny. I was able to get great shots of the mountains and the blue sky. For February that is not a bad picture.  It is not a quiet place, oh there are people talking, kids running. Most of the noise was from the birds chattering. When it got quiet I learned to look up something was hunting. Every once and a while the lone cry of a hawk or eagle could be heard.

Heron catches a snake
The neat thing is to walk the path it is only $3.00 for an all day use. There are NO pets allowed big no no, and even though it is outdoors the people who are there frown on smoking. Not because it is bad and smelly, but because even though it is a wetland fire can still happen.
FYI there are deer as well, they just hide until the sun starts to set. 

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