12. Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

Kiwa Trail   7/4/2017  (#36)

We celebrated 4th of July with a midday stroll along the Kiwa Trail at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. The  one and a half mile loop trail crosses through treed areas, open fields and wetlands.

Birders love this trail – we were surrounded by much birdsong and glimpsed a few, including redwing blackbird sentinels.  The trail is closed during winter nesting season, and I can easily imagine the fields full of swans and geese. Today was warm and dry with only a few clouds, so not much wildlife viewing.  We appreciated the vistas, the quiet,  the ambient sounds, and the splash of color from the midsummer wildflowers.


  • bullfrog – a deep bass mooing,
  • birds – higher pitched tweets, warbles, pips and chirps,
  • train – periodic horn blast and thrum of wheels on rails,
  • breeze in trees – intermittent light percussive ruffling,
  • country band – occaisional wafts from the Ridgefield 4th of July celebration, less than a mile away as the crow flies,

Critters: tree frog, turtle, butterfly, redwing blackbird, other birds.

I noticed wapato plants with acute triangular leaves and three petaled white flowers growing in one of the wetlands.  The bright green leaves reflect the sunlight in an array of pointed spaceships, ready for takeoff, and also shadowed transparency with interesting intersecting shapes in the bright sunlight.

The wapato blooms are  bright white with three petals.


Other blooming wildflowers/weeds were mostly dry season holdovers – many noted for growing in disturbed areas.  The refuge is a reclaimed pastureland, after all.

Preserving time by catching shadows behind leaves and light on grass, on water, and on a butterfly in a freeze frame photo.

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