Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ridgeflied NWR

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is a green oasis on the I-5 corridor in Washington.  We stopped by the Carty Unit recently for a stroll.  First you must cross a pedestrian bridge over railroad tracks. We found the tracks rather active, with freight trains and Amtrak zooming by.  Soon you see the roof of the Cathlapotle Plankhouse which seems to rise from the ground as you approach.  The Plankhouse is rather stunning.  It's very fun to visit on spring and summer weekends when it's open, especially on 2nd Sundays when there are special educational programs. It's a very well made recreation of a traditional Chinookan building. Volunteers made a serious attempt to build the structure as accurately as possible.  It is not built where the original Cathlapotle village was, however, because they needed to preserve the original archeological site, and they wanted to put it on higher ground to avoid floods. There is quite a bit of water in the refuge, and we heard bullfrogs thrumming in the afternoon heat. We saw several garter snakes that had emerged from the cover of the woods to bask on the trail.  
The railroad bridge.
The roof of the Plankhouse.
The front of the Plankhouse.
Garter snake.
Snail eater beetle.
Sword fern.
Trout lily.
Star-flowered false Solomon's seal.
Trout lilies.
Prairie star.
Broad-leaved starflower.

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