Pierce National Wildlife Refuge
At the time of my visit with the Friends of the Columbia Gorge in late spring, areas of the Pierce Wildlife Refuge were still flooded from all the rain this year, and thus inaccessible for walking. We passed through open fields around tall stands of oaks without walking through them, in order to avoid close proximity with the great heron rookeries nested high in the trees. We listened for species of birds that our guide knew from his deep connection to this area.
There are many who are in tune with listening and identifying bird species. "Does everyone hear it?" In all of the sounds of places and my ignorance of bird identification, I stand with birdwatchers in somewhat embarrassed silence. However, this gives me fine opportunities to take in the landscapes without hurry, and become absorbed in the beauty of these spaces with others in moments of quiet.