Saturday, January 7, 2012

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

As the largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge forms a buffer between dry land and open ocean, influenced by tides but containing very little salt. The refuges almost 1,000 acres is a vital feeding and resting place for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway and also provides habitats for lots of varied wildlife.

With a view of the city of Philadelphia from the marsh and the sounds of traffic on I-95 well within earshot, it can be difficult to feel one has gotten away from the rush of the city and enveloped in the hush of nature. But despite the fact that I found myself distracted by the sounds of man during my visit there today, the view of the marsh and the waterfowl were spectacular, and went a long way toward erasing any distractions I had due to noise.

While the refuge contains an educational center, the main attraction is the boardwalk and observation platforms that allows one to get out onto the water and able to come in closer contact with the birds and other wildlife of the area. There are also many trails that are available for walking and biking.

My husband and I walked the entire perimeter of the main marsh which took us about an hour and 1/2, including stops. On this beautiful 60 degree January day, we came across many fellow hikers, and like us, many had their dogs in tow. While we did see a group of seagulls and a blue heron at the marsh today, I look forward to returning in May when all of the migrating birds on their northward journey pass through.

If you would like additional information on the refuge, please click here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Losing yourself in Crum Creek Woods...

Tucked just behind Swarthmore college lies a beautiful tract of land, running alongside Crum Creek. A small parcel of land really, hard to get lost in but a perfect place to get lost if you choose to.

My dog likes to run along the hills or splash in the creek, losing her mind as she rushes about reveling in the freedom to investigate as she pleases.

My son likes to rock climb here or simply spend time reading, losing himself in a story.

Hiking these trails I discover that losing myself in nature may be the best way to find myself. Let the beauty of the natural world bring you peace in the New Year!