Jackson Bottom Wetlands – Part 2 – Hillsboro

The path I took from the visitor’s center was the south path up to the small pavilion on the right.  The day was pretty rainy and grim but the birds were chipping and the foliage was green and all of the flowers were blooming.  Everything was just beautiful on this Sunday.

The first thing I saw when I left the dryness of the visitors’s center was a nice pavilion that had a great view looking out toward the wetlands.  The path was graveled and had nicely made barriers to keep folks from trampling the delicate foliage and out of the way of the water areas – there were some areas that were for pollinating critters (mason bees) that had some large water areas.

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I proceeded down the path and couldn’t help but enjoy the birds singing – they seemed to be celebrating the arrival of spring as much as anything.  As soon as I got into some proper foliage I noticed a small path made of cut stones that led to another small water feature filled with lily pads.  Just to the right of the water feature was a giant log that the main graveled path bisected.  The log had a nice cut through it that two or three folks could walk through at the same time.

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I proceeded on and noticed another area that was set aside for the pollinators – the mason bees.   The sign says: “This area has been planted with pollinator-friendly flowers and is protected from pesticides to provide valuable habitat for bees and other pollinators.”  It’s a great reminder that in addition to the foliage, flowers and greenery, birds and mammals, there are also many insects and small creatures that are important to the ecosystem at Jackson Bottom Wetlands.

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I kept going own the path, drinking in everything – grateful for the moment that the rain had stopped – it seems like the birds had noticed the stoppage as well – they were all calling out their pleasure as well.  I turned a corner and spotted a table – it out be one the of the ones that the volunteers use when they do guided tours for the public and use to do presentations.  It’s one more thing that impressed me about all of the efforts the staff and volunteers make – it’s obvious they care tremendously about how their wetlands are cared for and how the public can best appreciate it.

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I kept going and noticed a how many small signs there are to show visitors what the greenery and foliage is about and there are also places where birds can nest and make their homes.  The path is excellent and not steep, muddy, or overgrown at all.

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There are some places where warnings are posted – that the wetlands are kept somewhat natural Poison Oak or Poison Ivy can sometimes appear.  The staff does a good job of posting the warnings but do be aware that its always best to stay on the paths and to avoid foliage unless you are absolutely sure it’s safe.

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As I was walking to the shelter I saw a gap in the foliage and saw a bit of the nearby river.  It’s a pretty steep bank, so be sure to tread safely nearby

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The path continued on and a fence on the right keeps folks safely on the path.  The birds continued singing and welcoming me to the area.  I didn’t see any mammals except for the occasional squirrel or chipmunk, but those are always welcome, so that wasn’t too bad.  There are eagles in the area, but I didn’t see any of those on this dreary Sunday.

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I finally arrived at the shelter just in time to avoid a little sprinkle of rain.  The path continued on but I decided to take a little rest and enjoy the sights and sounds of spring in Oregon.  The birds all seemed happy to talk to me and the shelter had some comfortable spots to sit.   The path continued on and looking across from the shelter was a sign that said “Sensitive Wildlife Habitat – Area Closed Behind Sign” – it was a beautiful area and I found myself just standing there for a few moments just looking out across the water and admiring the natural beauty.  I can easily imagine this is what Oregon would look like in the wilder more natural areas.

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Overall I give this path – called the Kingfisher Loop 5 big Hey Willamettes – this was a wonderful day and I thoroughly enjoyed my walk.  It was only about half a mile but the birds were very happy I was there – the flowers were all blooming, the weather wasn’t too bad, about the time it started raining a little I arrived at a small shelter and I got to sit and enjoy the rain while I could sit and relax.  If you get some time do give the Jackson Bottom Wetlands a visit – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, the staff and volunteers there are always doing their best to make sure visitors enjoy themselves and get the best experience out of their time at the Wetlands.

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