Saturday, October 7, 2017
An afternoon out and about near home.
Besides camping amid the forests and rivers and mountains of the Pacific Northwest, I also like to find adventures close to home. This afternoon’s outing was a local one.
I had heard about the Fife Levee Pond Park, but didn’t know anything about it other than the name, so I figured I’d go find out.
“Fife” is a town right on the edge of Tacoma, WA … I knew that much. And I knew there was a road along the Puyallup River that was built as a levee or dike to hold the water back from flooding the surrounding land. But where (and what) was this “Pond” and then where (and what) was this “Park”? I had a street address so off I went in the big white truck to discover whatever I could discover.
The streets around the full length of the Puyallup River often don’t go through. They either wind around and come back onto themselves or they dead-end or they change names, etc. It’s a bit of a challenge that I enjoy, finding a location without using my cell phone. It wasn’t that long ago that no one had a cell phone and we managed just fine. But I wasn’t having much luck initially on this day with this destination
Eventually, I simply drove along the river, on the Levee Road, because I expected the Levee Pond Park would be near the Levee Road. Hey, it’s a thought. 🙂
Much of the Levee Road had vehicles, mostly trucks, parked on the shoulder. There were homes, here and there, on the opposite side of the road from the river, but no other buildings in the area. All those trucks were a puzzle to me. So I parked and walked part way down the embankment to the river.
And found this scene (photo below).
I walked and drove further up and down the Levee Road and found dozens and dozens of men and women fishing in the river. So THAT’s what all those parked vehicles were doing there! I didn’t find anyone up on the road to ask what they were fishing for, so maybe that’s some sleuthing I’ll do another day.
Eventually, I did see a large pond on the opposite side of the road from the river and managed to find a street that took me to the entrance to the Fife Levee Pond Park. I parked on the sandy/gravel area near the walkway to the Pond and headed in on foot onto the walkway around the Pond.
Right around the very first blind corner of the pathway, I was startled by a woman and her rather large, ferocious looking dog who were out for a walk. I had startled them too. The dog got over the surprise first and insisted on licking my hand and getting pets. The woman was astonished, saying he never likes ANYONE! Well, remember, I couldn’t get rid of those silly Elk either, so maybe there’s something about me that animals like. 🙂
The woman and I shared a few thoughts about the area and the day. And then she and the dog walked on and I walked out onto the viewing platform that overlooked the pond.
The pond was man-made and was created to drain water from surrounding homes and small farms. It was nice that whoever had planned it had also planned on keeping the area around it natural and open. At the north end of the pond is a small community farm used by nearby residents who don’t have enough space around their homes for a garden, or too many trees for enough sunlight for a garden.
It was a very calm, quiet place with lots of birds, rustlings in the grasses (probably lots of little mammals and amphibians), and not one bit of commercialism … right outside the big, major city of Tacoma.
I took my time walking the circumference of the lake, taking photos, sitting a spell on a bench on the opposite side of the pond from the viewing platform.
What is this (above)? I really don’t have a clue and can’t remember ever seeing it before even though I’ve lived around here most of my life. If you know what this is, please comment and let us know.
I recognize Queen Anne’s Lace in the photos above and below (the bright white flower), but I don’t think that’s what these fuzzy bowl-like flower/plants are … no?
And what’s this above? Red “berries” with red stems. My gosh, there’s so much I don’t know. If you ask me how to rebuild a Ford C6 transmission, I can do that in my sleep, but I sure don’t know plants. Someone help me here, ok?
And this little person was easy to identify online after I got home. It’s a Common Ringed Plover. There were two of them mucking about in that center mud divider in the middle of the pond. They were speedy little birds!
It was a fun day out. I suspect the pond attracts migrating birds so would be a great place to visit several times a year. I’ll put it on my list and look in on it again in a month or two.