Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kent Ponds - Killing Time

It was a Sunday and I had to be in downtown Seattle at 9 am and then pick somebody up from the airport around 1 pm.  This gave me a couple hours of tween time to kill.  Kent Ponds was the perfect place, only 15 minutes from the airport.  I had never been to the Kent Ponds which made it even more desirable a place to visit.

Kent Ponds is properly known as the Green River Natural Resources Area or GRNRA.  The GRNRA is 304 acres of open space that was converted from an abandoned sewage lagoon system into largest man-made, multi-use wildlife refuges in the United States.  It includes ponds, meadows, woods of alder and cottonwood, a trail system, and three observation towers.  It is also one of the region's birding hotspots.  More info on the GRNRA here:

City of Kent - Green River Natural Resources Area

The morning was clear and crisp as I hit the trail from the western side of the GRNRA.  The region had been under a cold spell for over a week of sub-freezing temperatures.  I followed one of the paths toward the large lagoon, then rounded the lagoon to the outlet works.  I saw no person except a jogger (btw, no jogging according to the sign).  I did see a nice, fat coyote, about 200 yards away who kept an eye on me as a viewed him through my binoculars.  The lagoon was almost entirely frozen over making for a safe resting pad for a number of ducks and one lone Trumpeter Swan.

West entry from Anderson Park off of Russell Road
Typical meadowland at GRNRA
View from the tower with Mount Rainier visible through the morning haze.
Observation tower
The lagoon with a lone Trumpeter Swan in the center.
The lagoon outlet.
The route, 1.7 miles round trip.
GRNRA map (Rainier Audubon Society)
Rainier Audubon - Kent Ponds

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