Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Twin Barns

I recently came across some photos of two old historic barns located in the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, and I've been wanting to find them and take some pictures. The Refuge is just a mile or so from Lost Lake but we hadn't made it over there till yesterday, when Mr. Keith suggested we go for a walk somewhere. The Nisqually River runs into Puget Sound here and has made quite an extensive delta. The state of Washington has preserved and reclaimed the area so the birds and wildlife have a safe refuge from the busyness and population of the I-5 corridor. We felt like we were really out in the wilderness but we could always hear the roar of the freeway nearby.

We found this wonderful boardwalk leading to the famous twin barns, a one mile loop. We thought we could handle that, so off we went. It was cold and cloudy, and our fingers froze, but we did get to see many ducks and other birds, not to mention several walkers and bird-watchers with their binoculars. I had mine, too!

Surprise! This little fellow was so obliging about getting his picture taken. He's a fat one!

At last, the anticipated twin barns! The wetlands where the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is located used to be a farm called the Brown Farm. It became farmland back in 1904 after Alson Lennon Brown purchased and drained 1500 acres of salt marsh between the Nisqually River and McAllister Creek and built four miles of dikes to keep the water out.

The barns were dairy barns that were built back in 1934, and they stand as reminders of the fascinating history of the land.  These magnificent buildings are the only remaining structures on the wetlands, besides the visitor center at the entrance. The rest of the land has been reclaimed for the flora and the fauna.

Here's a shot of the barns from the back, looking out on more waterways and a threatening sky. We were on one of the overlooks constructed with benches and plaques showing the various kinds of birds and wildlife we might see, as well as the history of the Brown Farm.

We loved the boardwalk, the many ponds and waterways, the huge maples and other kinds of trees standing starkly against the sky without their leaves. We could only imagine how gorgeous this place must be in the spring and summer. Maybe we'll be able to return here a few times before we set out to our next workamping adventure!

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