The Acton Nature Center of Hood County is a very special place and today I visited their butterfly garden. I did come here last year, but the summer was extra dry and the butterflies were limited. But this year there were a ton of butterflies in the garden. They looked like Monarch’s to me at first, but now I’m pretty sure they were queen butterflies and maybe a couple of monarchs and some smaller yellow ones. While I was there I also caught sight of some brilliant cardinals and a little grey hummingbird. Also some huge grasshoppers and dragonflies. And while it was cooler than last year (just in the mid-90s) it was still too hot for me to take the longer walk. Someday I’ll do that. Admission is free.
Garfield Nature Trail at 620 Rogers Street NW, Olympia is like a little haven of wilderness right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. It isn’t a typical park with picnic areas and playground equipment. Instead it is a trail through a ravine between Rogers Street NW and West Bay Drive NW. I hiked from Rogers to West Bay and back again. The path has several sets of stairs and boardwalks and I wish I had worn my sneakers because is places it was damp and a tad slippery. The trail was busy with young people, families and folks walking dogs.
Our first full day in Australia we set off to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, which is a World Heritage Site as of 1981. We went on a catamaran to a large pontoon and the boat ride was very choppy! I’m guessing that about 70% of my fellow adventurers were sea sick and it was not a pretty sight! I has on my wrist bands and had taken ginger tables and a Dramamine and came out without an problems — surprising myself. Our adventure included:
Return air-conditioned fast catamaran transfers to Outer Barrier Reef Pontoon
Morning and afternoon tea and coffee*
Use of buoyancy vests
Reef education presentation
Hot and cold buffet lunch
Semi-submersible coral reef viewing tour
Guided Eco Reef Talk
It was my first time snorkeling and, again, it was pretty choppy. But despite that it was very wonderful! I don’t have photos because my camera is not waterproof.
The Tacoma Nature Center at 1919 South Tyler was a hopping place this lovely summer day. There was a guy taking photos, a jogger, a couple taking a stroll, an entire group at summer camp and me. The weather was perfect as I walked the mile loop around the 17 mile Snake Lake and its associated wetland. It’s been a while since my last visit and I noticed some updates to the 71 acre nature preserve. The bridges looked better then I remembered and there is now a Discovery Pond play area for the kids (oh, and there were some moms with kids there, almost forgot them!)