Portage Creek Wildlife Area

Booker and Grandpa

Booker and Grandpa

Grandma Suzie and I picked up our little hiking buddy Booker today and took a stroll around the Portage Creek Wildlife Area.  Just west of Arlington Washington, the wetland sanctuary is a wonderful mix of marsh, ponds, and native grasslands.

We started at the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum.  Even though the museum was “officially” closed for the season there was still lots to see and do.

The Stilly Valley Museum

The Stilly Valley Museum

The pathways around the museum ponds feature dozens of antique tractors, rustic old pieces of logging equipment, and all sorts of relics from the pioneer days in the Stillaguamish Valley.

Booker at the wheel

Booker at the wheel

There were also lots and lots of birds… buffleheads, mallards, black-capped chickadees, dark-eyed juncos, northern flickers… I’ll stop the list here, but rest assured that we stopped and studied everyone one of them.

Next stop on the nature hike was the Portage Creek trail, just off Hwy 530.  I had advised Booker to keep his eyes peeled for red-tailed hawks as we approached, and sure enough there was a big beautiful red-tailed hawk waiting for us in an old rotten tree right at the edge of the parking area.

Did you ever wonder where the term “keep your eyes peeled” comes from?  The phrase dates back to the 1820’s in England where Sir Robert Peel organized the first police force.  The troops were known as “peelers” or “bobbies”, and were expected to be particularly observant… Well, I think these types of outings with my grandchildren will make them all first class “peelers”.  There is very little that escapes our full investigation as we wander along on these treks.

The tactile feel of a caterpillar

The tactile feel of a caterpillar

Suzie and Booker

Suzie and Booker

Every boy needs a knife :)

Every boy needs a knife 🙂

Following a little discussion about the way red-winged blackbirds use cattails, Booker got busy with my knife turning a cattail into “fluffy” nest material.

Cattail stuffing floating on the breeze

Cattail stuffing floating on the breeze

Soon it was time to head back to the car,  pull off Booker’s wet shoes and socks, and get him warmed up a bit… a critical component to enjoying a milkshake on the way home.  Ice cream treats are always better when your feet are not frozen.

The cherry on top

The cherry on top

That’s about it for this edition of the Adventure Journal.  Thanks for reading along and I hope you get a chance to get out and rub some caterpillars real soon.









About Jeff Katzer

Welcome friends. I'm a cyclist, hiker, motorbike rider, kayaker, photographer, videographer, ukulele player, snowshoer, XC skier, and BEST of all - a grandpa. Somewhere in that list above you'll find the theme of the Adventure Journal.
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2 Responses to Portage Creek Wildlife Area

  1. brucebosman says:

    Great story Jeff. I guess that makes me a peeler as well. You are very lucky to have the grandchildren so close.

  2. Norma Jean Niemiec says:

    What a lucky little boy Booker is!

    Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 22:30:40 +0000 To: njniemiec@msn.com

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