Close Encounters, Endless Beauty Leave Lasting Impressions
Note: We were delighted to have two wonderful interns, Brittany Inbody and Vienna Canright, assisting our stewardship team at the Land Trust this summer. Brittany shares her experience in this blog post.
I am hunkered down in the grass at a site most have never been. We are surrounded by conifers, a gentle green frame to contain such a beautiful place. Swallows swoop overhead unfazed by our presence. There is a soft blanket of clouds in the sky and a smooth wind swaying the grass stalks. We are quiet so as not to disturb the giant elk sleeping in the meadow below us. I remember thinking at that very moment, ‘‘This is it. This job really is for me.”
Since then I have found truly remarkable things about each site the Whidbey Camano Land Trust helps to protect. From Dugualla Bay Preserve with dozens of herons soaring like ancient birds in the sky as I watered the plants below, to Glendale Beach that graciously lent to my first sighting of a Cedar Waxwing with the calm ocean waves in the background as I pulled weeds. Crockett Lake Preserve, lively in the mornings with flocks of birds soaring so close I always thought I’d be swept away with them. While walking along the outer reaches of Trillium Community Forest in search of boundary lines, it was not out of the ordinary to be surprised by a small Brown Creeper slowly ascending a tree in search of tasty insects or baby Black Capped Chickadees racing to keep up with their mom. Even Admiralty Inlet Preserve, with its almost limitless plant diversity that had me pouring over my field guide on most lunch breaks. There is endless beauty here on Whidbey as I’ve come to learn and I am so happy I had the opportunity to be a part of it over the summer.
As much as I could keep going about the sites I worked on, there is something to be said about the incredible people I met. My best days, and where I did most of my learning, were spent with staff, board members, and volunteers. I want to thank everyone working at Whidbey Camano Land Trust for making me feel welcomed and a valuable part of the team. Volunteers fostered my love of birds and plants by introducing me to the Washington Native Plant Society, research papers on ravens, and stories about their past as environmentalists. Thank you as well for everyone I haven’t met personally, but has waved to me from the trails or from the roads as you drove by. I have never felt as welcomed as I do here.