my first hike of the summer

I didn’t go very far.  The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, where I used to volunteer before I went to museum school, is on Interstate 5 about 25 minutes from my house when the traffic cooperates.  Back when I was volunteering there, they started a project to open the formerly diked farmlands that comprise part of the refuge back to Puget Sound.  This involved tearing out a very popular hiking trail that ran along the dike.  To replace it, the refuge built a two-mile-long boardwalk out across the new wetlands to Puget Sound.  It opened last year, but this was the first time I’d ever hiked it.  I meant to get out there before now, but on a rare sunny day last week I finally did:

This is the path leading to the beginning of the boardwalk.  The fog from overnight was still burning off over the water.
Former farmlands, now a mecca for migrating birds.
Along the shiny new boardwalk. That odd little building built into the boardwalk is a bird blind.
Two great blue herons.  I saw about six of them flying together, but the shot of these two was the only one where you can tell what they are in it.
Almost to the end.  The mountains in the distance are the Olympics,
and the little roofed pavilion at the end of the boardwalk is barely visible.
Mt. Rainier from the pavilion at the end of the boardwalk, with zoom. 
There aren’t that many places where you can see both Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountains on the same hike.  I was pleased to discover that this was one of them.

I highly recommend this walk.  I suspect if I’d managed to take it earlier in the spring I’d have seen many more birds (I only saw the herons and gulls on this one), but then the weather hasn’t been exactly cooperative this spring.

I will be making the four-mile round trip again, though, I’m sure.