Monday’s Meander: A Winter Steigerwald Walkabout

I located these photos dated January, 2014, as I’ve greatly missed our restorative hikes here. For almost two years, the public hasn’t been able to traverse the wonderul landscape of Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State. I’ve keenly felt the loss of access. Marc and I have explored the refuge for decades at least once a season; we seek many varieties of birds. Over 200 species of songbirds and waterfowl live in the refuge; purple martins also winter here, migrating from S. America. Other wetlands wildlife include at least 20 species of mammals and 15 of reptiles and amphibians. It’s been closed to the public for restoration and revegetation of over 200 acres. The major project is reconnection of Gibbons Creek and the Columbia River. Flood plain is being restored. This was the way it was for generations. It will have a needed, positive impact on wildlife– including the salmon, renowned in the Northwest. (Dreaming of fresh salmon dinner now…)

Today it felt time to revisit via photos from that other late January. I find the more monochromatic palette quite lovely, a good contrast to verdant greens that will return before long. Today I discovered it’s set to reopen this spring! There will be an additonal mile of trail. The easy round trip hike currently is 2.8 miles, mostly flat. People can also continue to Vancouver by taking a turn west on a wide paved trail. Cyclists and horseback riders are allowed to use that part, but we prefer to stay within the main refuge area.

I hope to make a birthday trek when Steigerwald opens up.

Mt. Hood

By the time we got around to heading back, the sun was fast lowering, shadows and golden light transforming the wetlands and mountians further in its panoramic winter beauty.

3 thoughts on “Monday’s Meander: A Winter Steigerwald Walkabout

  1. I was so happy for you, Cynthia, that the Steigerwald Lake NWR is going to reopen soon! I enjoyed all your photos of the refuge, it’s so picturesque and vast, those lovely open skies. Also great to see beautiful Mt. Hood in its snowy splendor in the distance. How fantastic it will be to go back again after this long closure.

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