An adventure close to home.
A bee in my bonnet made me jump in the big white truck and head out for an adventure close to home. A trip to Tacoma Screw a few days ago to buy hardware for a project at home had taken me past the sign below when it was raining. I headed right back here on this bright sunny day for a little walk-about.
The sign says: Gog-le-hi-te Wetland .. Where the land and water meet .. Port of Tacoma. The word gog-le-hi-te is a local Puyallup Tribe expression which means, not surprisingly, “where the land and water meet.” Here’s a link to more information about this purpose-built wetland … link here.
From a Port of Tacoma Project Report … “Upon its completion, the Action resulted in the creation of 6.84 acres of aquatic habitat for juvenile salmon. A significant additional benefit was the removal of approximately 145,000 tons of refuse and contaminated soils that remained from an old City of Tacoma dump.”
This restoration project is right in the middle of commercial Tacoma (not downtown Tacoma but the commercial trucking area of Tacoma). Big rigs rumble past as they drive over the bridge that spans the Puyallup River (west side of the wetland). There’s a rendering plant on the north edge of the wetland (lots of seagulls hang around there!). There’s a truck/trailer staging area (photo below) on the east side of the wetland.
This dike and roadway (above) separated the wetland from an unused large parcel of land that was south of the wetland (maybe someday to be incorporated in the project). Inside the wetland area, there was peace and quiet and so much natural beauty .. birds, plants, flowers, and surely lots of other critters that I didn’t see. I was here in early August. This summer had been hot, so there wasn’t a great deal of water in this wetland. But it was still plenty enough green and it still felt like a place of hope and growth and natural energy.
And last but not least, the photo above is of a Thistle right in the middle of my path as I was walking out of Gog-le-hi-te. The Thistle is the National Flower of Scotland, the home of my ancestors. “O Flow’r of Scotland” (link to the unofficial national anthem of Scotland, performed by the writer/composer).
What fascinating “nature” places might there be right in the middle of your town or city, or one near you? While researching Gog-le-hi-te Wetland online, I found many more places inside the city limits of Tacoma every bit as interesting and as “natural” as this one. I’ll be visiting them one by one and will report!