|Immature male Anna's hummingbird - a frequent visitor outside my window. Lainey Piland photo|
I recently discovered via social media that this week is National Wildlife Refuge Week, so I thought we'd mark the occasion accordingly here for Nature Nerd Wednesdays. The United States contains more than 560 wildlife refuges, providing vital habitat for thousands of bird, fish, amphibian, and plant species, hundreds of which are endangered.
Some wildlife refuges are open to the public, and there's one here in Washington State that I hope to visit soon: the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge near Olympia. I've driven past this place more times than I can count, but have never visited. Here's a film from Wild Northwest Beauty Photography for your Wednesday nature escape; offering a glimpse into the Nisqually refuge's diversity of wildlife and wild scenery. (I'd recommend hitting mute on this soundtrack before watching... the electronic/techno/dance music doesn't jive well with the imagery, at least not for me...)
There's tremendous value in spending time quietly watching and observing; mindfully connecting with the wild lives with whom we share our home ground. Visiting a wildlife refuge is one way to accomplish this, but simply sitting next to a window in our homes and offices for a few minutes and watching birds, insects, or squirrels going about the business of their lives can offer us a break from mundane tasks, spark curiosity and imagination, and foster an invigorating connection with the wild lives outside of our human ones.