Gog-le-hi-te Wetland

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.

Blackberries ripening, with their impenetrable thicket behind.

Tansy (tanacetum vulgare)? If so, not native and not exceptionally invasive, but a little bit invasive. I’d bet volunteers here remove this plant. Sure is pretty tho.

Sweet pea (lathyrus odoratus), a native of Sicily and southern Italy.

Several steps down from one of the trails, this viewing platform overlooked the wetland.

Cattail (typha .. but which species?)

Oregon Grape (mahonia aquifolium) .. not really a grape.

A honey bee, I do bee-lieve. Maybe this was the very bee that got in my bonnet early this morning and told me to drive to its home, Gog-le-hi-te Wetland.  (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

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!

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6 Responses to Gog-le-hi-te Wetland

  1. Kristin says:

    Great photographs!

  2. Ginger D says:

    Your camera (and you) take great pictures. The wetlands looks like a nice place to explore and take pictures.
    I love seeing the berries growing wild and the sweet peas. (Love their fragrance).

    • Ann says:

      Thank you Ginger D. Besides a really nice camera, I also have a fairly easy-to-use and free photo editing app called Fotor that helps those photos look even better .. I tend to take slightly crooked photos and this sure helps. Wish I could share fragrance online. 🙂

  3. Gene in Ohio says:

    I live on the edge of a wetland. For the last three years I had been watching a lake expand towards my house after a beaver dam was constructed, then just this year I noticed that the lake had disappeared after leaves fell in the fall. I found out that the Beavercreek Wetland Association relocated the beavers and released the water behind the dam in order to lessen flooding of the wetland. I was disappointed.

    • Ann says:

      Hi Gene in Ohio,
      How interesting it must have been to watch the expansion of your lake. And I can imagine what a shock it was to see the lake disappear. Doesn’t seem right somehow, does it. Thanks for sharing that.

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