Wetlands Preserve Hike

This afternoon, we stopped on the way home from O7’s violin lesson at the Mill Creek Park Wetlands Preserve for a nature hike.

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Today was a perfect day to hike here. We knew this was a spring or fall adventure because, as a wetlands, there aren’t really any trees to provide shade in the heat of summer.

There is a map at the parking area. We chose to hike the main wetlands east of the parking lot.

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The interpretive signs along the trail made it a very interesting hike, both in terms of local and park history as well as the wildlife and plants we eventually saw along the way.

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We quickly spotted red winged black birds. They were everywhere. One kept circling and then landing on marshy growth up trail from us, seemingly to keep an eye on what we were doing.

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We spotted cattails, a sure sign of wet areas:

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The kids were very excited by all the wildflowers. It was hard to resist the urge to pick them, but we left them alone.

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Mostly.

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We learned about the “Mill Creek Greenway”:

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spotted more red winged black birds:

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and hiked around to the large pond in the northeast corner of the area:

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We found a great sign that helped us identify several of the birds we spotted that day.

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More cattails as we approached the pond.

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At the pond, we spied a pair of Canada Geese about to go for a dip.

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They changed their minds shortly after, though, and headed for another pond.

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More helpful signs:

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Here is a crayfish “chimney”:

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We also spotted loads of tadpoles in a puddle:

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S9 made an interesting, but icky, discovery:

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The trail we hiked was about one mile long. Next time, we hope to visit the “Uplands” area and the American Elm demonstration exhibit.

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