Thursday, August 27, 2015

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and Art Walk

Our first stop today was to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge itself consists of about 16,000 acres.  It was established in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, one of my favorite Presidents!  

This Wildlife Refuge is special in that it starts with an Art Trail. The art is supposed to tell us to slow down and enjoy nature and also to caution us not to lose what is so precious to us all.

Start here with the tiny life forms shown 
on this Diatom and Algae Gate

Relax and have a picnic lunch at the Dragon Fly Table

The Worm Bench celebrates a seldom seen invertebrate

Each contributor is acknowledged on these 
bird and salmon post caps

Many species rely on the death of spawning adult salmon.  
Far from the end life is celebrated with the giant salmon bones,

Shorebird Swirl - Staging shorebirds take off for the Arctic

Bronze Shards tell how the oily sheen in 
the bay is natural plant decomposition

These revolving posts of spinners tell us that from the 
bones of the parents spring the next generation of 
salmon. The bay is their nursery.  

All kinds of bugs and crawlies living in the stream 
get a boost when the spawning salmon return.

Willapa is particularly rich in amphibian species.  

These oversized bird feathers are part of an exhibit that asks us to reflect upon the extinction rate of birds that is 1 in 8!

The Snowy Plover

The Northern Pintail

Violet-green Swallow

Marbled Murrelet

Northern Flicker

Bald Eagle

The Great Horned Owl

One in 8 - which will be the next feather lost to Extinction?  Many of these birds remain on the endangered species list.

The Red-legged frog leap arcs in bronze show 
how far these amphibians can leap

These are bronze larval houses on the Caddisfly Rocks

Bronze inhabitants of this stream are displayed
in the four pillars that represent the upturned stream

Potent symbols of the Northwest come together here:  
the forest and the fish join to be tree salmon

Cuckoo Wasp

The Roseate Skimmer

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

This is something you don't see every day, but I suppose if someone got stranded clear out here, it could be a life saver.  This phone is near the restroom!

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