On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
On the Road will continue, but it will be forever Alain’s.
What a great way to celebrate the end of another week of On the Road. I just want to be here in this lovely park. I want to walk down the road and into the forest. I want to see the great blue herons and the nesting sites, and be in or on that stunningly beautiful blue lake. ~WaterGirl
Mike in Oly
I was asked to share more about one of our many marvelous local parks, so here is a brief tour of the Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area, just north of Olympia, WA. You can read details of its history at this link. This park is a bit of the beaten path, but is quite popular with locals. Mainly just a road out to the point and back, but there is also a mile long loop that takes off thru the woods. Lots of plants and wildlife to see here.
The road out to the bay has been blocked to vehicle traffic and is not maintained as a road any longer. The forest is slowly creeping in on the edges. It is lined with our native big leaf maples, covered in moss, that form a verdant cathedral overhead. Look closely at the photo and you’ll see small figures along the road that give you an idea of the scale of these trees. They are massive. And sadly we are losing them at an alarming rate from a mystery pathogen that as yet to be identified.
I love the wildflowers along the trail. This is a native tiger lily – Lilium columbianum. They are rather rare here and always a treat to see.
Our native Douglas squirrels, slightly larger than chipmunks, can be found here as well.
At the end of the trail are the remnants of the old train trestle that used to bring logs here for floating to the mills up north. It is no longer connected to the shore, so it often has many of our local waterfront birds hanging about. In this photo I counted 52 great blue herons waiting for the tied to go out so they could fish again. The trestle is a toxic mess, but was left as it is a summer nursery for local bats. There are nearby floating rafts that are often full of resting harbor seals, sea lions and cormorants.
Looking out over the bay. No mountains in sight from here, but the trees and water are lovely.
People often arrange rocks into little stacks out here. I love them on the old pilings with the water as a backdrop. Very peaceful.
There are large nesting sites for great blue herons and cormorants along the bay shore, and it is a rare day indeed when you don’t see the herons hunting along the shoreline.
I’ll end with one of my favorite photos of this pretty little park. It is the perfect representation of summer in the PNW. Perfect blue skies with fluffy white clouds over forest and water. I live in the most beautiful State. Hope you enjoyed a peek at this small corner of it.