Fife Levee Pond Park

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.

Above … Oregon Grape (not a grape).

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.

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12 Responses to Fife Levee Pond Park

  1. Ginger D says:

    It’s nice to find something close to home to visit. Looks like a good place to just relax and watch the birds.
    Are the berries edible? They sure look like blueberries, in the picture. I don’t know plants or trees either.

  2. Sondra says:

    There is so much to see when we really start to look…I want to know more about your transmission skills! I love working with tools and taking things apart. Everything has a story to tell, even a mechanical part!! The flora and fauna….the ducks are Mallard, The bowl is Queen Anne’s Lace or wild carrot, it’s on the way to being open and for a short time it’s like a nest, the red berry is rose hips by the look, a seed pod left over once the petals fall, and your plover is the Killdeer, very similar but just enough of a difference from the ringed plover, that would be very rare in your area or my area too it’s an Asian/European and high Canadian Arctic regions, Greenland, sometimes Alaska.

    • Ann says:

      Thank you Sondra! So that fluffy stuff is Queen Anne’s lace in an early stage, huh, gosh the stuff one learns about one’s own home territory. Rose hips! Cool. Someone else emailed me and said the same and said that one can make tea from rose hips. That would be hot! 🙂 And Killdeer, yes, google didn’t even give me that option but they sure are and thank you for that correction. The number of black bands speaks the truth to that. Wow, it’s great having people comment and share and add information.
      As far as transmission skills are concerned, I retired from being a diesel line truck mechanic at Portland General Electric many years ago, then went to work for Federal Express as a truck mechanic working mostly on their gasoline delivery trucks, all of which were Fords and every one of the 50 trucks I took care of (bumper to bumper) had C6 trannys in them. It’s nice today to have a different, more balanced focus on other things in the world. Though I still do like to fix stuff and figure stuff out. 🙂

  3. I love that 17th picture, of the queen anne’s lace. The bowls are queen anne’s before they open all the way. Love the colors in this photo! Sometimes there’s something wonderful to explore close by! Always love when I discover something like that near home.

    • Ann says:

      Along with a couple of the duck photos, that’s my favorite too, Dawn. Makes me want to crawl into one of those fuzzy balls and curl up and have a nap. 🙂

  4. Kristin says:

    I’ve always wondered if there was really a Fife….beyond the sign on the freeway. Thanks for the info!

    • Ann says:

      Yes, Kristin, there really is a Fife. 🙂 I always thought it would be great if there was a town called “Drum” right next to it, but that isn’t the case.

  5. Arlene says:

    Books I highly recommend for this kind of excursions:

    National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers
    National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees
    National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals

    In addition, of course, to ones for birds.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, yes yes yes. Thank you! I need that information and will buy those books. I need a bigger travel trailer! Or maybe add a bike rack on the back bumper and put a bookcase there instead of a bike. The trailer might be a little heavy in the aft section, but it would be fun. Thanks Arlene.

  6. Arlene says:

    And, of course,
    Birds of Washington Field Guide, by Stan Tekiela

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