Ankeny Wildlfe Refuge “Where The Birds Are”

by | May 22, 2022

Where the Birds AreFor experienced birders and newbies alike, national wildlife refuges are wonderful places to see birds in natural habitat. Visitor services specialist Mike Carlo shares his mental list of refuges across the country that are well suited to people of varying birding experience.”

Gigi “n Simon

I sat down on the first bench on my walk along the boardwalk. This was my first attempt to go the distance in a long while, it seemed. Gigi and son, Simon, were sitting next to me, with two big smiles that made me smile.

Simon came over to say hello. It felt so good to walk again with nature. The little guy gave me a fist bump, then went back to Gigi, his mom. We had a nice chat and became friends.

We took the Rail Trail, a relatively easy walk on a gravel path connected to a boardwalk, extended out to the marsh and duck pond. “I can do this,” was a vote of confidence for me. One week ago today, walking just a few feet seemed like a stretch.

After chatting a bit with Gigi and Simon, Judy came back to meet me. All of us hung out together before we headed out further on the boardwalk, destination, the Duck pond.

A little hut appeared when my feet asked for a rest. I was surprised and grateful to be back on the trail, after too long dreaming of getting back on my feet, exploring serenity with nature, and visiting with God.

We made it back with a few stops and photo shoots along the way. Take a listen to the birds singing. Feeling the balmy breezes on my face was a most healing sensation in my bones and soul.

Next up is Silver Falls tomorrow. Be sure and join us for another journey to meet new friends, especially wildlIfe.

“Be present with your natural surroundings – do not be tempted to be in nature physically with your mind present in impending work. Serenity is about finding peace, creating calm, being tranquil and not letting the stress of everyday living to swamp you.”

A stealth Squirrel guards the nest…
Judy at the shelter hut…
Steve at the shelter hut…

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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