Yesterday we hiked at the Miller Woods Conservation Area near McMinnville, Oregon. Kangaroo had discovered it on Google Maps and we hadn’t been there, so we wanted to check it out. The conservation area was donated to the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District in 2004 by Frieda Miller, who along with her husband had settled the 130 acres in 1967. They wanted the property to be used for nature education. Rain was forecast, and it was indeed raining when we got there. I got a lot of photos so this will be a bit of a long post!
The first thing we noticed when we drove in was this display of different kinds of nesting boxes for birds, bats, and bees. The one at the bottom middle of the photo above is a bat box. There is a small space between the front and back of the box, and the bats go up in there and nest. The photo below is the bee block for mason bees, which are great pollinators.
When we got to the trailhead, there was a group of elementary and middle school aged kids waiting to go on a nature hike. There were probably 13-15 kiddos and just a couple of adults to wrangle them. I thought they needed more adults, but we didn’t volunteer, ha.
We checked the maps and decided to go down to the pond on the Discovery Loop. It was about 0.3 of a mile and went around the pond.
We got down to the pond and saw a few interesting things, but no riparian wildlife. We assumed all the frogs and other pond-dwellers were hibernating.
We (I should say Kangaroo) lifted up the wildlife cover boards we found around the pond and didn’t find any creatures hiding. I was uncomfortable thinking about what we might find (snakes!) but no snakes were found. Along the trail there were more cover boards, and under the last one we did find this guy!
Across from the pond there is a large field that is being restored as a native prairie. They have even resorted to hand-pulling to remove blackberries and daisies and other plants that are invasive.
See Part 2 for the rest of the hike!
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