Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Last week, Finn didn't have school on Friday, so the kids and I headed up to Washington to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. We went up to the refuge once before, last May, and I have been itching to go back ever since.  It is amazingly beautiful there.
The refuge is basically like a safari, but for birds and small mammals. You slowly drive a loop in your car, and can spot lots of wildlife along the way. There is a hiking trail (or maybe two), but they are closed each year until May or June, so we were limited to driving the hour-ish long loop.
We saw lots of birds. Highlights were red winged black birds, great blue herons and egrets. We also saw a lot of nutria, an invasive (and quite large) rodent from South America. Most people can't stand them, but I think they are sort of cute (see the third picture down)-- however, they come in and displace the native animals, so for that reason I do feel sad when I see so many. We also saw a deer that had multiple tags on it, so apparently it was a well researched deer.
But, the best part of the whole loop was near the end. I saw a bunch of small animals running back and forth through a field and assumed they had to be nutria. However, as we got closer, I saw that they were river otters! A rare treat, especially running through a field in a whole group!
Anyways, I love this place. I have plans to go back again in the fall and see how different things look.

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  1. You have some pretty amazing spots in your area. This looks like one we would love.

  2. Just beautiful Taryn. There is a wildlife refuge in Savannah, Ga. that is very similar to the one you visited except no otters, just gators. Love the photos.

  3. I can almost breathe in that fresh air. I'm hoping to be out in the country this weekend as long as the weather cooperates.