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!

Friday, January 11, 2013


During the time I lived in Wenatchee I worked at the homeless shelter there, where my husband was the Director. One day a man named Royce came to the Mission. He was a talented ventriloquist with a little friend named Si. What a delight to hear him tell Bible stories and present the gospel of Jesus to all who would listen. He had traveled by bicycle from Montana and all over the state of Washington, trusting God to provide for him. He told us about a man he met in a town near here who was concerned that he and his dummy had no place to spend the night. The comment was, "Well, you are homeless, aren't you?" Royce's reply was that he was not homeless at all. He lived in the Kingdom of heaven in the mansion prepared for him.
What a wonderful statement! I've thought a lot about it since. Here are some other verses, favorites of mine. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Col. 3:1-3 

Before his ascension Jesus told his followers he would prepare a place for them. Could it be that when we give our heart to Jesus we enter our mansion at that time and are forever with Him? As a believer, following in Jesus’ footsteps, I know I am already in heaven with him, hidden in God! I don’t have to wait to die for it to happen! So if I am already in my mansion, I can never be homeless, no matter if I own nothing more than the clothes on my back.

 What security I have. What a sense of protection — peace and safety — to know I am in my “place.” I am surrounded by the walls of a mansion created for me by God. I will dwell there forever!

Monday, January 7, 2013


 Coming home from a visit to my childhood town and school we took the back roads, our habit to avoid the freeway. On my iPad map I found a road just north of Centralia called the Bucoda Hwy, so off we went. It was out in the country, pretty much, with trees lining the route. Imagine our surprise when we came across these strange critters, contentedly munching away in their pretty pasture.

 We've been around lots of buffalo in our workamping jobs in South Dakota and in Wyoming, but these guys looked really spooky with their white faces. It looked like they had masks on.

 Mr. Keith tried to get them to look up for their portraits, but they were too busy working away at their lunch.

 The bodies really do look like buffalo bodies, and the horns are almost the same.

The owners were out in the field so we asked what these attractive animals are, and, as we thought, they are beefalo, a cross between a domestic bull and a female buffalo. They are mainly raised for meat, but the kind folks who own this particular herd have them for pets. They are certainly eye-catchers. We're glad we took this back road. We never know what we might find!