Tag Archives: Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Watching You Watching Me

When out looking for wildlife, it pays to keep your head swiveling.  There are the things you are expecting to see but also the odd one you weren’t.  It was close to high tide as I walked far out on the boardwalk at Nisqually but the tide had turned and the water was starting to flow out.  As I glanced across, I saw three shapes in the water.  Some seals were drifting out with the tide.  Two of them were swimming along but one had stopped close to me and was staring directly at me.  Consequently, he got photographed.  We stared at each other for about a minute and then he disappeared under the surface and I didn’t see him again.  The other two were long gone so I assume he was chasing to catch up with them.

Low Rainbow for Winter

The weather may have been highly variable for my visit to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, this did have a side benefit.  Lots of rain followed by sudden sun means a good chance of a rainbow.  That is exactly what we got.  The rainbow was very wide and flat which I assume is a function of the sun angle at this time of year.  It looked pretty unusual and very cool so I figured I would share it here!

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Over the years I have driven down to Olympia on many occasions for both work and pleasure.  As you go south of DuPont, you pass the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.  Having gone past it on many occasions, I have often wondered what it is like.  A photographer I met at Juanita Bay and who posts a lot of great wildlife photos on Instagram, posted a few pictures from Nisqually and that made me stop pondering a visit and actually get on with going there.

The website for the refuge mentions that the time of the tides is useful for visiting with high tide being a time that is popular.  The Sunday that was coming had high tide at lunchtime so I figured I should go.  The weather forecast was less promising with lots of rain but wildlife is not bothered by rain and so I thought I should go and just dress accordingly.

It certainly did rain.  At times it was driving in with heavy squalls and I was glad to have put full waterproofs on.  It also meant that I was pretty much alone since no other fool was out in such conditions.  There are some short loop trails near the visitor center but then you can walk out on to the tidal flats.  An elevated boardwalk has been constructed which actually goes out for about a mile and a half.  I didn’t realize how long it was at first but, as it zigzags its way across the flats, you realize that there are many more zigs and zags to come and that you have a long way to go.

Since I had already made the effort to be there, why not continue on my way.  The weather was changing a lot during this time.  The rain got replaced with sun and clear skies before another squall moved in and it started chucking it down again.  Ultimately, as I headed back, it cleared up again and then I found I was rather overdressed for the conditions and got quite warm.

It was a pretty place to be and I will certainly head back again.  Whether I choose to do so in pouring rain, we shall see…