Siltcoos River/Carter Lake Dunes

April 17, 2004

I planned this outing as an “Earth Day Celebration” and I am happy to say that those hikers who came along joined in with that event. We had perfect weather, sunshine and no wind, for a coastal trip. At a leisurely pace we traversed the easy trail along the estuary overlooking the Siltcoos River. This provided an excellent opportunity to see an immature bald eagle at very close range. Also spotted were ducks and a posing kingfisher. We walked down the beach, to the river outlet and witnessed the incoming tidal bore. The beach held some interesting tracks and an opportunity to see a dead skate (for those interested). Some seals frolicked, just off the beach, watching our progress. So far we had seen birds, insects, spiders, caterpillars, mammals, fish and one garter snake.

We lunched at the side of the river, in the sunshine, making use of the picnic tables. From here we proceeded to the second part, a walk on the dunes at Carter/Taylor Lake area. Wildflowers, including native rhododendron, yellow irises, wild strawberries, and an unidentified purple flower were blooming. We examined many animal tracks, identifying deer, raccoon, possible coyote and a long line of impressive bear prints. When we reached the top of a large dune, we sat in a circle and those who wished read and shared their poems and nature writings. It was a perfect setting and a great group.

I want to thank members Danielle Delaby, Walt Dolliver, Shirley Froyd, Maggie Gortrum, Marshall Kandell, Iwo Lojasiewicz, Barbara Schomaker, Barbara Sutherland, Michelle Tambellini and non-members, Jackie and Jim Lukowski for joining me and making it such a good day. —Leader Sheila Ward.

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