Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday Walk: Audubon Society of Portland

Ellie was a good little hiker :)
This week for our walk we went out to the nature trails at the Audubon Society of Portland. Our friend and neighbor was telling us about it since we were studying birds this week for our continuation of the letter B. I can't believe we've missed out on this beautiful place until now! It is absolutely gorgeous out there!

This is what I get when I ask for a smile.
The first initial trail is rather steep going down and not very wide. Ellie wanted to be "holded" and Hannah was holding my hand for dear life! But they did great, and we really enjoyed the rest of the trails. Once you get to the bottom there is a short trail that takes you down to the creek that runs through the bottom of this canyonish area. It was really lovely down there. We played around for a little bit by the water and hoped to see some wildlife. About the only thing we saw was a cool and creepy banana slug. We had not seen one like that before so we looked it up in our field guide and learned what it was. I am so proud that Hannah likes to use our book so much and was wanting to discover other things.
Banana Slug
We didn't see any other wildlife except for a little bird in the stream and a few water skaters, but we did see some neat mushrooms growing off the side of a tree. So we looked those up in the mushroom section of our book (on a side note: I am soooo happy I picked this book up at a garage sale. It is the "Audubon Society Field Guide for the Pacific Northwest" so it covers everything for our specific region of the country. Plants, animals, birds, etc. VERY awesome!) and discovered that it is called artist's fungus.

Enjoying nature

Artist's Fungus

Little bird enjoying the water.

So beautiful!

Hannah loves to sit and look at our field guide.
After hanging out at the water for a bit we got back on the trail and found some more water. A pond! They had a nice shelter with a bunch of big steps that we could sit on right at the edge of the pond. Hannah stopped and prayed that we would see a turtle and a frog in the pond because she really wanted to see some. We didn't, but ended up seeing something way better. A very large owl flew through the trees right across the pond from where we were and sat in the trees for a few minutes before moving on.  Hannah was super excited that we got to see an owl, especially since it was daytime and owls usually sleep during the day.

Pond where we sat for a bit watching for frogs or turtles. Didn't see any, but an owl flew through the trees across the pond!

My little nature lovers. :)

The icing on the cake was getting to see an owl up close as we were hiking back up the hill. This owl lives at the Wildlife Care Center that is part of the Audubon Society and one of the handlers had her out and was showing her to some people, so we got to have a look. She made some really funny noises and the girls thought that was great along with the fact that she could turn her head so far around. The guy holding her told us that owls have 14 bones in their neck that allows them to be able to do that.
We had a great time and are definitely going to go back there...many times. It will be especially fun as the girls keep growing up and are able to hike farther. There is so much to explore!
Next week I think we are going to go on a turtle hunt because they still really want to see some turtles. :)

The sweet owl that lives at the Wildlife Care Center. The girls loved getting to see her!


  1. What beautiful country! Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures!

  2. What a beautiful day, Amber! Wish we were right there with you :) So cute to see your girls loving nature, and Hannah learning to use the field guide.

    Those banana slugs look interesting - kinda creepy, but would be fun to check out.