So we had a great summer camp in the begining of the season we haven't blogged about yet. It was so much fun I couldn't let August go without letting everyone know about it. We partnered with our friends at Nearby Nature in holding a weeklong morning camp for Elementary School aged folks. We learned about wetlands, dragonflies, damselflies, and animal tracks. Our friend Rich Glauber led us in singing and dancing. One of my favorite memories of that camp is walking outside the yurt and hearing the children's voices as they sang about the wetlands. We even got to compose our very own song!
Every day we made a quilt square so by the end of camp all the campers had a beautiful wetland quilt of their own. Amazing artistry!
Dragonflies and Damselflies flying today at the ponds in the wetlands:
Common Green Darner Western Pondhawk 8-spotted Skimmer 12-spotted Skimmer Widow Skimmer Flame Skimmer Common Whitetail Variegated Meadowhawk Cardinal Meadowhawk Striped Meadowhawk Black Saddlebags California Spreadwing Spotted Spreadwing Tule Bluet Western Forktail
So, you've been getting out there and seeing otters. As our friend Elvira would say, nice work people! The group of 6 river otters has been seen multiple times out in the Amazon creek just south of the tracks both in the morning and around noon. Other recent happenings include new turtle logs being placed in the Amazon creek. These are basking structures created by us humans for our Western Pond Turtle friends to sun themselves on. There will be some in the creek south of Checkermallow Access by next week. Check them out with the viewing scope that is installed on the bike path. There is also a new turtle log near by the WREN educational yurt, just west of Danebo in the creek. Other critters to watch for - shore birds are moving through our area again for their fall migration, and we'll be seeing neotropical migrants (warblers and swallows) around mid-September. Let us know what you've seen or ask questions about your sightings by leaving a comment or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
River otters have been sighted again very recently out here in the West Eugene Wetlands. One of the WREN volunteers, Richard Hand, saw 5 river otters twice within the last two weeks! Once just south of the train tracks along the Amazon bike path, and then out by the bridge at Royal Ave. I saw 6! in the Amazon Creek just last Saturday, like Richard, south of the train tracks on the bike path. It is such a fun experience to watch these creatures in action. They are very social animals, meaning they are often found in a group. Some other quick ways to distinguish them from nutria at a distance are by their tails, their noses and their swimming patterns. Otters are quite graceful and playful, and will roll in the water as they swim. I have included a photo from Judy Berg to give you a mental picture of the critters to look for. So get out here, walk the wetlands and see if you can spot the otters, too. Good luck!