Tacoma Nature Center

Tacoma Nature Center

Today was such a beautiful day in the neighborhood that we went for a walk with our daughter this afternoon at the Tacoma Nature Center. The Nature Center is a 71-acre nature preserve that includes Snake Lake and the surrounding wetlands and forest.

Snake Lake is a 17-acre lake and wetland area that is home to wood ducks, mallard ducks, and Canada geese. The entire Nature Center is home to more than 20 species of mammals and about 100 species of birds.

The Nature Center offers more than two miles of walking trails, which we took advantage of this afternoon. According to Run Keeper, we walked a little more than 1.6 miles today.

trails at The Nature Center
trails at The Nature Center

When we first arrived, we heard frogs croaking (probably Pacific tree frogs), but we never saw them. We also saw a pair of Canada geese swimming on the lake. We also saw the colorful male wood duck and several turtles on logs, but they were too far away to be photographed with a camera phone. But I did get a picture of this pair of mallard ducks:

mallard ducks
mallard ducks

As we were crossing one of the bridges over the lake, a couple of teenaged nature guides were showing a group of young children a clump of salamander eggs (the roundish blob in the center of the photo) just beneath the surface of the water:

salamander eggs
salamander eggs

Magnificent Mount Rainier was visible on this clear, sunny day:

Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier

My husband and daughter took me to an anthill that they discovered last summer:

large anthill
large anthill

There were some ants moving about, but on the walk back we saw several smaller but busier anthills. In this photo, the part that looks like dark mud is actually swarming ants:

ant swarm
ant swarm

And here’s a close-up of them:

close-up: ants
close-up: ants

Here are a couple of other forest sights:

holly berries
holly berries
fungus
the obligatory fungus photo

When we got back to the parking lot, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to photograph this lovely purple hyacinth:

purple hyacinth
purple hyacinth

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