Ankenny Wildlife Reserve July 2023

Once I got to the big stream, bull frogs and nutria showed up. Most of the frogs jumped away as soon as I approached but the brown one above kept staring at me. The bald eagle stared at me too for a while as if to say “How dare you walk on our property!” When I came to a small bridge I immediately jumped out there in order to get a closer observation on the stream. But two nests full of yellowjacket wasps on the bridge also yelled “How dare you!” and let me know how upset they were. I apologized and quickly got out of their way. In the northwest we have 3 wasps species known as “yellowjackets” due to their color pattern. This one that got me happened to be the German yellowjacket.


My job had me in Oregon again for a few days so I ran out to visit one of my favorite places – the Ankenny Wildlife Reserve. I saw what I expected to see due to the warm dry weather in Oregon – just about all of the water along the beautiful Rail Trail boardwalk was dried up. I would be happy to see any kind of wildlife but with the temperature up to 90 degrees the next day, I went to another place in the reserve and kept strolling along until I found what I was looking for – a big stream. There again were a pair of common water loving creatures – bull frogs and nutria. I got some nice views of bald eagles, too. Canada geese, of course, maintained their big populations as well in several locations. I also had run ins with lots of insects, one of which – yellowjacket wasps – did not appreciate my visit and they let me know about it on the side of my arm. Oh well, it was a small price to pay for what I found. I love going to that wildlife reserve so just for your information I recommend that you first stroll along the Rail Trail Boardwalk. A little further down the road on the right, you will find another boardwalk. Check it out. A bit further on down from there on the right is a huge pond often found with incredible populations of waterfowl, especially Canada geese. But keep on moving down the road and you come to another huge pond, often dried up by July, but in front of a great level hiking trail. That trail is very interesting during the wet or dry season. And that was the location of my most recent visit where I found a big stream still full of water that lasts all year. Where is this wildlife reserve? About 10 miles south of Salem, OR. Drive down south I-5 and look for the Ankenny Hill exit. Take the exit, make a right turn, and you’ll be there.


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