What’s another name for a clever duck?.…a wise quacker.
My west Eugene home is within a mile or two of many natural wildlife viewing areas. The wetlands that surround my neighborhood are home to waterfowl, songbirds like the Western Meadowlark, raptors, Herons, Egrets, frogs and Western Pond Turtles just to name a few.
There are well maintained foot paths and bike trails that border the ponds and cross over the creek. Some areas get so inundated with birds that you can hear little else. It’s a great protected outdoor space for biking, jogging or walking your dog.
On a clear day I love to head to my favorite local pond, Golden Gardens Pond. The 223 acre park is home to dozens if not hundreds of Western Pond Turtles. There are several small ponds with a trail circling all of them. It’s common for these turtles to be on top of each other. They get so crowded on the same log, with their neck stretched up to the sun, so entertaining!
Some of the wetlands’ primary water source is winter rain so in the summer they are completely dry. Depending on the season it can look very different here. More than 350 plant species call the Eugene Wetlands home and over the last 10+ years much has been done to help restore this area and prevent future erosion.
The below photo was taken less then two miles from our home. It’s not unusual to spot Bald Eagles in these wetlands, getting a good photo is a different story!
My parents spend a great deal of their free time photographing the wildlife in our surrounding wetland area. Many of these photos are taken by my mom. The Heron with a crawfish in his mouth is one of my favorites.
Another great natural area to check out that isn’t too far out of Eugene is Finley National Wildlife Refuge. It is about 30 miles north of Eugene. A herd of elk can be spotted in the area if you happen to get lucky. We love it best in the fall.
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