Tag Archives: wildlife

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

IMG_2444Harpo here! Last week I found myself house sitting in Olympia, Washington. After a few days working from home, watching murder mysteries, and petting Jackson the cat, cabin fever set in. It was time to get out  and try to enjoy the wind and rain in the only way I know how. A simple, accessible, walk in the Nisqually National Wildlife Reserve was exactly what I needed.

The well maintained trail is primarily gravel and boardwalk. The path loops, so you can scale it to your liking/ability, from 1 to 4 miles. It is flat flat flat… and also wheelchair accessible.  If you have small children, or are nursing  soreness/injury/shin splints, or are stepping out with someone who may be skeptical about their athleticism or the wilderness, this hike is for you. And if you are in the best of health and fitness, this walk is not to be discounted because it’s just so darn enjoyable.

Even in pouring rain, I was overcome by the beauty of the mudflats and the energy of teeming wildlife.


The friendly visitor’s center by the parking lot offers educational displays and loaner binoculars so you can spy on feathered friends. In my 90 minute trek I saw many many many (yes! that many) varieties of ducks. Also a bald eagle in flight, and about four different great blue herons. Beauties.



Sandy the Salamander

Every time I see a salamander I think of my mom Sandy.

When I was growing up she became enchanted by a newt she found living in our greenhouse. Now I can’t see a little lizard-buddy without being reminded of her compassion for “all creatures great and small.”

The morning I took this shot was following a thunderstorm… we counted over 50 little salamanders on the trail in a few hours. They are as prolific as our slug-buddies in the NW.