On Friday Bracken and I went on a homeschool field trip (we’ve been going on quite a few of those lately) to the wetlands in West Eugene. When reading about it beforehand, the field trip was described as a guided interactive tour of the wetlands with Willamette Resources and Educational Network (WREN). I had heard of WREN before and was happy to get the opportunity to connect with their organization.
We saw a Douglas fir tree that had been struck by lightning (and learned the story of the mice, for identifying the pinecones.) Native purple camas and yellow mule’s ears were in bloom and were so beautiful. We saw lupines too. We learned about a plant called teasel that settlers used for teasing wool. (Bracken brought one home and played with some wool with it.) We saw a swarm of bees in a tree. We also saw bones from a nutria, that had been there for many years. What else did we see? Much more, but those are a few things off the top of my head.
Our guide that day was ShayAnne and we had first met her at the newt event, and then ran into her again at the Wildflower and Music Festival. I was so grateful for all she taught us about the wetlands that day and for sharing her love of the earth with all the children. I had driven past that spot on the way into town so many times and never knew what was there. Now when I pass it I feel a connection to that land and place that I never had before. I think of the birds that live there, and the plants that grow there, and I think of our fun day exploring it.